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jesblood
07-16-2012, 02:45 PM
Hi all,

I need some advice. I just finished a project for a client and in "addition" to paying for the final work they want to purchase my source files: 3d models, scene files, maps, etc.

I know they intend to circumvent me in the future by asking me for them. Which then in turn means lost money in the future. However I'm willing to sell them the files anyway as I don't intend to do these kinds of projects anymore in the future. (Which I obviously didn't tell them)

My question is how do I determine a value for the cost? What would you all recommend?

Thanks.

zapper1998
07-16-2012, 05:30 PM
how many hours did you work on the files..

price per hour x hours worked on files = $$$

lertola2
07-16-2012, 07:18 PM
Its had to give specific advice fee advice. I always have had a hard time negotiating fees. If possible get you client to make an offer. In the past I have had jobs that that client offered a fee higher than what I would have asked for.

Do you have a contract with you client that specifics what their current right to the art is? I guess that your client wants to buy want to buy unlimited rights to use the art. But are they expecting exclusive unlimited rights or a complete transfer of copyright and ownership? I would hesitate to sell that.

Check out the Graphics Artists Guild Handbook for Pricing and Ethical Guidelines (http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0932102131/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new). This book gives good advice, sample contracts, and example fees for different types of art.

-Joe

jesblood
07-16-2012, 08:23 PM
Getting them to make an offer is a good idea lertola2. Wish I had thought of it. Unfortunately I already told the client I was evaluating the the value of the assets and would get back to him tomorrow. Thanks for the idea though.

And zapper1998 thanks for your suggestion also. I was thinking along similar lines. But if I go that route then the cost to the client would be astronomical as I put in a lot of man hours.

Snosrap
07-16-2012, 08:58 PM
I'd just give 'em to them. They came to you for a reason - they can't do it. It's knowledge you posess. If they want to farm it out the next go around or hire somebody in-house, you didn't satisfy their needs.

jeric_synergy
07-16-2012, 09:55 PM
I'd just give 'em to them. They came to you for a reason - they can't do it. It's knowledge you posess. If they want to farm it out the next go around or hire somebody in-house, you didn't satisfy their needs.
That's just crazy talk. In some states, it's downright immoral. :devil:

The OP is a business person. He has something the customer wants, that he put effort into creating. He deserves a return, especially since he's never going to see these clients again.

Also, you're assuming their 'needs' are reasonable. IME, this is unlikely.

Personally, I'd totally high-ball it, then grudgingly sell it to them for 150% of their first offer.

(My curiosity is piqued: what is the nature of this work that you'll never do again???)

DigitalSorcery8
07-16-2012, 10:44 PM
I'd just give 'em to them. They came to you for a reason - they can't do it. It's knowledge you posess. If they want to farm it out the next go around or hire somebody in-house, you didn't satisfy their needs.

You MUST be joking. I would NEVER do this.

They came to him tp pay for his knowledge AND his experience. His experience created the models and set everything up. You don't just GIVE that away - EVER.

--------

When providing the original files to the client, make sure that you don't have any models or textures that were purchased 3rd party. There is a thread exactly like this going on at CGTalk:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&t=1059476

Read through that thread and make sure you price accordingly. IMO, the cost would be MANY times the cost of the original project. If the client paid $100 for your artwork, then $1000 for the source files would be the MINIMUM I would charge them. They may have used you to get the basic information, and then hire some cheap labor to make many more images using YOUR files. Don't sell yourself short - EVER! :thumbsup:

jesblood
07-16-2012, 10:45 PM
I'd just give 'em to them. They came to you for a reason - they can't do it. It's knowledge you posess. If they want to farm it out the next go around or hire somebody in-house, you didn't satisfy their needs.

Snosrap even if I hadn't satisfied their needs that doesn't give them the right to have my materials to use as they see fit. This is a free capitolist society we live in. I've seen numerous times where a company or individual actually recieved praise after a job well done from the client only to see them (the client) turn around and use either their pricing to low ball a totally different company into competing at a more favorable rate for themselves (the client) or save themselves (the client) time and money taking prebuilt quality content to others, totally side stepping the very company or people they know they can count on.
I've seen it too many times. And by the way, they don't need the knowledge. You just take the content to someone who has the knowledge, low ball them, and take advantage of the situation. That's the freedom that comes with capitolism. As they have the right to do such things, under the same system, I have the right to set a monetary value of my choosing. If they don't want to pay it then that's their right to refuse. I'm okay with that. I prefer capitolism to socialism anyday. With socialism even less people, lower on the totem pole, succeed.
If this comes off as a rant, it's not meant to. I'm just suprised you don't seem to understand this.

@ jeric_synergy:

While I appreciate your support I don't think reacting in anger is the best solution. If I was going to continue working in this particular part of the industry then I would agree with your strategy but for different reasons. I would want to encourage them to realize that purchasing the content is far less profitable than to just hire me again for future work. But thank you anyway.

DigitalSorcery8
07-16-2012, 10:53 PM
@ jeric_synergy:

While I appreciate your support I don't think reacting in anger is the best solution. If I was going to continue working in this particular part of the industry then I would agree with your strategy but for different reasons. I would want to encourage them to realize that purchasing the content is far less profitable than to just hire me again for future work. But thank you anyway.

Yes, but you shouldn't think about JUST yourself. If you are getting out of this section of the industry, why would you want to hurt others who are still IN the industry? As you have already stated: "You just take the content to someone who has the knowledge, low ball them, and take advantage of the situation." So it's okay to be angry when someone suggests hurting others in the industry - albeit unknowingly. Artists already get screwed over left and right. Just because you won't be continuing what you did for this client doesn't mean that others don't need all the support that YOU can provide!

jeric_synergy
07-16-2012, 11:00 PM
While I appreciate your support I don't think reacting in anger is the best solution.
Who said anything about anger? This would no more be 'anger' than professional wrestlers trash talkin' each other, or a street vendor bewailing what a fabulous deal you're pulling off over him.

It's business.

jesblood
07-16-2012, 11:13 PM
You MUST be joking. I would NEVER do this.

They came to him tp pay for his knowledge AND his experience. His experience created the models and set everything up. You don't just GIVE that away - EVER.

--------

When providing the original files to the client, make sure that you don't have any models or textures that were purchased 3rd party. There is a thread exactly like this going on at CGTalk:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&t=1059476

Read through that thread and make sure you price accordingly. IMO, the cost would be MANY times the cost of the original project. If the client paid $100 for your artwork, then $1000 for the source files would be the MINIMUM I would charge them. They may have used you to get the basic information, and then hire some cheap labor to make many more images using YOUR files. Don't sell yourself short - EVER! :thumbsup:

Hey bro,

Thank you so very much! This link was just what I needed to figure this out. Again thank you very much for your understanding and help. God bless.

jesblood
07-16-2012, 11:16 PM
Who said anything about anger? This would no more be 'anger' than professional wrestlers trash talkin' each other, or a street vendor bewailing what a fabulous deal you're pulling off over him.

It's business.

Sorry. It just read angry to me. If you mean tough negotiations then I understand your point.

DigitalSorcery8
07-16-2012, 11:36 PM
Hey bro,

Thank you so very much! This link was just what I needed to figure this out. Again thank you very much for your understanding and help. God bless.

Glad to help - :goodluck:

geo_n
07-17-2012, 12:01 AM
Its common practice nowadays even in big companies. I wouldn't worry about it. If they need to change something simple yes they will probably do it themselves. If its something complicated, you're the only one with deep knowledge of the project that won't cost them too much money to do it in a given time.
If you don't agree to give the source files then there's more chance they won't go to you for future projects and go with another contractor that is more flexible.
A freelancer that won't give the source files has no chance to get another subcon. Those that do always get a repeat.
As for the cost, that depends on what kind of project.

Dexter2999
07-17-2012, 12:34 AM
I'd just give 'em to them. They came to you for a reason - they can't do it. It's knowledge you posess. If they want to farm it out the next go around or hire somebody in-house, you didn't satisfy their needs.

Or they think they can get someone else to use the assets you created to do future work for less money.

DigitalSorcery8
07-17-2012, 12:35 AM
Its common practice nowadays even in big companies. I wouldn't worry about it. If they need to change something simple yes they will probably do it themselves. If its something complicated, you're the only one with deep knowledge of the project that won't cost them too much money to do it in a given time.
If you don't agree to give the source files then there's more chance they won't go to you for future projects and go with another contractor that is more flexible.
A freelancer that won't give the source files has no chance to get another subcon. Those that do always get a repeat.
As for the cost, that depends on what kind of project.

The general concensus over at CGTalk (which I agree with) is that source files are EXTRA. At VFX houses where multiple vendors are used, yes, this is the norm. But freelancers working for a specific client do NOT do this on a regular basis - unless the client requests it from the beginning and the cost is stipulated in the contract. If not, this is an extra cost - and not a LOW cost either.


A freelancer that won't give the source files has no chance to get another subcon. Those that do always get a repeat.
I don't think you've been a freelancer here in the states - this is NOT the norm and to say that they "always get a repeat" is patently untrue. If you are working with a group, then yes - but that is not the case here. I have been a freelancer with my own business since '01 - and only once have I been asked for the source files. I told them the price and they said they only wanted to pay 10% of that. I laughed, and said goodbye. If you are desperate, then that's fine. Fortunately I wasn't. Interestingly enough, that company went out of business. :)

geo_n
07-17-2012, 01:29 AM
Yep I haven't done freelance work in the US but we USE contractors even from the US. Mostly solo freelancers, americans btw, 13.33/hr gross pay. They have no problems giving the source files for AE, 3d models and scenes.
https://www.odesk.com/users/Video-Editor_~~a53feb11be304d5b?sid=12001
Agree not always but chances are definitely higher for contractors that go the extra mile. And well source files are now part of that extra mile. Fwiw in our case we ask for the source files for times when the contractor is unavailable due to other commitments but we desperately need to add something when the clients, after 6 months, asks something added but don't need something entirely new. I've dealt with messy, time consuming, confusing scenes and projects that would have taken the original contractor much less time to change and the company would have paid for it instead. The source files is a backup plan incase no one is able to do it.
Anyway I'm sure people at cgtalk are mostly protecting their hardwork as artists, but the business side is always there.

DigitalSorcery8
07-17-2012, 01:41 AM
Yep I haven't done freelance work in the US but we USE contractors even from the US. Mostly solo freelancers, americans btw, 13.33/hr gross pay. They have no problems giving the source files for AE, 3d models and scenes.
https://www.odesk.com/users/Video-Editor_~~a53feb11be304d5b?sid=12001
Say no more, THAT explains everything. I went to odesk and freelancer.com and a few other places looking to "peddle my wares" when the recession destroyed our business. The people at these sites sell their souls for $1.98. Archviz models for $25, character models for $15, anything you want for dirt cheap prices. These are the kinds of sites that bring down prices for everyone - like massive outsourcing. I went down to 25% of my regular price and someone else did it for about 5%. No one can live off of that pricing unless they're living at home with Mom & Dad or living in a super-low-wage country.

And as I recall, you deal in the game/video business? I'm betting that you ask for the source files before you even begin working with freelancers. Right? :)

JonW
07-17-2012, 02:12 AM
If you feel you are backed up into a corner.... At least remove any copyright items, images from third parties or your own images! Other items that are generated via plugins that are copyright. You have no right to pass them on.

Flatten layers & get rid of all working layers.

Remove or disable other items that have any remote chance of copyright.

Remove any personal tricks & shortcuts and nodes you have spent hours on that you have no intension of allowing or to be seen by any third party.

Triple all polys.

Rename all surface so they are numbers so as not to identify nodes and setups.

Unweld all points or weld the entire object.

Manually put the files into a folder so they have to manually put it together.

Increase the qualities of textures & anything else you can think of so the object in more complex & takes far longer to render.

Hope this helps!

erikals
07-17-2012, 02:57 AM
 
it's like you say, too many times clients just give the source files away to another company that can do the job cheaper, as you did most of the dirty work.

be careful, you might get bitten. http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/twak.gif
 

kopperdrake
07-17-2012, 05:32 AM
This is a truly tough one. I have only given the source files away to one client who asked, and they were/are a good client so the trust was there. They had in-house software that did things we could not, and even then we helped get them the source files in a format they were happy with and, I stress, they only included textures generated in-house. If I suspected or knew a client was going to use the files purely on the basis of having found someone cheaper, then I would not give them away.

Unless otherwise stated in a contract, you own the rights to the models you create. You only sell the copyright of the images and/or animations you provide. At least in the UK this is how it works. Personally, I feel you should sell them for a fee, though again often this time will already have been charged for on the project itself! So how much to charge? I would probably charge around half to all the time it cost to make them, assuming you have already been paid for the work that they were created for. But the real toughie is pulling any trace of 3rd party work from the files - for me that would probably mean backing out of the whole thing as it's a quagmire. Even if the 3rd party files are so far altered that the original creator would never know, morals dictate that they can not be released to anyone other than the original purchaser - yourself.

Giving the files away gives the impression that these assets are worthless. The fact they are called 'project assets' is the give away that they are an 'asset', that they have a value.

BigHache
07-17-2012, 07:04 AM
It's a fantasy number so make it whatever you want, and not necessarily low. Zapper's formula is a nice start, but I think it should also include the assumption of lost future wages because the client will continue without you. That is, until they fire their newly hired 3D guy because of budget cuts. The future wages are the benefits of the assets, so that's what they're asking to pay for as a lump sum.

jeric_synergy
07-17-2012, 09:22 AM
tips tips tips.....

Rename all surface so they are numbers so as not to identify nodes and setups.

Unweld all points or weld the entire object.

Manually put the files into a folder so they have to manually put it together.

Increase the qualities of textures & anything else you can think of so the object in more complex & takes far longer to render.

Hope this helps!
:thumbsup:
Hah, that'll learn 'em!
Seriously, all those tips should be ONE lscript/python called ExportToBadClient.lsc.

+++++

Giving the files away gives the impression that these assets are worthless. The fact they are called 'project assets' is the give away that they are an 'asset', that they have a value.
Well said.

Plenty of clients ALREADY seem to regard our work as a favor to us, no need to further the impression.

Shnoze Shmon
07-17-2012, 12:47 PM
we USE contractors even from the US. Mostly solo freelancers, americans btw, 13.33/hr gross pay.


That's right! You do USE them, and keep them in poverty.






Flatten layers & get rid of all working layers.

Triple all polys.

Rename all surface so they are numbers so as not to identify nodes and setups.

Unweld all points or weld the entire object.

Manually put the files into a folder so they have to manually put it together.

Increase the qualities of textures & anything else you can think of so the object in more complex & takes far longer to render.


ROFLOL!:ohmy::rock:

kopperdrake
07-17-2012, 01:28 PM
$13.33 an hour!

Working as a fast food worker in MacDonalds in the UK will get you $9.48 an hour, or $12.20 for a Customer Service Assistant.

And you don't need to invest in several thousand dollars worth of hardware, software and electric.

Just saying.

glebe digital
07-17-2012, 01:34 PM
Way back in the midsts of time, the company I was working for got models of the Thunderbirds vehicles from the FX house; we were supposed to use them for developing a motorshow event, in conjunction with Universal Pictures.

The meshes had not only been welded, de-textured and tripled, but every surface had also been bevelled.
It was a great way to make sure we couldn't use any data. lol

It's worth remembering that down the line some poor schmuck is going to have to deal with your mesh banditry, so have a heart! :D

Ryan Roye
07-17-2012, 02:10 PM
I don't see what's so complicated about this.

Just charge them extra for the source files.

Programming works the same way: You can pay to use the software, but often it costs extra to own the right to alter and use the source code for commercial purposes.

erikals
07-17-2012, 03:16 PM
no, often your magic trick is the technique you use, a technique that it took you years to figure out...

should you share this with the public? should you lay all the cards on the table?

i totally respect artists that want to keep their knowledge for themselves, rater than give it away.

this is more of a balance thing, how much free info do you want to give away, how much info do you want to sell, how much info do you want to keep for yourself.

3D freelancing is (often) though (!)
no need to make it harder by giving away too much info, info that might given away to your competitors.
 
unfortunately many don't see this, especially the client :\

too many times i hear the phrase "why can't you just..."
so sometimes you just need to play stupid, and do what Jon says...

i've met plenty of artists that had to play stupid in front of the client for misc reasons,...
but,... > they are still in the game because of it...! ;]

if you get "caught" though, oh well... \:0
client = gone

 

JonW
07-17-2012, 04:18 PM
i've met plenty of artists that had to play stupid in front of the client for misc reasons,...
but,... > they are still in the game because of it...! ;] 

Architects treat us as dumb model makers. It will never change. Use that to your advantage, be smart behind the scenes. Document everything, before you make a change provide an additional price etc. Make notes of their stuff ups in their documentation. Arm yourself. Be polite but firm in this role.

But most importantly play the role they expect your to play but plan it to your advantage.


We have all spent many years investing hugh amount of time in our skills. There are a lot of people here I admire more & more, the more I learn & I have barely scratched the surface, for the shear level of skills they have attained. Your skills are a lifetime of investment & others need to respect this. Give away as little as possible & make it as useless as possible.

These customers that ask for these things are all out of the same mold. You will get no thanks & business in the long run, they are all just a bunch of liars! Use this experience to hone your skills to your advantage next time.

In the meantime make the most out of the situation as you can & don't be pushed into giving away your skills.

jeric_synergy
07-17-2012, 05:10 PM
Good clients are a blessing. Bad clients are a curse.

Keep raising your rates on the bad ones: eventually they go away and life is better.

JamesCurtis
07-17-2012, 05:19 PM
I had been doing freelance work for a marketing agency for 5 years. One of their clients had been a regular supplier of work for me until about a year ago. It had cancelled a number of projects due to budget exhaustion. I had also found out that the client was laying off workers in the design department and was closing the entire dept down as well.

Well, about six months ago, one of that client's members [not the marketing agency itself with whom I was freelancing for] had personally asked for the source files for a particular project. This was only one of dozens of projects I had done for them over the years.

I was immediately in touch with the Marketing Agency's President over this. He said for me to give them only the files for the one project that was actually asked for. I did as he asked, and gave them only the specific scene and object files, but not any of the plugins I had used to create the finished original project.

I've been assured by the Marketing Agency, that I'll get other work from them, and judging by 5 years of prior projects, I believe I will.

JonW
07-17-2012, 06:05 PM
Good clients are a blessing. Bad clients are a curse.

Keep raising your rates on the bad ones: eventually they go away and life is better.

I could not agree more!

They are just not worth the stress!


The good ones, always give a little extra!

DigitalSorcery8
07-17-2012, 06:58 PM
I bend over backwards for nearly all of my clients.

Some of them I've been working with for more than 15 years.

But not one of them would I give the source files away for free. NOT ONE.

Work with them... go above and beyond... but never give your source files away UNLESS you've contracted to do so AND it is for a significant amount of money!

Snosrap
07-17-2012, 07:15 PM
You MUST be joking. I would NEVER do this.

They came to him tp pay for his knowledge AND his experience. His experience created the models and set everything up. You don't just GIVE that away - EVER.




That's just crazy talk. In some states, it's downright immoral. :devil:

The OP is a business person. He has something the customer wants, that he put effort into creating. He deserves a return, especially since he's never going to see these clients again.

Also, you're assuming their 'needs' are reasonable. IME, this is unlikely.

Personally, I'd totally high-ball it, then grudgingly sell it to them for 150% of their first offer.

(My curiosity is piqued: what is the nature of this work that you'll never do again???)

Hold on guys! It may be a difference in the nature of the work that we need to understand before we go at each other. :D For archviz -or whatever you guys do- it may be more than appropiate to either sell or keep the assets. I specialize in product conceptuali'zation and therefore have no rights to the assets. They are the IP of the developing organization and my services are merely an extension of that development. I don't worry about losing work by giving them the assets because once that particular project has moved on to the manufacturing stage more new product development work comes along. I'd be curious to know more details of the projects some of the forum members work on that feel they would be entitled to the assets and why. This is an interesting thread indeed.

jeric_synergy
07-17-2012, 08:05 PM
Snosrap, I think most of the responders here are more from the VFX and animation side of the camp, where the product is the pixels.

Sounds like your product is more the shapes themselves, so that's a whole different market.

erikals
07-17-2012, 08:53 PM
These customers that ask for these things are all out of the same mold. You will get no thanks & business in the long run, they are all just a bunch of liars! Use this experience to hone your skills to your advantage next time.

as much as 90% of them in my case (!)
i'm just doing you guys a favour when saying this. trust no-one in that business.

it's actually "dangerous" for me to write this, as it might come back and bite me later on.
so take this advice, don't be stupid, don't be stupidly kind.

look what happened to the dinosaurs, this is why they died out... (!)
(erm...)

anyway, all depends on the type of project of course...

 

Snosrap
07-17-2012, 09:14 PM
Snosrap, I think most of the responders here are more from the VFX and animation side of the camp, where the product is the pixels.

Sounds like your product is more the shapes themselves, so that's a whole different market.

Movies are pixels, do the artists that work on them get to keep the assets that helped create it? I do see your point though to some degree, plus I never worry about not having work. And I suppose that's one reason why many responded the way they did - fear of losing the next gig. The best bet would be to be upfront with the contract and find out what the clients expectations of deliverables are and charge accordingly and hope you don't undercut yourself or overcharge. Risks both ways I suppose.

jeric_synergy
07-17-2012, 10:06 PM
Movies aren't the whole business: there's a substantial bunch of corporate video that is serviced by one shop, sometimes one person. The rationale for interchangeability in that situation doesn't apply.

Bottom line: he has 'em, they don't. Charge 'em. They'll craft their next contract more carefully.

Snosrap
07-17-2012, 10:23 PM
bottom line: He has 'em, they don't. Charge 'em. They'll craft their next contract more carefully.
Well stated.:D

geo_n
07-17-2012, 10:29 PM
Say no more, THAT explains everything. I went to odesk and freelancer.com and a few other places looking to "peddle my wares" when the recession destroyed our business. The people at these sites sell their souls for $1.98. Archviz models for $25, character models for $15, anything you want for dirt cheap prices. These are the kinds of sites that bring down prices for everyone - like massive outsourcing. I went down to 25% of my regular price and someone else did it for about 5%. No one can live off of that pricing unless they're living at home with Mom & Dad or living in a super-low-wage country.

And as I recall, you deal in the game/video business? I'm betting that you ask for the source files before you even begin working with freelancers. Right? :)

Not going to hire someone for $1.98/hour. That's too low to expect quality. :D

Poverty, hmmm.. $13.98 is actually standard per hour rate for a cg artist in japan. And that guy is american, one of many, doing lots of video editing which can be done in less than half an hour and rendered out while he does other things.
As for the secret and tricks in a scenefile, a studio with more than 20 years developing cg already knows how long a project would take, how much technicality it would need, what would be the solution to some aspects of the project. One of the reasons to outsource is lack of someone else to do it because everybody else is fully loaded.
We do everything from tv, game, web and I deal with outsourcing as a communicator. Personally, I do freelance archiviz, productviz, short animations from time to time and imho I think most viz renderers are overpriced. It takes less than half a day to render an exterior or interior. Most of the elements are pre-made from libraries. To ask for $1000 for stills in "different" views is too high for a couple of hours work. Clients are smart enough to know this now so overcharging will get fewer clients, bankcrupt.
Probably a different era back then(don't know I was still in school 10years ago) so we can charge high but nowadays cg is easier to do atleast for mid level to low level cg which makes up the biggest cg market. The source files for these kinds of projects, they're not top secret stuff anymore. Ofcourse the copyrighted items still have to be acquired by a client separately. :D

DigitalSorcery8
07-17-2012, 11:20 PM
Not going to hire someone for $1.98/hour. That's too low to expect quality. :D
But these people still get hired to do cheap stuff.


Poverty, hmmm.. $13.98 is actually standard per hour rate for a cg artist in japan. And that guy is american, one of many, doing lots of video editing which can be done in less than half an hour and rendered out while he does other things.
But what source files is he using that he isn't already getting from you so he can edit? Is he making his own files to edit and then handing off the entire project to you?

As for the secret and tricks in a scenefile, a studio with more than 20 years developing cg already knows how long a project would take, how much technicality it would need, what would be the solution to some aspects of the project. One of the reasons to outsource is lack of someone else to do it because everybody else is fully loaded.
But I doubt that it's a studio asking for these assets - it's more likely a cheap client who thinks he can find someone else to do the same sort of thing for allot less by using the files that took a whilke to create by someone who knows what they're doing.

We do everything from tv, game, web and I deal with outsourcing as a communicator. Personally, I do freelance archiviz, productviz, short animations from time to time and imho I think most viz renderers are overpriced. It takes less than half a day to render an exterior or interior. Most of the elements are pre-made from libraries. To ask for $1000 for stills in "different" views is too high for a couple of hours work. Clients are smart enough to know this now so overcharging will get fewer clients, bankcrupt.
It's easy to SAY those things, yet quite a bit different to set everything up. If you have an interior, you've been working with the client to get the right mood - right furniture, paint/wallpaper/ moldings, appliances, fixtures - and a multitude of other things that take WAY more than just a few hours to set up. Handing over these files will cost the client LOTS of cash
- not counting the third party pieces of furniture, etc. You just don't hand over even YOUR models that may have taken you MANY hours to create. The client HAS to pay for these things. Anyone that thinks otherwise is simply crazy.

Now of course things ARE different in the VFX industry where assets are traded back and forth because THAT is how the producer wants things to work. This is standard. But not in the real world of archviz.

One of the old bosses where I used to work really pissed us off by saying often - "It's just a point and click of the mouse." More like several hundred points and several hundred clicks and LOTS of other work went into it!

Probably a different era back then(don't know I was still in school 10years ago) so we can charge high but nowadays cg is easier to do atleast for mid level to low level cg which makes up the biggest cg market. The source files for these kinds of projects, they're not top secret stuff anymore. Ofcourse the copyrighted items still have to be acquired by a client separately. :D
Yeah, kids can do CG in their garage now. But unless they are dedicated and know HOW to work with clients, it isn't that easy and oftentimes can become tedious and frustrating. Too many kids today don't have that kind of patience - and many of them probably have no qualms about handing over third party models to their clients. Archviz is often not a glamorous-enough business for newbie CG artists and getting enough clientele to support yourself is not easy - and you certainly can't charge $100 for an exterior view and hope to be able to support yourself. Not to mention you have to have a pretty good understanding of the many terms that architects use - especially when you run into problems with the blueprints. I can't tell you how many architects make a set of plans that look great in 2D, but can't work in 3D as they are drawn. It's crazy. But I'm certainly not going to give away something that took me a long time to create - It's taken me years to learn everything I've learned, and I'll be damned it someone expects to get that for nothing! :cursin:

jeric_synergy
07-17-2012, 11:40 PM
A couple hours to create a quality exterior???

Am I that slow? People can create a custom exterior, light, and render it all in a couple hours?

++
As to wages: can you say "$13.98 is a living wage in Japan", and have it mean anything to someone in, say, Atlanta? Living expenses could be higher, could be lower. Surely cost of living is different in Nara than in Tokyo.

JonW
07-17-2012, 11:56 PM
A couple hours to create a quality exterior???

Am I that slow? People can create a custom exterior, light, and render it all in a couple hours?

It's called a cube!

wesleycorgi
07-18-2012, 05:51 AM
Interesting topic. Having been a freelancer in the past (not specifically 3d but graphic design) as well as a "consumer" of freelancers, the terms of the working files would have been stipulated beforehand.

When I did freelance, I tended to be on the higher side. I understood that when they asked for files, their intent was to eventually find a cheaper alternative. After certain projects where I thought i would never hear from the client again, I would get a desperate call asking if I could come back. They needed me too "fix" something that I originally created and was now mucked up either inhouse or by a different freelancer. The premium they paid for me was expertise and professionalism. I typically wouldn't want to keep the assets (except for portfolio) anyways because it would be too specific to that company and project. In a pinch, I will/still cannibalize an old mesh (significantly) if I had already built something generic in the past that I need for a current project.

On the other hand, as a former head of a graphics department where our "fifth" member was the freelancer du jour, I would demand all relevant assets up front. As much as "you can't trust clients", you can't trust freelancers. The good ones are typically chasing better projects/wages and would suddenly go dark. The bad ones you would never use again.

jeric_synergy
07-18-2012, 11:27 AM
Can we wrap this up with "Contracts are your friends." ???

erikals
07-18-2012, 01:44 PM
at times the guy will assume that "X" files were included in the price,
if your contract doesn't say this, the guy might get upset when he finds out and buy services elsewhere.

also if you did write in the contract that "X" files are not included, he might do the same thing. buy services elsewhere.

sometimes it's just best to leave it out of the contract (which means > files not included) and take it from there, see what happens when he eventually finds out. (if he does at all)
still, chances are that he doesn't even need them...

excluding something from a contract is sometimes just as smart as including them...

"Contracts are your friends"
yes, but so is the client, remember to be friendly, while still protecting your own interests.

 

DigitalSorcery8
07-18-2012, 02:09 PM
I simply spell out exactly what they will be receiving - images either uploaded to a webpage that they can immediately access or a CD if they prefer. Nothing else.

NEVER had a problem. Of course the archviz industry may be somewhat different than many other industries. :)

jeric_synergy
07-18-2012, 02:39 PM
You just say in the contract, that source files are extra. That's why contracts are your friends.

And frankly, sometimes your clients are definitely NOT your friends.

Titus
07-18-2012, 04:44 PM
Bottom line: he has 'em, they don't. Charge 'em. They'll craft their next contract more carefully.

Yep, the client usually has the payment as leverage. The assets is part of our leverage.

jesblood
07-20-2012, 11:26 AM
Hello all.

Thank you for all the good advice. I will definitly put it to good use. Thanks.