Harris Kalinka

Imagery + Animation Golf + Architecture

Tuesday 16th February 2016

How much will a golf course animation cost?

This is the first question most people ask us, and it’s always a tricky one to answer. So I thought it might be useful to discuss some of the factors that determine how we quote. Then you can then use this information to make the most of your animation budget.

What we consider when we quote for golf course animations:

Your course design

To provide an accurate quote we’ll need to see the routing and grading plans if you have them. This will allow us to see the scale and complexity of the project and understand the time it will take us to create the 3d model from which the animations (and any images) will be generated.

If the project is at an early stage then we can give a cost based on sketches or an early stage routing, but your final cost will depend on the format of your drawings. CAD drawings are the simplest for us and the most cost-effective for you.

The type of animation

We also like to know what type of animation you need. This determines the extent of 3d modelling we need to do and just how detailed the model needs to be. For example, do you need a tee-to-green animation for a single hole or for all 18 holes? Or do you just want a general overview of the golf course? If you only need a single hole then this will reduce the amount of modelling we need to do and in turn the cost.

The level of detail

The type of animation will also dictate the amount of detail in the animations. A tee-to-green flyover for each hole of a course is typically more detailed than a general course overview. This is because in a flyover, the camera is lower down, focused on that particular hole. Also, creating flyover animations for 18 holes means 18 animations, whereas a general overview of your golf course requires only one animation, so there is less rendering involved.

If your golf development includes real estate the cost will also depend how much you want to show of the real estate in your animation. Do you just want to just show the exterior? Or do you want to walk through the interior and show views across the course from each room?

The number of animations

As a general rule the most time-consuming part of any animation is creating the 3d model. This stage makes up a high percentage of the total cost for the animation. This means the first animation is typically the most expensive.

When we create an animation for a single hole, we need to create 3d models for the bunker styles, grass types, trees and plantings for the first time. If we create an animation for more holes we can use the same elements from the first 3d model for the other holes, so they usually become progressively cheaper.

How to lower the costs of your animation:

Send us a detailed package of drawings

Sketches or unfinished drawings will mean more work on our part to either interpret the drawings or fill in the areas that have not been designed. We love working from sketches and many of our clients send us concepts or unfinished drawings, but if you’re on a tight budget it’s best to finalise the design and drawings first.

Provide the drawings in CAD format

We can work from hand-drawn plans, but even if they are fantastic, it can still take a lot of time to digitise them in order to start creating the 3d model. If your drawings aren’t in CAD this will add to the cost of the animation.

Send us a 3d model

You can provide us with a 3d terrain model if you have one. If it’s compatible with our software, it could minimise the amount of modelling work. Although this will save time, it’s likely we’ll still need to work on the bunker styles, grass types, planting and other course features. Send us the model you have and we’ll see how we can use it.

Give us all the references at the beginning

The more specifications we have at the start of the process, the faster we can work, which will help bring costs down. Send us examples of the styles or detailing for bunkers, cart paths, course furniture or buildings. Provide us with planting information for grass, shrubs and trees. Send us photos, magazine cuttings or even sketches.

Limit the real estate detail

If the main aim of your animation is to show the golf course, then rather than creating detailed 3d models of the real estate, you can create white block models to indicate the scale and location of buildings relative to the course.

Use greenery or furniture from our 3d model library

If we already have the trees and shrubs you want in our 3d library, or you’re not too particular about the plantings, this can reduce the cost.

The same applies to interiors. If you want to show the interiors of your clubhouse or real estate, we have an extensive library of furniture and fittings which can be used to quickly fill a room. This isn’t appropriate for every project though, and many of our clients like to specify particular items. If they’re not already in our library we’ll create a bespoke 3d model.

Allow plenty of time

An urgent deadline that requires us to work late nights or weekends will add to the cost. Giving us plenty of time, or even just some notice as to when the project might start, will not only save money but allow you more opportunity to comment on our progress and request changes.

Other factors to consider when you budget:

Using a single animation company

What makes Harris Kalinka different to other golf course animation companies is our experience in modelling buildings as well as golf courses. We can show the course and the real estate, both to an exceptional standard, within the same animation.

Creating one animation that includes both of these elements is cheaper than using two companies to create two separate animations.

The value of the animation process

Like in any industry, there are companies that offer the same service with substantial differences in the cost. However, the difference in cost might not just be due to the quality of the final animation, but relate to how they work with you. Some companies offer a ‘give us the drawings and we will send you the animation’ service, with no option to comment on the animation. Others will work with you, offering a personal service that allows you plenty of opportunity to review progress so that the final product is better even than you imagined.

So how much will my animation cost?

Hopefully you now see why it’s not as simple as providing a cost per second of animation. Every project is different and there are too many variables to even provide a range of costs. Costing animations is complicated, but that doesn’t mean we can’t give you an accurate cost fast.