3D Visualization Photomontage Techniques

Is it for marketing or planning?

Before you even begin developing your montage, a key consideration must be whether your images will be used for planning applications or for marketing/promotional purposes.  Planning montages will to secure planning permission or convince stakeholders, and should therefore be as realistic as possible.  You want to clearly show how your product will function in its real life context; in architecture, you want to not only show as clearly as you can how the new building will look, but also how it will affect its environment.  For example, if you are renovating a series of shop fronts on a commercial street, you’ll want to illustrate how the development will improve the street overall, bringing in more shoppers and raising the value of property there.    Marketing montages, however, are different as they will be used to sell the development.  This could be selling your new design to your client or maybe used as part of your bid for a contract to local government, or maybe they will be sent to the marketing team in order to find new home owner to buy property in a new housing scheme.  Renders for marketing or promo use  should be bright, optimistic and inviting, and while you don’t want to cover your render in glitter and unicorns. you can take a bit more artistic license than a purely technical rendering.  You may even want to make different versions of the same render, one for marketing and one for planning.

Include images of different angles

It sounds like an obvious choice, but one thing that is going to seriously impress your clients and let them know that you’ve done an outstanding job is to include montages of the new building from all different angles and elevations.  From a design perspective, this will help you a lot in making sure that your design is perfect no matter where it is seen from, but more importantly it is going to help the client, investor or shareholder see the project from all different sides and be confident that you’ve fully thought everything through.  If you’re not sure what elevations you should use, go online and check out some tutorials to get ideas from other artists.

Before and after views

Including before and after views with the montage is extremely helpful as it lets the client recognize the location and feel familiar with it, while also showing the affect that your design will have on the surroundings.  In the case of architectural developments, it can have the added bonus of impressing on your client how much of a positive change your building will bring to an existing site.  You might be planning the renovation of someone’s dream home or the office space of the business they may have put their life’s work into.  You cannot underestimate how important these are to your client, and before and after views will help you convince them that your design is the best.  You may also want to include an image with the new developments transparently superimposed over the existing building to really show it off.

Add in objects to give a sense of scale

in renders for both planning and marketing, it is a good idea to add in some objects that give a sense of scale, such as trees, cars or people.  For starters, adding them in is going to make fill your render with life, making it much more interesting and appealing.  Don’t go overboard, but remember that, especially with marketing renders, you are trying to sell your design.  A bare montage of a new gym isn’t going to impress anyone, but add in some cars in the parking lots and some people going in and out will give it a warm and friendly feel, and making your client feel assured that the new gym will be a success.  But these objects aren’t just good aesthetically.  Just as important is the sense of scale they bring to the render, which might not be clear if your photograph is from a sparse or unpopulated area.  Remember, more often than not your clients or investors are not trained architects, so anything that makes them better able to understand the proposal, especially the sense of scale, is going to help you a lot.

 Pay attention to Lighting

Depending on the location you are using, the best lighting may be at a certain time of day, such as noon or dusk, and you’ll need to take this into account while taking or selecting the photograph.  While it may seem to obvious to even point out, it is worth bearing in mind that your photomontage is going to look rather strange the lighting in the digitally rendered content does not match that of the photograph.  Pay special attention to any vegetation, cars, people or other objects you may have added into the render; if their lighting and shading doesn’t match the rest of the image, they are going to ruin the whole thing.  Luckily, Photoshop has many tools that can help you with this.

 Get some site data

One of the best kept secrets of photomontage renders, experienced architects will always advise you to get the site data before starting your photomontage render.  Not only will you need to consider to the topography of the area during the planning phase, having access to any survey or topographical data for the site of the photomontage will be of considerable assistance in ensuring an accurate and realistic image.  Photographs, depending on their angle and elevation, might not fully show the land you want to build on and can hide uneven ground.  The site data will clearly illustrate these.

What Kind of jobs can I get in 3D visualization?

As you can imagine, given just how far-reaching the scope of this work is and how many industries, both huge and niche, that it can be used in, 3D visualization is used in just about everything you can think of, and the rapid advancement in rendering technologies means that 3D visualizers can be found working in almost any area which requires digital images. While 3D visualization is most noticeable in industries such as architecture and consumer product design, the rapid advancement in rendering technologies means that 3D visualizers can be found working in almost any area which requires digital images.  Whether freelance or members of a professional service, careers can be carved out in such diverse areas as events planning, stage and set design, pharmaceutical and medical research, robotics, automation, automotive design and production and geological surveying.  If there is a need for 3D digital content to be created, there’s a good chance a 3D visualization artist is there, hard at work.

Some of the most popular areas for a 3D artist to work in are as follows:

Architecture:  Just do a google search for ‘CGI architectural render’ and you’ll understand why architects are leading the charge in the use of 3D software.  They render stunning visualisations of their designs, far exceeding traditional hand drawn or watercolour architectural rendering.

Product design:   These days, everything from Pepsi can to Lamborghinis are designed using 3D graphics engines, as the advantages CGI software gives design teams is astronomical.  Even bespoke and custom designers use modelling programs like Sculptris to test out their designs.  3D visualisers render photorealistic depictions of their concepts without having to go through expense and effort of a conventional photo shoot, and the ability to alter minor details, such as colours or surface textures, allows for products to be refined and tweaked long before a working prototype is built.

Robotics/Automation: Robotics are becoming ever more prevalent in our lives, and skilled 3D visualisers are indispensible in the development cycle when it comes to designing new round refining them.  While  humanity still seems a long way of making giant anthropomorphic robots, producing automatons for factories, unmanned flight devices for the military and agricultural robots keeps this $135 Billion industry ticking along nicely.

Data science:  Our modern world is built on data, and one of the keys skills employers are looking for in data managers and analysts is the ability to visualise data in 3D, and they are looking to hire professionals with backgrounds in 3D visualisation.   It might not be the most rock’n’roll use of 3D graphics software, but it’s a burgeoning industry, and companies are headhunting ivy league graduates for internships..

Stage and set design:  Hollywood blockbusters, Broadway shows and pyrotechnic-laden rock shows all have one thing in common; 3D visualisers are designing their sets and stages long before the carpenters and engineers are on the scene.

Mobile App development:  Smart phones are getting smarter every generation, and their capacity for 3D graphics has become so great that you can even run fully 3D video games in the latest versions of ios and Android.  As such, companies developing mobile apps are looking to bring 3D capabilities onto their teams for all manner of purposes, from 3D visualisations of data and programming to the graphics of the apps themselves.

Medical research and modelling:  Not the most obvious choice on our list, but you’d be surprised to know how many 3D artists work in medicine.  They could be designing prosthetic limbs, creating medical models to help doctors examine patients or visualising data on the spreads of infections, and you shouldn’t forget that doctors are not the only ones who are saving lives.

Getting started in 3D visualization

There may be a few maverick 3D artists who managed to establish themselves purely on their own talent and self-taught skills, but the majority of professional visualizers out there started off with a university or college degree in a related field, such as graphic design, £D animation or computing.  After graduation, securing an internship at an established studio or company is is going to be the most beneficial way to both kick start a career and get more skills and training, as companies invest in their interns by providing them with industry-specific training, whether in house or outsourced.  After the internship, most choose to stay on with that company, although you’ll have training and experience under your belt so you’ll have the option of looking elsewhere as most companies look minimum 2 years experience in their specific field for new employees.  Some may even choose to take the plunge and go self-employed, either on their own or by starting their own company.

3D visualizer salary

While a visualizer’s salary will of course vary between different companies and depending upon the employee’s experience and qualifications, 3D visualizers can expect to earn well, with many junior positions starting at around $40-$65K per year and many senior positions with a starting salary of over $65K.

A casual survey of freelancers online shows that a freelance 3D visualizer can charge anything from $10-$120 per hour, although rates vary a lot depending on location, experience and the quality of the artists’ portfolio.  However, it should be borne in mind that while a freelance artist might have a high-hourly rate, this is often to balance the huge overheads working for yourself can have in this industry, as the licenses for the software and a computer powerful enough to run them don’t come cheap.

Our Photo Montage Photoshop Tutorial

1 Getting Started

Your first step in making a great photomontage render will be to import the photo of the development site into Photoshop.  Don’t forget to keep a copy of the original photo; you’ll want to show your client some before and after shots, especially if this is a renovation project.

Your next step is to adjust your photograph to the size and scale you want.  Once this is done, you’re ready to add in your raw 3D model into photo shop and superimpose it over space in which it will be built. Pay special attention to ensuring that you’ve got the correct scale and position for the model – use Photoshop’s ‘free transform’ tool to help. If you’re having trouble getting this right, try out this slick little tip we learned from top architects; reduce the opacity of the model to 70%, making it slightly translucent, and then place it over the background before putting the opacity back up. We must stress that you really can’t rush this part; take your time, and make sure that the 3D image fits the photograph perfectly.

2 Get rid of unnecessary parts

Use the ‘layer mask’ and ‘Brush’ tools to delete or hide any unwanted elements in the image.  For example, you may be making a montage of a new development on a busy high street.  Your photo could have bits of rubbish on the road, or pedestrians and cars that are blocking important elements in your design.  It is essential that you zoom in on any smaller areas or parts with fine details, and use a smaller diameter brush for this.  While this is quite an essential step in cleaning up your image, don’t get out of control with it.  If you start removing fixed features like street lamps, trees, hedges or such, you might actually be doing yourself a and your work a disservice as your making the render unrealistic.

Add in a sky if needed

The sky in the photo of the development site might already be stunning, and in that case, you can skip this step.  However, it is quite common to add a different image of the sky to the photomontage in order to enhance the image or get a certain type of effect, such as a night time shot or a sunrise shot.  Getting the new sky in is pretty easy; all you need to do is import the new photo into Photoshop and set it to to the appropriate layer.  Care will have to be taken, however, in making the new sky fit properly into the photomontage.

4 Color correction

Now that we have all the elements of the image in their proper places, its time to star processing it.  The first thing you’ll want to think of is getting the color correction down.  Remember, you’ve just composed a montage of a bunch of different images, so obviously the colours in each part aren’t going to match the others. Luckily though, Photoshop has al manner of tools for getting the colors right.  You can start with adjusting the tonality by clicking on ‘Levels’ and ‘curves’, and get those fine touches by clicking on ‘Color Balance’ and ‘Hue/Saturation’.  Don’t forget to pay attention to the white balance as well.

5 Give texture to your 3D model

Now that we’ve got the background sorted, it’s time to help make that raw 3D model you imported a few steps ago look like something from the real world, rather than something computer-generated.  This is achieved by adding textures. Some artists will create their own textures in Photoshop, but with so many great texture resources available for free online it’s not always necessary.  Start by importing the textures you want into Photoshop, and then stretch and fit them to the target surface. Next, use the blend tools to blend the texture layer and the background layers together to get the most realistic effect.  Lastly, remove an unwanted texture areas.

6 Lighting

The last major job you’ll have to take, and definitely one of the most important in making the whole scene a cohesive whole is to correct the lighting.   As you are going for photorealism, remember that you are not just looking at general lighting issues  like contrast and shadows; you want to make this look as close to real life as possible so throw in some blurring, lens glare and ambient occlusion to imitate the appearance of real photography.  You can also get a little creative with the lighting in order to highlight certain points of interest and make them ‘pop’.  Another thing to consider it an light sources you may have added to the render.  For example, if you’re making a photomontage of an interior design renovation project, you might have added in new lighting, such as wall lamps or new windows.  You’ll also need to adjust the light round these areas to make them look realistic.  If you are going to use special filters for specific effects, such as sepia tones or film grain, these can be added last of all..

3D Animation Services

3D animation services

 Looking to advertise a product?  Propose a new development to shareholders or investors?  Give your client a virtual tour for the project they have commissioned?  Presenting your designs through 3D animation is a brilliant solution to show not only your artistic direction but also give a clear and detailed technical rendition of the final product. However, unless you are part of a computer game, film, web development or animation studio, chances are you don’t have the facilities to develop 3D animations in-house.  Outsourcing to an animation services is definitely an option, but with so many companies varying for your business, check out our top tips for finding an outsource solution.

What Can 3D Animation Services Do?

 So, why would anyone want to invest in 3D animation services? What can be achieved with help from a 3D animator? The answers are really plentiful. In fact, you can achieve a great deal with help from a 3D animator. One of these professionals can help you create a commercial for one of your products. They can help you showcase your products or properties to your clients. With their assistance, you’ll be able to give your audience a virtual tour of your goods, whether it is a product or a property.

A 3D animation can make a huge difference and could help you seal the deal. In fact, you may even be able to negotiate for a higher price with a 3D animation by your side.

Be industry-specific

While a skilled artist might be able to have success in any design field, going with someone familiar with expertise and experience in your line of work should be a no-brainer.  Even small things, such as familiarity with the language and terms specific to your type of work will make the whole process much easier and faster.

Check out their website

Whether you go with a global or local firm or decide on a freelancer, your first port of call should be to carefully review their website, even before you think about portfolios.  Remember, a good animator or firm will want to display their skills at every opportunity, and if they don’t have a visually stunning website, they’re not worth even considering.

Check their portfolio against their client’s website

Obviously, a big part of selecting an animator will be through reviewing their online portfolio to see if they can give you the solution you need.  However, a disreputable company could easily fill their portfolio with work that was rejected by the client, so it’s a good idea to check their client’s websites to see if the final product was accepted and used.

Do your research

With websites specializing in testimonials and useful tools like Google reviews, you should look into reviews of the outsources from as many sources you can find in order to get the most objective opinion of them you can.  Don’t be afraid to directly contact their former clients either.

Speak With Them Directly

Before signing on the dotted line, you’ll want to make sure that you speak with the 3D animator directly. Use the initial conversation to feel out the professional and see whether or not you feel comfortable with them. Do they seem knowledge and trustworthy? Do you legitimately believe that they can get the job done in a satisfactory and time efficient manner? Always rely on your emotions and feelings, because they could help you avoid a disastrous situation.

Always Shop Around

 Finally, you should always be willing to shop around. After you’ve completed the steps above, you should ask each of the candidates for quotes for the project in question. Use the quotes to find the best company at the best price. Remember that the most affordable firm might not always be the best. Quality is often more important and you cannot put a price tag on it! After all, your future could depend on the quality of their 3D animation.

The Best 3D Visualization Software

Finding the right 3D visualisation software for you is going to be something of a journey in itself; there is no objectively ‘best’ software out there, and every professional in this industry has their own opinion on which one you should use.  Choosing the right package for you has to factor in your personal needs, area of work, budget and prior expertise in using such programs.  However, you’ll be happy to know that, like in every industry, there’s a few roses that have risen above the thorns, and you’ll find that certain names keep cropping up again and again.  Therefore we can recommend that you look into the following well-regarded and critically-received programs to see if they suit your requirements.

Your PC and your CGI dreams

Some of the prices of the high-end software might shock you, but even these prices can be deceiving; you’ll also need a computer with the specifications and hardware required to run whichever program you want.  Thus, ‘can my rig run this thing properly?’ should be one of the biggest questions to consider.

Don’t forget that software developers specify both ‘minimum’ and ‘recommended’ system requirements for their programs; meeting the recommended specs ensures that you can run the software comfortably and largely without worry, while having the minimum specs will mean that the software could tax your computer considerably and have repercussions on your machine’s longevity.  Furthermore, the power under your PCs hood will determine how fast the software will run; rendering 3D graphics can take a long time, and as time is money, programs running slowly could end up costing you more in the long run than forking out enough cash to upgrade your personal computer.

Beginner/Intermediate software

Are you looking to pick up 3D visualisation from scratch?  Whether you want to dive right in and immerse yourself or just dip your toes, there are a number of surprisingly versatile programs for beginners to get stuck into, without having to spend thousands on licences. Here are a few of our top picks, perfect for both a hobbyist or a beginner.

Sculptris / free / win, mac (http://pixologic.com/sculptris/)

Pixologic’s Sculptris is rightly recognised as one of the best free digital sculptors available, and is well-regarded for its easy-to-use interface and gentle learning curve.  However, it seems to work best as a tool used in conjunction with other, more expensive software, such as Maya and Blender

Clara.io / free or premium version $100 per year / browser (https://clara.io/)

Innovation is no stranger to Clara.io, a potent 3D visualising program that has a wealth of powerful tools and can even be used for 3D animation.  Clara.io’s real strength, however, lies in its collaborative capacities; much like Google Docs, you can easily share your files with other Calar.io users and allow them to work on your design, allowing for true collaboration at the click of a mouse.

SketchUp /$600 for premium / win, mac / (https://www.sketchup.com)

Designed for flexible application, SketchUp is a versatile program that is simple and not too difficult to master.  While it is mostly used in architectural rendering, interior design and real estate development, its uses don’t extend to far beyond that.  However, if this is your industy, SketchUp is a solid choice.

Professional / Industry-level software

Blender /free/ win, mac, linux / (https://www.blender.org/)

Proof that sometimes the best things in life are actually free, Blender is an open-source 3D powerhouse that can do a little bit of everything.  It’s steep learning curve and sometimes strange design choices require patience and perseverance, but it excels in its capacity for multi-stage development, with tools to take care of all manner of tasks from modelling through rendering to full 3D animation.  It’s clear to see why Blender is a championed by its passionate independent following.

3DS Max /£204 per month / windows (www.autodesk.co.uk)

A marquee product of premium software developer Autodesk, 3DS Max can be found in offices and studios the world over in industries such as video game development, architectural visualization, and visual effects.  Mastering it will take both training and patience, but what else would you expect from one of the best 3D visualisation tools on the market?

AutoCad / £186 per month / (www.autodesk.co.uk)

Another product from Autodesk, AutoCad isn’t going to get a lot on highly artistic and graphical visualisation projects. However, for engineering, industrial or architectural visualisation or product design, AutoCAD is the go-to program for many companies, and it’s use is taught in many engineering degrees.

Cinema 4D visualise /$2,295 per year /win, mac (/www.maxonshop.com)

Cinema 4D has a reputation as one of the best for 3D modelling, and its advanced tools for adding layers of complexity to its models make it great for visualisations.  The only drawback is that it doesn’t go much further than 3D modelling, so those looking to use animations in their projects might be better off with something else.

Inventor / $2060 per year / win, mac (https://www.autodesk.co.uk/products/inventor/overview)

Another high-quality Autodesk product, Inventor is specifically designed for prototypes and proof of concept designs for mechanical products.  As such, it is highly efficient useful product simulation, mechanical design, and tool development.  As expected from Autodesk, Inventor is a versatile and powerful tool if you have the technical expertise to use it..

Solidworks /£9950/ windows (https://www.3ds.com/)

Much like its chief competitor, Inventor, Solidworks produces wonderful solutions for visualisation specifically geared towards mechanical and industrial engineering, and is commonly used in aerospace, nautical, automotive and industrial product design.  It has also been used in medical modelling and architectural design. As you might imagine, anyone using this software will need fairly advanced engineering skills and extensive training.

3 Effective Property Development Marketing Strategies

Choosing the right property advertising strategies when selling your property is necessary to achieve desirable results. No matter what kind of property you’re selling, marketing strategies will surely be beneficial.

However, before you start choosing the right marketing strategy, you should first know what property development marketing is all about.

What is Property Development Marketing?

Property development marketing is all about creating effective marketing strategies to encourage people to buy your property. Aside from that, it can also open many doors for new potential buyers and for people who want to do business with you.

Always remember that the most significant factor that affects your campaign is you. If you are starting a business, you are also beginning to create your brand, so make sure to choose the right marketing strategies. In connection to that, you should make sure that you’re respectable and you know how to handle yourself. Earning respect from clients starts with professionally-designed business cards and communicating professionally with your clients. Possess desirable qualities like honesty, integrity and professionalism 24/7 and people will inevitably begin noticing you.

You may think that applying marketing strategies would be quite expensive. That idea is the most common misconception made by people who are not yet aware of the industry, most primarily by a newcomer. The amount of effort that you will put into your real estate marketing mainly depends on you.

Take for example social media marketing and networking – these two are free, it requires minimum to zero investment from your marketing budget. With those marketing strategies, you can advertise your business and reach many people without spending too much money. Establishing your brand successfully, creating an effective marketing campaign, and having consistent communication with your clients are the key factors in achieving an excellent word-of-mouth system.

Three Marketing Strategies That Will Engage More Clients to Your Business

A good marketing campaign must make an excellent first impression to clients or other potential buyers for it to be called successful and efficient. If you are planning to advertise your business through the use of social media, then you need to do it efficiently. But promoting your business is not enough, you need to be creative and do more than that.

You can try including some humor or something that can pique the interest of anyone who sees your campaign. You can also add some information which might be interesting or helpful to your potential clients.

However, some marketing strategies are full of surprises – clients and competitors won’t see them coming because investors prefer a silent campaign. To do that, investors will target a particular group of individuals or find properties that are off-the-market. If you make a quiet attack as an investor, you can make sure that you can get a particular deal without going out in the open.

If you want to make your property development marketing business successful, then you might consider applying these three marketing strategies:

  1. Try to find properties that are off the market

Multiple Listing Service or MLS may not include Off-market real estate properties. If you are interested in applying this marketing strategy to your business, then you should make sure that you can complete some vital tasks. You should be able to do some market research first and follow your due diligence. These kinds of properties can be beneficial to investors because owners sell them at a lower price.

However, you might be wondering how you can locate a particular property if they are not on the MLS. All you have to do is to undertake a lot of networking – useful and beneficial networking. You need to establish a network involving a lot of people, especially with wholesalers, local builders, and estate lawyers.

Aside from those, you can also find these properties by attending auctions – either online or traditional. Auctions are a great place in finding foreclosed properties, bank owned properties, and short-sale properties. But make sure to do your homework and research everything about the property before you get too excited about placing your offer.

  1. Target People that are Motivated to Sell

These kinds of people want to sell their property as soon as possible and will be willing to agree to even with the most unusual terms. They can be beneficial to an investor or a business since they can help them reap big profits. To add to the excitement, finding them is also a piece of cake.

You can find them by getting a copy of the “delinquent tax list” in your city. In the list, you can see the people that weren’t able to pay their taxes. Unpaid taxes mean that the city will foreclose the property soon.

If that happens, the people living in that property will be desperate to sell it Instead of waiting for the property to be foreclosed and not receiving even a single cent, they will be selling the property even at a low price.

  1. Make Use of Direct Mail

According to statistics, 92% of shoppers prefer receiving direct mail when they have to decide between buying something. Direct letters can provide many benefits to your business. Aside from the fact that they can remove from your business the need of doing complex analytics; it can also make your business stand out from other companies.

Direct mail is tangible; It can create a particular connection between the investor and potential client. Creating that kind of relationship cannot be achieved when you use email or social media advertising.

To start using direct mail as a marketing strategy, you need to identify the right audience first. You should also be specific as possible in creating your target list to achieve fantastic results. After that, you can start composing your mail – it should be something that would require action and not only to inform. If everything is ready, start sending them out.

Make sure to send them to a limited number of people, so you can easily track the results afterward. You can always repeat the process anyway, so don’t rush yourself.

There are many property marketing strategies available that are also effective. However, those the three which have been mentioned above are the most useful and beneficial to those who are only just starting in the industry.

What is Product Visualization

Product visualization, also called product rendering, is the process of realistically and accurately illustrating a product.  This visualization begins early in the design process, and can take the form of images, diagrams, plans, models and animations or any combination thereof.  The end product needs to not only clearly show the forms and functions of the design, but also communicate the ideas and concepts behind the products creation.

In more complex terms, product visualization requires the use of software for manipulating and viewing 3D models. It can play an integral role in product lifecycle management. Thanks to the high levels of photorealism, product visualization allows you to see the product before it is manufactured.

Kinds of product visualizations

There are a number of different approaches that can be taken in this process, and different types of visualization are effective for different purposes.  3D designs, animations and artistic renders are great marketing and promotional tools, while photorealistic renders will be more useful for investors or shareholders who need to understand the product to a more technical degree.  For engineers, craftsmen, constructors or patent applications, 2D technical visualizations would be best suited.

While there are many different types of product visualization, the end goal is almost always the same. The end goal should be to showcase the product in the best possible light. A true 3D artist will be able to achieve that goal with extreme precision. A combination of 2D and 3D visualizations can be used for the maximum impact.

Benefits of product visualization

At every stage in taking a product from its initially concept to its final design, product visualization is necessary.  Everything from presenting the product to shareholders, analysing the aesthetic and technical quality of the item, through creating prototypes, testing with focus groups and finally marketing and selling the product, visualization is key in assessing, amending and perfecting the design, and it will ultimately be a huge element in the products success. The benefits of product visualization are truly endless. First and foremost, this technology can greatly speed up the production process. Sure, it might be a sidestep so to speak, but it can make a big difference.

By using product visualization, you’ll be able to pinpoint potential problems in advance. This can help you rectify problems, before the product is ever delivered to the consumer. The visualization can also be very helpful for convincing others. Whether you’re trying to attract investors or seal the deal with the buyer, the product visualization can make a huge impact.

Who Uses Product Visualization?

Product visualization is primarily used by manufacturers. It can be used by companies that want to showcase their products to the customer through television or online commercials. The visualizations can also be used at tradeshows to entice investors and business partners. Product visualization could also be used by researchers and inventors.

How Is Product Visualization Achieved?

Generally, the product visualization will start with an idea of the product itself. You can also make a draft drawing on a piece of paper in front of you. After that, you’ll want to turn your work into a 3D object, which can be manipulated and viewed on the computer screen. There are numerous programs that are very beneficial for this purpose. Maxwell Render is one of the most popular. This software was developed by Next Limit Technologies. It is completely stand-alone and has been used in animation, film, and for product visualization. Various plug-ins are available, so the software can used for pretty much any purpose imaginable.

SOLIDWORKS offers another similar software. The software gives you the ability to design and market products better by transforming your idea and imagination into reality. The software, which was previously known as Bunkspeed, is standalone. It is compatible with many imported file formats as well.

The best product visualization Software

As you can imagine, with such a large industry of different designers working in their specific areas, there’s a lot of conjecture around which kind of software is going to give you the best options for product visualisation.  In truth, any fairly good 3D modelling and rending packages are going to be valuable in the hands of a skilled artist.  That said, here are a few of our top picks for 3D which are especially useful in product visualisation or industrial design.

TinkerCAD /free/ brower (https://www.tinkercad.com/)

An offshoot of the discontinued 123D Design from Autodesk, TinkerCAD is a simple yet powerful 3D modeller that runs right from your browser.  Through its simple interface and easy to learn interface, TinkerCAD is obviously popular with the hobbyist crowd, but you might not know that may industrial designers keep it on hand as a quick 3D modelling tool, especially as it is a great 3D printing tool. The perfect place for any beginner to start 3D sculpting.

SketchUp – /from $695/ win, mac (https://www.sketchup.com/)

SketchUp is a brilliant tool for designers starting out in product rendering thanks to its ease of use the speed at which it works.  If you want an intuitive solution with a gentle learning curve that will let you knock up stunning visualisations quickly and effectively,  SketchUp is worth considering.

Rhinoceros 3D /from $695 / win, osx (https://www.rhino3d.com)

Much like its namesake, Rhinoceros 3D is an absolute beast of an engine and comes with literally thousands of built-in sculpting tools for modelling and editing.  Throw in the fact that it is compatible with almost every design, rendering or animation software you can think of, Rhino might be one of the most versatile tools on the market for a visualisation.

Adobe Photoshop 3D / from £19 per month/ win, mac (www.adobe.com)

Whether it is used for a project from start to finish or just to add those finishing touches to a render from a different program, Photoshop is an industry standard, and anyone with experience using it will know exactly why.  With tools for rendering, editing, lighting and 3D animation, Photoshop is proficient in every area, and its license fees is barely a fraction of what other engines cost.

Zbrush /from $795/ win, osx / (http://pixologic.com/features)

Zbrush might be known for its use in HD graphics for games and films, but it is also a firm favourite with product visualisers due to its powerful plugins like NanoMesh, Arraymesh and GoZ.  Zbrush is known for allowing artists to cram an astounding amount of detail into their renders while still keeping a relatively low polygon count, and as such, it is used extensively in industries where very complex designs are required.

Autodesk Product Designer Suite /from £3,500/ win, mac (https://www.autodesk.com/suites/product-design-suite/overview)

The name really says it all here.  This package doesn’t come cheap, but it gives you a number of brilliant Autodesk programs, including industry stables like as Inventor, Vault  and AutoCAD, making sure that you are fully equipped for whatever problems the product visualisation industry can throw at you.

Punch Home Design Studio / $399.99 / win, mac (http://www.punchsoftware.com/)

With the word “punch” in the title, you know that this software has to have some power behind it, and that it does. This is without a doubt one of the most powerful and versatile rendering tool available on the market. Even if you are still learning and consider yourself a newbie, this tool is one of the best places to jump right in and start learning. With intuitive and comprehensive design tools you really won’t have a problem getting started and mastering the basics right away.

Cinema 4D / Starts at $600.00 and goes up/ win, mac (http://www.maxon.net/)

Cinema 4D is a powerful tool for beginners and experts that are looking to achieve breathtaking results fast and easy. With its wide range of tools and complete reliability this is the perfect tool for any fast-paced architect that needs to meet demands in a hurry.

MODO / $1799.00 a year / windows, Linux / (http://www.foundry.com/)

There is a good chance that you have probably never heard of MODO, but now is most certainly the time to check it out. Not only does it comes with an extremely powerful modeling program, but the on-board features are so easy to use. However, do not be fooled by the simplicity user interface, because this software has a unique set of cutting edge tools that other programs may not offer.

Octane Render / Starts at $399.00/ windows, mac, Linux / (http://home.otoy.com/)

Here is another 3D visualization software that is backed by a great brand. You know anything with the name Octane in the title is going to be bringing some firepower. This tool without a doubt lives up to the name, as it offers a large variety of textures and tutorials. When it comes to texture and lighting you will simply not find a tool with more options.

Lumion 3D / $1,857.94 / windows / (http://lumion.com/)

The biggest benefit of this software has got to be its compatibility. This software is compatible with just about any type 3D program you can think of. When you combine this with its walkthrough capabilities and animation integration, this really is a go-to 3D visualization program for any beginner looking to enhance their skills.

VRAY Maya/ $1,500 / windows, mac / (http://vray.us/)

When it comes to rendering software, VRAY has got to be at the top of the mountain. Even though it is already the best, it continues to evolve with continuous updates that are even impressing the most qualified experts in the field. Of course, you are going to have to pay for these kinds of features.

Best software for Architectural Rendering

As with any burgeoning technology, you’ve got your work cut out for you choosing which engine to use for your architectural renders.  While some professions use common 3D graphics software like Blender or Maya for architectural renders, our list below shows out top picks for programs specifically with architectural application in mind. If you’re looking for the best software available for this field, we recommend you check out the following:

VRay / $ depending on your main software (www.chaosgroup.com)

VRay is highly-used plug-in that is compatible with most major 3D rending engines, such as Maya, Blender and Modo.  With its vast library of assets and its extreme flexibility, VRay is a must have if you are looking to accurately depict colours, lighting, shadows and textures as they appear in reality.  Its gonna take a bit of effort to get to grips with, but you can rest easy knowing that there is a wealth of online tutorials available to help you.

Modo /$1779 / win, mac, linux (https://www.foundry.com/products/modo)

Despite the fact that it is a little more under the radar than other programs on this list, Modo is one of the best solutions available to architects out there, especially considering the fact that it models and renders, eliminating the need to switch between apps. Moreover, Modo has a number of impressive and unique 3D sculpting tools that are perfect for architects. It’s also a super-fast program that won’t tax your computer as much as its peers.

Modo allows artists to experiment with their imagination, without needing to jump through so many technical hoops. It offers numerous features, including modeling, UV workflows, sculpting and so much more.

Archicad /$4,250 / win, mac/ (http://www.graphisoft.com/archicad/)

With origins dating back to the 1980s, Archicad is recognized one of if not the first CAD and BIM program for personal computers capable of generating 3D images, and its current version is one of the few programs designed by architects for architects.  Archicad’s strength comes from the fact that its programming cleverly anticipates your next actions and begins preparing for them, greatly reducing the amount of time waiting for things to load.

Archicad offers a wealth of features that will definitely make your job easier. For instance, it includes a convenient stair tool. Designing stairs can be incredibly tough. With the Stair Tool, you’ll be able to lay stairs in your work within a matter of seconds. A similar railing tool is also available.

Vectorworks Architect / from $2950 / win, mac  (http://www.vectorworks.net/architect)

Vectorworks Architect is well-known for its robust tool set that allow the artist to bend, shape and manipulate 3D objects with ease, making it a favorite for those working on complex and innovative projects.  It also gives you the benefit of working in a fantastically designed digital environment with great work flows and easy options to collaborate with other users.  This one is definitely cutting edge.

Autocad architecture / from $190 / win (www.autodesk.co.uk/products/autocad-architect)

Developed by 3D graphics giants Autodesk, Autocad Architect is one of the most streamlined and accessible programs on the market. Built from the ground up with architects in mind, it makes some of the more lengthy and repetitious tasks of 3D rendering faster and much more efficient, drastically cutting down on the amount of time a project takes.

SketchUp / License for $695 / Win and Mac (https://www.sketchup.com/buy/sketchup-pro)

SketchUp aims to be one of the most simplistic and user-friendly rendering programs on the planet. The software’s LayOut feature gives you the ability to add model views to pages, adjust line weight and add graphics and dimensions. The software is also very versatile in terms of exporting your files. After you’ve finished your work, you can choose to export the file in numerous formats, including images, PDFs and CAD files. This ensures that you’ll be able to use your files pretty much anywhere and everywhere.

The software comes with access to a 3D Warehouse. Instead of modeling everything from scratch, you can download tons of free 3D models from the warehouse and speed up your work.

Revit / Starting at $245 / Win 64-bit only (https://www.autodesk.com/products/revit-family/overview)

 Revit is a 3D rendering software developed by Autodesk. The software is designed for BIM or Building Information Modeling. It offers features for a wealth of purposes, including MEP, structural engineering, construction and architectural design. As a student, you can get the software for free years for free. It is also available in a comprehensive collection with AutoCAD and others. Or, you can buy it as a stand-alone software.

The powerful tools available in Revit make it possible to plan, design, construct and manage any type of building or infrastructure project. You can also use the software to collaborate with many contributors.

Honourable mentions: Rhino 3D, Lumion 3D, Chief Architect, Maxwell

5 Things You Need to Know When Hiring an Architectural Renderer

You may be asking yourself, what is an architectural renderer? And why do you need one?

Well, a 3D renderer is a person specializing in creating photo-realistic images of the exterior and interior spaces of a building.  If you are working in the design industry, hiring a renderer is helpful in boosting your business. If you’re a homeowner wanting to renovate your space, an architectural renderer can help you visualize your design before you even buy a can of paint.

With the increasing demand for architectural images and virtual tours, more and more artists are specializing in 3D rendering services. Architectural visualization (arch viz) is a growing trend that gives designers and clients a preview of their proposed design.

Nowadays, you have the option to hire a freelance architectural renderer or outsource a company that provides such services. Either way, here are some things you need to consider before working with a renderer:

  1. Years of Experience

Like any other services, rendering is a learned and acquired skill. Thus, the first thing you should check in a contractor’s profile is the number of years he or she has been in the business. For a rendering company, you also have to know the cumulative hours of experience of all their artists on-board. You’ll want to avoid companies whose employees have only a few months experience on their hands.

If you want to hire a freelancer, you have to check if he or she has a background in rendering. A couple of years’ experience working in an established company is a step in the right direction.  But, you have to be wary of people who have worked at many companies in a short amount of time. It could mean that they don’t have the essential skills to be proper architectural renderers.  

  1. Portfolio Quality

Aside from the years of experience, an ideal architectural renderer has a healthy quantity of high-quality portfolio in their repertoire.  So before you sign a contract, it is necessary to view samples of the renderer’s output. A wide variety of 3D architectural artwork will also help you understand the artist’s skill range. You can check out if he has handled similar projects to yours. You also have to know the rendering styles they can offer.

Keep in mind, though, that quality is subjective and different for everybody, which is why you have to decide and consider who your target spectators are. People who work in advertising and marketing industries, for instance, would prefer to use high-resolution photos. For example, real-estate agents would want hyper-realistic images to showcase to their clients. On the other hand, a homeowner planning a small renovation project for his house doesn’t need photo-realistic imagery. The point of architectural visualization for small projects is to give the owner an idea of their design concept, rather than impressing a specific demographic.

  1. Time Zones and Turnaround Time

Rome wasn’t built in a day. And rendering can take a long time, depending on the level of quality you want to achieve. So, don’t expect to get your final product overnight.

Most companies have an average of three to five working days to complete a project excluding revisions. So, before you provide all the materials to your architectural renderer, you have to ask for an initial quote on estimated turnaround times. Keep in mind, though, that superior quality images and animations almost always take longer than regular ones.

If you opted to avail services from an overseas rendering firm, the time zone differences could be a challenge for you to work together. This is because communication is a vital part of a successful working relationship with your renderer. You don’t need to micromanage each part of the project, but being able to talk to the artist is essential in ensuring that the output won’t stray from your original idea.

  1. Revision Policy and Guarantees

When working with a rendering contractor, you have to provide all necessary drawings and specifications so that they are able to work smoothly. Even so, there are still some things you might want to change or tweak a little bit in the output to meet your criteria. Most often, renderers will include a certain amount of revisions with their base price. Suppose that the renderers have reached that particular number of alterations and you still want to change something, you will have to pay for extra fees. That’s why you should include revision policies in your contract.

But, unlimited revisions from a provider can be a red flag on your part. It could lead to the artist’s carelessness and a compromise of skill and time. As a client, you might save financially, but you’d be stuck in a near infinite revision loop just to get the proper output. Established and confident renderers will guarantee that they can accomplish their work within the time and quota they have provided.

  1. Rendering Price

Whether you are buying a product or availing a service, your top priorities will be the same: time, quality, and money.

In a perfect world, you would get high-quality renders in a short amount of time and within your budget limit. Yet, the harsh reality is, you could only get two out of these three criteria at best. You might get the best quality on the market, but expect that you have to pay more or wait a long time.  That doesn’t mean that you won’t find good works at an affordable price, but there might be some compromises you have to make in the process.

A successful architectural renderer or an established firm would rarely get involved in a bidding war. A renderer can prove his value by the consistent quality he can and had produced. Also, he must have strong ongoing relationships with clients and continuously hone his skills to make his visualization truly amazing.

So, should you ignore your budget for a good quality render? The answer is no. Several factors, such as turnaround time and final quality can affect the price range for an architectural visualization. If you keep these factors in mind and adjust accordingly, you could definitely find a way to work around your budget.

So, there you have it. These are the five things you must always take into consideration when hiring or working with a renderer. As a businessman, architectural visualization is a great way to improve your business, and you should take advantage of it. If you’re a homeowner, arch viz could help you immerse yourself in your dream home’s design before laying the first brick.

Keep these tips in mind, and you are sure to find the best architectural renderer who will meet your criteria and meet your rendering needs.