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How to choose an architectural visualisation company

We have already discussed the factors that can help you decide if you would benefit from using an architectural visualisation company in our previous blog post which you can review by clicking on the link – Do I need a 3D visualisation company?

Choosing the right architectural visualisation company is vitally important to the success of your project.  Since architectural visualisation has come to play such a pivotal role in property marketing as well as in architectural and interior design development, the suitability of the visualisation company to your specific needs, as property developer, architect or interior designer, can be a decisive factor in your success. There are plenty of visualisation firms out there offering a variety of services, and it is by no means easy to find the most suitable one.  In this blog we will review seven questions that you need to ask to help you make the right choice.

What is the cost?

The cost of visualisation varies according to several factors, but most important are:

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  • The size of the company.  Independent individuals can handle small jobs. Because they often work from home and do not employ any staff, they can offer their services at a lower price than larger firms can while still providing a level of quality. Larger firms are often better at producing larger projects that have a specific deadline as they can assign a dedicated team to your work ensuring your project deadlines are met timeously.   Obviously, the money that you may save on employing a smaller outfit is not worth it if it means you risk missing your deadline, in which case you might lose millions through lost sales opportunities or the loss of a major contract.

  • The reputation of the company – local or international. As in any profession, the more established a company becomes and the more highly regarded their work becomes, the more they will tend to charge for their services.

How much time will it take to complete my project?

Make sure to establish precise deadlines and clarify any issues that might stall the process (on both sides). Architectural visualisation firms work on a time basis.  The longer they take, the less money they make, so it is not in their interests to take more time than necessary.  For this reason, also, they appreciate prompt feedback from you, the client, to speed up the process. Furthermore, be sure to have all the data that they need from you to complete the project by the agreed time. If they are spending considerable time waiting on your input, this time is wasted, which is money, and may result in them having to take on other work in the meantime, to mitigate such potential losses, which can impact on your deadlines.

How many people can work on one project?

If you have a large project and a tight deadline, a more substantial team of 3D artists will be needed to complete the work on time. Using a small company that charges less could carry more risks, since the individual or individuals may be under extra pressure (professional rendering entails a considerable amount of expertise and skill) and the chances of producing a final result that is below par are multiplied.

The question of quality.

The quality of the computer generated imagery is not related to the size of the architectural visualisation firm – or even, necessarily, to its reputation.  Some firms are excellent at marketing and positioning themselves, and the effort and money they spend on creating the public perception that they are the best can pay off handsomely in terms of the high fees they can then charge for this perceived level of expertise in their renderings.  However, as with all marketing, it is not always the best product that gets to the top.  A favoured approach is to look at the actual renderings that they produce and compare these with a selection of other portfolios. Remember that architectural visualisation is a supremely creative and aesthetic discipline, so one person’s viewpoint of a studio’s portfolio may vary from another’s.

Ask what experience they have in the market.

Having established that the quality is good, and the price is within your budget, it is beneficial to ensure that the company has sufficient experience of handling your type and scale of project to make sure that the process runs smoothly and the outcome matches your expectations.  Ask to see reviews and case studies of previous projects of a similar type and scale, and whether they have had any long-term projects with different phases.  Visualisation firms that are able to produce stunning renderings are not necessarily well equipped with project management or balancing the demands of larger scale jobs, which are important factors that make up a successful architectural visualisation and property branding company.  So being thorough with your research is worth the effort in the long run.

What software is used?

You may want to check that the company of your choice has the latest versions of cutting-edge 3D rendering software. Not only will this ensure that the latest technology is being used to present your project to the best advantage, but it will also indicate that the visual artists are constantly honing their skills by keeping up to date with the latest developments – in other words, that they are passionate about their profession and this translates through their work.

How does the architectural visualisation company work with you?

The whole process of producing your 3D renderings can be speeded up considerably by making use of online feedback.  By making use of all the latest mobile communications channels, from Whats App to Zoom conference calls, contact can be made quickly with the visualisation team, establishing a more instant, dynamic and creative working relationship with you.  The more communication there is the deeper their understanding of your vision will become. They can also quickly get answers from you on issues that may come up, or help you make a design choice by sharing images and ideas online.  Make su ask beforehand if revisions are included in the overall price and if so, how many revisions are included before incurring additional costs.  

And to close …

Choosing the right architectural visualisation company for you  is important.  We laid out a few factors for consideration including:
– costs
– deadlines
– quality of renderings
– market experience
– how big a team would be needed to handle your project successfully
– how up to date they are with the latest rendering technology, and what feedback system they use

Producing architectural renderings can be a complex process. That is why specialist companies exist, to carefully execute this kind of work. Any one of these issues can affect the outcome. Since visualisation has become such an integral part of the real estate industry as well as the architect or designer’s design process, it is very important to get this right from the outset.

Want to understand the difference between the latest immersive technologies of VR, AR and MR? View our blog post The Future of Reality to watch Wired’s video, and you’ll be up to date in no time!

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