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Outsourcing Residential Rendering

Rendering is a significant step in residential architecture and outsourcing architectural rendering services is increasingly favoured for greater profits while maintaining high quality.

Residential architectural renderings have far more advantages than just impressing clients and influencing sales. Models developed through 3D rendering services increase the efficiency of the construction process, help reduce the design cycle and help eliminate errors before construction begins. The 3D architectural visualisation provided by the rendering process is a significant step in architectural and engineering work, but due to its technical nature, outsourcing is seen to be increasingly favoured by Western firms to procure architectural rendering services at a profitable cost and of high quality.

Rendering is a great tool to visualise and perfect the architectural process, but just what does it involve? In brief, a detailed representation of a 3D object results in 3D modelling. This 3D model (or scene file) can then be used as an image on a print through the process known as rendering. It is also known as image synthesis and is the digital development of a photorealistic image from a 2D or 3D model. It is called a ‘rendering’ most likely because it is similar to an artist’s ‘rendering’ of a scene. The created scene file hosts objects in a defined language. This file contains data on geometry, viewpoint, texture, lighting, and shading, which is transferred to a rendering programme. The data is processed, and the output is sent to a digital image or raster graphics image file.

A rendering device, a graphics processing unit or GPU, assists a CPU perform complex rendering calculations. Models are specific mathematical 3D representations of points and surfaces, or vertices and polygons, and a 3D software render engine transforms the equation to a complete and detailed 2D image. Spatial, textural and lighting data combine to create colour values for each pixel of the 2D image. For example, when using virtual lighting to make a scene look realistic, the rendering software used should effectively solve the rendering equation. This equation does not determine all light sources and effects, but it is a general lighting model for the image generated. Rendering provides the finishing touches to models, and rendering software is an engineered programme that brings together disciplines connected with light physics, visual perception and mathematics.

Current 3D software includes a render engine and textural and lighting packages to enable the creation of photorealistic images. Commonly used render engines are Mental Ray and V-Ray. Available with Autodesk Maya, Mental Ray is fast and flexible, using raytracing and global illumination, to generate images with subsurface scattering. V-Ray is used with 3DS Max for detailed architectural visualisation and environment rendering. It is well known for its lighting tools and well-stocked materials library. Residential rendering includes architectural renderings of homes and buildings, interior design renders of rooms and homes.

The more popular software tools used for architectural rendering include:

  • 3DS Max
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Photoshop CS
  • V-Ray
  • AutoCAD
  • SketchUp

Photo-realistic visualisation and 3D architectural rendering can ensure that design ideas are viewed while maintaining the accuracy of the details portrayed. The effect of shadow, sunlight and artificial light can also be portrayed in renders. Effective 3D rendering communicates ideas clearly to clients, and with a process-driven approach, both clients and those providing 3D rendered images will benefit. This is how the process generally works:

  • Renderer’s understand what the client wants, using plans, sketches and images from the client to visualise the project.
  • Clients send CAD ‘dwg’ files with drawings, plans, blueprints, with PDF, DWG, CAD, JPEG, PNG or other file formats, showing elevations, interior design, floor plans, site and roof plans.
  • A digital 3D model is created.
  • The model has images added to improve the realism.
  • Lights are set up to replicate real-world lighting.
  • The model generates 2D images. This is when rendering occurs, which can take a few seconds to several days, depending on the complexity and quality required. Large rendering computers known as render farms run this process.
  • Viewpoints are discussed with the client. Many low-resolution images of different views are generated and sent to the client.
  • Drafts of low quality renders are sent to the client for approval. Revisions can take place to textures and lights till approval is granted.
  • The final high resolution 2D rendered image, with approved lighting, landscaping, shadows and other elements, is delivered to the client.

Outsourcing

Architectural rendering services for residences require investment in rendering software, hardware and the training of personnel. For firms that find this kind of investment challenging, an emerging solution enjoying popularity is outsourcing these services. Outsourcing 3D rendering services provides a cost benefit of up to 60% less than recruiting and training in-house teams.

Outsourced companies can convert freehand sketches and CAD drawings into 3D architectural renderings of high quality. Architects and graphic designers from these firms can develop 3D renderings in narrow time-frames.

Some of the benefits of outsourcing 3D rendering are:

  • Cost reduction and increase in profits - Fewer operational costs are incurred, resulting in higher profit margins.
  • Fast and consistent delivery – Regardless of the size or complexity of the rendering requirements, consistent services will be delivered on time.
  • Secure data – Data presented, exchanged and modified will be safe and secure due to the fact that outsourced firms want to retain clients with reliable service.
  • Accurate representation and high quality – Many outsourced firms are experts in rendering, with several years of experience, and can therefore deliver high quality every time.
  • Additional resources, less management – Outsourced firms have a large pool of skilled 3D artists, whose services can be availed without the need to manage them. The skilled resources can become an extension of the client, saving training costs.
  • Significant advantage – Time and cost benefits from outsourcing may result in an early market introduction of the product or residences, which would entice customers due to good quality available at lower prices.
  • Tools and infrastructure – Investment on expensive software tools, infrastructure and software can be avoided, since the outsourced firms would already have these.
  • Professional and process-driven approach – Most outsourced firms understand and have developed the habit of process-driven performance.

To get optimum results when outsourcing retail rendering services, some common mistakes are:

Incomplete Briefings – When briefings are incomplete or unclear, it becomes difficult for renderers to visualise project. Outsourced firms must be correctly and clearly briefed on residential layouts, finishes, fittings, paint colours, design style guides and any landscape requirements.

Communication Lapses – With outsourced projects, timelines, guidelines and other project details need ongoing communication. A dedicated offshore team would help significantly in clear dialogue between the two firms. It is key to understand that renderers are not designers. Renderers need not be specifically aware of furniture, fittings, material, colour schemes and other details required for a complete and detailed design. This has to be communicated.

During the increasingly competitive climate in the construction industry worldwide, advantages such as outsourcing are favourably reflected in overall profits. While understanding the process of architectural rendering services is importantScience Articles, it is essential to employ clear communication at all times with outsourced firms on all project details for maximum results.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kuldeep Bwail is a Director at XS CAD Limited, a leading pre-construction planning company providing 3D BIM Modeling to Homebuilders, Architects, Retailers, etc. operating in the UK, US, Australia, Canada, Europe and India.



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