Enscape Vectorworks rendering of woman in kitchen holding baby looking out the window
Alex Altieri

Alex Altieri

Published: April 30, 2024  •  3 min read

Elevated Real-Time Rendering with Vectorworks and Enscape

Producing a stunning rendering of your design project is one of the best ways to get client buy-in. There’s just no comparison to a fully visualized project.

There are a variety of applications to use for real-time rendering. In this article, you’ll find tips and tricks on using Vectorworks with its Platinum Partner Enscape.

Why create real-time renderings?

In the past, you may have shied away from rendering because it’s an additional step in the process, one that uses computer resources to accomplish.

However, the benefits of producing a rendering in real time far outweigh the cost. Here’s why:

  • Clients sometimes aren’t specialized enough to faithfully interpret drawings, plans, or models. A fully visualized space is easier to read than other methods of proposal or approval.
  • Clients often appreciate the ability to visualize the project before it’s built, not unlike how you’d want to test drive a car before committing to the purchase.
  • A rendering can help identify areas of the 3D model that need adjustments. You might not notice that a window is in the wrong place in regular views, but it will be quite apparent in a rendering when the window isn’t symmetrical as you’d planned.

By including architectural renderings in your presentation packages, you’re guiding consultants and clients through a smooth review and approval process—leading to savings in time and money for all parties.


Enscape Vectorworks exterior rendering of apartment window looking into a living roomRendering created by Vectorworks, Inc. with Enscape

How to install Enscape for Mac or Windows

Enscape for Vectorworks is now available on macOS as well as Windows devices.

First, make sure Vectorworks software is closed on your machine. Then, go to chaos-enscape.com and initiate the download. In the installer, select your preferred language and follow the remaining prompts.

Once the installation is complete, open Vectorworks and Enscape should appear as a toolset. If not, click Tools > Third-Party > Enscape > Add Enscape to workspace.

From there, there’s nothing left to do but begin creating stunning, real-time renderings of your Vectorworks models.

How to render your 3D Vectorworks model

To create a rendering with Enscape, make sure you have a 3D view on your screen in Vectorworks.

Select Start from the Enscape toolset. This will open a separate window and, after a brief loading time, will automatically show your design in a rendered view. Next, select Synchronize Views to lock the movement in Enscape to the view in Vectorworks. Custom views in Vectorworks are also transferred to the render in Enscape.

Tips and tricks for rendering with Vectorworks and Enscape:

  • Insert lighting objects into your Vectorworks model to brighten up the quality of the rendering in Enscape.
  • For faster and higher-quality renderings, only render the necessary geometry by turning off extraneous elements.

Renderings made with Vectorworks and Enscape

There’s no limit to what you can design and render with Vectorworks and Enscape.

The image below was created by Rob Hollis, AIA. An expert in Vectorworks architecture, Hollis modeled this interior and rendered the space using Enscape. It really lends meaning to the term 'photorealistic.'


Enscape Vectorworks rendering of woman in kitchen holding baby looking out the window


This video also shows how you can adjust the settings in Enscape for varying visual effects. Thick line weights offer a somewhat cartoonish look and hyper-realistic options—like swaying trees and proper colors/textures—make the project look as close to constructed as possible.

Take a look:


Enhance your BIM workflow with real-time rendering

Looking to learn more about how you can elevate your BIM processes with Vectorworks and Enscape’s real-time rendering?

Join Chaos Sales Director Dan Monaghan, Vectorworks Architect Product Marketing Specialist Ryan Butler, and Lee Calisti, AIA, in an AIA LU-approved webinar.


Register for webinar


NEW: The State of AI in Architecture
Read the full report
newsletter-option-2 (1)
Alex Altieri
Alex Altieri

Alex is a Senior Content Marketing Writer for Vectorworks, Inc. He has degrees in digital/print journalism and philosophy from Pennsylvania State University. Although he's not a designer by trade, Alex remains inspired by the ways Vectorworks software helps incite creativity.