A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Best 3D Visuals for Your Business
according to Faraday 3D
Before The Project: Getting the price for your project
Let’s face it: While we always want the best, we usually have a budget to work with. At this stage, you may already have chosen a studio or at least shortlisted your top choices. Either way, it’s completely normal that your business would want to know how the 3D work could affect your bottom-line: how much will it cost?
To start negotiating on the project’s price, refer to your Checklist of Requirements (page 8). You may simply send your answers to the studio or, even better, discuss with them either in person or online. Keep your answers to these questions in mind, but don’t fire all guns (so to speak) right at the beginning.
Follow the step-by-step process outlined below to get the best price estimation for your project. Following this guide will help you maximize your budget and, at the same time, minimize (or totally avoid) wasting your own (as well as 3D studios’) time.
Write a brief description of your project.
To begin the process of asking for your project’s cost estimate, start by preparing a short description of your project: what do you need, when do you need it, how would you like the outputs to look like, and so on. This doesn’t have to be too detailed because the exact details will be discussed later on. Then, ask your shortlisted studios for a price range and some examples of their similar work (if any) if their online portfolio is not so big.
Pay attention to each studio’s response time.
Pay attention to the amount of time it takes for a studio to reply to you. A response within 24 hours of your message is very good; anything longer than that should serve as a red flag. One business day should be enough to take into account your respective time zones.
Avoid studios that give ballpark figures prematurely.
Take note because this is important: If a studio gives you a quote before you even give them any information or send them any material or resource, that’s a red flag. No studio worth its salt would give you a price range without first knowing more about what you need. If they did not ask questions but gave you a quote straight away, run and don’t look back!
You can read more about our stance on ballpark quotes in our Knowledge Base: The “Ballpark Quote” is BS...
Know the three main kinds of studios.
Basically, you can categorize the studios that you’ll encounter into three main types:
These studios (more like con artists, if you ask us!) want you to sign a contract with them or even pay upfront when they have no idea at all about your business and what you need. Avoid them at all costs!
II. Good studios to work with
These are the ones that ask for more information and talk about clear deliverables. They discuss what would you like to see on 3D renders. You can expect good outputs from them.
III.The best studios to work with
These studios combine rich experiences and genuine desire to help your business succeed. For them, giving ”pretty images” is not the goal. Instead, their ultimate aim is the positive return on investment for their clients.
How do you recognize such studios? They talk about your business’s goals and how to achieve them. In most cases, they will recommend you to take a Roadmapping Session first (for the fraction of the real project’s cost).
What’s a Roadmapping Session and How Can It Help Me?
We at Faraday 3D believe that the best way for a client to gain ROI is by first having a Roadmapping Session. A Roadmapping Session is a strategic, outcome-focused meeting between you (i.e., a potential client) and a 3D studio (e.g., Faraday 3D) in which you review the intended outcomes for the project, set expectations for what success should look like, and identify any possible barrier to achieving success together. Basically, we will look at the specific parts of the project and identify how we can help you get from where you are to where you want to be.
There are three major benefits to having a 3D Roadmapping Session before beginning any project:
This is because, with a 3D Roadmapping Session, the studio doesn’t have to rush in understanding the project and could pay more attention to details. You can get free estimates from other studios, but since they’re not sure whether they’ll get the job, they will most likely minimize the amount of time they spend on trying to understand your needs. A 3D Roadmapping Session prevents this from happening.
II. It will enable the studio to provide cost estimates for the job.
Because the studio can inform you early on if your expectations are not feasible based on the investment you’re willing to make. The studio can then help you design a plan that meets both your business targets AND your budget. Thanks to the 3D Roadmapping Session, the studio will give more attention to the details of what you need and, thus, can estimate the project cost more precisely. This prevents surprises, which are common with most studios that give low estimates for free but eventually double the price as the project progresses. Therefore, you can save more money and allot your resources more effectively.
III. The studio can reclaim the unpaid time that they’re investing in helping you as you clarify your business’s needs together and as they write the corresponding proposal.
By first having a 3D Roadmapping Session, you can test out the waters at a much lower price tag. Instead of paying, say, $5,000 to begin a project, the 3D Roadmapping Session gives you the chance to witness the studio’s expertise and insights, review its work quality, and judge its work ethics (including quality of communication) at a very small cost.
As a result of the 3D Roadmapping Session with Faraday 3D, you will receive the 3D Roadmapping Session Report, which details exactly what you want to achieve, what success looks like for your business, where you currently are, and the steps that you’ll need to take to move forward in the project.
Another advantage for you is that, if ever you decide after the Roadmapping Session that this studio is not the right fit for your project, you still win because you will receive the Report, which you can use in consulting other studios that might be in a better position to assist you in achieving your goals.
Always know (and communicate) your final goals.
As with any initiative done for your business, you need to know why you need 3D designs. What are your objectives in getting them? Why are you doing this project in the first place? What do you want the deliverables to do for your business?
In addition to those, you should also ask what is included in the studio’s quoted price (again, this should be given only AFTER you provide the studio with enough information or during the 3D Roadmapping Session). This checklist can help you:
I. What is the basis of the studio’s rate (i.e., do they charge per render or per hour/week/month/square meter/etc.)?
For instance, Faraday 3D quotes on a project basis to ensure that you get as much time as possible devoted to completing your project (instead of charging based on the number of renders or the amount of time spent on the project).
II. How many feedback rounds will there be for each image?
This is crucial because it is almost impossible for a studio to perfectly deliver your vision in just one attempt. More often than not, it will require at least some tweaking to get what you want, so you need to know how many revisions are covered in the studio’s quoted price.
III. What resolution do you need the outputs in?
If you need a really large resolution, always inform the studio early on about it. As we mentioned earlier, most freelancers and even tiny studios don’t have render farms, so they would require additional payment to render very large images. For such needs, it is best to collaborate with a respected 3D studio that has advanced 3D tools.