Hiring a 3D Product Visualization Company? 3 Key Questions to Ask

December 5, 2022

Want to hire a 3D product visualization company, but not sure what questions to ask? We can help. First, let’s talk about a couple of key things you should know before starting your search.

Defining Your Needs: Explainer Videos vs. 3D Product Visualizations

Explainer videos and 3D product visualizations or renderings are often discussed as if they're one and the same, but they're actually very different. Thousands of companies create explainer videos – short, 2D animated videos explaining how a product works – and most are quite good! However, developing compelling 3D product visualizations (detailed, engaging, visual models of products that illustrate their functions and features) requires a high degree of skill that takes years to master. How do you decide which one you need?

2D explainer videos work great when you need to convey high-level concepts. In contrast, 3D product visualizations are ideal for companies that sell complex, highly technical products that solve nuanced problems – like medical devices.

Prioritizing Cost: A Cautionary Tale

A 3D product visualization is more than a beauty shot. It's a powerful sales tool—used to demo your product, answer questions, and address objections in a clear and consistent way. Knowing these things, as you work toward a decision on who to hire, it's important not to be persuaded by price alone.

It's awful to make it to the end of a time-consuming project only to be unhappy with the final result. When hiring a 3D product visualization company, you're investing in a solution that will shorten sales cycles, close more deals, and differentiate your brand from competitors. This requires considerable effort that puts low-cost, quick turnaround services in the "too good to be true" category. To put a number on it, if a company promises you final deliverables in a week, we recommend you run.

Remember, your sales presentation represents what your company is all about. It’s often the first meaningful impression you make on prospects, and it’s worth spending the money to bring in a qualified design team to help you create a compelling sales story

3 Important Questions to Ask 3D Product Visualization Companies

There are many different types of 3d product visualization companies out there, so it's important to understand the breadth and depth of service your contenders offer. The three questions detailed below will help you effectively analyze which company meets your needs by providing the perfect balance of quality and cost. 

1. How do you come up with your design concepts?

Are you looking for a creative partner who cares about your brand story and purpose, or do you simply want someone to execute your napkin sketch? If you said creative partner, you need to find a company that invests time in collaboration. Ideally, you should be discussing your vision and providing detailed insight into your product, brand, and messaging goals before ideas about design concepts ever enter the conversation. Then, your company’s designers can use everything they learn from you to build robust 3D product visualizations that sell themselves (and make your sales reps' jobs easier).

Hiring a company that operates as a collaborative brand partner also gets you more bang for your buck. A company that’s invested in building a relationship with your brand stakeholders brings long-term value to the table because you can continue to work together as your product evolves over time. They’ll think beyond your single asset request and figure out how to bring more value to your investment (and your sales presentations) for years to come. These types of creatives are masterful at repurposing content, turning one asset into 10.

2. Can you tell me about your team’s technical and artistic abilities?

Some companies have very limited 3D product visualization, meaning the best animation you can hope for is to see your product spinning in a circle, like it’s on the prize stage on an episode of The Price is Right. Others can create intricate 3D renders that illustrate detailed mechanical functions or show how complex processes work in ways that can’t be seen with the naked eye. These ‘next-level’ renderings can also include interactive elements like hotspots, which are actions a prospect can take to promote action (ex; making a component rotate). Some companies even provide augmented reality or VR renderings.

If your company sells large, cumbersome equipment, like medical devices, you have a lot to gain from intricate product visualizations because it’s not just what you show; it’s how you show it. The goal of investing in 3D renderings is to make sure your product and its benefits are showcased in a way that makes intuitive sense to your prospects. When it comes to in-person product demos, large equipment also creates logistical issues for sales, which can be eliminated by high-quality, detailed visualizations.

To make sure the 3D product visualization company you hire is capable of creating the type of renderings you envision, ask about their team’s technical and artistic abilities and request examples of their work. Doing so will help you ensure that you hire folks who have the artistic and technical skills needed to design a compelling narrative and execute it effectively.

3. What is your process for creating 3D product visualizations?

Ideally, the answer to this should mirror the process involved in creating a film – which is to say, highly collaborative and very structured.

Experienced companies should have a process that looks something like this: 

  • Kickoff: 3D design team holds (and leads) a detailed kick-off meeting, where they focus on learning the ins and outs of your products and sales objectives.
  • Agree on a Concept: All-hands meeting to your production company’s idea sketches and decide on initial concepts. 3D render team storyboards based on agreed-upon sketches
  • Design Development: Sketches turn into beautiful visuals as the overall look of your project is developed and dialed in, and your storyboards are finalized.
  • Animation Rounds: A good visualization is born in baby steps. Production companies present rudimentary animation blocking and build upon its base until all parties are happy.
  • Finishing Touches: This is the final stage. It usually consists of rendering the final assets, creating your final composite, and topping it with an audio mix to make it shine. At the end of this stage, it’s time to hold a world premiere for your incredible 3D product visualizations. 

Building out expertly-designed 3D product visualizations is a tedious process. It takes time to do renderings well and to do them right. Remember, the concept of ‘right’ is tied to the big picture: building a comprehensive, cohesive, engaging visual story that makes your sales reps' jobs easier. As a result, companies promising speedy turnarounds and low-cost deliverables are not likely to be a wise investment.

Investing in the Right 3D Product Visualization Company

Use the questions above to learn about the service offering, creative process, level of technical and artistic ability, marketing and branding expertise, and long-term value each company you interview brings to the table. Then, use what you learned to make a smart hire.

Save Time: Start Your Search with Nuvue

Nuvue is dedicated to helping you develop a cohesive sales story complete with 3D product visualizations that will engage your prospects, empowering your sales reps to work smarter and faster – not harder. Our team of expert designers will assess your existing sales presentation and pinpoint ways to use product visualizations to make your narrative stronger and more compelling. But we’re more than a production company. Nuvue also provides a smart sales platform that empowers your sales team to create, share, and track presentations with unprecedented efficiency. Ready to explore how better presentations can mean better outcomes for your sales team? Schedule an introduction with Nuvue today.