Architectural rendering prices

What are the real costs of 3D RenderingServices and what are the best ways to determine the service that gives thebest value for your money?

Well, it goes without saying that theArchitecture, Engineering and Construction industry is not only incrediblycompetitive but it also faces a multitude of complex project challenges. Withtight deadlines and stringent budgets to adhere too, interruptions andunnecessary revisions are not easily forgiven by clients and as a result architects,engineers, designers and building professionals take all the necessaryprecautions to ensure mistakes are avoided at all costs. Luckily 3D Rendering andArchitectural Visualisations can help do just that!

Architecture,Engineering, Construction and Architectural Rendering

Architectural rendering and 3D visualization canhelp throughout the lifecycle of a building from the presentation of initialconcepts and ideas, to the final stages of construction. In the early stagesarchitectural renders and visualization can be created by design teams to communicate the intended design toclient, future users and builders. In this way they can get a real “feel” forwhat the project will look like. This can be used as a great tool to encouragediscussions and comparisons to evaluate designoptions but can also assist marketingprofessionals sell the concept there after.

During more advanced stages of design, architecturalrendering and 3D visualization can be used to check the integrity of:accessibility, services coordination, maintainability etc. This can help detecterrors sooner and minimize delays and unnecessary revisions during theconstruction stage. Which takes me to the next step…

During construction stages, 3D visualizationcan facilitate the interpretation of design details by construction and siteoperatives. Keeping in mind that the concept of 3D visualization is not limitedto modelling physical objects but can also be extend to the representation ofabstract data sets from simulation programs, for example those used inperformance assessments. Although architectural rendering and 3D visualization isnot required in all projects, 3D rendering and 3D visualisations is incrediblyuseful…  As a result, architecture, engineeringand construction professionals are constantly on the lookout for exceptional 3Drendering services.

ArchitecturalRendering and 3D Visualisation Services

So howdo you choose the most reasonable architectural rendering service, as far asthe quality and pricing are concerned?

Well, obviously(Sod’s law) there is no straightforward answer and there are a multiple of characteristicsto consider, for example: the size of the 3D rendering project, the companyundertaking the 3D rendering services, the architectural specifications of yourproject, the number of interior and/or exterior 3D visualizations required, obviouslythe quality and detail of the 3D visualisation, the 3D rendering software used andthe list goes on and on, and on and on… I think you get my point! So where do youstart…

3DRendering Studios and Architectural Firms

3D renderingStudios and Firms provide excellent quality and a great service, so they are agreat place to start. They have in-house 3D Artists, with excellent 3Drendering software knowledge and are at your disposal at the click of a button.The biggest advantage of 3D rendering studios and firms is that they are local.By “local” I mean you are encouraging local business, you can walk into the 3Drendering studio in person, set up a meeting and have a chat with the 3D Artistdesigning your project. You can explain to him your ideas and you can discussexactly how you want your project executed. And in some circumstances, if that3D Artist is great at their job, they can even tell you, what you want beforeyou know you want it! 

Rightlyso, the price of this type of architectural rendering service can be a little onsteep side and depending on where you live, it can cost you the big bucks… I’mthinking London, New York, Sydney and Zurich. After scanning a number ofservices and websites in Europe we have calculated that the average price for ahigh-quality 3D Visualisation or Architectural Render (3D still images) forsmall and medium projects (2 – 8 images) can range between 1’000 € and 6’000 €per image. Highly specialised 3d visualization companies can easily exceed the6’000 price mark … depending on the specification, challenges and number ofedits of the said project.  For companieslooking to animate their constructions the standard 3D animation, will never bepriced less than 200 € per second. Realistic prices for decent 3d animationswill range between the 200 and 600 € per second whilst highly specialised studioswill charge well above that for their artistic flair, outstanding quality andmeticulous detailing.

Apartfrom the cost, another slight setback is that a number of 3D rendering studiosdo not provide their pricing up front. This is not always the case butsometimes, you will need to request a quote to gather a rough idea of what yourArchitectural Render will cost you. Understandably so as each project’s renderingneeds vary and the only way to know for sure what type of pricing package fityour needs is to talk more about it with the prospective studio. For those ofyou with little time on your hands… this might not be ideal.

Outsourcing3D Rendering Services Online

The internethas really “changed the game” so to speak and outsourcing of 3D rendering servicescan be easily done and with great results. Price is definitely the stand outhere and you can get great quality images for great prices – some 3D renderingservices are available from as low as 200 € per image. Sadly, it is not allrosy and peachy…remember good old Sod and his Law? Well, selecting a 3Drendering service based on a website alone can really be very tricky…

There canbe a higher risk associated with outsourcing, for example, websites that displayincredible 3D renders and architectural visualisations, which unfortunately donot reflect the quality of the work when you receive it or websites thatrequire an upfront payment with little or no guarantee. My advice is that whenin doubt; ask for references and additional pertinent information from theirsupport team.

Finallyanother thing to keep in mind when outsourcing 3D rendering services online islanguage… The last thing you want on a tight deadline are complications broughtabout by language barriers. One thing for sure, when you do find that 3Drendering services online it can befantastic!

3DRendering Platforms and Job Platforms

Thisbrings me to the last point and this is an interesting one because 3D renderingplatforms have evolved through trying to eliminating or reduce the risksassociated with outsourcing 3D rendering services, while keeping all of theiradvantages. As a result, 3D rendering platforms are a mixture of the tworesources mentioned above and offer a range of quality and price.

Sowhat is a 3D Rendering Platform?

3D renderingplatforms usually act as a medium connecting architects, engineers, designersto 3D Artists from all over the world. In this way you, as the client, have accessto numerous 3D Artists and are able to decide which 3D Artist to work with,based on their portfolio style, their reviews and recommendations, the cost ofthe project etc. The flexibility of this type of architectural rendering servicemeans that you can “hand pick” the 3D Artist whose 3D rendering style and pricematches your specifications. Just like you would a pineapple at thesupermarket!

The redflags associated with this is language… As we mentioned earlier the last thing youwant on a tight deadline is a language barrier. For this reason many platformsshow you the languages your 3D Artist speaks or encourages you to providefeedback at the end of the job for future clients.

But whatabout payment protection and fraud? Well you must make sure your 3D rendering platformoffers payment protection or an escrow service. Escrow services are used tokeep your money safe until you are happy with the quality of the work. Givingboth parties piece of mind that they will get what they wanted! Like Imentioned earlier when in doubt; ask for more information from their supportteam.


Toconclude, there are a number of varying advantages and disadvantages to considerwhen it comes to the real costs of 3D renderingservices and the best way to determine the service that gives the best valuefor your money.

To me,the most important and probably the single aspect that would really determinethe price of the project in the long run is management through effectivecommunication. How you communicate with the 3D Artist on a platform, in astudio or via email will ultimately determine whether you made the right choiceor not.

Thinkabout your project and your needs because if the cheaper alternative causesmore trouble than results, then the pricier option might be the wiser choice tobegin with. Be aware - if the prices of 3D rendering and architectural renderingservices seems too good to be true, then it probably is!