Have you wondered how a 3D render is calculated? Whether you’re outsourcing your 3D rendering needs, or you own an in-house team, this question often come up in your business. If you understand what you’re paying for, it is easier for you to save money in the project. In this article, we’ll introduce how 3D rendering price is calculated. Once you understand the key factors that influence 3D rendering costs, you’ll have full control of your architectural rendering project.


How 3D Rendering Costs are Calculated? Factors that Influence 3D Rendering Prices


– Project Complexity

The first factor to talk about is the complexity of the project. It stands as a fundamental factor influencing costs. In general, more intricate scenes and objects, and complex animations demand increased computational resources and time. This means more workload will be generated. Overall, intricate details, realistic lighting, and intricate textures can significantly impact the overall cost of the project. You should be aware that as the complexity of the project increases, so too does the investment required to achieve the desired level of visual fidelity. For instance, the price of rendering a 70-story high-rise exterior is no doubt higher than a single house view.


– Deadline & Urgency

Time is money. In the world of 3D rendering, deadlines and urgency play a pivotal role in cost calculations. Tight timelines or a need for expedited delivery often translate to additional costs. Rendering services may offer accelerated options for faster turnaround times, but these conveniences come with a premium price tag. Clients seeking quick results should be prepared to allocate additional resources to meet their project deadlines. For reference, please check this case study Riverside Wharf in Miami, which our 3D team completed a large mixed-use development in a limited timeframe.


– Number of Visuals

The quantity of visuals, whether individual images or frames in an animation, directly impacts rendering costs. More visuals necessitate more rendering time and computational resources. Projects with a higher number of frames or images will naturally incur higher costs due to the extended processing requirements. Clear communication about the expected quantity of visuals is essential for accurate cost estimation. Don’t worry if you do not know how many renders are suitable for your project. State your needs, your 3D team will give you professional suggestions.


– Types of Renders

It’s not just the quantity of renders that matters. Different types of renders have distinct cost considerations. What visuals are you looking for? Still images? Animations? Or virtual reality experiences? For still images, are you creating large development aerial views or a small bakery interior? Every project is a unique experience, thus needing a custom quote. As a result, it is recommended to have a general idea of what types of renders you’re looking for before entering a project. But if you have no idea at all, don’t worry, talk to your 3D team and they will come up with the best strategies for you.


– Have a 3D Model or Not

A rendering project can start with a concept. As long as the architect has the idea, a professional 3D team can visualize it. You can provide a concept sketch, CAD plans, or 3D model. However, the presence or absence of a 3D model at the project’s outset influences costs. If a detailed 3D model is already available, it can potentially reduce expenses, as the rendering process can commence without the need for extensive model creation. However, if a model must be developed from scratch or refined extensively, it can contribute to higher costs, as 3D modeling is a labor-intensive aspect of 3D rendering. As a professional architectural rendering studio, we’ve rich experience handling various projects. Please feel free to read on this case study to learn how we turn a single sketch into a 3D render.


– Software & Tools

The choice of 3D rendering software and tools significantly impacts costs. Some software licenses involve upfront costs or ongoing subscription fees, while certain rendering engines or plugins may incur additional expenses. Additionally, the expertise required to use specific software may influence costs, as more sophisticated tools might demand a higher level of skill and experience. When you’re looking for the suitable software, be aware of the above aspects. By the way, we’ve summarized the some of the best free 3D rendering software for creating 3D architectural visualization here.


– Hardware Costs

The hardware used for rendering, including powerful GPUs or CPU clusters, contributes substantially to costs. Higher hardware specifications often result in faster rendering times but at an increased expense. Some rendering services charge based on the type and capacity of hardware employed during the rendering process. You should be aware that hardware costs are a critical component of the overall rendering expenditure. Therefore, you always need to pay attention to the hardware, making sure they’re able to catch up with the software and project needs.


– Revision & Iteration

The need for revisions and iterations can impact costs significantly. If multiple adjustments to lighting, textures, camera angles, or other rendering elements are required, additional rendering time and resources will be needed. You should communicate their revision expectations clearly to manage costs effectively. Some rendering services may include a certain number of revisions in their pricing, while others may charge extra for revisions beyond a specified limit. Make sure to confirm this before starting the project.


Stick to a Budget


It sometimes comes to us that our clients only have a limited budget.

In this case, a professional architectural visualization company like us will start by identifying the key elements of the project. These elements are non-negotiable and must be executed at a high level. Then, we ask the architect to clearly define the goals and objectives of the 3D rendering project. This will help our client prioritize elements that are crucial to the project’s success. Furthermore, we help our client choose the right rendering options: the type of rendering. At last, our 3D artists work with project managers to help the client control the number of revisions. Additional revisions can incur extra costs, so setting clear limits will help manage expectations and control expenses. This in turn, needs our project managers to coordinate the whole project from the beginning, identifying the clients’ need at the first place.

By combining these strategies, we are able to navigate the complexities of 3D rendering projects with a clear focus on budget management and quality outcomes.


Quality is All that Matter


Quality is important. It is the fundamental concerns penetrating each project. While it might be tempting to explore more affordable rendering services elsewhere, quality is always a non-negotiable element. Thus, we strongly recommend prioritizing quality 3D renders. Because these visuals will serve as a fundamental accelerator in your architectural project.

Collaborating with us ensures that you receive 3D renders aligned with your ideas. With high-quality photorealistic presentation, you’ll get the most true and powerful tool to representation of your vision.




In all, the calculation of 3D rendering costs is a nuanced process that involves careful consideration of various factors. By understanding these factors and engaging in transparent communication with rendering service providers, you can make informed decisions, ensuring their projects are not only visually stunning but also within budgetary constraints. The good news is, as technology continues to evolve, staying abreast of industry trends and advancements will empower 3D rendering service users to navigate the landscape of 3D rendering costs with confidence.

Still have questions about 3D rendering costs? Or looking for reliable 3D rendering services? Talk to our project manager today and get a free quote for your project in 12 hours! Our architectural visualization studio is a professional 3D rendering company providing photorealistic visuals for architects, designers, and real estate professionals.

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