Before offshoring 3D architectural rendering services, it is necessary to bear in mind the requirements to ensure you choose the appropriate strategic partner to implement retail 3D rendering:
1. Software - A third party of offshore provider must demonstrate software experience and competence. There are many software programs that provide panoramic views, aerial views, walkthroughs and details of interiors, texture and material. Some of the more popular 3D rendering solutions for retail renders include AutoCAD Architecture, Revit Architecture, 3Ds Max, V-Ray and Adobe Photoshop. For 3D rendering, a combination of 3ds Max, V-Ray and Photoshop can be used. For 3D models and Retail BIM, Revit Architecture, Revit MEP tools and AutoCAD is generally used. To simplify the drawing process and speed up the design production process, some companies create and manage libraries as blocks (for AutoCAD) or as families (for Revit).
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2. Resources - When offshoring retail 3D rendering, one must make sure that the team is qualified and skilled with experience in retail design, documentation and project management. While a skilled team of interior designers and architects will be required for complex projects, skilled 3DS Max, V-Ray and Photoshop users with an appreciation of interior design will suffice for projects that require basic 3D rendering. Some companies provide dedicated offshore resource teams that only work on a single client account for the provision of retail and architectural rendering services.
3. Input / Output Formats - For retail renders the inputs and outputs should be understood by both parties so that scope is clear. Typically working drawings and plans are provided as the input documents and the output is a 3D model, rendered images from that model, interior images and exterior storefront images. Google Street view images are used for exterior storefront images if reference images are not provided by the client. Sometimes a photomontage is required to artistically display how the storefront blends in with the locality.
4. Turnaround Time - Depending on the size of the project, each image can take around 25 hours for only rendering and 28 hours for modeling and rendering. However, it could take 48 hours if the requirement is complex. Keeping turnaround time in mind, clients need to be clear about their expectations and provide complete information to avoid revisions.
5. Quality Check - Ideally the partner should have good quality and mitigation processes in place, particularly to review work in progress images. An efficient partner will usually create pilot render images, which are faster to create compared to a detailed high-quality image, to check if output is as per standards specified by the client. Technical and colour checks are conducted to check for specifications such as highlighting shadows, reflections, dusk and dawn views, focus on front elevation.
As a pilot render takes from 10-30 minutes, a final rendering can take upwards of 4 hours due to higher levels of detail and a more complex image configuration. To avoid loss of time and effort, calculations on the type of material, colours, reflections, shadows and textures need to be checked before rendering. Some characteristics that need to be observed to check the quality of 3D renders include, clarity of the image, noise, duplicated objects and unrealistic elements.
6. Communication - For rendering projects, communication between offshore teams is usually carried out via email, video chat or voice calls. For file transfers, FTP or secure online collaboration tools are used to transfer documents to different geographic locations. Ensuring that all these communication channels are set up at the start can help to ensure seamless information exchange.
Offshoring Retail Rendering Successfully
To make offshoring of the retail rendering process successful it is important to understand the expectations of the project assignment before contracting the process. The lack of clarity only leads to more revisions and higher costs. Sending clear feedback with references helps designers understand what is expected. Once a rendered 3D image is received, a review of the image keeping in mind the actual space, such as the position of doors, windows and railings, the colours and patterns, furniture fixtures and overall lighting will ensure faster results with higher levels of approval. Retail 3D rendering is best completed with the latest software that is used by skilled designers to reduce production time, design cycles and time delays.
With rendered 3d retail images it is possible to reduce the time taken for design reviews and design approval. Moreover, using an external lower cost provider to create such images means that the option of sharing 3D images with a wider audience become possible and allows different stakeholders to plan, decide, design, organise or implement the project in a more collaborative environment.