Your Guide to Real-time Rendering with Enscape

At the end of the day, 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.

Unsurprisingly, there are a variety of applications to use for real-time rendering. Each has its advantages, but in this article, you’ll find guides, tips, and tricks on using Enscape with Vectorworks software.

Silver Dog 2

Rendering created by Vectorworks, Inc. with Enscape.

What Is Real-time Rendering?

Real-time rendering is a powerful way to work on a 3D model. When you make a change in the design software, it will also automatically and instantaneously occur in the rendering software without having to re-render.

Why Create Real-time Renderings?

Some designers shy away from rendering because it’s an additional step in the process, one that uses computer resources to accomplish.

But the benefits of producing a rendering far outweigh the cost, and 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.

So, by including renderings in your presentation packages, you’re ultimately helping guide consultants and clients through a smoother review and approval process, which can lead to savings in time and money for all parties.

Living Outside

Rendering created by Vectorworks, Inc. with Enscape.

How to Install Enscape

First, make sure Vectorworks software is closed on your Windows device by clicking the “X” at the top of the application.

Then, visit 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.

You can reach out to Vectoworks tech support for additional help if you’re having trouble installing Enscape.

How to Render Your 3D Model, Plus Tips & Tricks

Once you have a 3D model ready in Vectorworks, it’s time to create a rendering with Enscape! To do so, make sure you have a 3D view on 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.

Select Synchronize Views in Vectorworks to lock the movement in Enscape to the view in Vectorworks. Custom views in Vectorworks also transfer to the render in Enscape.

Tips & tricks:

  • 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.

Virtual Reality with Enscape

Virtual reality offers a unique way to explore a model, as if you were actually there.

With Enscape, you can use virtual reality to work directly within your model. Multiple easy-to-use commands provide full control of the model and views as you walk or fly through the design.

You can also use VR to record movies for clients. In these movies, toggling various graphic properties — like line thickness and color, to vary between realistic and sketch — offers different perspectives on a model, which could be useful in review.


Rendering created by Vectorworks, Inc. with Enscape.

Collaborating with Your Team and Consultants

This is one of the main goals of rendering a model in the first place — to share the rendering for review and approval.

With Enscape open, pressing “C” on your keyboard will open the software’s collaboration interface.

The Create Issue command can initiate a discussion from the current view, or you can kick off object-specific collaboration by right clicking the object.

Examples of Renderings Made with Enscape

Renderings created with Enscape are among the best of the best. Enscape reports that 85 of the top 100 architectural firms in the United States use Enscape. Let’s see what it can do!

This image is by Rob Hollis, AIA. An expert in Vectorworks Architect, Hollis modeled this interior and rendered the space using Enscape. It really lends meaning to the term “photorealistic.”


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


Visit our Partners page to learn more about Enscpae and see how you can start creating truly next-gen renderings.Learn more about Enscape, a platinum partner in the Vectorworks Partner Network.

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