What You Should Know about Outsourcing 3D Rendering Service

Let’s talk today about 3D rendering service and 3D visualization service – what these terms mean all about and is there any difference between them. And let’s apply such a context that we’re going to be talking about architecture because our company’s main specialty is - Architectural 3D Visualization.

If you’re not a 3D artist or haven’t worked with one, these terms may sound foreign to you. Perhaps the first thing that would come to your mind is the creation of architectural 3D images for property markets. However, 3D rendering service doesn’t work that way.

What is 3D Visualization service, and how exactly does it work?

In order for you to understand what 3D rendering service is, let me first describe what 3D visualization service really is.

Architectural or any other 3D Visualization service is a service provided to a client by creating digital products called 3D visualizations, which represent any unbuilt property building through the help of a specialized computer software. It could also be animation or interactive application (video game).

Here are steps needed to provide a 3D Visualization service, very simplified:

  1. The first step involves creating a 3D model of your product/building/object through the use of a software specially designed for 3D modeling.
  2. A 3D model will appear as plain white without any textures, details, or colors.
  3. It is then followed by adding realistic lighting and other fine details.
  4. Afterwards, adding the right textures and colors is done to give the model more emphasis. However, the result is still far from done.
  5. This is where the process of 3D rendering enters the scene. To finally clear your confusion, or perhaps a misconception, between visualization and rendering, 3D rendering is actually a process involved in 3D visualization. It comes before the final process which is:
  6. Post-production.

The result of 3D Visualization service is a complete product which client could start using right away.

What is a 3D Rendering service, and how exactly does it work?

So, let’s go back to Step 5 – what exactly 3D rendering is?

If you have ever made photographs and wanted to print them out later on a paper, then the process of photo printing could be also called - rendering or more common - printing. Your printer knows exactly which color each pixel should be printed with, because in photo-file, your camera did, such info written for every pixel.

And for the camera, to write down such info for each pixel is almost an instant process because camera working with a real light.

In case of 3D visualization rendering – we’re working with a computer simulation of a real light. And in this case, calculation of information for each pixel is a really time-consuming process, furthermore, such process is really resource dependent.

Let me provide you several examples...

Imagine you would like to get several images of your future property, which will be printed on billboards and you decided to save a budget.

You chose a cheap freelancer. Let’s assume that such person has needed skills, but what such person really lacks – very powerful computer, better say it this way – lack of computers. How he could afford to buy them if he is cheap and computers are not :)

So, you are really happy that you have found a deal and project started. Cheap designer sends you sketches, you apply changes, a week passed and you think project Is almost finished. Your last words are: "Ok, send me all images in large resolution, I need to print them 6m by 4m for a billboard. I need them tomorrow."

And you will get the answer like this: “Sorry, I can’t provide them tomorrow. You ordered 5 images, but only one image in required resolution, in order to be printed on the billboard, will be rendered on my single computer one week. Will you wait 5 more weeks in order to get all images?" Miser pays twice…

What happened here? I told you, the rendering process is really time and resource consuming. Having only one computer for rendering is not enough. Totally. Even if you have 128GB RAM and motherboard with 2 Xeon processors (such configuration will be priced at least 5000$). Do you think cheap designer will be able to buy such computer? And as I told you earlier – one computer is not enough. Better to have 10 of such computers.

What could be done to save such situation, read further...

Another example. Imagine you need to have, for your property advertising campaign, a video walkthrough, let’s say 3 min long.

You could argue that video has much lower resolution and in this case, rendering would be really fast. Indeed, full HD video resolution is 1920x1080px.

Ok, let’s imagine that such low-resolution image on a single, not really powerful computer will take time to render for about 1h or let’s say 30 minutes.

And now here is a fun part. As you know – a video is just a bunch of images showed to a viewer with a speed of 24 images(frames) per second. Sometimes, in a video you need to slow down things – which makes the speed up to 30 or even 40 frames per second.

If we have video 3 min long, which makes 180 seconds and general speed is 24 images per second, we will need to render 4320 images… Remember rendering time per image is about 30 minutes. You will be waiting for rendering to complete 2160h or 3 months… Miser pays twice…

To prove above calculations, try searching rendering time for Disney cartoons. Here is an example of Zootopia cartoon rendering time: to save your time – it took 2075.34 years… no kidding…

How is that possible?

All above numbers are given if you have only one single computer. Now imagine if you have 1000s of them. Distribute rendering across 1000s computers and you will see numbers coming down to earth.

But who could own so many computers? The answer is simple – dedicated companies decided to specialize only in rendering and nothing more. Such companies called - online render farms. So, they bought 1000s of computers and share them for everybody who would love to use them, of course not for free.

Online render farms will render your image with the help of a massive number of resources. This will help expedite the process and scale it down to just hours or days for larger projects.

How much will the rendering cost?

Estimating the amount, you’ll have to pay for outsourcing your 3D rendering project, is complicated due to the pricing model. However, you can use a Cost Estimation Calculator which is offered by most online render farms to have a rough estimate of your total costs.

Remember, rough estimate. It’s not possible to predict exactly how much time and money it will take to render an image. So always multiply given number by 2. This way you will be saved.

One important factor that can affect how much you need to pay is the quality of your desired output and I'm not talking about resolution. In this case quality means the more photo-real image is, the higher quality it has. Higher the quality, the more you pay for rendering.

So, in case of your cheap freelancer, in the end, you will be asked to pay for rendering and sometimes price for rendering could be much higher than you paid to freelancer to make the project.

For example, we had projects with the price for rendering up to 15000$ Not really cheap, isn’t it?

Now that you have an insight what a 3D rendering service actually is, make sure you pick only reliable 3D visualization service providers to have your 3D project rendered 100% and within the budget.

Ensuring a good fit on both sides

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