For companies seeking 3D imagery to upgrade their eCommerce sites, there are a few available options. For some businesses that produce a constant stream of 3D assets, typically an in-house 3D design team is necessary, despite its cap on scale.  However, for most businesses, an in-house team is not feasible. Generally, the choice comes down to working with freelance services or 3D modeling platforms such as Modelry.

In this blog, we will look at how freelancers and platforms compare. Freelance solutions can get the job done, but if you want a hassle-free, reliable stream of high-quality and cost effective 3D models, platform-based solutions are the way to go.

What Do We Mean by 3D Modeling Platforms?

Before we look at the main options for sourcing 3D models, it helps to be clear about what modeling platforms are and what value they provide.

3D modeling platforms simplify the ordering process from start to finish. The platform handles quality assurance and secures the right expertise, while it may also offer services like Digital Asset Management (DAM). 

Platforms allow customers to submit a custom 3D modeling request and leave the rest of the production process to be automated behind the scenes.  From the customer side, the only thing needed is basic information about the objects to be modeled, such as reference images and key properties such as high poly or low poly. Once the order is placed, a 3D designer is automatically assigned to the submitted request and can begin building out the assets. Modelry conducts automatic QA processes so that each draft of the model delivered for customer review already passes a quality check.     

Platforms contrast with freelance solutions, where companies directly communicate with individual contractors and manage the process from first contact to final delivery. This sounds simple, but leaves a lot of loose ends that can lead to serious problems during 3D workflows.

Why 3D Modeling Platforms Beat Freelance Services Every Time

Ordering custom 3D models via a platform adds much more value than the same order with a freelancer. There are many reasons for this, ranging from cost to quality assurance, so let’s run through them in turn.

1. Simple Connections to Qualified Modelers

Finding freelancers that are talented, speedy, and dependable takes time to find. Companies often discover that desired results are not always guaranteed, and can potentially waste time searching for alternatives that could be spent on productive tasks.

3D modeling platforms offer unparalleled dependability and convenience. When you order models via a platform, your assigned designer will have already passed a skill test. You can be confident that the experts within the designer community are well-suited to work on your specific project, and abide by quality and delivery guidelines established by the platform.

For example, Modelry offers access to the largest community of modelers on the market, and all of them are vetted before they can work with clients. Modelers are assessed by skill level, so only high-skilled experts work on complex tasks. Clients never need to worry about matching tasks with capable freelancers.

2. Built-in Quality Assurance for Added Value

Freelancers may deliver models that don’t meet the terms of their brief, resulting in the need to request changes. When you communicate changes to contractors, the process can be lengthy and might potentially incur further charges. The end result is not always the high-quality, accurate model you intended. 

Modeling platforms make QA a core feature. In-house teams carry out constant QA checks before models are delivered to clients, and clients can provide feedback via special review tools. These tools let you directly highlight areas of improvement and annotate the changes needed.

These QA features make workflows much smoother and more precise. Clients benefit from easy communication and an extra set of eyes to detect errors.

3. Platforms Deliver Major Cost Savings

The rise of specialist 3D modeling platforms is good news for the bottom line of companies that need 3D assets. Previously, companies had to negotiate the price of every order and there was no assurance that freelancers would deliver the best possible value. 

Since 3D modeling through a platform is streamlined and efficient, the cost savings are passed to the customer. Customers also benefit from a transparent payment process, and there is no need to haggle. Everything happens much more quickly as well. Clients can usually submit orders and receive a quote within 24 hours. 

When you compare the price of models with ease of use and quality, it’s clear that platforms offer a far better price to value ratio. You save money without any reduction in quality.

4. Embeddable Publishing Options are Included in the DAM

When companies use freelancers, the customer is responsible for turning basic polygon modeling into useful assets. One of the biggest benefits of using 3D design platforms is that they go beyond model delivery.

For instance, Modelry provides an embed tool in its Digital Asset Management system. This tool allows customers to embed their models directly to their eCommerce sites through 3D and AR viewers. This functionality would not otherwise be available through a freelancer, whose only obligation is to deliver the model itself. 

In a world of omni-channel marketing strategies, the flexibility provided by end-to-end 3D modeling platforms reduces time-to-market, and the stress of logistics. 

5. Store Models with a DAM to Extract Maximum Value

Freelancers do not provide systems to store the assets they create. Instead, companies must source their own digital asset management software. This is another blocker in the 3D modeling process. It can lead to problems when attempting to publish 3D models and to track down the right files.

Platforms, instead, integrate modeling with asset management, making it easy for clients to store, manage, and publish their assets. 

With a DAM, customers can divide models by certain categories and store archives of high poly or low poly versions. 

A DAM also takes the load off local networking resources. Normally, companies must find their own storage solutions. Heavy models featuring rich visual detail can consume a lot of storage capacity. Third party DAM tools store assets remotely, while always making them available to use.

6. Unparalleled Flexibility When Updating Models

In many cases, brands use the same models on different channels, apps, or web pages. It may be desirable to change the size or appearance of models when they are used in different use cases.

Making changes to 3D assets is very difficult if you rely on freelancers. Any changes require going through a new request process, which would entail another round of price haggling and potential imprecisions to dispute. By contrast, modeling platforms make it simple to amend models and re-publish them however you wish.

For example, if you introduce new color options for furniture, you can request an amendment to your 3D model within the DAM system. The assigned designer will have all of the original information on the model available to them within the DAM, so they can quickly get started on the task. 

Platforms will handle the required changes. But if you return to the original freelancer, they may be unavailable or more expensive than in the past. So why take the chance when platforms are more reliable and flexible?

7. Predictable Delivery Timelines

Anyone who has used freelancers will know that deadlines slip and deliveries can be delayed. If you work with a single professional, they may fall ill or mismanage their time. Clients cannot be totally sure that their marketing schedules will be followed.

Platforms smooth out the 3D modeling process and make delivery much more reliable. With huge pools of talented designers, no task will be delayed. A qualified custom 3D designer will always be available to complete your project, allowing you to set predictable milestones.

8. Scale-up Operations When Required

If you are experimenting with a 3D viewer and want to test out an idea, a freelance professional and 3D modeling platform could fit the bill. But what happens if you need hundreds or thousands of models for catalogs, 3D ads, and augmented reality or turntable viewers?

Modeling platforms make much more sense when ordering at scale. Whether you need high poly images for promotional images or low poly models to create an interactive smartphone game, platforms make it easy to scale up your ambitions.

The Modelry platform can allocate hundreds of modelers to work simultaneously on large-scale projects. There’s no need to negotiate with individual professionals. Companies can let the platform do the heavy lifting, saving time and resources.

Choose Modeling Platforms for your Next 3D Project

3D modeling platforms make everything easier. They offer cost reductions and Quality Assurance. A DAM makes publishing and storing 3D models simple and customers are always in control. Whatever polygon count or format you need, platforms are a stress-free ordering option.

Platforms have proven their worth in other areas of life. After all, why chase down a taxi when you can just order an uber? The same applies to 3D modeling. Order the models you need, when you need them.

At Modelry, we offer affordable, high-quality modeling services for all situations. Sign up with the Modelry self-service platform to get started. 

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Why Businesses Should Choose 3D Modeling Platforms Over Freelancers

Haidi Kelly is the CMO at Modelry. Formerly at WeWork, Haidi loves the challenges the B2B space brings. Excited about the transformative power of digital assets and content in eCommerce, Haidi helps individuals, teams, and companies reach their full potential. In her downtime, she is also a foodie, world traveler, and enjoys live music.

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