Best Practices
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Jan Viohl
Head of Growth

How do I choose the right 3D agency for my company

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February 01, 2023

10 characteristics that you can use to evaluate 3D agencies

Choosing the right 3D agency can be a challenge. While many companies are just getting used to the idea of leaving classic product photography behind, others are already well into digitization and are working on complicated 3D applications. Product portfolios are very different from company to company, which creates different needs. This guide will help you find the right 3D rendering agency, classify and compare candidates.

1. 3D agencies often specialize in formats

Not every 3D agency is a classic 360 degree provider when it comes to output formats. In addition to product animations, classic product images for online shops or corporate websites include most popular formats. But the future also lies in interactive applications, such as 360 degree product images, augmented or virtual reality. You should therefore get an overview of all options and define for your products which services you need in the long term and whether the corresponding 3D agency can handle these formats.

2. Quality and standards

To achieve good results, you need various skills. For this, it is essential to have specialized designers who know how to handle products from specific industries. Fabrics, foods, or special surfaces can be very difficult to model and experience is an advantage. Therefore, urgently define the desired level of detail for the desired results. Products can be presented in the workflow from very simple to complex and you should define for yourself what your requirements are.

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3. Pricing structure of 3D agencies

Prices are often the elephant in the room. The price of digital content production is influenced by a number of factors (More about this here). Scalability is a key part of this. The number of products or similarities in terms of surface or shape can drastically lower prices. You should therefore ask yourself whether all relevant factors have been included by the corresponding 3D agency and whether there are optimized processes that allow synergy effects between products to be exploited and thus reduce prices.

4. How nice is the 3D agency to me

If we're all being honest, this point should come first. No one likes working with unsympathetic people. Interpersonal relationships are an important factor that must be based on reciprocity. A phone call or a short remote meeting with your 3D agency can help you assess whether the chemistry is right.

5. Company size and structures of 3D agencies

We all know that size isn't everything. Automations can also support and optimize small teams. But in addition to very practical problems, such as vacation assignments or availability, company sizes of 3D agencies can be an important factor in assessing the degree of specialization or outsourcing of certain tasks. While small teams or studios often have the reputation of working on projects with a lot of passion, some tasks simply require a larger infrastructure within the team to ensure reliability and good results.

6. How automated is the 3D agency

In 3D production, various fields of activity inevitably work together. 3D designers, project managers, creative people or account managers are just a few steps towards the digitized product. This often results in friction and loss of information at work. Repetitive work demonstrably leads to errors more often, which can be avoided through automation. Digitalization of large product portfolios is hardly possible efficiently without a good process landscape. Automation lowers prices and increases quality. Therefore, when evaluating, simply ask whether the agency is working with appropriate tools, internal solutions or software that adapts to your wishes or systems.

7. Infrastructure and data protection

Privacy isn't the most popular topic. However, many companies require ISO-certified suppliers. It is therefore best to ask your data protection officer what requirements your company must meet. During product digitization, sensitive CAD product data is often sent to server farms in other countries for rendering, which are not subject to any data protection. You should definitely secure yourself before you start working with a supplier. You should also clarify whether the potential 3D agencies have concluded data protection and confidentiality agreements with any third-party suppliers.

8. Headquarters of the 3D agency

Would you like to be able to visit your suppliers to discuss projects? Is the company headquarters relevant to reliably deliver and store product samples there? Since Covid, visits to local suppliers have fallen significantly, which has certainly had positive effects on the world. Nevertheless, larger projects often involve better dynamics between good coffee and a French roll on site.

9. Conceptual performance

Product visualization can have a very dry character. Producing evenly illuminated product releases for your online shop often requires less creativity than developing exciting campaign motifs for a product launch. The world of images to be produced places demands on the creative power of an agency. So ask your supplier for references, creative directory or an idea advance so that you can better evaluate services.

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10. Licenses - Who owns what

Agencies and photographers often only deliver final formats, which is why photographers, for example, are reluctant to release RAW source files afterwards. 3D project files often remain with the agency and are not part of the delivery. If you absolutely need the original files for the future, you should check with your supplier in order to have them delivered. It is also best to clarify whether the agency has purchased rights and licenses for all assets used from third-party suppliers.

Template to compare 3D agencies

Feel free to download our template to easily and quickly get a template and evaluate various 3D agencies. We address the points mentioned above and provide you with a neutral template so that you can compare different suppliers of your choice.

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