Limited Information v Detailed Architectural Drawings. Who Wins when creating 3d visuals?

Whilst we always endorse receiving as much information as possible for any set of 3d visuals, there is one word that holds true, clarity.

There are projects where detail and architectural files received are limited, compared to the other end of the spectrum where CAD information received is detailed and plentiful.

Take for instance, two projects within Higher Education we have focused on that represent both sides of the information coin.

The Limited Approach

Dave Edwards has worked on limited detail supplied from University of Central Lancashire for a well-received end product whereas Matt Gibson’s efforts for University Of Swansea involved comprehensive information from three architects. Both projects were related, as there was a clear definition for the outcome.

Dave comments, “The detail we had initially received for the University of Central Lancashire was from their assigned planning consultancy. The role for our new animation film was to highlight a vision for the University with the aim to create interest for developers, private investors, students and the wider local community.”

“Our role was to interpret the future and showcase a concept to a stakeholder audience. Whilst we had a degree of artistic interpretation, we still had to translate from a masterplan and initial hand drawn sketches.”


The Detailed Approach

Contrasted to the vision for University of Lancashire was an animation that was a key part for the £450 million development project for The Bay Campus, the new College of Engineering for Swansea University. 

The new campus opens in September 2015 after 95 years located on the Singleton Park Campus. The vision for the future had to be accurate.

Matt highlighted, “This represented a very detailed project and working with a number of companies, included an investment of time to understand the models that were supplied.”

“All files originally received included landscape detail, building finishes and detailed 3D models. However, plentiful information also means detailed interpretation. There was an element of time saved as modelling had already been made for such a vast project. The biggest investment of time was making alterations to architectural detail that was originally supplied to ensure the finished product represented the vision of the University.”

The Most Important Aspect

From comparing both projects with varying amounts of detailed received there was synergy in both projects.

Dave and Matt both highlighted that whilst the amount of detail received is always important as a reference, what goes beyond quantity of information is clarity of what the final delivery should aim to be.

A project received with initial detailed modelling that is subject to architectural redesign or sketches with no clarity to a final agreed outcome both represent a lack of accuracy.

It goes hand in hand with the age-old phrase of ‘quality over quantity.’ Dave mentioned, “From the very outset and before the start of a project there has to be a clearly defined objective. Are the files to work on, up to date? Are textures and landscaping subject to change? Everything goes into the consideration before an animation is presented on a screen.”

“It is out duty to ensure that we capture a vision and represent what the future will be. More importantly the detail received is defined and clear from the outset. Whilst we encourage as much information as we can, it is better to have less information but a crystal clear definition, rather than abundant information lacking in focus.”

When it comes to your next project, please don’t feel that you have to supply relentless amounts of information that maybe subject to change. All we need to do is interpret your vision in clearest way possible.

Give Sandra a call on 0117 9251050 or email

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