How to Reduce the Cost of Architectural Renderings : Part 2


Architectural Renderings - Bar Concept

Architectural renderings – Reducing Costs. As seen in part 1 of this article, basic pricing for getting real estate renderings done for your project depends on several key factors, but prices can also be affected by a few new factors that come into play further down the line as the project progresses. One of these major factors is the amount of revisions a 3d rendering company is asked to do, another is whether you can provide the design or need the studio to produce this for you, and so on, all of which have their own associated costs.


Creating photorealistic renderings of a property is in many ways similar to actually building a property itself. The foundations are laid and layers are built on top of each other until the house is complete. Just as making changes to the foundations, once a property has been completed, would require the removal of the roof, ceilings, demolishing of large parts of the walls and so on, the same goes for 3D models used in generating a 3D architectural rendering. Making major changes to the design or architecture after a project is already in the advanced stages will mean much work going to waste as the project is broken apart and taken right back to the modelling stage, leading to extra costs in time and money.

The same goes for camera angles; small adjustments in zoom, elevation, and few degrees in angle, at later stages are no problem and require little extra work to complete. However big changes to cameras at later stages can cause significant problems. For example, rotating the view of an interior design 3d rendering by 90 degrees may sound like a piece of cake, but will often result in a view of an unprepared or worse a non-existing part of the 3D model. Needless to say such changes will require much extra work as the project is taken right back to the modelling phase in order that previously out of view parts are modelled from scratch in order to deliver the interior design rendering. Any major changes after the modelling stage of the project should be avoided if saving money is a top priority.


Although the quality of the project materials delivered to the rendering company may not affect the pricing at the beginning of  a project, poor quality materials could cause problems further down the line. The reason why the material provided influences pricing is because they will be used as guidelines for design of the architectural renderings right from the beginning of the project. Let’s say that at the beginning of the project you determined that the outside facade of a property would be brick, but then towards the end decided to change it to wood- this would undoubtedly lead to extra time and costs. Same goes for changing landscaping. The purpose of materials is give clear reference from the get go as to how the project will be in terms of design and aesthetic, and if this isn’t provided at the beginning or changed as the project moves forward, their will likely be an impact on the turnaround time and pricing of the real estate renderings, and will also cause issues for those of you looking to get an architectural animation or a VR real estate tour done.

So what materials should you provide a 3D rendering studio with? Typically a studio will ask for the following:

  • CAD plans – Site plan, Floor plans, Elevations
  • Site info – Property address, Site photos
  • Landscaping info – Landscaping plan, Plant names/Reference photos
  • Material-board – visually displaying placement of materials/Finishes schedule
  • Material references – Photos/Samples of materials and textures
  • FFE (Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment) – Document/Reference photos
  • Reference Images for Rendering Style

Architectural Renderings - Bar Concept Interior


Choosing furniture or requesting customized items for a 3d rendering project, an architectural animation or a Virtual Reality Real Estate Tour can also impact pricing. Studios have large databases of 3D models of furniture and other items that have been collected and optimised ready for 3D rendering. Reusing such assets results in lower production costs, as using readymade furniture from libraries is much faster and more cost effective than modelling these from scratch or searching  for and purchasing these online. However, let’s say the client has a specific model of designer chair that absolutely must be included in the interior design rendering, then the architectural rendering company will have to either purchase this or spend time creating a 3D model of this item from scratch to use in the architectural renders. Studios will typically charge extra for this of between $30-60 per item depending on model complexity. If saving on cash is your top priority, then it’s probably best avoiding this.

All in all there are many factors that affect the overall production costs and therefore the pricing of architectural renderings and it is the responsibility of the studio to properly inform the client on these at the beginning by clearly outlining what is included in the set pricing and what elements will cost extra and take longer to complete. It is also a good idea for the studio to outline their general process so that the client can understand how the project production will be broken down so that they are able to plan accordingly. Following this, set pricing structures for numbers of architectural renderings or the scope of an architectural animation, costs for extras, time needed for extras, and the amount of iterations included in a package, should all be clearly laid out in the contract agreed upon by both parties before any work gets underway.

Armed with a clear understanding of all of these factors affecting pricing of 3d rendering services, the client should then be able to decide what is absolutely necessary and work with the studio in deciding on whether sticking to a set pricing structure will work for the architectural renderings or whether certain extras will be needed. In the end the client will receive the expected final result for the agreed on price, and the studio will be able to plan well and cover costs, ensuring a smooth project for both parties from beginning to end.