Too many revisions

Why Clients Request Revisions Then Switch Back to their Original Idea?
Radisson Blu by Faraday3D
With more than 10 years of 3D visualization experience, I’ve come across various clients. Some didn’t have any problems; meanwhile, others are a pain to deal with. Regardless, they all have one thing in common – both request revisions, and some have an awful lot of them.

This time I’m going to answer this seemingly common question: who is to blame? The client or the studio?

Why it’s the Client’s Fault?

At first, I was actually convinced that the fault is entirely on the client’s side. After all, I know what I was doing, I gave him what he wanted, and I made sure I did my job perfectly. He, on the other hand, was unsure of what he really wants, and that explained why he’s always asking for revisions every now and then.

That’s quite annoying, and it is due to the volume of revision requests he made that lots of problems came up. Problems like the following:

1. Increased project duration, which in turn, led to missed deadlines (a lot of them).

I can only recall a few instances wherein a client admitted a missed deadline as his fault. Most of the time, it shed a bad light on my company when it was them who missed the deadlines, not me.

2. Second, due to the volume of revision requests, we were forced to increase the project budget.

However, clients became hesitant to work with us again. After all, who would love working with a company which has its estimated budget tripled? There’s a huge likelihood that they will never seek your services again. This simply means you won’t get the next project.

3. An increased project duration means missing important starting dates for my other clients.

This, in turn, decreased the quality of my service. I started working on other projects late, mostly because their schedule’s been shifted. Since it means working on two or even more projects at once, the focus is divided. And when it comes to designing, we both can agree that multitasking is a really bad idea.

4. You end up having to lower your profit.

If you choose to take the risks, and the budget for a project is final, you’ll need to resort to lowering your profit instead of making changes. Now, can you do an excellent job if you’re not making any profit at all? I highly doubt it.

5. 3D visualization being deemed as science, not art.

Lastly, this is something which I see often completely missed out by the clients. 3D visualization isn’t just about putting stuff here and there. It’s not a science. It might be technical, but it also involves the 3D artist’s feelings.

As a 3D artist, I don’t just randomly put stuff to make it look good. I also rely on my emotions in order to bring out a masterpiece, something that will capture the attention of viewers. Now, when a client asks for changes to the same stuff over and over again, both inspiration and creativity are lost. He will instead end up getting a standard 3D render – and it’s something that won’t stand out from the crowd at all.

If you settle for standard 3D images and grabbing the attention of people is not your goal, don’t read further, better watch the local or global news instead.

So if you’re either a client in need of a 3D rendering service to help you grab the attention of your audience, but find it hard to explain what you really want or need to your 3D studio provider; or you’re a 3D visualization studio that produces something different for your clients unlike that of other studios, then you should know one thing. Most of the revision requests are due to problems with communication – and the one responsible for this is the 3D studio. Simple as that. But why?

Why it’s the 3D Studio’s Fault?

The answer is quite simple – you are the expert, and the client seek your service because he needs help with 3D renders, videos, etc. If he has the skills or expertise to do all these, then you wouldn’t be getting any project at all! However, since you’re the one who’s skilled in such stuff, you should instead guide your client!

To do so, you need collaboration. Inform him what’s possible in his case, and what’s not. You’re the expert, and you have all the knowledge on this matter – your client only knows a little or none at all. Keep in mind that as the 3D artist, it’s not about being able to create eye-catching images for your client. You also need to make sure that he can enjoy positive ROIs due to your service.

This explains why it is important to guide your client through proper communication and ensure that everything he says is within your control. It’s only right for a client to ask changes and revisions. It is your duty as an expert to consult him instead of rushing into making changes.

I would like to point out that 3D artists are visual people. They have the skills to draw a picture in their mind with only the help of a few words. If you’re a 3D artist, don’t expect that your clients are capable of doing the same thing. In some cases, you need to revise your work only to show your client the concept you talked about.

However, if you’re someone in need of an artist, then don’t think that the points I mentioned above imply that it’s entirely the 3D studio’s fault. It is important that you know how the entire process works. In doing so, you should work hand in hand with your chosen studio.

You should understand that designing will rely on a core idea. However, if that idea is wrong right from the start, then revisions won’t mean anything. It’s best if you start from scratch.

What to Keep in Mind

There are those clients who have this mindset that if we don’t make revisions, we are not creative or productive enough. Honestly, I don’t know why. Perhaps they think that it’s not possible to create something good on the first try, they will request revisions to see if we can create something more so they could to choose from. What I’m trying to tell you here is that ordinary such clients think that a 3D studio artists they’re working with are not experts in their field.

If you think we’re not experts, then what’s the point of working with us? However, if you feel the other way around, just please don’t make any distractions! If you do, I’d advise looking for another studio, tell them what you want from them, then spend your time doing what you can do.

Let me share you a story about 5 Michelin-Star restaurant chefs.

If a customer orders a food and complains that the dish isn’t good enough and may still be improved, he will send back the dish to the kitchen. The main chef will then check the dish. If he believes that the dish isn’t properly done and wasn’t prepared like it should, of course, he will make appropriate revisions.

However, if he finds out that the dish was prepared based on the house rules, without anything wrong with it, the dish is sent back to the customer. If the customer still insists his point, the chef will ask him to leave.

The question is: why? It’s quite simple, really. Unless it’s your own restaurant, you have to act according to the rules of the restaurant you’re eating in. However, if you insist, why don’t you just build your own restaurant business and create your own dishes. The same thing goes when you work with a 3D studio. Each 3D artist has his very own style when creating 3D graphics. If you can’t agree on how he works, it’s better if you look for another studio.

Of course, there are certain ideas that may clash with each other, thus they should be justified. In this case, let’s go back to our starting point which is - communication. Both the studio and client should establish proper communication before starting the project. Both parties must come to an agreement, and this time the 3D studio should be the one to take the lead.

How to Establish Proper Communication

Given that the 3D studio is the one who’s mostly responsible for the revisions, this is how they should interact with their client:

1. First of all, don’t ask your client all architectural blueprints. Instead, try to understand him as much as possible. Know what his project is about, what he’d love to see as the final product, and how you can assist him with that.

2. It’s not just about creating pretty images. It’s also about bringing value to a client. After all, this is what you’re expected to do!

3. Make sure you create a contract. Like I said earlier, designing isn’t science. A lot of things could happen. In one case, a person might think that “something” is obvious and thus won’t need any further clarifications. In the other, another person never really thought of this “something” at all.

4. Plan your project backward then communicate with your client – ALWAYS. Some stuff you need to discuss include the following:

  • Deadline date ->
  • before that we need 2 days for post-production ->
  • before that we need 1 week for rendering ->
  • before rendering we have 2 days for preparing for rendering ->
  • before preparing we have 1 week for changes ->
  • before doing changes, we need 2 weeks for the actual project’s work
  • before starting the work, we need to setup project’s starting date

By following these steps, you can eliminate, or at least minimize, unnecessary and recurring revisions from a client’s side.

I hope you’ve learned a lot of things from both the studio and client’s perspective. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to share!

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