I am pretty relaxed with the changes, but after a point I'll bring it to my client's attention. I am more concerned about producing a product that my client loves and the relationship that might come from the project.

At the start of any project I try to ask pertinent questions with my project survey. My project survey is short, simple, and effective.  Spending a few minutes at the beginning can save hours later.

After the initial 3d model is complete, I send a gray scale for approval on the modeling. Sometimes, the 3d model is the first time they really see their project, and it initiates design change, which I enjoy being part of that process.

 Gray Scale 3d Models

Gray Scale 3d Models

The gray scale model serves several purposes. First, and foremost, it allows the client to see their project for the first time. Sometimes, more times than not, it's not what they were expecting. Or, it's the Architect's or Designer's client who is surprised. At the gray scale stage, I allow changes as long as they are not extensive. However, I could justify the extra charge at this stage, considering what it would cost to make these changes with a sledgehammer.

Also, at the gray scale stage, you'll be able to see the camera view and lighting scheme. The view and lighting, other than the design, is the most important part of any architectural illustration. Composition is key!

After the client approves the grayscale renderings, and any changes are made, I move on to the color (texture and materials). Like the view and lighting, textures and materials are important, too. Here, I can spend 1/3 of my allocated time building proper textures and materials. It takes a lot of work to avoid the awful tiling you see in less well-executed architectural renderings. At the beginning of any project, I request color samples. A large wall with small stone might take me a few hours to create when a painted concrete wall might take a few minutes. Having said that, a concrete wall that turns into a rock wall later in the design might occur an hourly charge. At the least, I'll make my client aware of the extra time it'll take so they might have to deal with a delayed deadline.

Render times can be extensive, so after things are colored I'll send a lower resolution color proof. The resolution is high enough to see detail, but low enough to avoid long rendering times. Once the lower resolution is approved I'll fine tune settings, for a clean render, and render the final output. If last minute changes are made, after the lower resolution rendering has been approved and the deadline is looming, I might need to use a render farm service. Render farm services come at a cost, a cost that I'll have to pass on to my client.

Final renderings can take from 2 hours per still all the way up to 6 hours per still. I am very sensitive to my client's deadlines, and I'll try to do what it takes to meet them, but last minute changes might need to be curbed. I have, and I will continue to, pull all-nighters to meet deadlines, but I try to avoid them. If the looming deadline is in jeopardy because of my doing, I will pull all-nighters. 

Please, if you have other questions, feel free to comment on this thread or email me with your questions.


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