The Business Case for Offering Visualisation, Rendering, and Virtual Reality to Clients
Make a Splash with the Latest Architectural Technology
Clients expect more from their architects these days. If they aren’t looking for an all-in-one solution, they at least want to be able to visualise the designs you create. Thus, there has been a dramatic shift over to 3D modelling software in recent years.
New technology has changed architecture.
You don’t have to rely on the 2D drawings of the past. With the right software, you can create anything. 3DS Max, Rhino, and so many others allow you to create complex models. Rendering software, like V-Ray, makes your models look realistic.
That’s before we even get to virtual reality (VR). This new technology has the potential to change how we speak to clients. There’s nothing quite like creating a virtual representation of your model. Clients love it because they get to explore it and see the buildings you design in action.
Many architects still aren’t convinced. Maybe they prefer the traditional methods. That’s okay, but you may be holding your business back if you don’t consider new technology.
This is the case for offering visualisation, rendering, and VR to clients. Let’s look at what each one brings to the table.
How do you expect to sell a client on a building if you can’t help the client visualise it? Everybody wants to know what they’re getting for their money. You can’t rely on 2D drawings and explanations in the modern architectural sector.
But, you can rely on 3D modelling software. With the right skills, you can show clients exactly what they will get if they sign on the dotted line with you.
Here’s a short list of benefits you could experience if you adopt visualisation.
Benefit #1 – Visual Communication
Think back to your days in school. Did you learn best from a dry description of a subject, or did you benefit more when the teacher threw visuals into the mix?
It’s probably the latter.
Now, apply that same line of thought to your presentations. You have to teach your clients about what you’re doing during your presentation. Offering visualisations, especially at the early stages, shows clients so much more than a description.
Benefit #2 – Finding Design Flaws
So much can go wrong with 2D drawings. One overlooked mistake can cause major issues on the building site.
You want to avoid those mistakes, right?
3D visualisation is the answer. A good 3D model offers an accurate representation of how your design will look in reality. You can spot issues at the early stages and won’t have to deal with them later. A 3D model also offers builders and other professionals the chance to give their input.
This all saves time when it comes to building the model. Thus, you’ll spend less and impress your clients.
Benefit #3 – Multiple Concepts
Few architects come up with only one concept for their clients. You’ll usually find that you have three or four concepts floating around in your head. Each idea needs drawings to show the different options. This means a lot of time spent both creating and explaining your concepts.
Visualisation makes working with multiple concepts easy.
Let’s say you have a few ideas for transportation routes around the building. 3D visualisation allows you to quickly apply those ideas without having to create brand new drawings every time. The same goes for different building designs, especially if they are similar. You can build a base model and work from there to create a range of concepts.
Benefit # 4 – Marketing
What do you want to achieve with your marketing? Most want to get as many eyes on their service as possible.
Visualisation will help you achieve that.
A portfolio of 3D models shows clients exactly what to expect when they work with you. You don’t have to make your clients decipher complex 2D drawings. Better yet, you can use 3D models in lots of media. Imagine showing off a full 3D model on your website as one such example.
Benefit #5 – Easy Distribution
A combination of 3D modelling and cloud computing eliminates all that wasted time of manually distributing documentation. You can share models with everybody who needs to see them at the touch of a button.
This offers all sorts of improvements to project flow. You’ll bring dead time to a minimum and keep the project chugging along smoothly.
So, those are the benefits of creating 3D models for visualisation. You’re probably wondering where rendering comes into it.
Think of rendering as the finishing touches on your model. A 3D model shows the design while the render shows how it will look when it’s in the real world.
You can also think of rendering as the next step in visualisation. It’s the icing on the cake, so to speak. Even so, a lot of architects don’t invest in good rendering software.
That’s a mistake, as you will see when you read this list of benefits.
Benefit #1 – Impressing Clients
Every client is different. Some are more than happy with a regular 3D visualisation. Others are much more demanding because they want to see what the building will look like in a real-world setting.
Rendering will help you to do that. A good render is a great tool for convincing clients that you know what you’re doing.
Clients get to see just what the building will look like. You can take this as far as you want. A building render works well. But, a render that takes sunlight and other factors into account will really make your design stand out.
Benefit #2 – Working with Third Parties
Architects work with a lot of other people to bring their visions to life. Those people need to know what they’re working on if they are to do justice to the project.
2D drawings aren’t enough in the modern world. They take ages to explain, plus you have to lug them around to every site you visit.
Rendered models allow you to show your team exactly what the project will look like. This saves so much time. Builders can use the render to figure out what materials they need. You cut down on cost because you don’t need to make as many changes during construction.
Benefit #3 – Marketing
While visualisation is a great marketing tool, rendering takes everything another step forward.
Think about your social media accounts. A realistic 3D render will look great on your wall or timeline. You can use Facebook or LinkedIn to create a gallery of renders that will catch the attention of potential clients. Just like that, you’ve used rendering to turn your social media account into an effective marketing tool.
It’s so much easier to advertise your work if you impress people with great renders. You’ll get more shares, likes, and retweets. One great render can open the door to all sorts of opportunities.
Benefit #4 – Speed
Let’s say you have a lot of potential clients waiting in the wings. You may not have started work on any of their projects yet because you haven’t received approval. You have to give presentations and then wait for the go-ahead before you can start charging for your services.
Rendering speeds all of that up.
In many cases, showing a client a good render is a fast ticket to project approval. If you can impress your client at the first meeting, you don’t have to wait around for approval. It can come a lot faster, and you can get the project moving.
Now, let’s touch on VR in this last section. This is the newest visualisation technology out there. Even so, it’s having a huge impact on the industry in its formative years.
VR is the future of architecture because it offers clients more.
The sector has moved forward thanks to VR. You can now show clients full 3D representations of your models that they can explore. You don’t have to spend hours explaining, because your clients can see everything for themselves.
It’s a crazy thought. Soon, it’s possible that all architectural presentations will involve a few headsets and guided tours.
That’s all for the future. What you need to know about are the benefits you’d get from adopting VR right now. Let’s take a look.
Benefit #1 –Jump Ahead of the Competition
It is vital that your architecture firm stays ahead of the game. The architecture sector has evolved so much in recent years, and companies that get left behind really have to claw to catch up.
Adopting VR early ensures your company doesn’t get caught playing catch up.
Think of it like this. Your potential client will see a bunch of designs when choosing a firm. Most of those use 3D modelling. That’s great, but you can do more.
You use VR. Suddenly, you transport your client into a full 3D model that they can explore for themselves.
Who do you think is going to make the biggest impression?
Benefit #2 – Start-up Costs
Every new technology comes with a start-up cost. It’s unavoidable. Many assume it will take far too much money to start using VR in their presentations.
That’s not the case. VR may actually be the most accessible new technology to come down the pipeline in a while.
Look at the top-end VR products available today. You can pick up an Oculus Rift headset for less than $1000, maybe less if Facebook put it on sale. That’s a tiny investment, in the grand scheme of things.
You’ll need some other hardware, too. But, all-in-all, setting up for VR will cost less than $10,000. If it helps you win just one extra project, it will pay back the money you’ve invested in the technology.
Benefit #3 – Integration
Of course, VR wouldn’t do a lot of good if it couldn’t integrate into your existing software. You’d just end up with a bunch of headsets that you can’t use.
Digital design software developers know this. So do app developers. That’s why there are already a bunch of apps that will help you turn your 3D models into VR models.
Revit is a great example. Autodesk has created the Autodesk LIVE app to help you pull your 3D models into the VR space.
As time goes on, you’ll see a lot more apps designed with this purpose in mind. That means you don’t have to worry about integrating your current systems with VR technology.
Many software players have built solutions that offer one-click VR from Revit and SketchUp models. Enscape, Modelo, Iris VR and Kubity are well known programs in this space. ArchiStar Academy has courses that show you how to use these programs to their full potential.
Benefit #4 – A Better Feedback Process
Adjusting designs based on feedback accounts for much of the time you will spend in the early stages of design. The better the model, the more accurate the feedback you receive.
Placing clients in a virtual world will speed up the feedback loop. Imagine the possibilities. The client takes a virtual tour and can see what they like about the entire building. They can pick out problems easily and give you something solid to work from.
Now, think about real-time changes. Let’s say the client doesn’t like the colour of the lighting in the virtual model. That’s no problem because you can change it right there and show the client exactly what the change does.
It’s all about speed, and VR is ideal for that purpose.
That’s the case for visualisation, rendering, and VR in the current architectural business environment. All current architects should adopt visualisation, at the very least.
But, those who really want to stay ahead of the pack should use all three. Imagine a great model with a lifelike render that your client can actually explore. That’s going to make waves at any presentation.
Now, you need to get started. That’s where ArchiStar Academy can help. ArchiStar Academy offers courses in a range of visualisation and rendering software. Autodesk Maya, V-Ray, 3DS Max, Modelo, SketchUp, V-Ray, Iris and Unreal Engine training is all available. ArchiStar Academy also offers several 3D modelling and rendering software via its website. Visit the site today and take your first step into the modern architectural sector.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Archistar Academy today if you have any questions.
If you would like to share your thoughts on our blog, we’d love to hear from you!
Get in touch with the ArchiStar Academy community via Facebook.
Posted on 28 Mar 2019