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Verified Views

Verified Views 3d model in Leman Street (London)

What are Verified Views?


Verified Views or Accurate Visual Representations are computer generated photomontages where a fully rendered image is superimposed over a photograph. They are explicitly requested by planning authorities as part of the planning application. At Avixual we successfully help our clients in London and across the UK to create extremely photorealistic and persuasive Verified Views.

With a Verified View, the viewer will have an accurate idea of the placement of a proposed development, the degree to which it will be visible, its detailed form and materiality. In other words, the resulting image will be the same as what the observer will see in actuality once the development is finished.

What makes a good Verified View?


We could say that a good Verified View is simply the one that successfully helps architects and developers obtain planning permission for their project.

The creation of a Verified View involves a rigorous technical process. But there are some artistic choices that can also determine the success of the final image.

Firstly, the lighting conditions when taking the baseline photographs. The time of the day and weather conditions both play a critical role in determining when the baseline photographs should be taken.

For example, the warm lighting of golden hour will convey a much softer feeling than harsh sunlight at midday. Similarly, the diffused lighting of an overcast day would also create a different effect than directional sunlight would. Any of these lighting scenarios could be advantageous.

The image on the right shows the original photograph alongside the Verified View for a project in Victoria (London).  In this instance, the photo was taken in the late afternoon. The diffused lighting here provided the optimum conditions for showcasing the curved facade of the building and softened the impact of the proposed development.

Equally important is the correct integration of the new development into the baseline photograph. Our goal is to make it appear like “it always has been there” using an a meticulous editing process that ensures a seamless blending of the two.

Example of Verified Views in 71 Victoria Street (London) - Before Example of Verified Views in 71 Victoria Street (London) - After

Verified Views types and classifications

The London View Management Framework distinguishes four types or classifications of Verified Views. These are: AVR0, AVR1, AVR2 and AVR3.

The difference between them is the level of photorealism and detail shown in the image. The AVR0 is the most simple, just containing the location and size of the proposed building. The AVR3 is the most complex, representing location, size, degree of visibility, architectural form and materiality.

The use of one or another could be requested by planners or may depend on the stage of the design.



Accurate Visual Representation Level 0. It shows the location and size of the new development. It is therefore the most basic representation of the new proposed building. In essence it does not take into account the visibility of the proposal.


Accurate Visual Representation Level 1. It shows the location, the size and the degree of visibility. It represents the new development outline in relation to other buildings in the photograph.


Accurate Visual Representation Level 2. It shows the location, size and degree of visibility, plus detailed architectural form. The new development will be represented by a clay material.


Accurate Visual Representation Level 3. It shows the location, size, degree of visibility, architectural form and materials and lighting. Therefore it is the most photorealistic representation of the new development.
Verified Views Briefing Locations
Original Photograph Baseline for Verified Views in 71 Victoria Street (London)
Survey Photographs for Verified Views in Victoria Street (London)
3d Model for Verified Views. 71 Victoria Street
Camera Matching in 3d Software
Final Verified View Photomontage for 71 Victoria Street (London)

Verified Views Methodology



We are instructed to create a series of Verified Views. The exact viewpoints are decided in advance through consultation with the local authorities. They are generally marked up in site map.


Professional photography is taken from each viewpoint. High resolution RAW files are captured with a full frame camera (35mm sensor). The camera is mounted in a tripod and levelled horizontally and laterally to achieve perfect verticals lines. The photograph will be taken at 1.6m height, equivalent to an average human eye view. For Verified Views photography a prime Lens should be used, ideally a 50mm prime lens, which is the closer to the human view. In many cases, specially in London wider lenses are required. In certain cases, the use of panoramic photography will be necessary.

Every location is marked with a semi-permanent spray to allow the surveyor to record the exact location on a subsequent visit.

Time of the day, date and the weather and lighting conditions are recorded for every visit. This information will be later used to perfectly match the lighting conditions in the 3d software.



Our trusted surveyors are instructed to record the location of each viewpoint and a series of control points for each view. Control points are fixed points that appears in each photograph and will make possible the camera match.

This information will posteriorly allow a high degree of accuracy in the camera matching process.
We provided the surveyors with photographs and detailed locations so they can identify every camera point. All recorded surveyed point cloud information is opened in the 3d software and will be ready for the camera matching.


3d Modelling

An accurate 3d model is create as a direct reproduction of the designer proposal using plans, sections and elevations provided by the designer.
Additionally, a 3d context model is created. This will include natural landscaping and surrounding buildings used for the shadow casting and reflections.

Camera Matching

This is a verifiable process where a virtual camera is created in the 3d software to exactly match the real camera parameters: Position, direction, angle of view and focal length.

Lighting / materiality / Rendering

This the part when we apply physically based materials to the 3d model that will represent the ones in the new development. Then the real lighting conditions of the photograph are recreated and finally a photo-real render is produced.

Photomontage production

This is the process where the render is integrated into the original photograph using a professional photo editing software.

Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment Report

Verified Views need to be accompanied by a Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment Report document-ing the process.
Our reports contain every single detail and step we take in the production of the final images including:
• Introduction
• Verified views
• Baseline photographs
• Photography viewpoints and locations
• Data for control survey points
• Data for camera coordinates
• Camera data
• Methodology explained
Verified Views documentation report for London

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Some of our trusted clients

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