Architects have a lot on their plates. The profession was once described to me as a circus juggle who throws all 10 of his flaming chainsaws up in the air at once, and must do everything in his power to keep them from hitting the ground or chopping off both arms. It’s an apt comparison, and one that points to the many things an architect must keep in motion on their way to designing and executing successful buildings.
One of those flaming chainsaws, or perhaps a few of them, have to do with the production of visuals to aid in the design process, marketing, and communication with clients and consultants. These visuals not only promote the work, they act as a conduit through which the designer is able to convey their ideas through visualizations.
It isn’t easy work, and requires a very specific set of skills to do well. This is where freelance rendering artists can come in so handy. They are a rare breed of digital nomad who specialize in 3D modeling, rendering, animation, and in knowing what kinds of visuals will best present an idea.
This article will outline why hiring freelancers is important, and how it can contribute to the continued success and growth of your architecture business.
Architects and designers are always talking about ‘process.’ It’s the thing that transforms an idea into a feasible work of architecture. The process is all about a disciplined approach to moving a concept forward in a way that adheres to all constraints of the job.
A vital aspect of process is the feedback loop. It’s a constant checking of the work against critique in order to make the design better, or bring it back in alignment with the initial ideas. Milestones within this loop are accompanied by visuals that are created to give the designers and the clients the most accurate information the state of the project can give.
These visuals are key to the feedback loop, and are often neglected or underdeveloped because of the time and resources it takes to produce them. Hiring a team of freelancers ensures you’ll always have someone who can aid in creating content with the sole purpose of reinforcing the design loop, providing the most accurate visual information, and transform the process into something that makes good projects great, and great projects iconic.
When working through a building design from concept to completion, the architect is tasked with making sure all parties involved in the process are constantly in the loop. Design communication is something young designers learn very early on so they are always developing their abilities to not just tell someone their ideas, but to show them.
Visualizations - photorealistic or diagrammatic - are the conduit through which the architect speaks to the world. Most people, including your clients, don’t have the right mental equipment to be able to process 2D construction drawings, and must have a more tangible frame of reference if they are to understand decisions and contemplate the ‘why’ behind the design.
Dedicated rendering artists understand this fact better than anyone. They’ve built their career around it. Hiring freelancers to perform your visualization work will ensure not only the highest quality, but the type of content that the layperson will quickly understand. However, be sure to let them know what the most important aspects of the design are prior to their work. They take direction well, and will engage the world with the most iconic essence of your project.
Contractors are used to looking at construction documents. They’ve mastered the language probably better than even the architects who draw them. However, sometimes the design intent can get unceremoniously lost under a pile of line weights, notations, and tags. 3D visuals can help aid in giving contractors construction information that points to the final result of the detailed work.
These types of 3D drawings don’t necessarily have to be literal, but should accompany other technical drawings in showing a few different angles of the same thing. Contractors appreciate this added information because they don’t have to send out 50 requests for information - processes that slow their schedule and fray relationships with architects and clients.
Hiring freelance rendering artists frees up your firm to focus on drawing the vital construction information while someone else provides the supplementary visual aids. Also, building your 3D model in a program like Revit will allow the design information to always be up to date with the construction information. Use these advancements in technology to promote consistency and conduct better construction documentation.
For architecture offices, interior designers, and design studios, finding talented freelance rendering artists who they can rely on to meet deadlines can be a daunting challenge. There are thousands of artists out there, and vetting the ones who will fit in best with your culture, workflow, and budgetary constraints, is key to getting the most out of their efforts.
As hard as it is to find them, it might be even harder to retain them. There will be competition from other firms, other projects, and other clients who will see their value and try to pry them from your grasp. They are freelancers, so by nature they will always be looking for the next best thing to propel their career forward.
So, if you don’t want to make a habit out of finding a new freelance artist every time you need rendering help, you should learn how to keep your artists happy, paid, and under your thumb. If you value their contribution, be proactive about keeping them around.
Here are a few ways in which you can ensure your quality 3D rendering freelancers don’t jump ship and sign with someone who treats them better.
It might sound like a foregone conclusion, but you’d be surprised to hear how many freelancers have stories of clients simply not paying their fees. Be sure to be on time with payment, and even be open to offering extra bonuses for tight deadlines met or jobs well done. Little gestures like that contribute to continued loyalty.
The best way to empower freelancers to do good work is to employ ownership over the work they will be providing. They aren’t simply there to click the mouse and serve your design efforts, they are a part of a team who is all contributing to the end goal of better designs. Make sure they feel like they are on this team - even if they are working from half a world away.
Communication is the difference between executing a design well or poorly. This goes for all aspects of the process, and can make members of your team feel like they aren’t being left out to dry. Make sure your freelance rendering artists know what’s going on with their project so they aren’t scrambling at the 11th hour just to meet the deadline they promised to hit. A design is fluid, so be sure to keep everyone up to date.
Such a simple thing can mean a huge amount of social equity when it comes to how a freelancer feels valued. Engage with them in a cordial manner, and they are much less likely to jump ship because of the way they are treated. Exercise proper email and telephone call etiquette, and even try to develop personal relationships with freelance artists, if appropriate. It seems trivial, but good manners go a long way.
Put yourself in your freelancers’ shoes for once. If you can start to understand how they work, how they think, and how they like to be treated, you can tailor your handling of them in a very specific way. These little details make all the difference when a valued and talented freelancer has to choose between doing your work or the other guys’.
The best artists in the world thrive on adversity. This isn’t to say you should be throwing your freelancers work at the last minute because you didn’t budget your time. It means giving them difficult, unique, or otherwise challenging work that will push their abilities to places it hasn’t gone before. These opportunities can be hard to come by, and your freelance artists will be grateful you put them up to the task of getting it done.
Once you establish an ongoing relationship with your freelance rendering artists, be sure to offer them a token of your gratitude by upping their fees without them asking. This might sound like bad business practice, but people who work behind their own computer all the time respond well to positive reinforcement. Offer them a bit more, and they will be more loyal, work harder, and produce better work for you ever their other clients.
There’s no real secret to keeping the best freelancers around. Treat them well, trust them, pay them, and they will stick around even as other clients try to pry them away.
Finding a 3D rendering freelancer that fits in perfectly with your current business culture and workflow is a difficult task. You want to employ someone who does their job and delivers on deadlines, but also does work up to the highest standards set forth by your own design sensibilities. All of this, and you want them on a budget that doesn’t detract from investing into the project itself.
And while there are plenty of online resources that helps you connect with these kinds of prospective employees, whittling down your criteria for the perfect candidate can be a moving target that isn’t always easy to hit.
This short guide is to be used as a reference, not as gospel, when circling around the perfect 3D rendering freelancer. Everyone's criteria will be different, but at a minimum this rendering artist should have the following 5 attributes if you hope for them to work out in a productive way.
Here are 5 attributes of the perfect 3D rendering freelancer.
Yes, for all the intangible qualities you might hope for in a freelance 3D rendering artist, they simply must have the talent and experience to deliver high-quality renderings and visualizations. For architects and designers, the work that goes into pounding an idea or concept into the ground until it’s the best it can be is worth its weight in gold. Which means it’s a shame when that work is handed over to someone who simply can’t do the original idea justice through the visualization work they produce.
Talent isn’t everything - as we’ll soon learn - but it should be at the heart of every worthy visualization artist. At a minimum, your future employees will need this to be a productive member of your team.
In most design practices, deadlines are the backbone for instilling rigor and discipline throughout the office. Not only that, but missing them means unhappy clients, project delays, and a massive hit to the reputation of the project manager and the company. In many instances, hitting these deadlines rests on the speed and efficiency of the visualization artist.
When looking for a freelancer, test their ability to consistently hit deadlines by talking to people they’ve worked for in the past. A rendering artist who can perform under pressure are sometimes hard to find, so weed out the good from the bad at the beginning of your hiring process.
Not only should a freelance rendering artist be able to sway and move with the wind of a project’s ever-changing parameters, they should be able to do it with a smile on their face. No one likes to re-do work or have to perform unexpected and tedious tasks, but these circumstances are the nature of the business, so it is important to find someone who literally laughs in the face of danger.
A flexible, willing rendering artist will not only do good work, they will help alleviate heartburn caused by sudden changes in the design environment by not being a massive pain in the butt.
In the design world rigor equates to doing whatever it takes to output the best possible product. It is injected directly into the design process, and vibrates through each and every employee that might work at the firm.
It’s something you want out of your freelance rendering artist, too. You want them to have the same attention to detail, dedication, and discipline when it comes to the work they send you. Finding someone that has the same cultural and ethical sensibilities can be tough, but is essential if you want to end up with someone who cares as much about the final product as you do. Rigor equals good work. Almost always.
All of these things add up to how much value you can get out of a freelance rendering artist for the price you are paying them. The perfect employee is someone who cares enough about the work they’re doing that they will excell past expectations for the job, and do so with a willingness to align their fee with the best interest of the finished work.
The most valuable freelancers are ones who are extremely talented, but don’t hold their ability to do good work over your head while you’re scrambling to come up with someone who can do it cheaper. They value their job with your company, and they value to quality of work it allows them to do. Call it personal pride, call it investment, at the end of the day it amounts to having someone you can call on to have your back no matter what the circumstances. It’s all about value.
Finding the right 3D rendering freelancer is hard. While there is certainly a large pool of talented artists out there, securing an individual who not only does great work, but fits an impending need at your design or architecture firm at a reasonable cost, is no easy task. There is a lot to sift through, and sometimes you’re not even sure what you’re looking for.
Luckily, there are resources out there that help connect architecture and design firms with people who can upgrade their visualization game while keeping the design budget as tight and as focused as possible. Rendering will not only make your project look better on paper, but it has the potential to bolster your design loop and reinvent your design process.
Easy Render is one of these resources. It’s an online job finding service that has one goal: get the right freelancer in touch with the right design firm. Their system is set up to make searching for, communicating with, and ultimately hiring freelancers as...well...easy as it possibly can be.
This article will take an in-depth look at just what Easy Render is, and why their mission has made architecture firms around the world better at what they do.
Easy Render tells you everything to know in their name. They’ve established a job-finding service that acts in every way to give architecture and design studios the means of locating and hiring freelance 3D rendering artists. They’ve worked to simplify the process, and, unlike some other similar services, their efforts are directed solely at the 3D rendering and visualization industry.
As such, their browsing tools and protocols understand how those businesses operate, and how their needs can change day-to-day, week-to-week, and month-to-month.
Browse freelancers. Find a handful of potential candidates. Connect with them with a few clicks of the mouse. Hire. Repeat.
Easy Render not only represents the perfect community for freelance rendering artists to flourish, they’ve taken the risk out of hiring someone who might not end up living up to their initial promise of quality or promptness. You don’t pay a dime until you’ve received the work and are fully satisfied with the results. This is the Easy Render promise, and one that has resonated with a design community that doesn’t like to take unnecessary leaps of faith.
Good question! For many small firms, hiring a full time 3D rendering artist can be a costly and uncertain proposition. And, allocating design and project management personnel to handle visualization work eats into their time being productive elsewhere.
Having a small collection of reliable freelance 3D rendering artists at your disposal hits the sweet spot between the two, and allows a studio to remain nimble and flexible with their design budget, no matter the size. Of course, sometimes freelancers availability is variable, making it important for firms to have more than one to pick from when duty calls.
Also, rendering is a very specific skill, and those who specialize in it will give you the best results your money can buy. They are highly motivated and determined to be the best among their peers. With Easy Render, you’ll be able to identify these standouts based on their portfolio of previous work, and testimonials from clients who’ve worked with them in the past.
When computer drawing and rendering leaped into the mainstream more than 20 years ago, it shook the design and architecture industries like never before. Over the past two decades, technology has further evolved rendering and visualization with incremental advancements in quality, photo-realism, and immersion.
Now, we are on the precipice of a new design trend - one that could mark another torrential shift in how we communicate our ideas.
Virtual and augmented reality are here, and finally backed by large companies with deep pockets determined to make their mark on the world of media consumption. Rendering artists are at the bleeding edge of this technology, and have the ability to apply it to all aspects of the industry, including architecture.
If your firm is interested in crafting virtual reality experiences that bring clients directly into the experience of an unbuilt work, the time is now to hire freelancers that will usher you into that territory.
Easy Render is the liason that will connect you with the best rendering talent in the world - individuals who can take the visual representation of your office to the next level. Do your business a favor and start browsing their pages today.
Just like anything an architect or designer does, hiring outside help is all about process. It’s a daunting task to find the perfect fit to trust handing over the keys to all the 3D rendering and visualization work for a single or number of design projects. Hiring employees is hard enough as it is, even without the added pressure of finding someone you can confide in right out of the gate.
This quick reference guide is an outline for how to go about hiring specific people who you can call on when the need for a design rendering or animation comes up. They are less expensive than full-time employees, and flexible enough to be able to meet fast-approaching deadlines or presentations.
These steps are meant to be a skeleton for how you might start thinking about the hiring process. As with anything, be sure to make it your own, and understand how your design philosophy might inform something like freelance hiring.
Hiring a freelance 3D rendering artist is all about sticking to an idea about what you are looking to get out of the extra help. Ask yourself and your employees very pointed questions about what you value in an outside employee. This can pertain specifically to the work they produce, or more general questions about personality, culture, and workflow.
You should create a cheat sheet that you can reference when evaluating talent and work ethic. If deadlines are the most important aspect of a prospective employee, be sure to include that in your scope. Be as pointed as possible, as this is the foundation for your entire search for the next great cog in your machine.
So, you’ve put together a comprehensive profile for your perfect freelance 3D rendering artist. Good work! Now what? None of that work is going to be worth a salt unless you have the resourcefulness to know where the best, most affordable rendering talent is lurking. There are a number of great online services, such as Easy Render, that give designers and architects a library of available individuals who are experts and visualization.
You can also consult more generic job finding services such as UpWork, Freelancer, or Fiver. Those sites can be hit or miss, but with the required dedication, good employees can be shaken out from the scammers and self-misrepresenters. And if you’re feeling particularly bold, you can always throw up an ad on CraigsList. Crazier things have happened!
Once you’ve nailed down a few reliable sources for locating visualization talent, it’s time to find a small collection of people who look like they can aptly handle your design reputation. Most of the sites listed above allow employers to browse through individuals based on a number of filters and search options.
It’s important to get a feel for the kind of work they can do, yes, but it’s also vital you understand what their other clients have said about them in past jobs. Finding the right culture fit is just as important as talent, as a bad locker room guy could through a massive rift in the entire operation if you aren’t careful. Vet like you’re practice depends on it.
A lot of job finding sites will let you hire freelancers without a face-to-face, or even over-the-phone interview. Decline this option. Speaking to who will be handing your visualization work is a vital part of the hiring process, and shouldn’t be skipped over just because it might seem convenient to do so.
Talking with someone, even on very casual terms, will give you an immediate gut feeling of whether it’s going to work out or not. There’s no science here, just something that all designers should be doing anyway: trusting your instincts. Talk to your freelancers, and if you get a weird vibe, there will always be someone waiting to take their place.
I bet you thought you were going to be able to get off hiring only one talented and affordable freelance 3D rendering artist, didn't you? And while, yes, that might work in the short-term, it’s important to have a small handful of people you’ve already vetted and interviewed to be able to call on when project help is needed.
They might have different skill sets, or simply different capacities for doing fast work. But, in the end it’s all about availability. You’d be awfully sour if you call upon your one and only rendering freelancer for a presentation due next week and they are tied up helping someone else for hte next three. Putting your eggs in one basket is a dangerous game to play.
If you find yourself the frequenter of architecture and design blogs looking at pretty pictures of designs, past, present and future, you have probably wondered who the people behind those beautiful images are. Where do they come from? How did they get here? How are they able to exercise the imagination of the viewers to see what is possible through design and construction? Well, even if you have never wondered any of those things, I am here to reveal the humans behind those images and why they are the way that they are. Understanding the soul might help you better understand the art itself.
He colours and paints and sculpts and forms just like any artist might, though his medium remains entirely trapped inside the digital fortress. Behind the life-like images he bestows upon the planet are an intricately organized and infinitely long row of ones and zeros. His tools are Photoshop, Rhinoceros, VRay and AutoCAD, and other powerful 3D rendering software used by architects and designers and to use them properly he must remain sharp and practiced in the ways of the mouse and keyboard.
She studies light, shadow, form and shape. She understands colour and adjacencies and depth of field. She knows how people occupy space - how they move through it and perceive it. Behind every high-resolution 3D image is years of education. Not only of the powerful 3D rendering software and tools required to construct such masterpieces, but of the human condition and what is desirable and what is not. The 3D Artist has mastered composition and perspective, framing and angle. She studies her subjects with a watchful eye in order to replicate what we see on a screen to what we see on a sunny summer day on the Champs-Elysées.
An often overlooked but essential cog in the design/build machine. He WOWS clients and secures commissions. He never asks for praise or money or fame because he does what he loves to do. The 3D Artist breathes life into something that is not yet alive. He works overnight and on weekends. Not because he does not have other things to do, but because the project, and consequently his reputation, will suffer if he does not. He is a ruthless and dedicated working artist who refines his craft to get better and do better work, not to make more money. He gains notoriety only by virtue of thousands of hours of digital labour, not because he pursues it.
The 3D Artist lives in a two window studio apartment in Brooklyn because it is required of her. She needs to be close to the fire but cannot afford the suit required to keep her from burning.
He does what he is told because he understands his place within the machine. But because the 3D Artist works hard and is dedicated to being the best, he emerges a leader of people who started just like him. The 3D Artist designs businesses, offices and firms, and brings them to life, he uses colour, and brings realization to structures and spaces yet to be discovered.
She knows what it takes to be the best but also knows she isn’t quite there yet. She hastily flips through issues of Architectural Record, Dwell, Print, I.D., How, and Digital Arts in search of the next thing that will elevate her own work. The 3D Artist tears out pages and tapes them maniacally against her exposed brick living room wall. She stands and stares at the wall for 10 minutes before she leaves and 10 minutes before she goes to bed to make sure she inspires her days, along with her dreams.
They go out for a drink at 9pm after staying late and do not talk about their work. He takes a break to be a real human being, because in the end that is what he has to be in order to truly capture the essence of experience and perception. The 3D Artist has a wife and is talking about having kids. He knows that losing himself in his work means losing his ability to be good at it. He carefully balances his life. Or at least tries to...
She’s able to explore the possibility of life without dealing with the bureaucratic encumbrance that is the architect’s burden. The 3D Artist assists the architect, because that is her job, but does so doing solely what she loves about the industry and not what she must do to succeed. She is awarded the luxury of being free to push the physio-emotional envelope of what is possible in real space. This is the essence of her art and the foundation of her passion.
The 3D Artist loves the physical world, but only in such a capacity that he can replicate and enhance it.
There she discovered the possibilities of working in the digital world. It allowed her to build things and understand them in three dimensions before producing accurate and precisely choreographed 2D representations of that model. She could make anything become anything, and that is why she studied advancements in computer technology alongside her work as an artist. The 3D Artist was always an artist, but never before had discovered a medium that truly spoke to her. The versatility, flexibility, and possibility of digital art lended itself to undiscovered potential, not just with her but with all people. The limits she saw were a little bit less limitless.
He adds trees and benches and cars and people and air and clouds and colour and sun. The 3D Artist provides the real context that someday a building will actually have to coexist in. He is necessary to the architect because he never lets him forget about what happens outside the design. The 3D Artist isn’t close to the design of the structure, rather the situation it finds itself in. He grounds the architecture in reality, and because of that has a great sense of importance and worth.
The 3D Artist is a magician, a trickster who will make believe you into thinking something is real. She is a hoaxer and a liar. The 3D Artist suspends disbelief and reroutes perception. But she does so in good humour, not to be malicious but to tease the senses and tickle the imagination. She wants the world to be filled with “what if” and not just “what is”…
What would those masters of line and space be able to accomplish with the knowledge of today’s technology? Would they have confined themselves to stone, pigment and pencil if there were so many different avenues of production to explore? Would they have been 3D rendering artists too? The 3D Artist wonders if 300 years from now someone just like him will be wondering about him. What would he have been able to do with the future? He wonders this.
Often she thinks about where she has been and where she is going. She takes the subway to and from work every day, but she won’t forever. Someday she will be listed among the top artists00 in the world. The 3D Artist does not want to be a 3D rendering artist, but just an artist.
She wants the profession to be respected among the fine arts because her art is more than just a replication or a recreation of someone else’s work. It is a creative interpretation of things in space. There is art inherent in what she does, and she wants the world to know it.
The 3D rendering artist is all of these things and more. They are the behind the scenes lifeblood of a host of design and architecture firms, and as such should not be confined to always hiding behind the curtain. Here at Easy Render we understand the value of the 3D Artist and their profession, which is why we promote them. Know them. Love them.
Make them a part of what you do and see how far you can elevate your work with the help of a passionate group of international artists.
You will not be sorry you did!