I'd like to share a few step-by-steps showcasing the process of creating visuals, both fully modelled and photomontaged. If you'd like to know more, please ask.
1. Sea Pier Mall- a rough concept illustration begins with a very simple Archicad model with just blocked in functional spaces and a short description. I took the model, added a few detailed elements here and there to add a sense of complexity and rendered a very simple render. Most of the job was done in postproduction- mainly by adding people and cranking up tonal contrast for crispness.
2. H5 prefab passive house photo montage- after finishing a whole full 3d set of images for a house I make a folder of sample photos that mach the house atmosphere, present rough montages to the client. After approval, I render a full scale rendering trying to reproduce the lighting of the original photo as much as possible and further color match it in postproduction. In this case I also moved around some background elements for a better composition and added a more dramatic sky.
3. H7 prefab passive house- I was lucky to find a good photo for this one- the original building matched almost perfectly the 3d model. I "just" had to match the camera and the dusk lighting, postproduce it and voilà :)