If you have ever worked with a design firm on a new project, or researched interior design processes, you have probably come across the term “visualization.” If you are unfamiliar with the term, or not quite sure what it means, that’s okay. In fact, you’ve probably encountered visualization deliverables in the past. Have you ever seen renders of a soon-to-be-open theme park, hotel, restaurant, or apartment building? If so, these are examples of visualization.

What exactly are visualization services?

“Interior design visualization” refers to generating visual representations, or renderings, of interior and exterior spaces. Some firms refer to the process as “ rendering,” though the suite of services it encompasses is the same.

Visualization services can come in many forms — 2D renderings, 3D renderings, 3D animated videos, web-based virtual reality tours, and more. The goal of visualization services is usually to showcase what a building’s interior and exterior will look like ahead of completion. This is why most interior renderings feature fully-furnished spaces. You’ll notice they often include details like windows, light fixtures, design accents, furniture, and even finishes selected by interior designers and approved by the client. Some renderings also incorporate people in order to make the visual more realistic and representative of what the space will look like in real life.

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You bet they are! Visualization services benefit all parties involved in a project, including the interior design firm responsible for creating them. Firstly, when developed during the initial stages of a renovation or new-build project, they help ensure everyone is aligned on design goals and objectives. Having a realistic portrayal of what a space will eventually look like allows clients to weigh in with interior designers during every phase of the project, granting approval on the things they like and working through any aspects they don’t like. Accurate visualizations keep everyone on the same page and guarantee there will be little to no surprises when the project is completed or ready to be marketed to the public.

How does visualization work?

As we mentioned earlier, visualization services include a vast array of deliverables. Most interior design firms use advanced computer technology to generate realistic-looking renders that account for every single detail — even how natural light will illuminate the space. Usually, the process of creating great renderings requires several steps.

The first step is to gather project data to create a detailed visual that will accurately reflect the design intent. Then comes the modeling phase, where the Visualization artist creates a three-dimensional representation of the space, including furniture, fixtures, accessories, and more. Once the team has created a clean 3D model, they begin to add materials and finishes approved by the client in what’s known as the texturing phase.

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Following texturing, the Visualization artist adds realistic lighting to achieve a near-photographic look. This part of the process takes into account both natural and artificial lighting, showcasing how shadows fall around the space to create contrast and depth. Once all this has been completed and approved, it’s time to create the final high-quality deliverables based on the client’s budget, needs, and target audience.

How does visualization work

Harnessing visualization services for your next project

Now you know the basics of visualization services and some of the steps interior design firms take to create accurate and useful renderings for their clients. If you’re still wondering if visualization services are that crucial for your next interior design project, just remember that these services can benefit all kinds of scopes, from home renovations to new-builds. No matter how simple or complex the project, it is infinitely useful to have a clear idea of what the finished result will look like as your design plans change and evolve — and that’s where visualization services can help.

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