We’re located in San Francisco, California. Our contact info is:
Mailing Address: 117 Newman Street, San Francisco, California 94110
Phone Number: 1-800-750-2535
Fax: 1-800-750-2535 (this is the same as our general voice line – simply press ‘Send’ on your fax machine during our recorded greeting.)
Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. All transactions are handled by our payment vendor – PaySimple. To process payments for your project, we send you an invoice via email and you simply click on the “Pay Now” button. All aspects of the transaction are handled through PaySimple’s secure website.
We create 3D models using Autodesk 3D Studio Max 2015. We render using 3D Studio Max and Vray. We use Photoshop CS6 to edit images. We have the ability to import several dozen file formats.
Process, Scheduling & Typical Services
- Send us your Design Documents: Using our Free Estimates page, send us your drawing files, sketches, finish schedules, and any other information that will help us tell your story. We review your project within one business day and submit a detailed proposal including cost and schedule. Once our agreement is approved, the project moves into production.
- 3D Modeling: We build a highly detailed, exacting 3D model of your design.
- Materials, Finishes & Colors: We can create any finish that you specify – paint, brick, stone, concrete, glass, metals, roofing – the list is nearly endless. We draw from a library of over 100,000 textures and finishes, so we can offer fast, economic turn-around.
- Site & Hardscape: For exterior renderings, we build a detailed 3D model of your project’s site, including sidewalks, driveways and any other adjacent structures you might need to see. If you don’t have a site plan, we can use one of our ready-made templates instead.
- Landscaping: We include 3D modeling of your landscape design. We have hundreds of pre-built, photo-realistic 3D models of trees, shrubs, flowers and grass to match the specifications of your design. If you don’t have a planting plan, choose from one of our landscaping templates to complement your project’s design.
- Furnishings: We provide excellent quality 3D models of interior furnishings as part of our standard services for interior renderings. Our 3D model library currently contains over 100,000 items, so chances are we can match the design sensibilities you’re looking for. Where possible, we will match your furnishing specifications exactly; if we don’t have an exact match, we’ll use an item that is the most similar. Or if you prefer, we can provide you with an estimate to create custom furnishings.
- Entourage: We include any additional items that will help tell your project’s story, for example people and cars.
- One Camera View or Many: We work with you from the beginning to pick the best camera view and clarify any aspect of the design that requires special attention. Adding additional views is easy and affordable because we’ve probably built most of the 3D model already.
- Schedule: Typical turn-around time for many jobs is 5 to 7 business days. We can often proceed faster than that depending on how many other jobs we have in our queue.
Download Your Final Images: Your final images will be delivered as a set of digital files via secure download from our website. If your images need to be printed, our standard services always include a provision for working with you or your print vendor to insure that your prints will look great. We can also arrange for printing and delivery via FedEx Office locations throughout the United States; please ask about our printing services for further information and pricing guidelines.
We cannot release the 3D models of a project for two reasons. First, we use proprietary methods and assets to produce our 3D renderings, and releasing the 3D files would compromise the competitive integrity of these techniques. Secondly, distribution of non-proprietary assets used in the creation of an image would often violate the terms of using these assets. Restricted distribution is standard in all of the libraries we use, for example collections of trees and people.
You have unrestricted use of the images that we create for you. We ask as a courtesy that if the images are used in any sort of publication that we receive credit as the creator.
Our contract specifies that we will create the 3D model based upon one set of plans. If there are changes made after that, we will provide an estimate of additional cost to revise the work.
Suspend means to put on hold, with the intention resume the project at a later date. We will suspend a project for up to sixty calendar days with no impact upon the fee. Suspensions longer than sixty days are subject to a fee renegotiation.
- If you’ve already paid half of the invoice as a retainer to proceed, and we have not started your project, we will refund your money minus any fees charged by our online payment vendors (usually $10.00). Once we begin work on your project, we proceed according to the following milestone/percentage schedule:
- Modeling / 50% – The 3D model is started; once completed a grayscale rendering will be sent for proof check.
- Texturing / 65% – Realistic materials are added to the 3D model.
- Draft 1 / 80% – Entourage is added to the 3D model and a Draft 1 image is sent for client review and comment.
- Draft 2 / 90% – Client comments are incorporated into the model and a re-rendered image is sent to the client for review and comment.
- Final / 100% – The final is rendered and delivered.
Sending us Files
We’ve made it super easy to send us files – simply go to our Estimates page and follow the steps to get a free, fast estimate.
Here are a couple of things that can make it even easier:
If you have a lot of files to send us, you might consider using a utility like Zip. Zip will create one compressed file that will contain as many files as you add. This way you only have to upload one file instead of many. If you don’t have a Zip utility, you can download it for free from 7-Zip.
Certainly – contact us at email@example.com. However the best method is to use our Get a Free Estimate page. The reason for this is that sending attachments through email can be slow and prone to errors. Additionally, your email system might have restrictions on email attachment size (for example, anything larger than 10 megabytes might be rejected). By using our Get a Free Estimate page you will not be inconvenienced with any of these restrictions.
We will find a way to work with any file that you send us. However, to qualify for our lowest pricing, your project files need to be in one of the following formats:
- Chief Architect
If your project files fall outside of this list, please call us at 1-800-750-2535 and we’ll work to find a solution.
A typical job needs the following drawings and/or documents:
- Site Plan (for exterior renderings)
- Floor Plans
- Roof Plans (for exterior renderings)
- Detail Drawings
- Color and Finish Boards
Keep this mind: we only need drawings for what we’ll see in the 3D rendering. We recommend printing a site or floor plan – see the illustration below – and drawing a camera with a cone of vision of what the camera will see. We’ll need any drawings that show up in that view. In the example below, we’ll need the floor plan, the roof plan, the front elevation and the right side elevation. Notice that we won’t need the left side nor the rear elevations. If you’re not sure of the view, send us as many files as you think we’ll need. We carefully review every job that we receive and we’ll contact you if we need more information.
The Final Deliverable
This means you’ll download your final images directly from our site. These digital image files can then be used for distribution in any electronic format, for example on websites, as part of a PowerPoint presentation, or as a PDF document. Digital files can also be used to make hard copy prints from your own printer or by your print vendor.
We deliver your finals in two sets: one set is for printing, the other set is for use on the web. The print versions are delivered as .TIF files at a resolution of 3,300 pixels wide x 2,550 pixels high. This resolution creates an 8 1/2″ x 11″ print that is 300 DPI (Dots Per Inch), which is an industry standard for high-resolution prints. The web versions are delivered as .JPG files at a resolution of 800 pixels wide x 620 pixels high, which will create a very crisp, legible image that won’t slow down a website. If you need us to deliver the files in some other format, we can accommodate a wide variety of files. If you need your files delivered in a different resolution, we can likewise accommodate most requests. Please call us at 1-800-750-2535 or email us and we’ll do our best.
Our vendor of choice for creating high quality prints is FedEx Office. FedEx Office offers excellent quality prints at very competitive prices, in dozens of size options, with service available from thousands of locations. For most of our clients, this means they can pick up their prints in person. If not, we can arrange for economical FedEx delivery of the prints to your address.
Absolutely. Our standard service includes an allowance of up to one hour to help you print your images on your own.
Absolutely. We include an allowance of up to one hour of our time to work with your printing vendor. This should be plenty of time to coordinate or make any small changes to get the printed file just right.
Resolution is a big, potentially confusing topic. For the purposes of the discussion at hand – getting 3D renderings delivered online – we’ll discuss two kinds of resolution: Print and Web. Resolution for a printed image is expressed in Dots Per Inch (DPI). Resolution for web images is expressed in Pixel Resolution. The main point to understand in either case is how resolution effects the quality of the image.
Image resolution is analogous to thread count in sheets. A bed sheet with 300 thread count – meaning a one square inch contains 300 threads in the vertical and horizontal direction – is finer than 100 count thread. A file with 300 DPI has 300 vertical and horizontal dots per inch and results in a very fine, high fidelity image when printed. Because more information is contained per square inch, the file size of print resolution images is bigger, making them unsuitable for web images because they take too long to open on a website. Web images generally use a resolution of 72 DPI and are usually delivered in .JPG file format. JPG files use sophisticated algorhythms to compress the file size which makes delivery over the internet even faster. Because of these two qualities – lower resolution and compression – JPG files are not ideal to use for printing because they will not be as fine.