How to Choose 3D Architectural Rendering Company

If you are planning on building a home or especially a large commercial space, you should consider the value of hiring an architectural rendering company. There’s a lot to consider. Which 3D architectural rendering company should you choose? Which techniques best match your vision? And most importantly, what will it cost? 

3D architectural rendering of a modern house with a pool
Image by giovanni gargiulo

What types of 3D architectural visualization services are out there?

There are several different types of 3D rendering services out there. Many of these companies will specialize either according to the type of service or industry. Here are the different services you will find:

  • Interactive Rendering: Used in gaming or interactive graphics. Images are processed from 3D information at high speed. 
  • Offline Pre-Rendering: Used when photorealism is required and the need for processing speed is lower. This can take an extremely long time. A frame in an animated movie can take a full hour to render properly.
  • Multi-Pass Rendering: This is where images are divided into separate layers and tweaked in terms of lighting and coloring. This is usually used by the entertainment and gaming industries. 
  • Perspective Projection: Creates projections to set objects appropriately within scenes to make items seem smaller.
  • Radiosity: Simulates how surfaces act in relation to indirect light sources. This produces realistic shading and makes images seem more realistic. 

Other Rendering Technologies

Have you had enough? But wait, there’s more!

  • Rasterization: Classic technique that generates objects by using a mesh of polygons to create virtual models. 
  • Ray Casting and Tracing: Detects visible surfaces and points of view and traces light paths as pixels. 
  • Resolution Optimization: Uses pixels to create an image. The higher and denser the number of pixels in the image, the sharper the image will be. The resolution depends on how realistic the image must be. 
  • Scanline Rendering: Uses an algorithm for visible surface determination, scanning an object row by row. 
  • Shading: Computes the color of objects from a given viewpoint.  
  • Texture Mapping: Applies a particular image to the surface of a 3D model. 
  • Transport: Displays how light moves from one area to the next for greater visibility. 
  • Depth buffering: Helps determine whether a complete object or a part of an object is visible in a scene. 

How’s that for a lot of technical terms? Just be aware that the experts at each architectural rendering company will be able to recommend which technology best suits your project. They will most likely use an expensive set of software packages to utilize many of these technologies. Then you’ll be able to “walk through” the fully rendered space.

What do 3D architectural rendering services cost?

Believe it or not, 3D rendering can be more cost-effective than traditional photography. High-quality 3D product rendering can cost about $500, but if your project is more advanced and complex, that amount can climb to $5,000 per image.

This cost can vary dramatically from company to company. A popular studio with high-profile clients will obviously charge a premium, but some freelancers will charge as little as $50. The cost is usually determined by the skill level, time to complete the project, the technique used, and the hardware and software costs that have to be offset by the firm. 

How to find the right architectural visualization studio

Finding the right firm for your project isn’t easy and requires a great deal of trust. You can lower your risks by doing your due diligence. Just follow these four steps:

  1. View their portfolio in detail. Look for a company that has a good track record of handling projects that are similar to yours.
  2. Read online reviews. Negative reviews should be a red flag! You can find reviews on Yelp or Google. 
  3. Ask for references. You should consult their past clients to find out whether or not the firm was able to meet the project requirements and the set deadline. If they didn’t, ask about the circumstances. 
  4. Trust your gut. If the firm takes a long time to get back to you and is generally uncommunicative, it should be a warning sign.

Conclusion

3D architectural visualization services can come at a premium cost. Make sure that you pick the right firm that can deliver an excellent product on time and within budget. If they succeed, you’ll have beautiful images to sell your new design or development to prospective clients.