You know what landscape architecture can accomplish. Beyond just making a property look good, landscape architects can reduce building heating/cooling costs, revitalize old industrial or contaminated sites, restore endangered wetlands, and design parks and common spaces that promote exercise and healthy living - among many other things.
Your potential clients, however, might not know any of that. They’ve probably never heard of Frederick Law Olmsted, and some might not have a clue what differentiates landscape architects from the guy down the street who runs a landscaping company out of his garage. Some of them assume you spend your days choosing plants, and that’s it.
Enter 3D architectural renders, which sell projects and set professionals apart. These computer-generated images bring your designs to life by showing clients how they will look in real life. Unlike a sketch, they give your clients a photo-quality image of the final product before it exists. They’re a powerful marketing tool, particularly with large-scale projects. And they’re a great educational tool for would-be clients who don’t understand what landscape architects do.
Many of the larger landscape architectural firms have in-house professionals that do 3D architectural rendering, while smaller firms and independent landscape architects tend to outsource the task. Typically, outsourcing is the less expensive option.
Types Of 3D Architectural Renders
The term 3D architectural renders can mean several things. Some 3D renderings are still images, while others are more interactive, such as panoramas and virtual video tours. Still images offer a single, yet lifelike view of the project. Panoramas and virtual tours offer a 360-degree view, allowing clients to “walk” around the grounds as if the project were complete.
If your client is looking to create a park on an old industrial site, a still image in 3D gives them a realistic vision of the overall look of the project from one angle. Panoramas go a step further, allowing them to view the project from multiple viewpoints. Interactive videos offer the most nuanced view, allowing the user to walk down paths and around trees.
Village Features, LLC offers still renderings, interactive panoramas and virtual videos. Interactive products are available to landscape architects as downloadable apps for the web (MAC or PC compatible), tablets and smartphones. Clients use them for marketing and advertising materials, websites and on social media, among other uses.
Using 3D Architectural Renders To Sell Your Design
Hand drawings or sketches aren’t always enough to sell a project. No matter how artistic, 2D drawings are missing the lifelike details that allow clients to imagine themselves in that place. Often, it’s the emotional connection created by 3D images that sells a landscape design.
When pitching a design to residential or municipal customers, you might be dealing with the sort of people mentioned above - those who aren’t fully convinced of the value landscape architects provide. A 3D rendering gives them more than a promise of the transformation; it puts that transformation in front of their eyes, it sells them the truth.
Commercial customers such as developers are more likely to appreciate what landscape architects do, but many use 3D renderings to sell their own plans and will expect you to do the same. They want realistic images of the landscape that they can use to sell their project to homebuyers, tenants, planning and development officials, and the public.
3D renderings also help landscape architects stand out among the competition. If you’re bidding for a job and your competitors have flat, 2D drawings that don’t spark anything in the client, your chances of getting the job just increased. And when you need to make changes to a plan, it’s far easier to do so with 3D renderings than sketches.