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Streamlining Client Revisions — Q & A Session



Written by Cleanpix Graphics



Recently we received an excellent email enquiry regarding ways to streamline the client review process by cutting down the number of revision rounds required to finlise a 3d rendered image.
Amending client revision requests is often the most difficult and frustrating part of the 3d visualisation process, most likely to cause budget over runs and missed deadlines.

We have decided to publish the enquiry from Matt (based in Miami, USA) together with our response below since it covers some great points!



“Hi,

I found you with a simple Google search and dug a little deeper to get in contact. I absolutely love the work Cleanpix produces and admire your detailed craft, especially with your interior shots. I've been going around and speaking with people with similar offices and seeing what problems they face and how they solve some [of them], to be able to help everyone.

I have actually been hearing a lot of frustration with vague client revisions… One visualizer I spoke to actually found a way to cut down his revision rounds (from an average of 6 to around 3) by creating a detailed questionnaire for every project he began.
He analyzed every project he's worked on and put together a list of frequent comments.
With this information he cleverly developed a fill-in questionnaire to send to the clients, allowing his vis team to act and not react to vague comments.

These questions helped get the preferences out of the way, here are some examples:
Lighting preference: Sunset, sunrise, noon?
Window curtains: yes/no?
Glass reflection preference: Translucent, reflective or in between?
People present: yes/no?
And many more…

After implementing this strategy, he noticed an immediate drop in revision rounds and a more efficient workflow! He also saved these files as part of their client's profile for uniformity in future projects with repeat clients, very clever way to improve client satisfaction!

How do you guys make revisions more efficient?

Best,
Matt”




Client Markup

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the intro.

In our experience any time you start working with a new client, there will always be a higher probability that you would need 1 or 2 extra rounds of revision to get it right.
Consequently that will most likely mean that it’s necessary to spend more hours than budgeted to get the project completed.
With repeat clients, the projects tend to run smoother because they are familiar with our process and we have a better idea of the client’s preferences.

We estimate that 70-80% of the clients we work with return with more business within 12-18 months so that means that we may only experience a small number of ‘challenging’ projects in any given year.
On average it takes us 3 rounds of review/revision to get the 3d renders finalised.
Sometimes it’s worth taking the pain and doing a little bit extra work to secure a successful long term business relationship.

The strategy with the questionnaire that you described sounds like a logical approach but I would be reluctant to use it for our projects as it can lead to some serious problems.

Every project is different and it can be difficult to know what looks best until you try several solutions. Sometimes you may set up daytime lighting and realise that it’s better to switch to dusk. Other times you may have strong glass reflections and decide the image looks better if you turn down these values…etc.
By using the questionnaire method you are severely constraining your options that may result in 1 of 2 potentially awkward scenarios.
Either 1) go with the client’s preferences to the detriment of the image quality or 2) go against the client’s preferences for the sake of render quality, requiring an explanation why you did the opposite of what they requested. There are potentially a few other downsides to consider as well.

Our process for establishing the client’s preferences are a bit more basic.
We might ask them to supply a few reference images that show the lighting/mood or furniture + accessories that they would like to see in their finished artwork. We will then proceed to match the general look and feel of the supplied reference material.

The ideal situation is for the client to supply one of our own 3d renders as the reference.
That allows us to directly re-use the lighting set ups as well as the furniture, accessories and planting models from the previously completed projects.

If you get a situation where the lighting and/or styling indicated by the client’s reference images is not working out, it’s easier to switch to an alternate solution. The reference images are only a guideline rather than a direct client request.

Finally, experience plays a fairly big role in helping to streamline the review process.
Once you’ve spent several years working in architectural 3d visualisation, you become a lot more familiar with architectural design trends, construction methods and interior styling trends.
When starting work on a new archvis project, it’s always a good idea to consider the location (how affluent is the suburb?) and the target market (first home buyers, young families, downsizers, or high income earners!?). Once you’ve established these attributes, it’s a lot easier to decide on styling and accessory schemes which can be a major sticking point for interior 3d renders.

We find that taking into account such factors helps to significantly reduce the number of revision rounds.

Thanks again for writing in, let us know if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,
Cleanpix Graphics