Architectural Rendering Cost Guide

The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry has recently grown hyper-competitive, and this is the reason why the industry players do their best to catch up with the latest developments in technology. Without any doubt, technology helps increase efficiency and open new marketing opportunities.

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AEC and real estate have been undergoing a deep digital transformation, the use of architectural visualization being one of the top digital trends. However, cutting-edge developments often mean expenses. Is this true for 3D rendering? Are you going to splash out on 3D architectural rendering or is it quite affordable for your business? What influences the price? Are there any ways to reduce expenses? If you are looking for answers to these questions, our definitive guide on architectural rendering prices is just what you need.

Why 3D Rendering?

Before we start exploring 3D rendering services prices, let’s take a closer look at what you are paying for. Architectural rendering is a critical aspect of both residential and commercial projects. The rendering process involves the use of various tools and skilled labor to transform project requirements into realistic images. With 3D architectural renderings you can:

  • create very precise drawings and presentations; 
  • digitize commercial and residential properties for online customers, and increase sales; 
  • make an impression on your potential investors.

Architectural rendering offers various advantages, but it is necessary to comprehend the reasons for its associated costs. Factors such as rendering processing time, project complexity, and the need for additional detail can impact the cost.

 This guide delves into the nuances of architectural rendering, explaining why it is imperative and how it is executed. It also explores the determinants behind the often substantial investment required.

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Types of 3D Architectural Rendering Services

There are several types of 3D architectural rendering services available to cater to different needs and preferences of potential clients. These services are widely used in the architecture, real estate, and construction industries for various purposes such as presentations, marketing, design analysis, and project planning. Here are some common types of 3D architectural rendering services:

Exterior Renderings: These renderings depict the external view of a building or property. They showcase the architectural design, landscaping, and overall aesthetics of the exterior.

Interior Renderings: Interior renderings focus on showcasing the interior spaces of a building. This includes detailed representations of rooms, furniture, lighting, and décor, giving a realistic view of the interior design.

3D Floor Plans: 3D floor plans provide a three-dimensional view of the layout and spatial arrangement of a building. They are helpful for understanding the flow and organization of spaces within a structure.

Virtual Tours: Virtual tours use 3D rendering technology to create interactive, immersive experiences. Users can navigate through the virtual environment, exploring different rooms and areas as if they were physically present.

360 Panoramas: These renderings provide a complete view of a space in a 360-degree format. They are often used in websites and presentations, allowing viewers to rotate the view and explore the surroundings from different angles.

How Much does 3D Rendering Cost?

For starters, keep in mind that the exact price will first of all depend on the type of project and delivery time. The two basic types include a still image and animation. A still image looks like a photo of what a certain object or area can look like. On the other hand, an animated tour of the property enables users to view the site from multiple angles, and can even include a tour inside and out.

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To be honest, it’s impossible to give an exact answer to this question without knowing anything about your project as there is a range of aspects to take into account. For starters, the size of the project is what really matters. Next, the rendering pricing heavily depends upon the architectural specification of the interior and exterior design as well as the time required for the final product to be completed.

Still, to give you an approximate idea, the average price range for a high-quality 3D architectural still image can be between $800 and $3000. However, 3D animation cost is typically somewhere between $5000 and $20000. The prices vary depending upon the quality, length or complexity of the video.

What Influences Rendering Prices?

Scope of Work

First of all, architectural project cost depends upon the scope of work needed to be done to complete the project. Most typically, 3D renderings require three professionals: a project manager, a 3D artist, and a post processing artist, 3D artist’s labour cost taking the largest share of the total cost. Fair enough, as 3D artist’s responsibilities include the following:

  1. Understanding the plans and the client’s vision.
  2. Producing the model with the help of 3D software.
  3. Texturing the model.
  4. Setting up the lighting.
  5. Setting up the camera.

What can push up the 3D artist’s labour cost? The major factors include the level of detail and the number of unique elements required.

Most 3D rendering services include post-production. Depending on your unique case, it can be both a minor or major part of the project. Some projects might require detailing in Photoshop, while others need just a bit of color tweaking or touch-ups.

Size of the Files

If you need a detailed, quality rendering to get an HD image, it will take a longer time to render. In addition, it will need a high-powered computer to run. Not surprising that this will affect the rendering cost.

Rendering Time

Rendering time is the amount of time needed to create your image. Rendering time directly depends on how realistic and detailed your image is. Actually, rendering time is not the concern of the consumer: it’s the job of the company. However, here is some useful information to help you understand why some projects take longer than others. Although it depends on the software, the amount of light considerably affects rendering times. As a result, exterior scenes are typically rendered more quickly. In addition, rendering time heavily depends upon the amount of detail, for instance, plants in the foreground or curved surfaces. Good news is that due to the continuous advance in rendering software, rendering time for still images is becoming a minor aspect in determining 3D rendering price. Yet, the rendering time for animations remains one of the critical factors in their production cost.


Fair enough, if you need to have the rendering completed in the shortest time possible, you’ll have to pay more for the overtime work done by the rendering team. The faster you need the project done, the higher the price will rise. However, it often happens that quality suffers because of tight deadlines. So our advice is to include 3D rendering into your plan at early stages, and not to delay important aspects of your project till the last minute.

Pricing Strategies

Per-Image Pricing

In a nutshell, per-image pricing means that the customer is billed a fixed price per image. In many cases, rendering companies offer scalable prices depending on the number of renders you order. If you purchase many images, you’ll get a discount. All in all, per-image pricing is the best solution for minor projects.

Per-Project Pricing

Per-project pricing suggests that you pay for the whole project. You typically send a rendering company the detailed data on your project and receive a customized quote.
This way of pricing works well for larger projects, which include different elements like 3D floor plans, architectural animation, and a large number of rendered images.


Save Your Time and Money

As we have already mentioned, the prices for 3D visualization services vary a great deal. To make a more informed decision on which company to select as your rendering partner, make sure you keep in mind the following things.

Beware of Fixed Rates

In 3D rendering, standard pricing is out of the question, so keep away from vendors that offer you standard rates without having seen your project files.

Provide the Team with Accurate Information

When asking for a quote, give as much detailed information as possible, and give even more after you have agreed to work with a company. Elaborate on a detailed technical assignment and provide enough references, such as technical drawings and design elements. This way, 3D artists will be able to implement the concept faster and produce visuals exactly as you imagine.

Avoid Getting Misled

As the competition is really intense, there are many companies that mislead customers by selling decent looking images at unbelievably cheap prices, which are actually stock images. To avoid issues, it’s a good idea to ask companies for previous records.

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Go for Clear Communication

Select a company that has good customer service and offers clear communication. This will eliminate multiple revisions.

Be Specific with Feedback

The biggest thing you can do to reduce delivery time and get the best results is to give specific feedback. This way, you’ll significantly cut down on the number of required revisions as every time you require a revision, part or all of the image needs re-rendering. As a result, more revisions mean longer total rendering time. In fact, reducing revisions may save you money in the long run.

Choose the Right Company

Depending on the scale of your project and your budget, you need to decide on who to choose as your rendering partner. Let’s explore some options.

Some architecture professionals prefer to work with freelancers. Although it looks like a straightforward solution, you deprive yourself of guarantees that the work will be completed on time. We don’t deny that highly skilled self-employed architectural rendering specialists exist. It’s just difficult to find the right person without wasting loads of resources along the way. To top it off, 3D rendering cost per hour may be quite high with such artists.

Next, there are small companies that can provide you with firm guarantees concerning turnaround time and quality of work. Still, they aren’t typically able to produce visuals for large scale projects.

Lastly, you can decide on working with a medium-sized company with a team consisting of more than 30 in-house 3D experts. Actually, it’s an optimal solution for a successful rendering project of any scale as there are enough employees who specialize in various types of projects. Not to mention, such companies usually offer excellent customer service.

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In conclusion, the rendering price depends on a range of factors, including types of visuals, the complexity of 3D models, resolution of final images, number of corrections, deadlines etc. Although the difference between an affordable rendering service and a high-end one might not be seen to the naked eye, communication, quality control, skill levels, frequency of revisions and perfection of the end product are things that really matter.

We hope you find our price guide helpful.

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