Architects and real estate experts know very well that CG videos are a powerful tool for their presentations and marketing materials. The only problem is that having them made can take quite a long time. On average, a 3D animation project lasts from a few weeks to over a month, depending on its complexity. But the fact of the matter is, in architectural and real estate projects time is of the essence, and clients or investors won’t wait forever.
Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done to speed up the process. Specialists of our CGI company have compiled a list of tips that can significantly streamline the workflow of 3D walkthrough animation production. Here are 5 ways to speed up 3D video projects and get impressive results faster than you’d normally expect!
#1. Choose a CGI studio with a reliable workflow and powerful technical capabilities
First of all, it’s vital to find the right 3D visualization company for the job. Ideally, it should be a large studio that can finish tasks quickly thanks to big dedicated teams of 3D artists. Also, the company should have a substantial portfolio including projects similar to one that an architect plans to commission.
Another important point is to inquire client managers whether the studio has a render farm. It is a set of interconnected computers with powerful processors and graphics cards, used solely for rendering CGI. Oftentimes, rendering a 3D video alone can take several days, so a render farm is a must for efficient workflow in such a task.
If a CGI company has all of the above-mentioned things, it will significantly speed up the creation of a 3D animation project and ensure that everything will be done on time.
#2. Use ready-made 3D assets if possible
Creating custom 3D models and other assets such as materials and textures takes time, adding precious hours or even days. This is why it’s important to commission as few of them as possible. Ideally, if an architect has a 3D model of the building, they should provide it. It can serve as a reference to 3D artists working on the 3D animation project or even be used in CG video with a few adjustments.
It is also worth mentioning that professional CGI studios have vast libraries of ready-made 3D assets that can be used as secondary objects in the CG walkthrough. So, instead of creating all the 3D models from scratch, artists will use pre-existing ones, resulting in the CG animation project being finished a lot quicker.
#3. Provide a full scope of work for the project
A comprehensive 3D animation project scope of work, also known as a brief, is vital to not only speed up production but also to ensure that the client gets the exact results they wanted. With a proper SoW, it’s easy to avoid any miscommunication down the line. Here are all the things that should be included.
Along with the above-mentioned basics, the brief should contain visual references. These can be photographs of the place where the building will be located, reference pictures or videos for the environment, weather, lighting, and mood.
Then, architects or realtors should provide their script ideas for the 3D animation project. They have to think of the overall walkthrough narrative, camera path, and specify elements of the property that should be highlighted. Should any details be animated and which ones? Whether or not to include people, animals, and vehicles, and in which way? What time of day and weather conditions are preferred?
Finally, the SoW should mention what editing should be used in the video. That includes VFX, types of transitions, overlaid text, logos, watermarks, voiceovers, and background music. Provided all of the information mentioned is included, 3D artists would have no problem creating exactly what the client wants in the shortest possible terms.
Of course, the script and editing choice can be left to the studio’s specialists, but we would advise avoiding this. Such a decision may result in an animation that doesn’t suit the client and extend production time due to corrections. This is why providing a full scope of work in advance is a huge time saver.
#4. Provide a full list of corrections instead of separate comments
When working on an animation, CGI studios regularly show intermediate results to their clients. And while usually, things go smoothly, sometimes corrections are needed. It’s not necessarily about mistakes — it happens that architects and realtors change their minds about some storytelling elements or want to tweak materials, lighting, etc.
In order for corrections to take as little time as possible, it is best to send them to a CGI team all at once. When clients send small portions of feedback at long intervals, it stalls the progress since 3D artist teams apply the requested adjustments one by one. On the other hand, by addressing all project issues at once, it’s possible to save hours if not days of work.
#5. Try to send all corrections before the final rendering at all costs
Before the final rendering of a 3D animation, the 3D artists will show the client the raw version of the walkthrough in greyscale. This is done to approve the camera path and geometry. Afterward, 3D artists send a few stills in color with lighting to give an idea of what the final footage will look like. Only after everything is greenlit, the final rendering can begin. Any changes to geometry, lighting, or materials after this process is finished would mean scrapping the entire animation and starting from scratch. Hence all significant changes must be applied prior to the final rendering to avoid starting the work all over again.
3D animation projects take a while to accomplish but it’s absolutely possible to get them finished faster. By picking the right CGI studio with large teams of experienced 3D artists and powerful hardware, architects and realtors can ensure relatively close deadlines. Also, by requesting as few custom 3D assets as possible or even providing their own, clients make specialists’ work a lot easier. The same can be said about providing full project briefs — with them, 3D artists know exactly what to do and won’t spend time asking for clarifications. Finally, providing full lists of corrections on time and before the final rendering would help avoid stalling in the workflow.
Want your 3D walkthrough done exactly the way you want and in the shortest amount of time possible? Contact our 3D animation company now and secure deals before your competition!