Purchasing and learning rendering software on your own is expensive and time consuming. Here are some alternatives to handle all your visualization needs.
As you might have read on this blog before, becoming a professional 3D rendering artist is no casual walk in the park. It requires hours upon hours of hard work, learning, and probably some kind of dedicated education program that takes you from “what’s Rhino?” to “hold my beer and watch me as I suspend your disbelief.” We get that. We also get that you’re here because the industry you represent, weather it’s real estate marketing, promotional branding, or even architectural design, requires that you have the ability to pull the most high-quality renderings and visualizations at a moment's notice.
Time to get resourceful.
The good news is there are plenty of services and opportunities out there that offer wonderful, time-saving alternatives to trudging down the path of producing the artwork yourself. This list is especially useful for small businesses and freelancers who simply don’t have the resources to have an experienced 3D rendering artist on staff. These rendering software alternatives will bolster your range of services without crippling your business.
1 | Job Finding Service Like Easy Render
One of the best resources to finding yourself a capable, professional, and experienced 3D rendering artist is Easy Render. It is an easy-to-use freelance database that allows you to browse, search, and stumble upon some of the best artists in the world, who are available to work on your project at a moment's notice. Connecting with people who focus solely on creating any and all assortments of renderings, visualizations, diagrams, and photo-realistic images frees up your time to focus on what you do best.
Using a service like Easy Render takes a lot of the stress out of finding someone who can do the job and do it right. There are thousands upon thousands of freelancers out there, but without a reputable outfit that effectively weeds out the pros from the scammers, you can search for hours on end and leave yourself open to getting burned. Each artist that registers with Easy Render is carefully vetted, and you’ll have access to their full portfolio before even engaging them in conversation. Whether you’re in need of a little help or a lot, Easy Render will point you in the appropriate direction.
2 | Full Service Firm Like Architecture CGI
If you weary about bringing on a freelancer for your rendering and visualization needs, Architecture CGI is a great resource to keep in your back pocket. They are a team of designers, artists, and rendering specialists that will work closely with you to produce the images, animations, and 3D visualizations to make your projects pop. They target four specific industries: manufacturers, designers, architects, and developers. This means their range of ability and experience varies widely.
This level of experience and talent means you’re probably going to be investing a bit more money into your renderings. If you can swallow this financial pill, the results will be more than worth the extra few drops in the pot. They’ve also set up a rigorous and quality-control driven feedback loop that ensures you are getting exactly the end results you have in mind. For firms and offices large enough to have a consultant like Architecture CGI on the books, the investment will pay itself back in impressed, happy, and loyal clients and customers.
3 | Classified Service Like Craigslist
I know, I know, there’s a lot to be concerned about when trying to find reliable help on the internet’s most notoriously inconsistent job-finding service. However, for small offices or individuals looking for someone to help them with their rendering needs, Craigslist has a lot to offer. That is, of course, if you’re willing to bite the proverbial bullet and put in the work to find someone that can actually help you. If you’re not careful, you could end up hiring a second or fourth rate rendering ‘artist’ who will send you back a half-baked crayon drawing before draining your bank account of any and all funds.
Yes, there are scams out there, but they are usually pretty easy to spot. Stay away from anything that even remotely stinks, and you’ll probably be fine. A little bit of vetting can go a long way to easing your stress when it comes to hiring off Craigslist. Skype meetings are a great way to see what you’re getting yourself into. With a bit of digging, you’re bound to run into someone who will be affordable, available, and still do great work.
4 | Ask A Friend
If you are in the design, architecture, or real estate business, chances are you know a friend or two who can lend a helping hand if it comes down to it. I wouldn’t suggest you engage in any long-term relationships with friends (unless there is an extreme level of trust), but having a capable companion that will help you out with limited rendering needs is a great vein to tap in a pinch. And if you don’t have any money to spend, offer a trade of services, or pizza and beer, or anything that says “thank you for being awesome.”
5 | Learn Just Enough to Get By
There is a lot of information, pieces of software, and general education that comes along with becoming a professional rendering artists. However, if you are willing to put in a bit of pointed, highly focused work into learning just enough to get by, you might be surprised with how much you can get away with. Starting with user friendly programs like SketchUp and a limited amount of Photoshop gives you the tools you need to produce some artwork and visualization that will ensure you aren’t going to the well any time you need rendering help.
Better yet, increasing your skillset - no matter which industry you’re coming from - is never a bad thing. Continuing your education tends to teach you about more than just the ins and outs of a piece of software, it connects you with a supplementary industry that will make it easier to find help if you need it. There is no better way to find good visualization help than to be engaged with the community itself. It’s like when you go to France and as long as you attempt to speak a little French, locals will appreciate the effort and be more willing to help you out. It’s exactly like that.
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So, it turns out there are plenty of options for offices, freelancers, and individuals who are looking for a bit of a leg up when it comes to their visualization output. In the end, it all comes up to where you want to be allocating your time and your monetary resources to be as efficient as possible - both from an artistic and business perspective. Feel out what works best for your business, and start there. Just know there is no one right way to up your rendering game, and everyone is going to find the road that fits their wheels best.