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shrox
01-27-2013, 11:18 AM
Don't do it.

I am considering my first ever small claims court action. The reason? I worked with a friend...who now doesn't want to pay.

A mistake in poly counts, I was told 10,000 then 20,000. They meant 2000 polys. Now they don't want to pay for the work.

lardbros
01-27-2013, 11:29 AM
Hmmm, tricky one... I've not been paid a couple of times, and it hurts... in fact stopped me doing freelance...

Depends how close a friend they are, and how much you value your friendship? Also, how much work was it? Could you make some money by selling it on TurboSquid which may negate the pain slightly?

Fingers crossed you can sort it out in some way!?

shrox
01-27-2013, 11:34 AM
Second time this has happened, we've known each other for 20 years. First time I cut him a break.

lardbros
01-27-2013, 11:39 AM
Hmmmm... well clearly that's out of order!... and a tough one to figure out financially, and friendship-wise.

I may just mean you have to say no paid work for friends. I didn't get paid the last time I helped a mate out... so never going to do paid work again for mates, just happy to do favours for my brother and his company.

Good luck!!

Surrealist.
01-27-2013, 11:48 AM
So I guess I am missing something. There is probably more to this story I suspect.

But at face value, if there was a misunderstanding about poly count, why not clear it up? Why not just deliver a 2000 poly model and be done? From here that looks like a lot less work than filing a claim but I don't know all of the details.

shrox
01-27-2013, 12:07 PM
So I guess I am missing something. There is probably more to this story I suspect.

But at face value, if there was a misunderstanding about poly count, why not clear it up? Why not just deliver a 2000 poly model and be done? From here that looks like a lot less work than filing a claim but I don't know all of the details.

Because I already did the 20,000 poly ones. Now I have to rebuild and remap.

50one
01-27-2013, 12:17 PM
I cannot agree more with the title, done few jobs in the past for friends and today I have no heart to tell anyone or even convince them about the prices, people ask you cause they think since you're friends you can do things cheaper than average designer - well, you still need to spend the certain amount of time on a project - and demanding client will be demanding client, even tho it's your pal.
So i's always a straight ball for me, pretend to by extremely busy(it's true anyway;))

It's usually a recipe for disaster on social level - almost like selling your old used car to one of your family member - both are a big No-No for me:)

I wish you luck dude.

zapper1998
01-27-2013, 12:21 PM
Next time, 50% up front, balance on completion of work..

I have doing that for a long time, on agreement of signed contract, 50% up front balance on completion of contract, customer satisfaction that is..

bazsa73
01-27-2013, 12:57 PM
Last time a friend of mine told me a big tale about a big thing, I was listening then I told him a price. He never talked
about that project ever but we are still friends :)

jeric_synergy
01-27-2013, 01:19 PM
bazsa73, did that project EVER get done? ;)

When I can get work, it's 50% up front, and that's the ONLY money I ever count on. The 2nd 50% is just gravy.

Also: written contracts are your friend: in fact, your BEST friend.

Serling
01-27-2013, 01:46 PM
Well, at the risk of sounding rather macabre, I recently did a music video for a friend. The job was worth about $1,200 but I wanted to cut him a break, so I let him name his own price (he was an editor, too). He said, "$500?" I said, "Cool." (He was a freelancer, so I figured he might have a hard time coming up with the money, so I didn't pressure him. Just told him to pay me a little bit at a time when he could.)

I finished the project for him in October of 2010. He passed away from a massive stroke in February of 2011. I never saw a penny.

Set a price. Sign a contract. Get your costs covered in the 50% you get up front. Get the rest on delivery. That part is your profit. I learned this lesson the hard way. The bigger lesson is that friends and family both make lousy clients. I don't do paid work for friends or family anymore. If it's a small job, I do it for free. If it's a big job, I send them somewhere else because they're not going to pay what the job's worth and I wouldn't ask them for it.

Close personal relationships affect the business relationship and that means you're the one who usually gets the short end of the deal every time.

mikala
01-27-2013, 01:52 PM
Well, at the risk of sounding rather macabre, I recently did a music video for a friend. The job was worth about $1,200 but I wanted to cut him a break, so I let him name his own price (he was an editor, too). He said, "$500?" I said, "Cool." (He was a freelancer, so I figured he might have a hard time coming up with the money, so I didn't pressure him. Just told him to pay me a little bit at a time when he could.)

I finished the project for him in October of 2010. He passed away from a massive stroke in February of 2011. I never saw a penny.

Set a price. Sign a contract. Get your costs covered in the 50% you get up front. Get the rest on delivery. That part is your profit. I learned this lesson the hard way. The bigger lesson is that friends and family both make lousy clients. I don't do paid work for friends or family anymore. If it's a small job, I do it for free. If it's a big job, I send them somewhere else because they're not going to pay what the job's worth and I wouldn't ask them for it.

Close personal relationships affect the business relationship and that means you're the one who usually gets the short end of the deal every time.
Sorry to hear of the loss on both fronts.

shrox
01-27-2013, 01:55 PM
I have a written contract. It just sucks that it's playing out like this. I'll try one more email, polite but to the point.

mikala
01-27-2013, 01:57 PM
Crappy no matter how you cut it.
The 50% down is truly your best friend. Also that 50% is before the first poly gets placed.

Serling
01-27-2013, 01:58 PM
Oh, and with regard to small claims court, I would only sue if you feel that getting paid is worth more than keeping your friend. It sounds to me like your friendship means less to him than it does to you, given that he refuses to pay even though it was his mistake that has cost you both.

And keep in mind that without a signed contract, you stand as much a chance to lose in court as he does. In that case, you lose both the money and your relationship. It seems the best way out of this is simply rework the model for him (even if it's at a financial loss to you) and get paid what you can for it. Sucks, I know, but it's probably the only way you're going to see any money and save your friendship (if it's that important to you.)

(But, as you have a contract - hopefully stipulating the nature of the work that would be done, you may be on stronger legal footing.)

jeric_synergy
01-27-2013, 01:59 PM
I have a written contract. It just sucks that it's playing out like this. I'll try one more email, polite but to the point.
Is the job spec (the 20,000 versus 2,000) in the contract?

If it is, THEY don't have a leg to stand on.

mikala
01-27-2013, 02:00 PM
With friends like these.....?

Serling
01-27-2013, 02:06 PM
Sorry to hear of the loss on both fronts.

Yep. Given the choice, I'd much rather have my friend back just so I could tell him "forget the money." It's a weird feeling thinking that the high blood pressure that killed him might have been due - in part - to the financial pressures he was facing as the result of the music project he was doing. It's a horrible feeling to live with.

shrox
01-27-2013, 02:13 PM
Oh, and with regard to small claims court, I would only sue if you feel that getting paid is worth more than keeping your friend. It sounds to me like your friendship means less to him than it does to you, given that he refuses to pay even though it was his mistake that has cost you both.

And keep in mind that without a signed contract, you stand as much a chance to lose in court as he does. In that case, you lose both the money and your relationship. It seems the best way out of this is simply rework the model for him (even if it's at a financial loss to you) and get paid what you can for it. Sucks, I know, but it's probably the only way you're going to see any money and save your friendship (if it's that important to you.)

(But, as you have a contract - hopefully stipulating the nature of the work that would be done, you may be on stronger legal footing.)

I offer to redo 1/3 of them, with 1/3 advance. He refused.

Surrealist.
01-27-2013, 02:19 PM
Yeah that's a bit of work in LightWave

I am willing to help out. If you have to remap the UVs and textures, I can do that very quickly in Softimage using GATOR In less than 15 minutes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcGwvc2VCkk

I can transfer the UVs from the high poly model to the low poly one and the mapping will go very easy. Same maps an everything with new UVs in the same UV space as the original. The rest is up to you, I think it might be worth it to just mend the fence and get paid.

Not asking for money, just like to see you get that sorted if you can. :)

torturebori007
01-27-2013, 03:18 PM
Black and white never lies!!!!!!!!! Get it on paper or it never happened

shrox
01-27-2013, 04:03 PM
Black and white never lies!!!!!!!!! Get it on paper or it never happened

Umm...I did.

BigHache
01-27-2013, 04:06 PM
If I could offer this: Because at some level you consider/considered them a friend, whatever decision you make, could you look each other eye to eye afterward?

shrox
01-27-2013, 04:14 PM
If I could offer this: Because at some level you consider/considered them a friend, whatever decision you make, could you look each other eye to eye afterward?

We don't live in the same town anymore. I have Asperger's so I can stare down anyone, usually by accident...scares people.

Serling
01-27-2013, 04:42 PM
I offer to redo 1/3 of them, with 1/3 advance. He refused.

Sounds like your "friend" is trying to take advantage of you. What kind of "friend" does that?

This is exactly why I don't do paid work for friends (or family).

torturebori007
01-27-2013, 04:57 PM
Umm...I did.

Whoa, sorry to have sound like a butt head, but the rest of my post didn't post...

I was just going to say that, having it on paper should keep things straight between two parties and theres no dispute....But man this guy kind a sounds like he wanted a free job..

jeric_synergy
01-27-2013, 05:05 PM
I was just going to say that, having it on paper should keep things straight between two parties and theres no dispute....But man this guy kind a sounds like he wanted a free job..
It's on paper, if I understand correctly, so the client is just plain wrong. And if a 20,000 poly model doesn't work for him, he's got zip.

Sounds like everyone is gonna lose on this one.

probiner
01-27-2013, 05:23 PM
I swear I'm not kidding shrox. Could the mesh survive to a PLG Reduce to bring the count to the intended?. I bet it's some spaceship and the answer is no...

I hope you don't charge by the poly :P (Ok, now I was kidding a little)

Anyway, it's bad to get to things like this with friends. I'm doing it now with a friend of mine. Sometimes there are disagreements, but fortunately so far, it has served to build up our friendship more.

Good Luck

djwaterman
01-27-2013, 07:08 PM
Don't go legal on this, it doesn't sound like a huge job and hardly worth the cost and stress of taking it to court. You will probably have to accept the loss, you don't need this sort of bad feeling in your life so try to move on. It happens to everyone at some point. Don't work for them ever again.

brunopeixoto
01-27-2013, 07:32 PM
Don't go legal on this, it doesn't sound like a huge job and hardly worth the cost and stress of taking it to court. You will probably have to accept the loss, you don't need this sort of bad feeling in your life so try to move on. It happens to everyone at some point. Don't work for them ever again.

Agree!!!!

Serling
01-27-2013, 07:51 PM
Don't go legal on this, it doesn't sound like a huge job and hardly worth the cost and stress of taking it to court. You will probably have to accept the loss, you don't need this sort of bad feeling in your life so try to move on. It happens to everyone at some point. Don't work for them ever again.

Except, of course, that for a freelancer (if I'm correct in understanding that's what you are right now, Shrox), every money-making gig is a "big job" because of the paycheck that keeps you fed, clothed, and housed. What it comes down to is this: is "friendship" worth more than being able to pay the bills?

I'd say the answer to that depends on how badly you need the money.

DigitalSorcery8
01-27-2013, 07:52 PM
Don't go legal on this, it doesn't sound like a huge job and hardly worth the cost and stress of taking it to court. You will probably have to accept the loss, you don't need this sort of bad feeling in your life so try to move on. It happens to everyone at some point. Don't work for them ever again.
I tend to agree with this - unless you've got the time (or its LOTS of cash in question) and serious inclination, I wouldn't bother with court.

I think it's painfully obvious that this person is really NOT a friend. "Friends" don't do that to each other. They just don't. Turning down the alternate offer you made is pretty much proof of that.
Sad to say you don't have a friend here. At least you found out now before he offered a much larger project and then seriously screwed you over. Think of it as a blessing in disguise. Either way, good luck.

shrox
01-27-2013, 08:05 PM
He has refused them now.

Serling
01-27-2013, 08:17 PM
He has refused them now.

He sounds like a real d-bag, then. Even a win in court is no guarantee you'll ever see your money. Write this one off as a loss and lesson learned and maybe move on if you can. It sucks, but we've all been there.

Here's hoping your next job makes up for the bad experience you had with this one.

Serling
01-27-2013, 08:28 PM
unless you've got the time (or its LOTS of cash in question) and serious inclination, I wouldn't bother with court.

It's not expensive to file a small claims action. You go to court on the date set, present your respective cases and get a judgment right then and there. Not that bad, but it's no fun, either. The bigger problem is that you could have all the evidence in your favor and the judge could still rule against you. It happened to me once.

There is no sure thing when it comes to convincing a judge, especially when you would have to explain to him why the difference between 2,000 and 20,000 polys is a big deal. Judges aren't and cannot be experts on everything and, depending on the judge you get, you may lose because you didn't dot an "i".

It's best to avoid court whenever possible. OTOH, the courts are there to help people resolve contract disputes, and that's what this boils down to.

If I were starving, I would pursue it going in knowing I could still lose. If I weren't, I'd simply write it off.

Everyone's mileage will vary.

shrox
01-27-2013, 08:33 PM
It would have been $2400, I had planned to use it as down on a car. Anybody got any work they need done?

Stuff like this makes me mad enough to work on a new demo reel...

Serling
01-27-2013, 08:34 PM
The other option...

Pay a couple hundred bucks to have an attorney draft a scary letter threatening legal action if he doesn't pay up: more expensive than small claims, but sometimes the threat of legal action on an attorney's letterhead is all it takes to get some people to do the right thing. The attorney may even agree to take payment after the guy pays up, depending on your financial position.

Maybe worth a shot.

Serling
01-27-2013, 08:39 PM
If you go the attorney route, you could also see if he'll look over your contract and recommend any changes for dealing with future deadbea...er..."clients."

Surrealist.
01-27-2013, 10:13 PM
It would have been $2400,

2,400 for 2,000 polys?

Sounds more like he is making things up to get out of paying. That is a lot of jingle for such a low poly model. I mean even with a killer texture job. That's fairly high I think. If you do go the court route, come prepared to simply show he is lying by using fair market examples of similar work. Grab a nice cross-section of quotes from various places like Arch Vis firms, turbo squid and so on, to give the judge a fairly good idea of the market.

http://pinterest.com/martaaay/3d-models-low-poly/
http://3docean.net/item/low-poly-city-megapack-42-models/752954
http://www.turbosquid.com/Search/3D-Models/lowpoly

(Granted this the above links are not custom exclusive models but it is none the less a portion of the cross section of the market)

I mean certainly there is no set rule about pricing individual jobs by the poly count. But it still would seem very high by comparison I think. He'll have to convince the judge that he fully expected a 2,000 poly model. And explain why given the going market he agreed to pay so much for it in the first place. I think you'd have him on that point right there. And I can not imagine a good answer to that question which will just speak, liar.

shrox
01-27-2013, 10:24 PM
2,400 for 2,000 polys?

Sounds more like he is making things up to get out of paying. That is a lot of jingle for such a low poly model. I mean even with a killer texture job. That's fairly high I think. If you do go the court route, come prepared to simply show he is lying by using fair market examples of similar work. Grab a nice cross-section of quotes from various places like Arch Vis firms, turbo squid and so on, to give the judge a fairly good idea of the market.

http://pinterest.com/martaaay/3d-models-low-poly/
http://3docean.net/item/low-poly-city-megapack-42-models/752954
http://www.turbosquid.com/Search/3D-Models/lowpoly

(Granted this the above links are not custom exclusive models but it is none the less a portion of the cross section of the market)

I mean certainly there is no set rule about pricing individual jobs by the poly count. But it still would seem very high by comparison I think. He'll have to convince the judge that he fully expected a 2,000 poly model. And explain why given the going market he agreed to pay so much for it in the first place. I think you'd have him on that point right there. And I can not imagine a good answer to that question which will just speak, liar.

30 models at 2000 poly each. If I had sold him one poly at $1,000,000 doesn't change anything in the matter.

I just wanted to vent more than anything.

jeric_synergy
01-27-2013, 11:01 PM
Stuff like this makes me mad enough to work on a new demo reel...
Yes, USE that anger!!! ;)

erikals
01-27-2013, 11:12 PM
yep, i try to follow these two rules.

- Be careful to cooperate with a friend on a project.
- Don't work for friends.


ways you can go about it...
- sorry, i'm too busy
- sorry, i heard working with friends never turns out good
- sorry, my left arm is just killing me at the moment, can hardly touch the keyboard.
- sorry, i need to help this lady from Thailand, you see, years back, back in 1972, she had this... bla, bla, bla... but then it started raining, so she couldn't open the door... bla, bla, bla... and then she fell, can you believe it?... after that she decided... bla, bla, bla...

doing stuff for fun however, that's alright... as long as you can pull out at any time...

50one
01-28-2013, 02:03 AM
It never hurt to keep a sharp axe or a machete next to your desk, invite your friend, while working with him on a project he may eventually ask about that axe and what is the purpose of keeping it next to your desk...don't answer that question, just smile and hide it in your wardrobe...worked for me, but it's hard to find friend when you're keeping an axe next to your PC or in your bedroom, people are weird.

jeric_synergy
01-28-2013, 12:39 PM
Not to mention dates.

shrox
02-01-2013, 01:02 AM
Well, I got mad enough to do this! I just rendered it out at 1/4 HDTV to get a first pass.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQLwCPSFs3I&feature=youtu.be

I'll have to touch up my website too.

shrox
02-01-2013, 12:33 PM
Well, I got mad enough to do this! I just rendered it out at 1/4 HDTV to get a first pass.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQLwCPSFs3I&feature=youtu.be

I'll have to touch up my website too.

The cars are from DMI I finally decided I don't have to do everything myself. It's faster that way anyway, and DMI has some high rez models that you can get the camera close to.

http://www.dmi-3d.net/

Titus
02-01-2013, 01:22 PM
I know your feeling. I've a client in Germany who owes me the final payment for a project from last year. He is now not responding calls.

shrox
02-01-2013, 01:28 PM
I know your feeling. I've a client in Germany who owes me the final payment for a project from last year. He is now not responding calls.

Oh well. Time to move on and complain about lens flares.

Titus
02-01-2013, 01:36 PM
We have better things to do. Like playing with LW 11.5 :D.

erikals
02-01-2013, 02:15 PM
customize-able lens flares, that'd be cool...

Sensei
02-01-2013, 02:47 PM
In Polish language, friend has completely different meaning than in English language.

In English, people that just meet in club are calling each other friend..

"Friend" in English means "somebody that doesn't want to kill you" ;)

kopperdrake
02-01-2013, 02:56 PM
My uncle was an airbush illustrator, back in the mid 80s. I remember one day, when I asked if I could do some work for him to learn the ropes, he said "never work for friends or family, if it goes bad you risk losing more than money".

I'd like to say I listened to him, but I do work "with" my brother-in-law, but then we were work colleagues before becoming family (and I'm not sure he's ever forgiven me for that ;) ).

mikala
02-01-2013, 03:14 PM
Yup Shrox DMI's library of vehicles should not be underestimated.
Even if only to populate a street with background vehicles.