We all communicate differently, but regardless of your style or personality, there are a few fundamentals on giving clear, effective direction that will help ensure a great result for your next 3D visual or creative project. These pointers are applicable to any project, and most situations. So if you ever find yourself hitting communication snags, watching ideas drift away from their beautiful core concepts, or just wondering if things could have been better controlled by communication – this article is for you!
Here we expand on a couple of the key points from our previous article 7 Common Mistakes in the Production of 3d renders.
Be clear from the start
Great looking renders or creative don’t happen by accident; they’re created with strong intention, direction, and a clear brief from the beginning. So when you see the first draft, the first thing to do is ask yourself: is it inline with the brief or not?
It’s up to all parties involved to ask questions and clarify the project during initial briefings, in terms of what’s expected and intended use of final visuals.
A good briefing process by both you and the studio will ensure that there are no nasty surprises further down the line. If you can, try come prepared with the following:
- Your preferred times of days or preference, along with examples
- Similar renders or photos you would like to emulate
- Communicate what you don’t want
- Furniture styling
- Marketing branding and story intent
- Be honest about the limitations and downsides of the development (don’t expect your renderer to create something absolutely amazing if the development design is sub-par)
Nominate a single point of contact
You’ve likely heard the saying ‘too many chefs in the kitchen’. Well, this could not be more true about some of the projects we’ve worked on. Everyone has different opinions on things so you really need someone to take ownership, curate all these ideas and convey them effectively.
Nominate one point of contact and one decision maker whose view overrides the team’s. This could be yourself, a marketing agency, an architect or even the 3d render studio. Whoever it is, just having these roles defined will help limit confusion and conflicting comments throughout the project, and will ensure a much smoother process in the long run.
We recommend once everyone in the team has made their comments, the point of contact should summarise the notes and look for conflicts. In a perfect world, you would then send your feedback as one nice collated document.
Set aside time to review thoroughly
Everyone wants their project or work completed yesterday, however this can come back to haunt you if you rush things. The render process is a fiddly and time consuming art, most studios will have some process in place to be as accommodating as possible without destroying the internal production pipeline and other deadlines. Slack or rushed reviews can cost both you and your team heaps of money or energy. Also, there are always errors or mistakes!
So, with this in mind make sure you set aside time to thoroughly review the drafts when you get them. Reviewing creative pieces in such detail might not be your strong suit, so we always suggest seeking help from colleagues so you can pick-up as many things as possible the first time around.
You want to ensure you are checking:
- Architectural accuracy (dimensions, doors, windows, handles etc)
- Architectural small details
- FFE Accuracy (correct finishes, appliances, tapware)
- Lighting and fixtures (lights in right spots)
Markup and communicate
Marking-up imagery is probably the most effective way of communicating your notes and ideas to any creative agency. We highly recommend not trying to ‘go through’ comments on the phone as things can be lost in translation.
There are two ways you can markup.
The first is to simply draw arrows and circles and write the text over the image. You can print the creative out and do this with pen/pencil, or use a screenshot tool like Lightshot (details below). The below example is one of the more creative markups we have received.
The other way is to use numbers to note changes, and then provide a supplementary word doc or email defining the change that goes along with each number. Either or can work, just depends what you’re comfortable with. The numbers can be good when you have multiple parties providing input.
Making Markup Comments
With your comments, be as clear and precise as possible, the old statements “I don’t like it” or “change this bit” never work, and will eventually lead to frustration on both sides. It’s critical to specify any intended change precisely.
For example, if a client was to write “change the artwork” in an interior living room, the first question is, change to what? Based on the brief to date the artist has nominated an appropriate piece. If this is not the best image for the space, then it is both the responsibility of the 3D firm and the client to communicate the preferred artwork. An example of an image or a written description will be the best ways to communicate a new direction.
Tools for making markup comments
- Lightshot: https://app.prntscr.com/en/index.html
This is our studio’s go to markup tool, it’s super lightweight, and easy to use on both windows and mac. Even if you are not are strong in ‘tech’, this is perfect for you. You can also copy and paste from lightshot straight to email or slack.
- Wipster: https://wipster.io/
This tool is super amazing when doing video or animation. We have used this on multiple animation projects with great success. Again, it requires no technical know-how and is super simple to use.