Architectural visualization is one of those concepts you keep hearing about, but you might not be exactly sure what it means or what purpose it serves. Below, we’ll explain everything you need to know about it as a concept and go into details for every step of the process.
To make it a bit more understandable, we’ve split up the things you should know into nine sections, each one of them bringing a different aspect of 3D visualization to you. If you’re thinking of hiring a company or an artist for a visualization project, you should go through the list below step by step and gather all the necessary information before starting that journey.
To get to what you need to know about architectural visualization, we must first explain what it is. Let’s say you have a project in mind, a new building, house, or even just remodeling your apartment. For that, you’d hire an architectural firm or an architect, depending on the scope of work you have in mind.
Then, they would think up all of the technical stuff that the project needs – measurements, materials, logistics, and so on. While you shouldn’t doubt their work, it can be tough to understand it while it’s still just a concept in their heads or lines on a blueprint you don’t fully understand.
That’s where architectural visualization comes into play. You can hire an artist to transfer all those ideas and measurements into a 3D environment that people can view, alter, and explore. That way, you can bring your idea closer to the client.
It cuts down on the amount of back and forth that’s usually necessary when preparing for such a project – and is the main reason why 3D visualization is so important in modern architecture.
As for the process of architectural visualization itself, you, as the client, are much more involved than some people expect. Your input is needed – after all, your ideas should be part of the finished product. From your side, it’s about presenting your ideas before, during, and after making an architectural visualization.
Essentially you would be bringing ideas early on and notes in the later stages. You would use that input to bring the project as close to the concept both you and the architect have swirling in your heads. Then, you can combine these ideas to make a visually appealing and functioning environment.
From the creator’s standpoint, they would be working in their preferred program, using your input and their imagination and skills to create something completely new and original. The whole point of this is to show you what the project could and will look like once it is finished.
The time needed to finish an architectural visualization project depends on a variety of conditions and factors. You have to consider the overall scope of the project – a bigger project, like a full building, will take much longer than doing the interior rendition of a kitchen.
That being said, another thing you have to keep in mind is that the time needed for something like this will also differ based on who you hire to finish it. You could hire a freelance 3D artist with a lot of experience in the field and get a unique representation, but depending on the artist, it could take a bit longer to get it done.
The other route you could choose is to hire a company that deals specifically in architectural visualization or architecture in general. Theoretically, this should produce faster results, as multiple people can work on the same project and delegate the work to get the finished product to you the soonest.
Depending on who you hire and the project’s scope, it could take a few days or up to a month.
While a very important question, especially to the client, it is very hard to answer. Once again, the project itself dictates how much it will cost. The complexity of the visualization, the hours of work needed to complete it, and the artist’s experience are all very important factors that will affect the final price.
That being said, whoever you hire, and however much it ends up costing, it’s safe to assume that you won’t regret it. If the project is just for you, not so much, but if you plan on showing it to the public, or business associates, there isn’t a better way to do it.
Instead of making a complicated sales pitch and presenting it to other people in a rather abstract way, you can simply show them how the final product will look like, which is a fantastic advantage that modern architecture has – both for architects and clients.
There isn’t much to be explained on protecting information regarding your project – make sure the artist or company you are hiring is legitimate, and you should have no problem. The product you get should also be 100% unique, and that’s a big factor for security.
That’s pretty much it – as long as you find an artist you can trust and can work with, you shouldn’t have to worry about a thing. Now finding that artist can take a while, but more on that in a moment. Also, make sure that the methods of communication you are using with the artist or company are secure, but that goes without saying.
When it comes to finding a good artist or company, it’s really more about finding the right artist or company for the needs of your project. You should, of course, check the artist’s portfolio first and make sure that they can pull off what you have in mind. But beyond that, if you know that they have the capabilities, it comes down to finding someone who has the right style to capture what you have in mind.
Styles can vary a lot, and finding someone with the imagination that can put all of your ideas into a finished product can take time. You’ll need to go through a bunch of portfolios and probably get into contact with a couple of companies just to see if they have what it takes to make the concept you have come to life.
It should also be someone you can easily communicate with, as communication is the most important thing for realizing such a project. You’ll need to work together with them and feel free to express exactly what it is you’d like to change or adjust.
If you find an artist who can do that with you, the final product will be as good as you imagined it, and maybe even better.
All the help you can offer to the artist once again comes down to communication. As we already mentioned, you’re supposed to work together and combine your ideas to make something that both of you can be proud of.
However, establishing good communication isn’t the only thing you can do to help with the process. You can also do what all artists appreciate – give them their artistic freedom.
It’s okay to have specific ideas and wishes for the final product, and you should absolutely relay them to the artist. However, to get something that’s truly unique and an expression of combined imaginations, you’ll need to leave some things up to the artist to decide.
After all, that’s what they’re educated for, and probably have more experience than you. You may think that a specific color scheme or arrangement is perfect, but if you let the artist have their own input, you might be surprised what a trained eye can bring to the table and how it can actually change your original idea for the better.
Negotiating a price can be tricky, especially when it comes to negotiating it with an artist. What goes into the price isn’t just the work hours, materials, and skills, but also the years of education and experience that have led them to this moment. That’s why it’s so hard to put a price on a piece of art.
However, a price must be had, and the best you can do is inform yourself about the industry standard and the general costs of projects similar to yours. Once you have that knowledge, you’ll know what to expect, or at least in which price range it will be. What you absolutely shouldn’t do is haggle.
You can approach the subject and discuss a price with the artist, but trying to lower it can be considered an insult. It’s their skill, effort, and time that will go into this, and they name the price according to that. If it’s too steep for you, you can always try to seek out another artist that might be more flexible or a talented one that’s just starting out.
You should also keep in mind that architectural visualization requires some high-end hardware if it’s going to be up to date. You need to upgrade the hardware alongside the progress you make in developing the software and various possibilities.
As we already touched upon, the marketing possibilities of architectural visualization are practically limitless. You have a fully immersive and realistic rendition of how the end product will look like, sometimes even before development begins. That makes it much easier to approach potential customers, business partners, and so on.
Also, it lets you see the look and atmosphere of the project beforehand, allowing you to make certain changes that you might not have noticed otherwise. When you explore a 3D environment, you can see many things that you could misunderstand or miss on a blueprint or a 2D rendition.
Architectural visualization is also a pretty new concept and technology, so it’s constantly being improved. Combining a 3D visualization with something like real-time ray tracing or even virtual reality is possible and can yield some stunning results.
With proper lighting and a couple of other neat tricks, a good 3D artist can make visualizations that are hard to discern from reality.
There’s no doubt that architectural visualization has a prominent spot in modern architecture. That spot will only grow in importance as the technology further develops and the artists keep pushing the limits of what’s possible.
It’s especially true as we grow accustomed to technologies that are only now gaining a wider audience, like VR. There’s no doubt that at some point, you’ll be able to take a potential buyer on a virtual tour of the property before it’s even built.
That’s pretty much everything you should know about architectural visualization from a client’s point of view. To strengthen what we already established, find an artist that you can communicate with and trust, and don’t forget to give them the artistic freedom they need to improve your original ideas.
Also, while the price shouldn’t be your main concern, it’s a big factor for many clients. Don’t worry about it – just know the standard price, and you’ll have no regrets paying whatever it’s because the result will most likely be beyond your expectations.