As innovation and technology continue to drive the architecture and real estate fields, it is becoming increasingly difficult for developers and other players in the market to differentiate themselves from the competition and really stand out to their clients. How do you persuasively sell a construction project that is still not actualized?
The market has come a long way since the days of relying on blueprints, plans, and projections to convince investors. Thanks to advancements in technology, it is possible to create incredibly photo-realistic renders of real estate projects – images that will leave you scratching your head and wondering what’s real and what’s not.
But this too has already become standard practice in an industry that relentlessly evolves. These days, even that might not be enough to really inspire. This is especially true for huge projects that require a significant amount of investment and, consequently, risk. So for those that want to take it to the next level, what’s the solution?
Architecture animation is becoming increasingly popular. Given the benefits it offers over still images, it’s easy to see why. The clearest advantage it has is the experience it is able to offer the viewer. As the cliche goes, a picture is worth a thousand words – every second of a typical architecture animation has 25.
The visual impact of architecture animation is simply in a league of its own. The art draws heavily from the concepts of game development and uses much of the same software and technology to bring real world objects and scenes to life on the screen in a way that still images just can’t. An animation artist visualizes a design concept with all the different planned elements in a video clip so architects and developers can show their projects as they intend them to be experienced.
For example, a modern-day building with automatic sun shades that close and open, depending on the position of the sun, is much more compelling when seen in action in an animated video. There is just no way to achieve the same impact with still images. The experience can be enriched even further with music and sound effects, a narrator to walk you through a building and around it, and creative camera movement that properly showcases the project.
The results can be truly impressive. Just a few seconds of footage can communicate the project itself and its setting. You can quickly move from room to room within a building, transition to the exterior and fly around the structure, taking in its surroundings and relevant infrastructural elements like transport systems.
A skillful animation artist can communicate the functional aspects as well as the overall aesthetic quality of the project in a believable and compelling way. A developer working on a housing project that creates a sort of oasis in the middle of a bustling city might want a video showing all the sights and sounds that create the experience. The hive of activity in a chaotic city, contrasted with the peace and tranquility of the proposed project, complete with vegetation, residents relaxing, dog-walking, and so on. Such an immersive effect is impossible to create with just still images.
Whether residential or commercial, any architecture project is a candidate for animation. The point is to adequately communicate the value of a project – whatever it may be. The project could be in the planning stages with a need for investment. The building could be well under construction and potential tenants might want to see what it will look like once finished. Or the structure could be complete, with just a few elements that need to be included.
Whatever the need, there is no substitute for the emotional impact and the immersive experience that can properly sell a product. To effectively communicate the design intent, skillful animation is absolutely key. You can show the building in an actual setting, with real people interacting with it, and give a living, breathing demonstration of your project that inspires investors.
It demonstrates your attention to detail, dedication to your craft, and illustrates your commitment to quality. This, especially for large projects, might just be enough to tip the scales in your favor when getting people to buy into it.
Recent advancements have made truly photo-realistic architectural visualization possible. Computer-generated elements can be fused with real-world objects. Real people can be digitally placed inside buildings and can interact with elements of the structures. The buildings themselves can be integrated into actual footage of the site on which they are planned. When architecture animation is done right, it is almost impossible for the untrained eye to tell whether or not what they are looking at is actual footage or CGI.
This wow factor, however, is only a means to an end. There are practical considerations behind architecture animation. One thing it does is give you a chance to settle any doubts that potential clients may have about your project. For instance, people who want to buy units in a building may want to know how much sunlight their property will get. A timelapse video showing different parts of the day, or even different seasons will show how many aspects change based on time of day, or season of the year. This dispels any lingering doubts, and answers questions that clients might not even have thought to ask.
As technology continues to advance, architecture animation is also set to get better. There are already innovations that are cutting development time for animation projects. Real-time development platforms releasing updates to their software that make renders even more lifelike.
As past experience shows, the quality of renders can make a crucial difference in the effectiveness of marketing efforts. So it is vital to make sure the animation artists you work with stay abreast of the latest developments in technology.
When it comes to showcasing architecture, animation offers undeniable benefits that are simply unrivaled. It can demo the elements of structures and how they will be interacted with, it can communicate the project in its entirety, including its context and atmosphere, and can show the project in different conditions – time of day, season, and so on. And most importantly, it has the ability to deliver an impactful experience that could be the critical factor in persuading people to buy into it.
Beyond the technicalities of animation itself, animation companies also draw from experience to offer important advice that helps clients persuasively show off their project. The execution of each project will differ from context to context, and the best animation artists will help you understand how best to get your project to shine.