Navigating the minefield of outsourced architectural CGI.


At Archilime, we regularly have clients coming to us who have had their fingers burned by a difficult experience with another agency, who have promised to produce their 3D property development CGI for fantastic prices on a tight turnaround – but failed to deliver. Quality, budgets and schedules have all been wide of the mark which has led our clients to consider the benefits of working closely with a local agency on their priority projects.


We have been talking to our clients over recent months to find out more about their experiences of having their design work outsourced by the agencies they entrusted with their intellectual property and what they have learned for future projects. We share here some of the risks and challenges that they have encountered and how we can offer a less stressful and more streamlined experience as a local team, on hand and accessible to clients.


There are agencies globally offering budget CGI produced through outsourced digital “factories” with employees distributed over wide geographical areas and managed via digital platforms. For sure they can churn out images which meet the basic brief, but our clients tell us they cannot reproduce the depth of sensitivity and understanding for your project which can really make the subtle details shine. With typically opaque and convoluted supply chains, the lack of direct communication between architect and artist in an outsourcing situation can result in costly mistakes and delays and more often than not the results show a generally substandard level of accuracy.


Another risk of working with agencies who outsource design work comes about as a result of the high turnover in these supply chain based middle-man structures. With the workforce changing constantly, the agencies do not benefit from the same kind of established, trust-based working relationships that a smaller local team who have grown together can benefit from. Communication is poor and key information has proven to be lost in translation. This kind of more transient culture in the workforce might reveal itself through a lack of commitment or attention to detail on a job, where there is less of an investment in long-term working relationships with either the employer or their client.


As architects and property developers come to understand the non-material costs associated with outsourcing, which come along with the perceived financial benefits, there is a move back towards local, in-house creative teams who can meet face to face and work closely with their clients throughout the creative process. Our clients tell us that they value being able to make changes and monitor quality at every stage of production if they need to – although after working with us once they tend to relax and trust in our team as the working relationship matures.


After experiencing the kinds of problems described above, our clients now tell us that above all they want to be assured that they are investing in a working relationship with a company that will deliver quality imagery and be accountable, reliable and approachable – as well as being affordable.


If this sounds like the kind of assurances you are looking for when choosing an architectural visualisation agency, get in touch with us today to find out more about how we work and how we can help you.