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3D Rendering, Expensive Or Not?

In this blog post we are going to discuss the 3D rendering process. The recent study shows that 73% of the clients using architectural visualization services think that their price is too high and they tend to abandon the sale and look for cheaper options skipping the important negotiation step. The 3D rendering process can often be very confusing to clients with a range of pricing from 100 to 10 000 Euros per image. We will clarify the pricing of 3D rendering and describe the whole process, from the clients ideas and expectations to the final product.

WHAT IS ARCHITECTURAL VISUALIZATION PROJECT?

The architectural visualization project is the 3D graphical representation of architecture consisting of ideas, material and light combined into a 3D space using 3D modeling and visualization software technology.

Vizualising structures and building is very helpful for architects and engineers in the process of design because that is the fastest way to check-prove different versions of the proposed structure or to see if they fit in the environment and proposed design. However many architects choose different types of checking the idea often via hand made models or Photoshop collage explaining that the render hide the imperfections and mislead us. But for the modern client, it is the best way to visualise the proposed design to see if it fits their needs and expectations.

Lets dive in and check the whole process!

Visualizing structures and building is very helpful for architects and engineers in the process of design because that is the fastest way to check-prove different versions of the proposed structure.

THE PROCESS

The main cost of any 3D rendering project is the labor required. Usually the team consists of the Project Manager, 3D artist and Post Processing Artist. It also very much depends whether the client has a clear idea of their needs and suitable drawings or even finished 3D models which will serve as a base of creating a realistic 3D model and visualization render.

It all starts with the idea. The client approaches an architect or a 3D Architectural Visualization Studio, in our case TheOrionLabs team. The first meeting is crucial. No one likes the first steps, first dates or cold emails. Both sides, the client and the Studio suffer from the same negative effects when not prepared with the right questions.

Clients very often tend to feel vulnerable when asking for prices, thinking the seller tricks them into a swirl of complex technical terms and make them pay more than it really costs. The best way to avoid any misunderstanding is to prepare your homework before the first meeting.

The client should be able to define:

  • The size of the project: It is important for the visualisation team to calculate the amount of time and price due to the complexity of the project. Also it prevents the possible extra costs of increasing the scope of the project during the process.

  • The complexity of the project: Architectural visualisers' most favourite clients are the ones that are well informed and aware of the dificulties the visualisers team might face. This will ultimatively lead to the right price and fullfilment of all the clients needs.

  • Deadline: Having unrealistic expectations of the deadline puts the visualisers team in a hard position. Short deadline is possible, but then it is of utmost importance to define the quality of the renders. If the deadline is short, but the qulity of the renders is expected to be at its highest, it definitely expands the final price of the project, even by doubling it. The client has to be aware that their project is not the only one going on at the time.

  • Stage of the project: If your project is at a progressed stage, and have most of the details, plans, and information solved and figured, the job of the visualisation team is very much eased and the client should expect the project to fulfill its highest expectations.

Also, it is important to differentiate per-image and per-project pricing so that the the client gets proper price offer.

PER-IMAGE PRICING

Per-image pricing means that the client is charged a fix price per rendered image. The price, of course, depends on the number of images that are produced. The cost of only one render is always higher per image than purchasing multiple images, due to the fact that the initial setup for the rendering is quite intensive. Once the set up is done, the rendering process smoothly continues. This type of pricing is chosen for smaller and simple objects, for instance residential house exterior rendering.

PER – PROJECT PRICING

This type of pricing is chosen in larger-scale projects that include multiple render images, animation, 3D floor plans and even web design. In that case the client provides the visualisation team with the details of the project and the team comes back with a proposed quote based on your requirements.

Our 3D visualization team consists of ambitious 3D artists that are experienced in multiple 3D Design and Rendering software. After we are provided with the plans, sections and details in AutoCad or Pdf file, we create 3D model of a building or object in SketchUp, Rhino or Archicad , depending on the complexity of the project. Sometimes the client provides finished 3D object which allows us to produce 3D rendering images much faster and lowers the final price, but in some cases, our skillful artists were able to create the 3D model simply combining client’s photographs and Google Maps images, without any drawing provided. Such process ultimately lasts longer and raises the final price. After the 3D model is finished, the 3D rendering images are created in Lumion or Twinmotion software, and final touches are made using Photoshop.

In some cases, our skillful artists were able to create the 3D model simply combining client's photographs and Google Maps images, without any drawing provived.

DIFFERENT 3D ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING PRICE POINTS

CHEAPEST 90 – 300 EUR

Paying the price of 90 – 300 Euros per image suggests lower rendering quality. The images may not contain fine details such as 3D grass or material structure which means the image will look a little flat. But it doesn’t mean that this type of rendering looks cheap and unprofessional. It should be used for conceptualizing ideas for personal project. Due to its simple details, the rendering time is short, so it is perfect when the deadline is short or when you simply want to fast check ideas for your room, apartment or garden that is due to be renovated.

BASIC 300 - 400 EUR

This price range means more professional approach to the project. The images contain fine details and material structures are visible. In this case the quality of images is expected to be very good but not top-notch. It is mostly used by architects, realtors, home builders for exterior house render, when the purpose of the project is to gain approval from investors and regulatory bodies or for real estate presale. Also, in many cases the clients are homeowners planning Do It Yourself renovation.

MID LEVEL 400 – 3000 EUR

This is the most common pricing for all architects, designers, developers and real estate agents that are working on medium to larger scale projects. Every client choosing this pricing should see the bigger picture than spending few hundred Euros and ask themselves ‘Is it going to help me to sell my project faster and convince the investor to carry on with the project?’. It is used for planning the design, conceptualization and approval of the projects, most commonly townhouses or similar scale.

HIGH-END 3000 – 14 000 EUR

Used when customers are large corporations that concentrate on the value of the project and tens of thousands of euros spent on visualization are just a drop in the sea of a couple million value of project. The clients are top professionals wanting to work with top professionals or simply willing to pay big amount of money to work with the best in the industry. Purpose of such expensive renders is to design, get regulatory approval and sell the project, all that on a grand scale. Architects, designers, real estate designers choose top-notch renders to make their project best by a wide margin.

conclusion

3D rendering has become an unavoidable design step in engineering, architectural and design practice. It provides designers and clients with insight into future realization, allows insight into possible errors during the designing process or opens eyes and provides ideas for possible improvements. In every project, including 3D rendering, the most important thing is communication and mutual understanding between the company and the client. TheOrionLabs team is open to all your questions and looks forward to all your instructions, suggestions and questions.

Luka Meštrović
luka@theorionlabs.com