Architecture, Design, Technical

3D Rendering: Outsourcing vs. Hiring In-House

3D rendering has become one of the fastest-growing industries today, however, most people cannot confidently say they understand what it is. You may not realize it, but we are surrounded by 3D renderings every day — so what is it?

3D rendering is a two-dimensional representation of a computer wireframe model that has been given properties such as texture, colour, and material” (Easy Render). To put it in simple terms, 3D rendering turns lines and boxes with added details to make them look realistic and pleasing to the eyes. You would be surprised how the smallest details like changes in lighting and textures can really transform a picture.

 

2 images side by side of a living room in 2D and 3D

Difference between a 2D and 3D rendered image. Courtesy of:JJones Design Co.


As you can see, there is a drastic difference between the 2D and 3D rendering pictures above. Take lighting as an example, in a 2D rendering, every corner is lit up the same way. Even though this gets the job done, the uniformity of the scene prevents the audience from truly experiencing what you may want to show. Now looking at the 3D rendering, the light permeating from the windows is bright in one corner but fades as you move farther away. This small detail in shading and contrast helps the scene breathe and become realistic.

Pixar’s animated movies are one of the best examples and well-known examples of 3D renderings. All of the characters, although do not exist in reality, are hyper-realistic. Through strategically incorporating different textures, colours, lighting, and physics the designs come to life. Even architects have “started using VR to take clients on virtual tours of unbuilt work” (Easy Render). We are now living in a time where communication can be easily understood between designer and client.

With the growing popularity of these services, would it be better to outsource it or hire someone in-house?

Outsourcing

In order for a 3D design and rendering company to be able to complete the projects, thorough briefings from the company outsourcing their project will be required. But before considering diving into using these services, let’s explore the pros and cons.


Pros

1. It would be less costly in time and resources

Resource allocation is one of the biggest factors for a company when considering outsourcing 3D renderings. Smaller companies have limited manpower, allowing outsourcing to be a preferred solution. Not only is it costly monetarily hiring a full time salaried 3D designer but also an inefficient allocation of time. To funnel down qualified applicants, interview them, and hire them can be a lengthy process. As a smaller company, there simply may be a better use of your time and/or resources too.

2. Other industries that are not dependent on 3D renderings can use this service

The ratio of cost to use is another factor of consideration. Depending on your clientele and industry you are in, the need for constant renderings will vary. All in all, it may be more beneficial to hire someone who is more versatile for drafting and other tasks versus a narrow skill set like 3D modelling and rendering.

3. You will be hiring the experts in the field

Outsourcing it to companies that specialize in 3D modelling and rendering could produce superior quality in less time. Our world continues to greater connectedness. The option to have a project in constant production outside of company hours is now an option. Additionally, there is the option to outsource your project to different companies to get your full project done quicker. The possibility of having your project completed by the next workday is now feasible.



Cons

1. Possible issues with confidentiality
Certain companies may have sensitive information that is only set to be released at a certain time. With handing projects to a third party, the risk of information leaking to the public prior to the release date is a possibility. As such, you will be letting go of control.

2. Less convenience with making edits

Even with a detailed and succinct briefing to the company, there is still a possibility the designer may not fully understand your vision. With letting go the reigns, you also lose flexibility and convenience with editing the project. Your chances of emailing back and forth edits will increase significantly.

3. The difference in time zones and work hours may hinder production

Being able to outsource the project overseas is convenient and useful, however, it also has its drawbacks. Depending on which country or region, the difference in work hours could affect production time. Public holidays are different around the world and must be taken into account.

 

Man sitting at desk in front of computer

Producing a 3D rendering scene is very time intensive and consuming.

In-House

After taking into account the pros and cons of outsourcing projects to 3D designers/company, why would a company choose to hire in-house? Similar to outsourcing, the size of your company matters, and whether you can afford to hire someone to join your company full time with the specific skill set.


Pros

1. Full control over projects
The biggest benefit of doing projects in-house is having absolute and complete control. This aspect can give you peace of mind that all information will stay within the company without encouraging the risk of breaching confidentiality.

2. Instantaneous edits

Changes can be made instantaneously making revisions easy by discouraging stylistic differences and encouraging a distinct “house” feel. All in all, being able to have someone in-house could improve your company’s overall workflow. This option could be particularly more fitting to certain companies, however, there are definite drawbacks.


Cons


1. Time, time, time

As with any business, time will always equal money. Producing 3D renderings take a long time and a lot of the computer’s resources. Technically, any computer could be used to render images as long as you have the software. However, to be able to produce 3D renderings in an efficient and timely manner, a much more powerful computer is needed. Hardware such as a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is normally used to accelerate the process of image creation. Without this added horsepower, waiting around for a project to finish will produce idle time, which will mean money down the drain.

2. Resource heavy

Though intuitive, money is money. Hiring a 3D modeller and designer as a full-time employee, the office expense and social expense will be sizable. If you can spare the resources of interviewing possible employees and afford another annual salary, then in-house would be a great fit. If your company is not in that position, hiring someone in-house would not be the appropriate choice. In addition, in regards to equipment, rendering takes a lot of computing power. Smaller firms may not have the resources to buy additional computing equipment or do the renderings themselves making doing in-house renderings impossible.

A Word of Advice

Don’t be shy – ask for a portfolio from an agency or a 3D designer, and how quickly they could process a project. Being able to see their past work will help you get a better understanding and how their services would fit your company vision and style. 

Whether outsourcing a project or producing one in-house is better is completely subjective. Recognizing what resources are or are not available will help you and your company decide on which option would be most beneficial to set you up for success. What matters is choosing what is best for your company.

 

If you are looking for help outsourcing rendering and VR content for visualizations, check out KiSP’s portfolio here.  They specialize in low-cost solutions that can be done in tight turnaround times to help you share your vision for any project.

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