Nov. 12, 2016
Selecting a company to provide you with 3D rendering can be daunting if you aren’t entrenched in the industry. The terms, technical details and knowledge of what separates an average render from a great render can easily become overwhelming. (to learn more about the process take a look at our 3D Rendering Page) Whether you are looking for an architectural render, a 3d product render, virtual reality or an animation, the same core concepts apply when selecting a business to help you turn your dreams into reality and some things to look for to avoid having it turn into a nightmare.
Architectural Rendering Company Selection Guide: What to look for when choosing a 3d Company based on your Rendering Project’s needs.
As is true with most aspects of life, price is a very important factor when deciding on a product or service. Most of us agree that purchasing the cheapest item isn’t always the best, what people inherently want is value. The adage of, “you get what you pay for” reigns especially true for 3d rendering.
1.Outsourcing 3D Architectural Rendering work:
Employing someone overseas is sometimes a viable option if price is the number one concern for your business. Architectural rendering is a service which can be provided globally, because of this, countries which have low labour costs are able to provide services for extremely cheap. Some things to keep in mind when working with companies from overseas is that there is often a language barrier to overcome which can lead to more time being spent than expected when dealing with revisions, especially when the revisions become complex or technical. Another aspect which is often overlooked is stylistic differences. Although many businesses in India or China, for example, have the technical skills required to use 3D programs, their interior and exterior design styles differ from those in Canada or the United States. This is not to say their designs aren’t correct or their artists aren’t talented but their final product may not be the same as what you may have initially had in mind and may not always be the best when trying to sell a space to prospective buyers. When working overseas there is also the element of the unknown; it is much harder to hold these companies to their promises and can sometimes end with more headache than it is worth.
Pros: Prices which often cannot be matched by firms in North American
Cons: Language barriers, Stylistic differences, quality issues and reliability concerns.
Estimated Prices: Single Image ranging from $200-400 USD
Conclusion: If price is your only concern, by all means, use a company from overseas who provides cheap 3d rendering. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results, however, understand that quality, style and time spent on the project may backfire on you and could end up costing you more in the end.
2. Craigslist for Architectural Rendering:
Craigslist is a great resource when trying to find cheap services. There are a lot of hobbyists in 3d rendering and new companies looking to start out who can often provide relatively cheap services. People on craigslist typically don’t have a vast array of portfolio pieces to show and they aren’t held to the same standards of practice and delivery guarantees other, more established companies have. If you want to cut down on costs but minimize the language issues of outsourcing, look to craigslist for some cheap alternatives.
Pros: Can save a little money sometimes, can often work locally
Cons: Reliability, trust, no quality guarantees
Estimated Prices: Single Image ranging from $300-1000 USD
Conclusion: Using a service off of craigslist can provide you some cost savings. It is important to ask yourself why they are offering cheap prices, why they aren’t being ranked on google and what is preventing them from taking your money and not providing you with the work the promised. It is wise to not pay for these services upfront to avoid being scammed.
3. Working with local 3D Rendering companies:
Google now tends to favour showing you results for local business, this is for good reason. Buying local and supporting your local economy is something which we should all make an effort to contribute to. Generally, the idea is applied to local produce or supporting small “ma and pa” shops in the physical world, but buying local can also be beneficial when getting 3D renders done. Despite the fact that RealSpace services clients both locally and globally we have found our clients have discovered a number of benefits to working with us, locally. The ability to meet face to face and build personal relationships or the ease of which pick up a phone and communicate in the same time zone are just a couple of simple ways to ensure you are more likely to get exactly what you’re paying for. On numerous occasions we have exchanged physical references, gone onsite to photograph the land and surrounding areas, taken drone footage to be composited into the scene and filmed promotional videos. Small local firms tend to create the highest quality work as they dont employ hundreds of people but rather 5-10 highly skilled individuals. Take a look at their portfolios, chances are the artists who made those images will be working on your project as well.
Pros: Credibility, Face to face meeting, Personal Relationships, Additional services which can’t be done at distance, understanding of local styles and trends, good value
Cons: Not as cheap as outsourcing or craigslist
Estimated Prices: Single Image ranging from $400-15,000
Conclusion: Although buying local isn’t a necessity when selecting a 3d rendering company we believe it is a good option. Despite sometimes having a slightly higher price point local architectural rendering companies typically can offer a wider range of services to suit your needs and understand what it takes to sell homes in your area.
4. Work with the biggest and most expensive architectural rendering firms:
There are a few very large 3D rendering companies around the world. They tend to have medium-higher prices and their quality tends to run from “run of the mill” all the way up to very high quality and high realism. Typically, with large firms you will get what you pay for. The cheaper options from large companies tend to employ hundreds of artists with very streamlined, cookie cutter props and formats meant for speed. One risk you run into when working with one of these giants is that each artist can have differing levels of skill and experience, although their portfolio may look nice keep in mind that the creator of that High-end, large firms often employ a mix of both very experienced and not as experienced artists so it can be a little bit of crapshoot.
Pros: Credibility, good value, get what you paid for, standardized images
Cons: Not as cheap as outsourcing or craigslist, standardized images lack soul or imagination
Estimated Prices: Single Image ranging from $400-15,000 USD
Conclusion: Working with the biggest firms is great when it comes to speed and reliability. Their prices are often competitive. Their quality can be hit or miss due to the uncertainty of the experience of the artist you may get. Lots of their work is streamlined to produce quick, simple, images which do not have the same level of personalization a smaller firm may be able to acheive
Assessing your own personal needs
Cost- If the most important factor of your project is keeping the cost down the best route to go is to hire someone overseas or through craigslist. This is strictly speaking to the cost of the project, if you value your own time or if you value the possibility of having to pay to get the project done twice to make up for the cheapest option’s deficiencies. If you’re confident that the project is simple, quality isn’t the determining factor and you leave yourself plenty of time this can be a viable option. Find out more about architectural rendering pricing
Time- If time is of the essence your best bet is likely to choose a mid to large sized firm. Larger firms are typically more capable of tackling large-scale projects quickly as they have the ability to throw as many artists as it takes to get the job done. Confirm that you are having time estimates provided for the final product and not the draft.
Quality- If creating a high-quality architectural rendering is all that matters, regardless of price, it is best to find a small to mid-sized company with the most impressive portfolio. Chances are each project is done by the same couple of employees which keeps the overall look consistent. These projects can take longer to produce high-quality 3d renders and will likely cost anywhere from $2000-$15,000 per image.
Sometimes spending a little extra on a render to get top quality can speed up the sales process of your real estate project and end up being the most cost efficient method. You always run a risk going too cheap with your project as you may have to abandon the project and pay for a new company to take it over. Generally finding a happy middle ground is the best course of action.
RealSpace 3d is a Vancouver-based 3d Architectural Rendering Company. We are mid-sized and offer great value for the level of quality our projects display. All our artists are extremely experienced and we have thousands of images of past projects, many of which are not shown online. If you’d like to get a quote and some examples of similar projects to the one you are thinking of having done send us a message and we can get the process started. To learn more about what you need to get your architectural rendering project started take a look at our rendering checklist.