Should Architectural Renderings be done In-house or with an 3D Rendering Studio?
In this article we`re going to tackle a question that growing architectural firms and real estate marketing agencies ask themselves – “Should our architectural rendering work be done in-house or with an external rendering company?” The truth is that it depends on several different factors, but there are specific benefits of each one.
PROS OF IN-HOUSE
KEEPING EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL – One of the main benefits of doing your 3d visualization work in house is that you can create a process that you will have full control over. Giving and briefing a new task to an in-house employee is much simpler and quicker than it would be to an external rendering company and it’s also far easier to make sure that everything is running smoothly. The same goes for the revision/feedback process, with communication barriers being virtually non-existent.
TRUSTWORTHINESS – One of main reasons that architectural firms hesitate to work with an external rendering company is to do with a lack of trust, something that can be avoided when doing architectural rendering work in house. As your team is based in office, it’s much easier to get to know each one of them on an individual basis, maintain a close relationship and get to know their strengths and weaknesses, all of which allow you to manage them more successfully.
COMMUNICATION – As everyone is most likely in the same building, it’s far easier to communicate ideas to one another and test out different things to see if they work without taking too much time, as well as avoiding any potential communication barriers that could be caused if there is a large time difference between you and an external rendering company.
PROS OF OUTSOURCING
COSTS – Unlike an In-house team, who are usually paid a fixed salary, a 3d visualization studio generally charges per project, meaning that it is much easier to plan a project’s budget. On the other hand, it’s often much harder to accurately calculate how many hours an in-house artist could spend on a project when taking into account potential delays or the cost of mismanagement.
When it comes to pricing, a 3d rendering studio often offer better options than it costs to do everything in-house, and that’s without taking into account the costs needed to cover taxes, office running costs and the cost of equipment. In fact, working with a rendering company can be up to 60% cheaper. Yes, some of these 3d visualization companies aren’t able to deliver top quality architectural rendering work, but if you do your research and find the right company, the price to quality ratio can be unbeatable.
BETTER QUALITY SERVICE – This isn’t to say that in-house teams aren’t capable of delivering high quality architectural rendering work, but the chances are that a 3D rendering studio will be able to get the job done better and quicker. This is purely due to their specialism in high quality and photorealistic rendering work. Let’s say for an example that you had heart illness, who would be better suited to resolve the problem, a normal doctor or a cardiologist? The same comparison could be made when comparing a 3d rendering company and an architectural firm when it comes to high quality and photorealistic rendering work. Sure there’s a good chance that an architectural firm can get the job done well, but the specialist’s work is always going to be of a higher caliber.
MORE RESOURCEFUL – As a 3d visualization company is specifically dedicated to creating high quality and photorealistic rendering work, they are usually far more resourceful than your typical architectural firm in terms of 3D content. Their 3D model databases are usually much larger, often spending years curating materials for 3D model databases with tens of thousands of models of plants, furniture and even modeled parts of cities. In simpler terms, this means that an external 3D rendering studio can put whatever you want in an image, and is able to make it look exactly the way you want it to.
CONS OF IN-HOUSE
COST – Rather than paying per project, many in-house artists are paid a fixed salary, making it complicated to determine production costs per project and also meaning that you’re having to pay artists even if there’s no projects coming in. On top of this, there’s taxes, training and recruitment costs, making hiring in-house artists often much more costly than working with a 3D rendering company. In fact, According to Glassdoor statistics, the average salary for a 3D artist in NYC is $70,810, around $43 per hour, which approximately the hourly rate of a top-notch studio in Eastern Europe or Latin America.
QUALITY – This was already mentioned earlier on, but it’s worth reinstating that it’s very likely that a 3d rendering studio will trump in-house capabilities when it comes to high quality and photorealistic rendering work, whilst not having to worry about any of the costs mentioned above. Most high-quality 3D visualization studios are experienced in working with different types of firms so it’s very likely you can use their expertise to take your architectural rendering work to the next level.
CONS OF OUTSOURCING
TRUST – It’s always a risk outsourcing your architectural rendering work to a 3D rendering studio that you don’t know much about, especially if the company is located overseas. Are they able to deliver high quality and photorealistic rendering work as shown in their portfolio? Are they able to handle tight turnaround times? And are they able to keep strong communication with you or will they just go off the radar as soon as payments are made? These are issues that need addressing if you are going to have a successful working relationship with a 3D rendering company.
TIME DIFFERENCE –
There’s also price to pay if you decide to work with a company that offers good prices but is located in a completely different time zone, which is often the case. Whilst it may be comforting knowing that someone is working on your project whilst you’re fast asleep, problems may arise when you need to exchange feedback and have to wait several hours as it’s the middle of night where the 3D visualization studio is based.
LANGUAGE BARRIER – As well as the time zone issue, the language barrier can also pose several problems when it comes to a successful working relationship. Although you may be tempted by dirt cheap prices, successfully communicating your ideas and feedback to a rendering company is vital to guarantee a successful working relationship. As a marketing agency or architect, consider yourself as a“translator” as you’re the one who has to successfully convey your clients needs and ideas to the 3D rendering studio, who then have to put those ideas onto the image. This means that exceptional communication with a 3D rendering company is absolutely vital for a successful collaboration.
It’s clear from looking at this article that there are both clear pros and cons to both doing your architectural rendering work in-house and with a 3d visualization studio, and it really depends on how you priorities align with the points laid out above. If your main priority is having 100% control of your architectural rendering process and eliminating any potential communication barriers, than perhaps it’s worth investing more money into your own team. However, if you’re ok with putting your trust in the hands of someone else, want to save money and invest in higher quality and more photorealistic rendering work service, then outsourcing might be your best option. That being said, it’s absolutely vital that you do your research beforehand to make sure that you find the right 3d rendering studio to partner with.