3D rendering is rapidly becoming an integral part of product creation. Getting a 3D render of an architectural project is a great way to reduce the risk of errors and to save money in the long run. Most architects now include 3D renderings in their projects so that their customers can better visualize what the finished product will look like.
There’s no doubt as to the use of 3D architectural rendering services for a variety of purposes, but clients tend to want to know one specific thing up front—how much is the render going to cost?
The cost of a render varies based on the complexity of what you want done, and the industry that it is done for. A fully animated render of an architectural building could cost as much as $7,000. A more humble still of a particular room could cost you less than $250.
To understand what a 3D rendering or visualization is worth, let’s take a look at what is available in the industry, and how much these things run.
Types of Architectural Renderings
While all 3D architectural rendering involves some aspect of the building, different renderings do different things. An animated tour of the building allows you to see the site from many different angles, and may even offer a tour inside and out. A still image is just that—essentially a photograph of what a particular area might look like.
Renders aren’t just going to be animations vs. stills; they’re also going to vary by quality and the visualization techniques used. A good quality render makes you feel like you are there, sitting by the pool of your fancy new apartment building. A poorer quality render will have fewer details and will look less like a photograph and more like a drawing.
How much detail, the skill of the renderer, and the type of rendering all play a part in how much the render will cost. Labor skyrockets with more detailed images, and an animation is always going to be more labor intensive than even the most spectacular still. These are all things to keep in mind when contracting 3D rendering services.
Breaking Down Pricing
When you ask for a price from your 3D artist, they will usually want to know about your render in exact detail. This is because it is impossible to give an exact price without knowing what is involved in the task.
You wouldn’t ask for a price on a cake without letting a baker know the size and scope of the work. In the same way, you can’t ask for the price of the render without sharing significant details of what is involved.
The pricing breaks down with the size of the work. A simple 2D black and white floor plan could cost as little as $20 if it is for a small, residential building. Those prices can skyrocket to as much as $200 depending on the size of the building and the work involved.
The price difference isn’t just the difference between a small family home and a mega-resort. It’s also based on how much detail the customer supplies. You can help lower the prices on your end by providing very detailed files that give the renderer all the information they need, the first time. The more times a renderer has to make corrections or spend time looking for information, the greater the costs will be.
What Can Impact 3D Architectural Rendering Costs
If you’re in a major hurry for your render, it’s going to cost you. Staying late to get a project done means paying for overtime, as well as the strain of a large workload that has to be finished quickly.
Expect prices to go up the faster you need it done, and the quality of the render to go down. You simply can’t get the same level of beauty and detail in a short period of time as you can when you have a reasonable period of time to finish the work in.
Size of the Files
If you need a detailed rendering for a huge image, such as one that is going to be used in advertising, it’s going to take a longer time to render. It’s also going to need a very expensive, very high-powered computer to run. This will have to be factored into the pricing as well.
The Experience of the Artist
There’s no point in paying for the work of someone whose skill level is on par with yours. If you could do something similar experimenting with 3D rendering software, there is no point in buying it at all.
Yet many people, in the interest of saving money, choose relatively new renderers who may not be able to create the same level of artistry you hope for. Experience costs money, and that will be reflected in the price.
Key Things to Remember When Asking for Pricing
If your 3D renderer is offering a flat fee across the board, be wary of them. The industry does not currently have any kind of standard pricing, and we have already discussed just how big of a range the workload can be.
You don’t want to pay a flat fee of $200 for a 2D blueprint that should have cost you $50, and you may regret spending $1,000 for a render that ends up being a stock image.
In general, if the pricing on a render seems too good to be true, it probably is. The intense competition provided by the current rendering market has lead to a number of companies who make it their business to cheat clients. To keep your money safe, you always need to be on guard.
If someone’s price is very low, ask questions. Dig deeper. When hundreds or thousands of dollars are on the line, it pays to do that little bit of extra research.
So, How Much Can You Expect to Spend?
Knowing to be weary of a cheap price doesn’t do any good if you’re not certain what a cheap price is for what you want. With pricing running anywhere from $20-$7,000 depending on what you want, it can also be hard to tell whether someone’s prices are extremely inflated.
Let’s take a look at the types of rendering available, and their price ranges:
Exterior – Residential: $200-$700
An exterior residential rendering covers the outside of a home. On the low end of the spectrum is a still of the outside, in relatively simple detail. The still gets the idea across, but may not be as visually stunning as you might hope. On the high end of the spectrum, expect a vivid, photographic rendering, and perhaps an animated tour of the outside of the home.
Exterior – Commercial (Small): $350-$700
Any small commercial shops will fall into this category. Individual shops, drive-through coffee stands, and small restaurants might be good examples of this.
Exterior – Commercial (Large): $700-$2000
If you have a big project, such as a stunning resort, a theme park, or a large office building, your work will fall into this category.
Interior – Residential: $200-$550
If your customer is remodeling their kitchen or wants to see what it will look like if they dropped a wall separating their dining room from their living room, a rendering can be a great visual for them. A simple rendering will cost about $200, with the price going up the more complex it gets.
Interior – Commercial: $275-$1000
Want to show your client what a room might look like inside that hotel? A rendering is a practical way to showcase what you plan to build before you build it. Once again, the prices vary depending on how complicated the interior will be.
3D Floorplans: $50-$450
Floorplans typically have a lot less detail, and thus the prices tend to be lower. While it still may cost a lot for very complex floorplans, or if you don’t properly prepare your documents, this is a general guideline.
2D Colored Floorplans: $35-$350
Flat floorplans are even more simple than 3D ones, so the price is typically less than 3D plans. Once again the price can vary widely depending on the documents you deliver.
2D Black and White Floorplans: $20-$200
Perhaps the most cost effective of all these renders, 2D black and whites are usually the cheapest.
The bottom line for pricing is that you can have a big hand in how much you spend. While price shopping may help you find someone who charges less overall, you can help reduce costs by making sure your documents are in order, and that you are certain of your decisions. The more clear you are in communicating with your renderer, the fewer mistakes will be made, and the lower the overall price will be.
If you’re not sure what the price might be for your project, don’t be afraid to ask, but before you do, have a clear idea of what you want so the renderer can give you the closest possible quote.
Cad Crowd Has Freelance 3D Architectural Rendering Experts
Cad Crowd has a database of thousands of vetted and experienced 3D architectural rendering professionals from all over the world who can provide you with high-quality 3D exterior rendering services and well as 3D interior rendering services. Because our professionals are freelancers, you don’t need to pay the overhead costs of a regular design agency. This can significantly lower the final price of your rendering project. Learn how it works.
If you’re looking for multiple design concepts, launching a design contest can help you with that. Find out how you can launch a design contest in as little as 15 minutes.