Today, the use of 3D visualization is becoming a standard among architecture professionals. It helps them present their concepts to clients, market their services, and create striking portfolios. But while many architects agree that using CGI in their work is a great idea, they choose different ways of procuring those visuals. Some outsource architectural visualization services and others hire in-house teams of 3D artists or even try doing it themselves. So, which way is better?

Surely, the answer depends on a particular architecture firm’s needs and resources. However, the outsourcing option does have a number of unbeatable advantages. For instance, partnering up with a professional architectural visualization company can help to optimize workflow and expenses. At the same time, it allows architects to get a greater variety of CG visuals. How does it all work? Continue reading and find out!

#1. Optimization of Expenses

Businesspeople Estimating the Cost of Architectural Visualization Services

First things first, hiring in-house 3D artists means providing employee benefits packages and paying employment taxes. And that’s on top of the salaries, of course. Furthermore, an efficient team of architectural CGI specialists must include several 3D modelers and visualizers, as well as animation and post-production experts. All of this makes the creation of an in-house computer graphics department a costly endeavor.

The benefit of outsourcing architectural visualization services is rather evident in this case. An architecture firm can significantly reduce its expenses on CG by choosing to work with a professional contractor. Because this way, architects only pay for the services. So, there are no employment taxes, no non-monetary obligations, and no need to support a whole 3D visualization department.

#2. High Speed of Work

A Hand Holding a Stopwatch

Getting 3D architectural visualization done by a big specialized studio can really speed up project development. Because such studios employ hundreds of highly-skilled 3D artists. Those are people that have worked together on many projects and perfected their workflow over time. They know each other’s capabilities and they know everything about visualizing architecture and design. And when they are faced with a large-scale assignment, they divide it into smaller tasks. This way, several teams can efficiently work on the same project simultaneously.

Another thing that deserves attention here is professional project management. Top-level providers of architectural visualization services employ well-trained project managers. They organize the work of the teams of 3D artists and make sure that the results are always delivered on time. Moreover, project managers are responsible for the final quality control of the CG visuals. They check whether all of the client’s requirements have been fulfilled and whether the images are up to the studio’s standards. This way, they ensure that there will be no time-consuming do-overs.

This is the level of organization of the work processes that one cannot achieve in a day with a handful of people. And it’s crucial for delivering even the most complex, high-quality architectural visuals fast. Therefore, it’s much easier to outsource 3D visualization services and leave all the stress related to managing this entire process to experienced professionals.

#3. Multiple Kinds of Services

Now, having a large number of highly-qualified specialists doesn’t only contribute to the speed of architectural visualization. It also allows CGI studios to provide a wider range of services. For instance, they can offer the creation of 3D animation, interactive 3D panoramas and virtual tours, AR and VR models. Making large-scale hyperrealistic visualizations of whole blocks and cities becomes possible as well.

Furthermore, a studio providing architectural visualization services can employ 3D artists with very particular fields of expertise. For instance, there can be those who specialize in visualizing interiors and those who can build breathtaking exteriors. Then, some CGI professionals are particularly good at making CG images of residential buildings, while others are the best at recreating commercial and industrial designs. And, of course, there are gurus of 3D animation and people who can work absolute magic in post-production.

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The list can go on, but the idea here is clear. An outsource architectural CG studio can afford to employ 3D artists with narrow specialization and is capable of providing multiple kinds of services. It makes a very strong offer compared to what an in-house team of CGI specialists can achieve. So, those architects that want to get exceptional quality and various formats of 3D visuals should definitely consider outsourcing.

#4. The Use of Top Software and Hardware

A Render Farm with Professional Hardware

Professional software and hardware required for the production of high-quality CGI can cost an architecture firm a small fortune. At the same time, using subpar programs and equipment, one will get unsatisfactory results. Plus, it will take ages to produce them. Naturally, many architecture companies can’t afford to spend an enormous chunk of their budget on software and hardware for 3D visualization.

In this case, outsourcing architectural visualization services is the best solution. First of all, professional CGI studios only use licensed software for 3D modeling and rendering. Some of the most popular choices are 3Ds Max with plugins for visualization, Photoshop for post-production, and Cinema 4D for animation. All those programs need powerful equipment to run properly. That’s why outsourcing 3D visualization companies also have professional hardware. It includes regular computers that 3D artists work on, as well as computers used specifically for rendering. The latter form the so-called render farms, where many machines are connected to work together as one system.

The great thing about render farms is that they allow architectural CGI specialists to deliver visuals faster. The process of 3D rendering is purely automatic and requires no involvement of 3D artists once it’s been started. During this stage, computers generate photorealistic 2D views of the 3D scenes created by CG experts. This process can take hours and even days depending on the complexity of the scene and the power of the hardware. Therefore, specialized 3D visualization companies invest in render farms to make the turnaround time for their orders as short as possible. And architects can benefit from that tremendously, especially in cases of urgent projects.

#5. Access to Libraries of Pre-Made 3D Assets

A Collection of 3D Models for Exterior Visualization

Last but not least of the benefits of outsourcing architectural visualization services is access to a studio’s library with a great variety of high-quality 3D assets. Those include 3D models, textures, and scenes. The possibility to use those pre-made assets contributes to the speed of project delivery and helps to lower the cost. Because in this case, CGI specialists will do less custom 3D modeling, which is expensive and time-consuming.

Furthermore, having access to thousands of stylish 3D objects in one place, architects can get sublime settings for their designs without looking for every single piece of reference elsewhere. Then, many professional 3D visualization companies allow their clients to create personal libraries with assets designed for them or used in the previous projects. This way, nothing will ever get lost and there will be no need for doing the same things again or looking for the necessary files for hours.

Also, it’s possible to modify ready-to-use items to make them fit perfectly in a scene. For example, 3D artists can change the colors of decor items and textures to fully realize the client’s vision. Most importantly, one can do that in the blink of an eye. Overall, the availability of libraries with 3D assets is yet another thing in favor of outsourcing 3D visualization services.

Those were the 5 solid reasons why architects should outsource CGI production instead of doing it in-house or on their own. As one can see, the main benefits of this approach include lower project costs, faster delivery, exceptional quality of the final visuals, and convenience for architecture professionals. Therefore, by outsourcing architectural visualization services, firms can improve their workflow and the outcomes of their projects while sticking to a reasonable budget. And, of course, leaving the making of CG visuals to professionals really helps architects to reduce the overall work-related stress.

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Ana Wayne
Content Writer, Copywriter

Ana is a content writer for ArchiCGI. She has a passion for design and architecture - and for talking about it. Outside of work, she is a fan of sci-fi movies and a street food connoisseur.