Today we will explore how architects use 3D rendering services for the different stages of a new project. Architects require an extensive skill set to complete their tasks. A good architect must sketch out their ideas and provide clear design plans for buildings. At the same time, they also need to ensure that their designs adhere to relevant safety laws and physical reality.
Table of contents
- What are 3D visualizations?
- Practice makes perfect
- Getting an idea off the ground
- Reducing design flaws
- Helping drive new concepts
- Speeding up timelines
- Communicating with clients
- Improving client experience
- Communicating with builders
- How to find architectural rendering services
- How Cad Crowd can assist
Many architects rely on 3D visualization services to help them through the process of creating a new design. 3D visualization, also known as 3D rendering, is a method of drawing using the computer instead of a hand sketch. Many architects use 3D rendering throughout an entire project, from dreaming up a new building to helping it get sold. If you still rely on old-school techniques such as pen and paper to get your work done or only use rendering for a single purpose, you may be surprised at how much you can do with visualizations in your office. Let’s look at the 3D rendering and how it can help at every project stage.
What are 3D visualizations?
3D visualization designs are hyper-realistic representations of your work drawn on the computer. They are 3D instead of 2D and can be textured and colored to be virtually indistinguishable from a real photo. These hyper-realistic images can also be animated into short movies, easily corrected for mistakes, and even turned into virtual reality tours of your work.
Creating these hyper-realistic photos, animations, and virtual tours starts with building a 3D model that meets the specifications of the design. The model is then textured, colored, and carefully lit to look exactly like the real one. The result is a picture-perfect representation of your building long before the first brick is even laid.
Practice makes perfect
Architects often spend much time conforming to clients’ needs, and there’s usually very little time to dream up something completely new. 3D visualization design is an excellent opportunity to free your dreams onto a canvas and see how far you can take your design knowledge.
The results can be incredible and help you long after creating your concept piece. You can add that concept to your portfolio to help gain new clients, inspire people to try your designs, and help grow your skills. Architects always need to be growing in a constantly competitive field, and practicing is one of the best ways you can do that.
Getting an idea off the ground
Selling an idea is the first step in creating it. Buildings are expensive to construct. If someone is going to invest their money in a project, they want to be assured that the investment will be worthwhile. A beautiful visualization of what the building may look like when it is done can help win the financing needed to complete the project. 3D visualization software also often comes with additional tools such as material lists and approximate costs. This additional information can help give clients and those funding them a clear idea of how much is needed to produce the building.
Similar data from this software can even be used to analyze the safety of the building being created, for example, checking to see how it might stand up to earthquakes and wind. On top of being safer for everyone involved in the building, it can help sway backers towards funding its construction. A beautiful 3D rendering design of a potential building can also help the architect, even if that particular building never comes to be. Visualizing an architect’s ideas can help fill a portfolio with spectacular designs that attract clients for the next great project.
Reducing design flaws
Bored Panda and similar websites delight in architectural design mistakes for their humor, but they are a disaster for everyone involved. Creating a 3D render of a design can help make those mistakes more pronounced before construction, which means they can be eliminated from the actual building. Getting a 3D visualization of a plan done before construction can help save money, embarrassment, and even lives if the mistake is terrible.
These mistakes often come about through last-minute changes to the design that construction workers don’t easily translate. While an architect may clearly understand what was meant by the drawing, it is much less evident to a non-technical crew. A 3D visualization can be done in real-time, with the potential to make changes almost instantly. The visualization can go a long way to showing how the blueprints should be interpreted, reducing errors.
It is especially significant if the blueprint involves unconventional CAD designs. If you know the building is being built unusually, showing what it should look like can be a helpful guide for construction workers. Many visualization tools can also check the building to see how it will stand up to earthquakes, strong winds, and other natural factors it may encounter. By running this data through the software, you can ensure that the building is safe enough for an earthquake-prone or windy area.
Helping drive new concepts
Today’s architecture isn’t just about looking good or being safe. Many clients demand features such as sustainability or security in their new office buildings. 3D renders are flexible about change and allow you to experiment safely without costing any building material to do so.3D rendering is especially good for building green homes because there are programs that can provide the exact amount of building materials necessary.
Knowing how much material is being used can eliminate waste from excess materials, save money, and improve the building’s green credentials. 3D architectural site plan renders designs can also allow you to highlight features added for sustainability or security. That way, the client knows you are taking their desires seriously and are working to create a building that promotes their vision.
Speeding up timelines
Timelines for getting a building off the ground have been shrinking, which means a faster pace to help get a project underway. A shorter timeline can save money and make a project more prone to mistakes. 3D visualizations can help shorten the timeline safely by identifying errors early on, getting approval from clients faster, and enabling other people to understand your vision.
It also releases your office from having to micromanage the process of building it. Instead of showing up to client meetings or at the construction site carrying swatches of material and endless sketches, you can show them what the end product 3D construction render should look like. This frees the construction crew to do what they do best when selecting materials or building for strength and safety while still staying true to the original intention of how the building should look.
Communicating with clients
A client’s vision can range from vague to very clear. Some ask for plans with only a broad idea of what they want, while others have a strong vision of how their building should be. It’s essential to listen to your client’s needs and create a design that will please them. It’s not always easy to communicate what a building should look like on paper. A great way to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding a design plan is to show it to them.
3D visualization can show a client who may not have a strong understanding of blueprints what their building will look like. It can save a lot of time and frustration on all sides long before the building gets built.3D visualizations can also help with things like remodels of existing buildings. If your client is struggling with a lack of space or has a kitchen that isn’t usable, showing them the changes through a 3D render can help them understand why the changes you suggest will be helpful.
Sketches and layouts can only go so far in helping clients understand what a change will mean. Still, a virtual tour of the potential alterations can go a lot farther in helping clear up confusion. 3D Photorealistic images of a project can also help by allowing the client to point at a specific part of the image they want to be changed. Sometimes client communication can be vague at best, and you can help narrow down changes they want without misunderstanding what was meant.
Improving client experience
Another excellent reason for including 3D renders in your presentations to clients. Standing out is essential with so many new architectural offices competing for potential client’s attention. 3D can help improve your client’s experience by letting them see and interact with the building you are creating for them.
If they can have a building constructed for them by a competitor’s office but get a virtual tour of it and examine every stick and stone before it is ever completed at your company, they will be more likely to choose you. 3D visualizations can be a spectacular way to capture the attention of your clients and wow them in their presentations. It may even help you gain more clients as they tell other people how impressed they were by a custom view of their own house.
Communicating with builders
Completing the design of a project is satisfying, but the construction crew will often need a little help from the architectural service. Construction crews often have questions or may interpret the blueprints slightly differently than what the architect had in mind. A 3D visualization can help make the design of the building crystal clear in their heads, so they know what to expect when building. They can ask for clarification if something doesn’t align with the visualization they have seen. It can be hard to keep a vision intact from the first to the last brick, but a 3D visualization can be essential in staying true to your client’s dream.
Even after a project is completed, architectural visualization still has a place in carrying on the architect’s work. The detailed visualization of that architect’s work can continue to be used for marketing purposes. Your client can use the virtual tour you created to let them walk through the building before it was constructed to allow potential residents to do the same.
It can often take a long time to rent out office buildings or apartments fully. 3D renders, animations, and other pieces showing off the facility for marketing while it is being constructed can help attract clients as construction continues. Clients who can fill their building a little earlier thanks to your architectural 3D will be much more likely and recommend you to others.
How to find architectural rendering services
It’s no secret that 3D render can be of excellent service at every possible stage in the creation process, yet most architects can’t create these lifelike images. It takes years of skill to take an ordinary 3D model design and transform it into a photorealistic image. Instead of doing it themselves, most architects hire architectural rendering services to create pictures of their work. It’s relatively easy for artists to work off sketches and blueprints made by the architects to create these designs.
If you’re ready to hire an artist to help turn your blueprints or sketches into beautifully rendered images for your clients, the first step is finding a good one. Quality matters when choosing the right 3D artist, so it’s worth spending a little extra time finding the right person.
* Check their portfolio
Just as 3D renders of a building designed by an architect can help boost their architectural firm’s portfolio, seeing a 3D artist’s portfolio can help you decide if their renders will work for you. A great 3D architectural artist will have some stunning renders in their portfolio, ideally of buildings themselves. Look for an artist that specializes in architecture instead of general 3D renders, and look for a portfolio that shows a skill level matching what you imagine for your work.
* Do your due diligence
Most artists who specialize in architectural visualization have reviews from other clients and references you can contact. Following up on these can tell you a lot about how they handle projects. Find out whether the artist delivered their product on time, whether they were polite and professional, and whether the client was generally satisfied with their work. Remember that there is more to working with an artist than just the render itself—if they are perpetually late or rude, it can affect the course of the entire project.
* Compare at least three different artists
Comparing multiple artists can give you a clearer picture of what is standard in the field. If one particular artist is extraordinarily high or low in price, and the other two provide a similar quote, you’ll know that the third artist is an outlier. Comparing multiple artists can also help you find the right person for you. You might think the first or second person you see is the best available, only to find that the last person you check has the highest quality.
* Go through a secure company
Your blueprints are valuable, and it’s worth finding a firm that will protect your work and not sell it to others. Never show your work to another person without a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and ensure the company you go through is secure. Cad Crowd is one of the few companies that vet their artists and takes pride in the security and privacy of the work done through their website.
* Consider pricing as secondary
Although pricing is important, it should be considered after all the other factors in finding a good artist. 3D visualizations can often save much more money than they cost in time, materials, and revenue from stakeholders. If you can’t decide between two spectacular artists, the price tag can be a great way to sway you, but if the best artist comes with a slightly higher price tag, don’t be afraid to choose the best artist for your work.
3D rendering services are an essential part of the modern architectural firm. Although a few offices still stick to traditional pen and ink, these traditional firms are quickly getting pushed out in favor of contemporary software. 3D visualizations give the architect an edge at almost every process step. A visualization of the building being created can help sell the concept to stakeholders, boost your portfolio, or help sell the product later. No matter what process stage you are at, a 3D visualization is a tool worth having in today’s modern office.
How Cad Crowd can assist
At Cad Crowd, we have the privilege of working with some of the best architectural design freelancers in the world. If you’re looking for help with your project, please get in touch with us for a free quote.