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The devil is in the details

As a consultant for real estate development specializing in launching new projects into the marketplace, I have determined the development of architectural renderings and animations are an essential component of ensuring a project’s success. Over the last 20 years I have had the privilege to work on hundreds of projects ranging from hotels to hospitals, condos to churches, shopping centers to schools, courtyards to courthouses, museums and houses. During this period the thing that has proven true for a successful project is the ability to quickly and clearly communicate the vision and purpose of your project to your respective audience.  Outside of the project’s Performa, the clear and effective communication of a project is paramount.  Ideas need to be presented so that one can quickly understand, evaluate, and decide on their commitment – that is the entire purpose.

No matter the target audience, be it municipalities, bankers, buyers or investors, key decision makers are bombarded with multiple options regarding where to place their money. Realizing the circumstances and competition, proposed projects only have one chance to provide that most important first impression. For the decision makers, it is the architectural rendering or animation that provides your project the hope for an immediate success or the chance for a second look. The architectural rendering or animation in one glance sums up the project. It leaves a lasting impression for the decision makers enticing them to dive deeper into the project.

To create an architectural rendering or an animation, talent, skill and craftsmanship are involved. For most architectural renderers and animators, creating an architectural rendering or animation is more of an exercise in photorealism. It is my experience that most architectural renderers or animators spend most of their time in the development of the scene, making it as accurate as possible. Time is spent in the details. Creators of architectural renderings and animations scrupulously follow the architectural drawings and sketches as closely as possible to accurately convey what they perceive are the most important aspects of the project. Unfortunately, most architectural renderings and animation creators do not realize that in a proposed project, the specific details are of less importance in delivering the WOW of the first impression of the project. Most architectural rendering and animation creators fail to recognize that at the initial offering the proposed project design is in flux. Rather than faithfully capturing the details of an early design the primary goal of the architectural rendering or animation is to spark initial interest in the project as a whole.

As a licensed architect one of the most profound sayings we were taught through architectural school was “the devil is in the details.” Meaning that attention needs to be paid to how the users experience the building, the building’s designed, and the longevity of its construction. However, in the creation of an architectural rendering or animation the tendency of architectural rendering and animation creators is to spend an exorbitant amount of time focused strictly on accuracy and detail, often times at peril of the deadline. Rather, projects in the proposal stage must be first developed in broad strokes, then medium strokes and finally down to specifics or the details.

Understanding this, architectural rendering and animation creators in today’s market, utilizing today’s technology, must place a priority on communicating the project’s vision and placing the vision in the marketplace. This is the first and most important goal of the architectural rendering and animation creator’s service. It is the duty of the architectural rendering and animation creator to prioritize time and understand that time is of the essence and the single most important asset of a new project. Time must always be taken at the onset of the project to formulate the goals of the architecture rendering and animation activity. Time must also be devoted to developing a strategy for achieving the architecture rendering and animation activity’s goals including the most important goal of communicate the project’s vision. Once the architecture rendering and animation products are produced, the architectural rendering and animation creator must always be ready to present at a moment’s notice.

The business of architectural rendering and animation draws parallels to one’s performance in sports, “it’s not what you have done” It is “what will you do for me now?”

Marcus K. Moorehead is a NCARB certified licensed architect in TX and LA with a background in real estate development, marketing and finance.

This article is presented with permission from the author. ©2011 Marcus K. Moorehead and Gravitas Media, Inc.

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