3D renderings have become essential in architecture. They’ve quickly become a standard powered by the development of different visualization software and new techniques. Today it’s almost impossible to imagine an architecture project without rendering.
However, rendering techniques have gone so far that many architects can’t do visualizations that are up to the standards. In other words, some people specialize in this area and do visualizations alone. Many refer to them as 3D artists, a borrowed term for people who do this kind of work in other industries.
No matter if you’re an architect who doesn’t have the time to render your projects or you simply want to see how your project looks, you can outsource this part of the work. There are a lot of professionals you can find online for this job. Here’s how to do it.
Create a project and double-check
The first thing you need is a project, of course. Many people make the mistake of thinking that 3D visualization artists can create an entire project or help them change it in some way. That’s not true. The artist only takes your project and creates realistic imagery based on your project.
If there are issues or mistakes with your project, you will have to deal with them yourself. The visualizer will use the project to create the visualization. If you notice that there are fundamental mistakes, they won’t care about it.
After all, it’s up to you to bring a complete project. Don’t expect favors and think that someone will do the whole thing again from scratch just because you’ve made mistakes. Put a lot of effort into your project and don’t see the visualizer as your safety net.
Double-check everything to make sure that your project is 100% complete. Yes, 3D artists usually offer changes, but these are usually things that can be done quickly and don’t require starting the whole rendering process all over again.
Look for freelancers online
The best place to start looking for 3D artists you can outsource is on the web, of course. There’s a whole freelancing community of artists you can seek out on various platforms. First of all, you can do simple searches and look for websites of individuals or companies that offer these kinds of services.
On the other hand, you can also look for people on professional social networks like LinkedIn. There are also a lot of networks that are focused on CG artists like Behance or ZBrushcentral. However, the best option probably is to find a dedicated freelance platform for architecture visualization like Easy Render.
With this kind of direct approach, you can instantly find a lot of different professionals, compare their work, and experience, and get different prices. There are not many professional 3D architecture artists that you can find locally, and your choices will probably be limited.
That’s why doing your research online is probably the best way to go. However, take the time to assess different offers and see which one works best for you. It might take some time, but it will help you get better results.
Find someone who specializes in your kind of project
It might sound ridiculous, but many real estate developers, architects, and others who use rendering services don’t hire the right people for their projects. Yes, there are more and more rendering agencies and freelancers around.
However, this doesn’t mean that they can all do everything. Of course, if you don’t want to put in the effort to get the best possible outcome, you can hire the first person that comes along. However, if you have a specific project with style, approach, and goal in mind, you need to do your research and find an ideal professional for the job.
The best way to do this is to look at their portfolio and background. Approach the whole thing by looking for someone’s work that looks similar to what you’re going for with your project. If you work with them, it will be easier to communicate your ideas and give them examples from their own portfolio.
However, if someone has already worked on similar projects, they are more likely to do a great job.
Check their background
Spending a lot of time reading everything that 3D artists are saying about themselves is very important. 3D rendering isn’t a field that has three levels, but it has hundreds of different layers, skill sets, projects, and fine details that make artists what they are.
In other words, you can’t just look at what kind of education someone has and go, “I guess my work here is done.” Try to get every possible piece of information that you can. First of all, look at their education. Check the reputation of the college or course and see where they’ve worked in the past. Then, look at the projects in their portfolio.
It’s also important to see which companies they worked for. If possible, look to contact those clients and talk to them about their experience and how the process went. It’s imperative to learn as much as possible about the freelancer or visualization agency before you hire them.
Communicate all of your ideas thoroughly
Many people think that visualization professionals are some sort of magicians who can get everything right the way they imagined it without actually communicating. Sadly, you can just give someone a project and expect them to nail everything down to the tiniest detail.
Go through the project together. Run everything by them and share your thoughts, and ideas, and explain if there’s anything unclear. It will take some time to set everything in stone before they can start working on your project.
After all, architecture projects aren’t simple, especially if you’re going for top-quality renderings with many details and perfect polish. Talk about the goal of your visualization. Do you want to use it as marketing material to bring your ideas closer to clients, or do you want to use it for your architecture portfolio?
All that information matters, and the more you share with the visualization specialist, the better they will be able to do it. It’s about cooperating and communicating ideas clearly without leaving anything to chance (unless you want to).
Get the scope of the work
Before the artist starts working on your project, they need to give you the full scope of work. Once you’ve outlined all of the requirements and how you want things done, they will have to provide you with the scope of work or “plan of action.”
That should include all the things that they plan on doing for your project. It’s very important for two reasons. First of all, you’ll be able to check if they missed something important you talked about. On the other hand, all of these tasks can help you negotiate a price more easily.
When you know what kind of work you need, there is room to lower the price if the process isn’t that complex. On the other hand, the artist can tell you they’ve done something “extra” as they were the one who told you what needs to be done.
If necessary, take the time to learn about all the steps and talk to the 3D artist. Ask them for more details about what they’re going to do to understand the whole process.
Talk about the price
The price is probably one of the trickiest parts you have to negotiate when outsourcing 3D rendering. The first step is to know what you want and need. How complex is your project? Does it involve a lot of effects, how many images do you need, is there animation involved, or VR?
These are all questions you first have to answer before you can talk price. Naturally, the more complex and extensive, the higher your price will be. If possible, it’s best to discuss the project itself first and its scope and then ask the artist to give you their price.
Once they’ve done that, talk to other artists if that seems like a good choice to you, and compare their prices. Additionally, talk about if their prices cover any changes, which are a standard in the industry. If they don’t, then look to lower the price down.
If the scope of the project is large, always try to lower the price down. After all, these projects are more expensive, and visualizers will often lower the price a bit as a sign of goodwill.
Ask them to sign an NDA
Outsourcing 3D rendering gives a lot of benefits, but there are also threats that you need to tend to early on to avoid issues. When someone does your rendering project and sends it to you, they will still have that project with them. On its own, this is not an issue.
However, the problem is when they start using your project for some other purposes and potentially show it to other parties or even your competitors. After all, once the project is complete, the ownership is yours – you are the one who should be deciding how it’s going to be used.
The non-disclosure agreement is the perfect solution for this issue. It’s a legally binding document that ensures the artist can’t use your materials for something else except adding it to their portfolio.
However, there are many other guarantees you can set up regarding quality, deadline, and payment. Discuss these things with your artist and see what kind of assurances they can give you.
Talk about potential changes
No matter who you’re talking to, there is a need to guarantee changes throughout the project. When the project is ongoing, you will have to check if everything is ok at different stages of development. It’s crucial if you have someone who needs to approve the project and check how the development is going.
On the other hand, if an artist makes mistakes, they need to obligate themselves to make things right. Furthermore, today’s industry standard is that all 3D rendering projects include several changes and fine-tuning at the end.
There are a lot of complexities and details that go into a rendering project. Apart from the technical aspects, there’s also a creative side to CGI, and sometimes you won’t like the artist’s ideas. That’s why they need to be willing to adjust details according to your vision.
Get a realistic deadline
No matter what industry or task we are talking about, people who outsource some work are often in a hurry and would like things done as quickly as possible. That is, of course, reasonable, but you can’t expect the final work to be perfect if you’ve made an unrealistic deadline.
Instead of setting the deadline yourself, you should ask for a realistic timeline from your service provider. In other words, don’t rush things. It’s best to give the artist a bit more time so that they don’t cut corners and make a perfect visualization.
Once you’ve come up with a date you’re comfortable with, consider adding that to your agreement. Bear in mind that this is a tedious process with a lot of back and forth. Lots of things can go wrong, so you need to have the necessary time to make adequate changes.
These are all the essential things you need to consider when outsourcing 3D rendering services. Take the time to do your research and compare different artists. In the end, remember that going for the lowest possible offer isn’t always a good choice.
If you want to get top-quality, it will cost you. On the other hand, if you really have a simple task, even a student can do the job well.