February 5th, 2019
No single marketing asset communicates clarity and imagination as well as visual imagery. Countless studies examining social media, internet marketing and the human brain all validate that imagery is the most appealing, engaging, and effective medium for communicating your message.
“Any technique for creating images or animations to communicate a message.” This sets the foundational tone for your project. 3D Architectural Visualization does the same for developments across the globe and creates first impressions for future homeowners.
This guide is intended to provide real estate marketers and developers with industry guided information about the benefits, applications, and process to effectively use architectural renderings for effective communication.
Investing in architectural renderings results in your project having a higher potential for financial return. The design, functionality and intended audience are made clear with the visual narrative. Exact finishes, furnishings, ideal lighting and specific details tap into your target markets lifestyle and accelerate the sales process.
In the preliminary stage of a project it is important to begin on the same page as your visualization studio. While obvious, details such as the creative brief, buyer-personas, neighborhood details, and unique selling propositions are all important, you may not think a visualization studio needs them. They do and the team has to understand all the details to paint a clearer picture with 3D Visualizations.
Practically, you will need to provide all of the relevant files required to visualize your development. Sometimes the design details may not be complete and that’s okay as long as everyone knows that’s the case at the outset. These project files include architectural drawings and design specifications detailed below.
Architectural Drawings: Integral to the visualization process as they include the building’s design and specifications. Completed files are best and SketchUp or Revit models are preferred but not required as it gives us a base to work off. Visualization Studios model your project based on the files provided and cannot start without them. These include Floorplans, elevations, site and landscaping files.
Interior Design Specifications: Specific design elements that are chosen to compose an interior aesthetic. While not mandatory, interior design is a vital component of the visual narrative described with Architectural Visualizations. Files to include Interior Elevations, materials, and accessories.
Learn more about the foundation of a successful rendering here.
Every studio has their own way of doing things and no two projects are the same.
Most Studios will assign a designated point of contact through a Project Manager. The person who translates your vision into a form of communication that enables 3D teams to craft beautiful visual assets. This is where clients (should) lay everything on the table.
Architectural files, Interior Design specifications, mood boards, branding packages, demographic information, and intentions are all important. The more your studio has to work with, the more compelling they can make your visualizations.
If you have a project in a high-end neighborhood and want to appeal to retirees who never drive, let your studio know. Otherwise, you run the risk of having random design elements in your scenes. Things like a young couple pushing strollers, public transit, and skateboarding teenagers could be all over your assets.
While your studio should be asking these questions, we’ve heard from many clients that these things happen often. Be clear and upfront in the Kickoff Session, and save yourself the hassle later with extra, and easily avoided, revisions.
The process of composing visualizations that appeal to the ideal audience requires thoughtful and creative art direction. The time of day, use of people and placement of certain inanimate objects come into play (like branded appliances, bottles, and furniture). Art-Direction considers best-practices in design and marketing to create compelling visuals that connect with buyers such as the time of day, use of people, additions of props like vehicles, and transportation.
The Visualization process has 3 stages and 6 steps:
Modeling the massing, Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment in Grayscale. The purpose of this stage is to ensure the appearance of the massing is ideal for the given viewpoint. The discussion is focused more on the selection of the camera angle and not the massing itself at this stage (because it’s been decided with the architect, and studios work from their files). Most studios will present different options for clients to choose from.
Adding colour, texture, finish, and adjusting lighting as necessary to compose a scene that connects with your ideal clients by telling the intended visual narrative. The story comes through these added details, which is why, as described above, more information to the visualization studio enables more compelling visual assets.
Preparing the image for the Rendering (described below), and finalizing the details with Post-Production, typically through Photoshop.
Camera Angle Selection: Determining the viewpoint to best showcase your offering.
Modeling: Creating the massing to the exact dimensions as provided, for both the building and your FF&E.
Lighting: Applying natural and artificial light in your scene. Key to bringing mood and setting the tone of a piece.
Materials: Adding the provided materials (colours, textures, finishes etc) to the massing created earlier.
Rendering: Generating a readable file format to the same quality as the imagery seen on your studio’s software as 3d visualizations are large files.
Post-Production: Finalizing the details of your Visualization after the Rendering process with final touches.
A striking 3D rendering can be used to showcase your project through a number of print and digital marketing channels to increase interest and result in sales. 3D renderings are digitally ideal for sales centers, real estate websites, social platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter), and interactive solutions. Your projects visualization can generate interest with print ads, brochures, hoarding alongside the site, magazines and more.
Images are key to the user experience as the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. Typically, images are the first bit of information to populate digitally on a website and are the most visibility descriptive medium to convey your projects unique features to your clients.
Additionally, bring your client one step closer to their dream home with interactive services such as 360°renderings and virtual tours. These interactive services provide an intuitive and immersive 360° experience to guide the user through your project. Furthermore, you can provide context to your exterior 3D renderings with drone and aerial photography showcasing your projects surrounding neighborhood, panoramic views for elevated floors and background imagery.
Left Image as Rendered by LNG Studios, June 2016. Right image, the real building as photographed, March 2018.
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