The Top 5 Things Designers should know about 3D Visualisation - How To Get Great 3D Visuals.

For designers to have their work understood it is often required to have 3D images produced. This gives clients visual aids rather than hoping they can imagine their new jet interior from CAD plans. If a client is not sold on the idea yet or hesitating to sign on the dotted line then 3D renderings are a good way seal the deal.

I have spent over 10 years working in various international design teams. I have been lucky enough to work with some of the best designers in the world. These include architects, interior, aircraft, automotive and yacht Designers. Whatever area these designers specialise in I have found a few things to be true in regards to 3D visualisation. To make everybody's lives easier here are the 5 things designers should know about 3D visualisation.

1. Decide what you want to use visualisation for

Is the design complete? Is the mood board final? If not, why not ask the artist to run a few rough tests at a minimal price. There is nothing wrong with getting visuals made as part of the conception stage. Just make sure your 3D Artist knows not to waste time adding all the sprinkles and glitter. I have created 'final' images for many designer for them to change the whole design once they see it in full. Changes are always bound to happen but as long as we are checking in each step of the way we can all save time and money (see point 3) . Usually 3 revisions to a final image isprovided at Luxury Visuals.

Decide if the design is still in concept or you want a final image.

2. Have a style in mind and send examples of what you want.

In The Future of Visualisation post I spoke about how important it is for a Visualisation Artist to develop their own style. So as a designer decide what style you would like. Photorealistic orArtistic? What mood do you want the image to have? There are plenty of styles to choose from.  Here is a good post by Lidija Grozdanic to help you.

It can be difficult translating what is in your head into words then back into the 3D Artists head. Gathering visual aids will help with this.

Spend some time deciding how you want your image to look.

3. Check in at each stage.

It is important that you stay in control if you want the image to turn out as you expect. You should have back and forth with the artist at key points throughout the project.

In general this is how it works.

1. Send the visualiser what you have. 3D Models, mood boards, reference, inspiration, sketches, camera angles and CAD plans. The more you send the better. The visualiser will then bring everything together in a single 3D scene. Here you should expect a basic grey image sent to you of the viewport. The image will be a screenshot of the viewport and this is to confirm the camera angle. This image will just be the shell of the room, no furniture or materials yet.

2. Once you have confirmed the camera angles the artist will get the furniture, fittings and equipement modelled in 3D.

3.  You should then get a black and white render with everything in the scene.

4. Next up are the materials and lighting. A low-resolution render should get sent for you to confirm.

5. Once all this is signed off the 3D Artist will send the image to render on a powerful machine. Once complete they will make tweaks in Photoshop and send it to you for your approval. If you are happy, great. If you want to change things most studios will allow for 3 revision included in the price.

Make sure you are happy each step of the way so the image is what you want.

4. Never say 'can you just'.

'Would you be able to' is much better. 'Can you just' makes it sound like it's easy and could get the 3D visualiser's back up. I also hear 'just make it look good' when receiving briefs, this is extremely open-ended. Refer to point 2 if you find yourself saying anything along these lines.

Think about how you word your conversations, artists are a funny bunch! ;P

5.  You pay for what you get.

If you are choosing your 3D Visualisation Artist based on price then the chances are you will end up with what you pay for. You may have a budget in mind, but search and find what you want then talk money. Many studios will work to a budget if you have one. For example at Luxury Visuals we charge per image. But if your budget can not meet our costs we will work to your budget and spend the time we can on the image. 

Don't expect quality for pennies.

I would love to know if there is anything else that should be added to the list. Also anything from a designers side that 3D Visualisation Artists should know.

Drop me a line