As an architect or designer, you most likely use photography to showcase past projects to prospective clients. It is an excellent method to market your services by providing hard evidence of what you have accomplished. While this is quite effective and even a preferred mode in some circles, it can also be quite limited. You are restricted to displaying existing work whose images are captured at a certain angle and under permanent lighting conditions. This lack of flexibility is only one of the reasons why 3D rendering has an edge over photography.
There are other instances showing how this 3D computer graphics process is more advantageous than its photography counterpart. Discussing them in more detail can provide a clearer understanding and perhaps a deeper appreciation for this indispensable marketing tool.
#1 Has undeniable versatility
Using photos may be effective but there are other ways to visually communicate your skills. Your work should be capable of being admired through different modes and not be confined to just one format. This is where the innovative use of graphic design comes in.
It allows you to explore other modes to promote your creativity.
A 3D rendered image starts from a 3D model. The beauty of having a 3D model is that it can yield more than the 2D representation resulting from the 3D render process. Aside from the hyper-realistic snapshot comparable to a photograph, it can also be spun into an animation. This can provide you with animated walkthroughs that your potential client can engage with. It can also serve as a basis to create 3D-printed displays.
Imagine having these interactive options at your office or during a tradeshow. A prospective walk-in client is not limited to flipping through your portfolio of splendid albeit static completed works. They can actually go around and closely inspect a 3D printed display or tinker with an animated walkthrough. It adds a semblance of touch instead of just using their sense of sight. Animations may also incorporate sound effects which add another layer to their overall sensory experience.
In addition, these may also be converted into videos that may be uploaded to your website or on other platforms on the Internet. More on this later, however.
#2 Allows artistic autonomy
Your creativity is often challenged when you are restricted to a given set of circumstances. This can be due to the choice of subject matter or the tools you can work with. It tests your imagination by demanding you to produce feasible solutions despite being faced with particular constraints. These situations are good opportunities to demonstrate your ingenuity. It also helps you become more resourceful by finding unique ways to convert your ideas into reality.
The ability to perform such tasks or even just having the resolve to take them on is admirable in itself. At the same time, such instances must also be put into perspective.
This scenario is applicable if you have no other choice but to make use of what is presented to you. Such may be likened to the case of photography. You can only do so much in order to attain favorable conditions to get the photo you want. The subject matter remains constant and the degree of influence over the outcome lies mostly in pre and post-production.
You can alter the lighting and choose angles from which to shoot the subject matter during pre-production. Once these satisfactory conditions are in place then you are free to take as many pictures as you like. Photo editing to improve its visual quality such as color grading is then possible during post-production. You can also add visual effects through computer-generated imagery (CGI) though this might be encroaching into 3D rendering territory.
Be that as it may, photography is still limited by its subject matter, tools, and processes available to produce it.
With 3D rendering, you are unrestricted by your subject matter because you can digitally manufacture one as you please. The tools you have at your disposal allow you to edit your work as many times as you desire. This blurs the line between pre and post-production. You can change the lighting and angles while performing color grading and adding visual effects at the same time.
Furthermore, you can produce other formats beyond the standard photograph. The 3D rendering process also makes it possible to create a 3D floor plan which helps highlight a subject’s interiors. Animations and even timelapse videos may be produced. This would again be a consequence of having a 3D model available. Regardless, it still leaves you with a lot more options to present to your prospects.
#3 Communicates past and potential capabilities
A beautiful photo of your work is a compelling way to show what you have accomplished. It has great potential to draw interest and promote your capabilities. Such photographs can only be taken once construction is finished, however. It can no longer be altered and its timeline is set in the past. While this is a tried and tested marketing method, it does not show what else could be possible.
Prospective clients not only want to see what you have done. They would also like to find out what else you are capable of doing. This essentially translates to determining if you will be able to create designs that match their vision. It is this instance in particular that motivates them to look through your portfolio in the first place. They are basically searching for evidence to convince themselves that you are the right one for the job.
Your rate of success then naturally increases along with having a greater number of materials to present.
Providing 3D rendered digital art is a potent means to achieve this. It can be utilized to create quality designs of your concepts that have yet to be implemented. You could even present raw ideas that have no connection to actual projects in the pipeline. These types of images boost your chances of securing a contract even if the property has not yet been constructed. The likelihood of prospects becoming clients grows when they can connect with any of these designs.
It matters not if it is based on an existing building or not. What counts is it can convincingly communicate your prowess to achieve their vision. Failure to do this results in being passed over to other firms. Even new architects and designers can make use of this technology to present their developing abilities. They may lack an established collection of finished works but 3D rendering can aid them to increase their assortment of designs.
There is nothing wrong with limiting your portfolio to photographs of your actual projects. It provides hard proof of your abilities. Given a choice to display past and future designs, however, it certainly would be helpful to show both.
#4 Optimum lighting options
Photography can only get you as far as what is physically available to you. Sure, you may hire a crew to create the best lighting settings for a photo shoot. You may also hope and wait for the right weather conditions before snapping the image. These methods are widely practiced however they can also get quite expensive and can lead to uncertain situations. Such challenges are part and parcel of the world of photography but are inexistent when it comes to 3D rendering.
There is no need to patiently wait for a certain time of day before taking the shot. Bringing along lighting equipment and installing them around the subject matter is also not necessary. These can all be simulated by the software. It may even be adjustable up to the most minute details thereby producing near-perfect results.
If this is not enough, you can also recreate the same shot under a variety of lighting settings and color grading options. Imagine having the most ideal conditions which closely mirror dawn, noon, and dusk. The same may also be achieved for interior shots. You are not forced to make do with what is available. An accurate interplay between light and shadow can be attained through a series of edits. All this can be performed without the production graphics staff having to leave the comfort of their chairs.
#5 Views from every angle
Along with the ability to create optimum lighting effects, 3D rendering also makes it possible to capture your subject matter from its best angles. You can easily switch from an aerial view to a street-level shot by clicking your mouse button. Imagine trying to do that with standard photography. The same goes for horizontal adjustments. You can zoom in and out as fast as the software will allow.
Nothing can hinder you from getting the exact perspective you are looking for.
There are no unmovable lamp posts blocking your way or even a set of telephone wires to disturb your view. You are able to take all sorts of diagonal shots even if you need to take them from below ground. There is no pavement to stop you from doing so. The images it can produce especially when combined with the options discussed in the previous section are seemingly endless.
#6 Capable of engaging online content
Remember this being mentioned after the introductory section of this article? It is now time to explore it further.
More and more transactions are happening online. Your prospective clients no longer have to walk into your office or visit your booth at a tradeshow to appreciate your work. They can easily view your website or scan through your profile on different social media platforms and see it there. You should be prepared of course for this eventuality.
Your online visitors have a lot of options and other websites vying for their attention. This makes it imperative that they quickly find what they are looking for should they come across your website or social media profile. If they cannot then they can easily search the Internet to find other architects or design firms. Photographs of your past works may again do the trick. Between that and the sheer volume of images possible through 3D rendering, however, having the latter certainly improves your chances.
On top of this, you may also upload videos of compiled 3D renders or even animated walkthroughs of these concepts. It provides immersive experiences for your prospects by presenting your concepts through various angles, lighting conditions, and layouts. The imagined space they are viewing can make them feel like it is the real thing. This, in turn, has the potential to create a stronger emotional connection thereby causing them to choose your brand.
Your reputation as an architect or designer is mostly built upon your past works. Its continued growth in the industry however will be fueled by your future concepts. Traditional photography is great at representing your completed constructions but is unable to fully capture the wealth of designs you can also offer. This is possible however with 3D rendering. It is more flexible, provides greater creative freedom, expands your portfolio, produces perfect images, and helps establish an online presence.
These are the main reasons why 3D rendering has a distinct edge over photography.
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Guest Speaker – Hafsa Burt
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