Visualising a store before it is constructed from a set of specifications and 2D drawings is not easy, neither for designers or contractors. One of the major reasons why rendered 3D retail images are used is to give a glimpse of the store experience and provide a clear picture of what it will look like, even before it is constructed. Photorealistic rendered images not only serve as an efficient communication tool for internal design approvals and reviews, they also help construction teams to view and buy in to the proposed layout.
Offshoring retail 3D architectural rendering services is a preferred option because it provides access to a highly skilled, dedicated offshore team while ensuring you save considerable costs compared to what you may incur to maintain an in-house team.
However, there are several factors that determine whether your initiative to offshore will be successful or not. To ensure you get what you pay for when offshoring retail rendering services, avoid the following common mistakes that are made:
- Lack of Clarity – When outsourcing retail 3D architectural rendering services, generally there is a lack of clarity about the expectations from the offshore team, the level of involvement by the client, the timelines and number of versions and revisions required and whether the offshore rendering team have allowed for such changes in their fees and timescales. Clarifying such details will help a great deal in ensuring smooth project implementation and on-time delivery within budgetary requirements.
If as a retailer, you wish to get involved in every stage of the project, communicate this to the team and make sure they are open to suggestions. Informing the team at the start of the project about specific ideas you may have about lighting, colour schemes, type of fixtures or camera angles will save time by reducing the number of changes. In addition, conveying the timelines and coming to an agreement with the team on the number of versions you expect will help you in achieving desired changes and timely delivery. It is also important to convey your store and brand guidelines that you want to be highlighted across the project, to ensure the essence if your brand is reflected across the project.
- Lack of Communication – Typically, there is one-way communication from the client to the offshore team about timelines, guidelines and project expectations. When working with offshore teams, communication is the key that determines the success of your project. While it is necessary to convey your expectations, it is also important to understand if such requirements are feasible and possible to implement. It is advisable to understand if the offshore team can meet your requirements by opening communication options for the rendering team in an open forum. You need to have a dedicated offshore team and single point of contact to enable two-way communication and ensure successful collaboration.
- Lack of Understanding About Different Roles – There is often a lack of understanding about the role of renderers compared to that of designers. When you work with an offshore team that provides 3D architectural rendering services, you need to understand that you are dealing with a team of 3D renderers, not designers. Ensure that your designer has all the details covered such as the furniture and fixtures, material to be used, colour range selection, the type of storefront that needs to be designed and the essence of your brand that you want to be reflected across the project. The level of detail and amount of direction you provide them will help to determine the result and output you receive.
- Incomplete Briefings to 3D Renderers – Often, renderers and designers find it difficult to visualise a project because of the incomplete briefing provided by clients. When there is a lack of direction provided, the vision you may have in your mind will be difficult for a 3D renderer to visualise or materialise. This invariably leads to iterations, delays and increase in costs. In your discussions, it will be useful to renderers to know about the store layout, type of finishes, furniture and fittings, range of paint colour selections, interior photography, design style guides, storefront and exterior landscape requirements. To avoid delays and increases in costs, make sure you provide a detailed briefing to 3D renderers when handing over a project.
- Reviewing Final Renders – In many cases, a final render is created for review and feedback. This is not only time-consuming, it requires more resources and is inconvenient for sharing among different stakeholders. One of the best ways to ensure the retail 3D rendering process is successfully implemented is to use pilot renders. Typically, pilot renders are created in minutes, compared to a final high-quality image which can take a few hours to produce. With a pilot render you can check if details are rendered as per requirements and the essence of the store and brand guidelines are retained. Additionally, you can also create a library of equipment and finishes to ensure the standardisation of finishing and applicable codes are maintained throughout the project.
- Improper Review of Images – There can be many stakeholders such as the lead designer, head of design, senior executives and even a managing director, who review the first draft of rendered 3D retail images. A brief review by stakeholders individually not only produces confusing feedback, it results in a lack of unified direction and understanding of the entire project. A single and thorough review by various stakeholders collectively is necessary to ensure all changes that are required, happen with a minimum number of iterations. It is strongly suggested to have your whole team review the image thoroughly, ideally together. To ensure a detailed review is conducted, some of the key aspects you can consider include whether the finishes are correct, the lighting fixtures are positioned accurately, the colour scheme is maintained, the interior photography and exterior storefront and landscape features are appropriate, and other design and styling features are maintained as per guidelines.
- Improper Feedback – When providing feedback, on many occasions vague references have led to misinterpretation of changes required and a delay in delivery schedules. Clear feedback on your pilot render is necessary to ensure that your final render is delivered on time. Providing visual references is always useful for the renderer to understand what needs to be changed. Instead of saying the furniture or fixtures are not right, provide an image of what you think is appropriate. If you find the light setting off, clearly state what is wrong such as the glare of the sun from the outside is too much or the spotlight on this chair needs to focus on the display next to it. A ‘redlined’ image where you can highlight incorrect details and add specific comments on the pilot render, works perfectly in detailing out feedback clearly. With proper and detailed feedback, you can obtain your final render with the least number of iterations and shorten the delivery schedule.
Keeping in mind the above aspects, the initiative to offshore retail 3D architectural rendering services ultimately depends on the strategic partner you choose. By offshoring retail 3D rendering, besides the advantage of cost effectiveness, you can obtain high quality rendered 3D retail images to market and construct your retail project on time and within budgetary requirements.
Capitalising on a collaborative environment ensures that you and other stakeholders can efficiently plan and implement your retail project. With access to a dedicated offshore team and the new technology they use, you can use sophisticated, photo-realistic, rendered images and create real-time 3D store experiences by using virtual reality models to make design approval even easier and faster than ever before.