Outsourcing design/visualisation work

Oct 16 '12 33 Last Comment
Oct 16, 12 12:54 pm


I'm currently working in a small design studio in London, and we are looking into outsourcing some of our basic design tasks and visualisation work abroad (preferably Asia to have work ready in the morning).

Has anyone had good experience and can recommend a company who can do this? We would prefer someone with proficient English skills, and can do compelling visualisations (meaning better than sketchup).



Oct 16, 12 9:47 pm

Need a little more info before giving advice: what do you want them to do, and why don't you want to do it in-house?

Generally, you aren't going to find an out-source group in Asia that's going to give you much independent design value. They'll do exactly what you tell them to do, well and quickly, but won't be able to exercise a lot of independent judgment about it.

Oct 17, 12 3:18 pm

Interesting..I'm currently working in a small firm in Jerusalem, Israel. We were just discussing in-sourcing design work. Salaries here are significantly less than the U.S./U.K., so it theoretically makes financial sense.

Our website is


Oct 17, 12 8:35 pm

don't know the name of firms off my mind but the few corporate firms I've interned for (Gensler, KPF etc) used to outsource many of their visualisation work to China.  These Chinese firm did a good job for almost next to nothing

Oct 18, 12 6:12 am


we are a very small staff and can do these tasks ourselves, but would like to outsource time-intensive tasks such as rendering in order to increase our productivity. Ideally we would like to give a 3d file along with an annotated screenshot of exactly what we want, alongside some finished examples of the look we are going for.

Oct 19, 12 2:26 am

Expect to spend somewhere around 5-6 hours per rendering giving instructions and corrections to the renderer (if you go with outsourcing to Asia) from start to finish. Factor that into your own work plan and budgeting for the actual cost of the rendering including your own time. That usually more than doubles the quoted price per rendering (depending on your billing rate).

Oct 19, 12 3:13 pm

I am glad you and your shitty firm are giving the Chinese good job security.

Oct 19, 12 3:16 pm

Elaz since you all enslave the Paslestinians and treat them like animals and seemingly get away with it, why don't you just make use of your filthy occupation and your filthy world and have the Palestinians do it for slightly more than 1$ per day.  I'm sure you will get plenty of takers.

Oct 20, 12 1:17 pm

@ med.

lol you are hilarious! I had no idea there were trolls on archinect!

thanks for my entertainment for the day, the office got a big kick out of your comments!

But seriously though, we would really like to do this- I know larger corporate firms do it on a regular basis (as accesskb mentioned), so there must be some good companies/individuals out there...

@gwharton: thanks for your input, but I have a hard time believing it would take 5-6 hrs to explain and re-explain a simple task. Maybe for a perfect expensive image, but we honestly just need someone who knows how to do overall lighting well, and can make a convincing image quickly for intermediate presentation purposes. Also, we only do installations, so we would only need the object rendered with full materials, and a monochromatic environment around.

lastly @ med.: I'm not particular on any nation/race to do my renderings, I was just interested in Asia because of the time difference and having a round-the clock production process. I would gladly like to work with anyone from from anywhere who can provide us with the service we're looking for.

Oct 21, 12 11:08 pm

Believe it. You will have to explain in detail what you want, with no ambiguity or judgment leeway on their part, and re-explain it again several times before you get to a decent final product. You will have to do this for each individual image, since there will likely be a different person working on each one separately. I wish I was exaggerating, but I just got done spending 31 hours in a week directing and re-directing the efforts of an outsource renderer in Shanghai. That kind of thing is the reason we're starting to do much more rendering work in house and moving away from outsourcing unless it's for a really big, short-fuse project we can throw money at.

Based on the rendering needs you describe, why don't you just have your own junior designers do it? If you don't have one, fire an underperforming intern and hire one who can render plus exercise some decent design judgment in his/her place. 

It'll get done a lot faster and less painfully than outsourcing.

Oct 22, 12 7:20 am

Outsourcing can be very risky besides being very cost effective way of hiring someone. You should always have a backup plan to finish the job. 

Oct 22, 12 12:26 pm

Kristofferson, laugh all you want.


The fact that you don't have anyone in your office who is capable of doing renderings and are instead resorting to cheap labor of the 2 cents per hour variety in China really speaks volumes of your firm.   All they are going to do is take your shitty sketchup model and render it with VRay and if they aren't swamped, they're just going to import int into MAX.

I'm sure there are plenty of people in London who are starving for work, but hey at least you can provide good job security for people in China!  I'm happy that makes you happy!  :D

J. James R.J. James R.
Oct 22, 12 1:25 pm

I agree with med. a little bit.

This is sort of the niche job your firm should have — someone between business development, marketing and graphic design. That way they can spend 10-20 hours a week working on your marketing and internet presence and the other 20-30 hours a week pumping out renders.

The most time intensive task of rendering isn't composing the renders, it is waiting for them to finish rendering.

Nov 16, 12 3:01 pm

sure enough it's a skill you can have in house, too. But on the other hand, if outsourcing means getting better quality for less money, it would be bad business not to do so. It's not unethical to outsource to another country for less, and whether or not there are unemployed render champs back home doesn't even remotely matter. Our office (mid-size in Switzerland) outsources 95% of all rendering, because a pro, who dedicates his professional career to making 3d-images, it prone to be better at it than an architect doing it "on the side". We outsource to another swiss company, by the way - mainly for communication purposes. They can better understand the context, it's easier to tweak the outcome to your liking etcetera - which also means drastically cutting down the time needed to explain your wishes to them. By the way: those renderings aren't cheap - at all (in comparison to what you'd pay for a chinese rendering, I'd reckon). But still, it's profitable for the office. If you'd compare my hourly rate X time spent on setting up a 3d model and photoshop to the steep external price: it's still cheaper to outsource it to another professional company. So, if anything, outsourcing rendering jobs might actually mean that you know the basics of value for money...

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Jan 26, 13 11:59 am

I'm with med on this, 100%. Support your local community. If you're not part of the solution you are the problem.

Jan 26, 13 2:05 pm

well said miles and med!

There are plenty of people that can do the work locally!  Best part aboutit is that they can meet with you face to face.

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Jan 26, 13 2:35 pm

kristofferson, maybe your firm could outsource your job to China.

Jan 28, 13 12:40 pm

Exactly - I'm sure the Chinese will crank out both the CDs and Issue for Bid set in under two weeks!

Jan 28, 13 2:09 pm

med, you might be going a little crazy over this issue. Here's a situation that I have been in a few times.

1.We have a project, say in Asia, where the fees are not as high as one would have here in the US.

2. One of my very good friends is a 3d-artist based here in the states, but he charges about $4000 per rendering, making the whole package come to about $10,000

3. Another very good chinese vendor (and by good, I mean someone that people like OMA have used) charges $4000 for the whole set of renderings. Sure, it is not as good as what my friend here in the "community" would do, but seeing that the fee from the client is low to begin with, what other option do we have?

There are plenty of people that can do it locally, but a. I would love to use some of them when we again have high-paying projects  in the US (which might never happen), and b. It is very hard to beat the Chinese renderers in terms of efficiency.

That said, we do a combination of in-house renders for study purposes, and slick final renders done in China, so we do have a balance of local/outsourced material.

Jan 28, 13 2:11 pm

kristofferson, that said, let me know if you need recommendations..

Jan 29, 13 1:39 am


My name is Miroslav Stoyanov. I am an architect and freelance visualizer. I am ready for collaboration and maybe I could help you out if you want to outsource your design and visualization work.

My portfolio:  

My email:

Please feel free to ask if you have any questions.


dion bravodion bravo
Jan 30, 13 1:47 am

Exciting..I'm currently operating in a little company in Jerusalem, Israel. We were just talking about in-sourcing style perform. Incomes here are a lesser amount of than the U.S./U.K., so it in theory creates economical feeling.


Jan 31, 13 4:52 pm

dion, no one wants to do renderings of your illegal fucking settlements on illegally occupied land.  Piss off.

I'm surprised you haven't gotten the Palestinians to do it.  I'm sure they would do it for a little more than $1 a day since that you have squeezed them to.

Mar 21, 13 8:21 pm

Hello Sir Kris,

Good morning and how are you? I maybe so late of reading this forum but still I wanted to ask if this is still available, I am very interested to join your field. I am with this 3d rendering works for almost 5 years if given a chance can I apply as an outsource freelancer? I am from Cebu, Philippines and if you wanted to see my works you can visit my site 2 if this will interest you, you can contact me through this email add: or

Thank you so much,


Simone CataniaSimone Catania
Mar 21, 13 10:51 pm

med why are you insulting people?

Mar 22, 13 12:02 pm

Hmmmmm.....let's see......maybe because they are clowns who don't deserve to be talked to normally.

May 15, 13 5:19 am

Hi, i am working on an Australian outsourcing company and we are doing all kinds of outsourcing work.My company name is Employmates and here we outsource every kind of outsourcing work.We have huge and very skillfull contractor and employer in our company and they can do every kind of work with low budget.You can visit our website for your outsource work.If you love than you can give us a quote and we will reply immediately.

Roy Kwok
May 16, 13 4:08 am

We do high quality 3D visualizations, you can contact me if needed.

May 30, 13 2:44 am

Hi  kristofferson  if you want to out sourcing work please visit this website outsourcing company do all kinds of outsourcing work with low cost.You can try to find yours desire work done by them with low cost.

thank you

May 30, 13 11:15 am

You could consider getting a quadro graphic card+quadro tesla card. With these two you have a whatisname Maximus or Optimus system which can reduce your render time from hours to seconds.

May 30, 13 6:05 pm

Outsourcing is something counterproductive in this profession. See you start by paying very minimal amounts to your workers to get the job done cheaper. Soon, all firms start outsourcing the renderings. Your price is not lower anymore, is market price. It just happens that market price became lower.
Now developers don't pay nearly as much as they paid before because they don't need to. The price reduction translates into profits for either the developers, or if they are kind enough they will make houses/buildings more affordable.
**Please follow up here**
Nonetheless owners that will rent/buy the properties, although they have an incentive to pay lesser prices, that incentive is undermined by the fact that they don't have job security, because the economy is bad and because unemployment is high. (Particularly true for architects).
Therefore, the incentive from cheaper prices gets balanced off by the discouraging job markets, if we made more money we would be willing to spend more.

The only thing that has changed is the fact that architectural firms now get paid less for the same services they provide. This I call, the Architect's self annihilation.
You would learn to value your profession more if you faced the fact that professionals don't get paid 12 to 15 dollars an hour. Price your fees adequately and invest them in the workforce.

I guess engineers are much more successful because they took macro&micro classes in college and architects didn't.

Oct 13, 13 11:59 pm

My suggestion is that you should give in your project to a good freelancer from a reputable website like odesk and elance. On these websites you can find a lot of Asian freelancer's who can work for you in low rates

Miles JaffeMiles Jaffe
Oct 14, 13 10:04 am

Look at all the threads here about people dying to find work and outsource to them. Support your local community.

Oct 14, 13 10:41 am

You can get started on    $5 rendering jobs.. i'm sure if you offer someone 10 times that, they'll go beyond your expectations :)

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