Is it even worth it? (General Question about ArchViz)

Good morning to everyone who’s in PST, to everyone else just hello :slight_smile:
I have a question for everyone doing ArchViz!

A little background info: I’ve been using 3ds max for quite a while now, never professionally though (sold a few models on TurboSquid).
I am very familiar with AutoCad and Vray as well as most of Adobe Products (due to a profession) .

At the moment I work as a Graphic Designer, even though I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years now I feel like I want to
move on…don’t want to sound melancholy, but it feels like I wasted almost 10 years of my life doing something I wasn’t really enjoyed.

The job I’m doing right now puts a food on my table and roof over my head, but since I always had a passion for Architecture
and 3D Modeling I want to try and make my career in this field.

SO my question is: Is it really worth it! Is it possible for a single person to actually make money doing ArchViz? How long it takes to be comfortable and starting to outsource your work?
I’m not interested in selling stuff on Marketplace. And last but not least is UE4 plays a big role in ArchViz professional community?

P.S. If this question is for Off-topic section Moderators can move me, cheers!

No it’s not worth it. Every Architect coming out of Architecture school now knows how to do 3D renderings, you will be competing against the entire world where people get paid dollars a day. I have been in the Architecture field over 30 years and made a HUGE mistake of going down the path of 3D, I make less now than I did in my 20’s.

All that said some people do well in the field but you really need to be in the Architecture field for awhile imo, you have to know how to read drawings well, understand photography, composition, lighting, products and on and on. If you really want to get in though you should get a job at a Archviz studio and see what it’s all about.

As far as how long does it take? It all depends on your 3D skill level and how much you expect to make. You can get $200.00 for a rendering that takes you 30 hours in probably a short time but to charge $1,000.00 for a rendering you’re looking at years.

Thank you for reply RI3DVIZ, that definitely puts me on the ground.
I think I was a bit delusional, just like most of us I built a perfect world where everyone needs my awesome skills…but reality says otherwise.
Maybe it’s just that I’m turning 30 soon, who knows :slight_smile:
With that being said I don’t think I’ll stop, I think I’m hooked at this point.

Go hang out at CG Architect, read the forums check out the gallery. Then if you want a look at reality go to Elance or Upwork and see what guys in India and China are charging for 3D Architectural renderings.

The Architecture field is full of Architects that don’t want to pay for “anything” because it has always been a field where interns have been used and abused to get things done. Same goes with renderings, they don’t want to pay. That is the hard truth. Are there exceptions? Of course like anything. You can make a living but people at the top of the field in big Architecture firms aren’t making much over 50K a year for the most part.

Here’s a typical ad from Upwork for a 3D rendering and they’ll find someone to do it too:

Photo-realistic Rendering Expert

Fixed Price - Est. Budget: $40 - Posted 1 day ago

We are a building design and urban planning consultancy that provides architectural design and drafting services and we are looking for a freelancer to make a photo-realistic rendering preferably in V-Ray program out of a SketchUp model." … more

That’s $40.00 for probably at least 20 hours of work…

Again tnx for the info, I will definitely check out those websites.
And yes, reality suck! Me it doesn’t really affect that much, I mean it stings a little when you realize that your skills are pretty much worthless. But with a stable good paying job I’ll get over it real quick :slight_smile:
But as you said for interns or for people who just got out of college, that is a harsh reality that will bite them as hard as possible. And I am honestly feel sorry for them.

That makes me really sad. Not that I don’t want people to make money but I always hated those kind of websites, like Fiverr. But that is a discussion for another time.

Yep. The industry “standard” if you Google 3D renderings for say houses is about $500.00 per house, not good considering it’s around 30 hours of work. Now those people are not the cream of the crop, they do okay work but the high end guys are REALLY good! Take a look at Dbox, Spine 3D, Labtop, Transparent house, and others to see what the really good Viz studios are doing.

Very inspiring indeed! Transparent house especially, again, I look at this and thinking to myself yee I think I can do that. Than I had to scroll up again and read your first reply!

OK, here is another thought, how do those companies survive then, when you can hire somebody for $40?

The high end companies work on the high end jobs, they do animations as well as 3D stills, there aren’t many companies that can produce work like Dbox. The guys that do the houses for $500.00 pay people $10.00 an hour roughly to do the grunt work or outsource to China etc. for the modeling aspect and they do high volume. As an example I did a contract for 10 homes for a home builder.

If I were you starting out I think I would try and get a gig at an Architecture firm or a Viz firm that does high end Architecture work, not tract houses.

You may well be able to do that quality but getting someone to pay you for it is another thing! Architects aren’t dumb, they know composition, photography, good taste etc.

Can you read a set of drawings and build a 3D model from them?

That takes me back when I was just starting out doing web/graphic design. I had skills but no one was paying for it, until I got a decent portfolio doing crappy jobs.
So, back then I thought I was good, but looking back right now I wouldn’t payed myself either. So at this point I can tell a difference between good design and a design worth paying for.
Same thing with ArchViz I would imagine.

Yes, but I don’t think that is enough.

No it’s only the beginning really. You can outsource modeling anyhow, it’s also the most time consuming part I think.

Good renderings convey a mood and most are used to sell an idea or a project, that’s why I mentioned Labtop because their work isn’t about photorealism but about telling a story in a compelling way.

I actually took another look at Labtop and I should say I fell in love with some of their stuff.
The composition is brilliant, non of that generic bird view render, I completely agree with you almost every image tells the story.

Those stand out the most.

Maybe they’ll take me as an intern I live a few hours away from them anyway :slight_smile:

I think Labtop is outstanding. Their work is big and bold, not technically perfect in a photorealistic way but it’s exciting and alive. Big spaces need to feel vibrant and alive with people and activity that’s what sells clients and projects.

They had an ad for an intern a few months ago, hit em up. :slight_smile:

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Absolutely agree, Labtop is a true inspiration and motivation for all of us.

Most of their stuff is in the post processing Photoshop etc. On CG Architect there is a tutorial section for some renderings, check those out to see what goes into the making of some of the images.

Here’s a good one:

Perfect, thank you.

I know what I’m reading tonight:

Yep, that is a good one as well.

Yeah there’s another high rise tutorial on the site that’s really good too.

One last artist to check out is Peter Guthrie, he’s a photographer and cg artist, I like his work a lot for composition and he has good cg skills too.

Best of luck I gotta go. Architecture can be an exciting field if you’re on exciting projects.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and links and good luck on your next project!