View Full Version : freelance rates

08-03-2004, 04:29 AM
hi all,

i know this type of question pops up a lot from time to time, so sorry in advance!

i'm getting some freelance work in the near future. although i have over 6 years in the industry, i'm pretty new to working freelance.

the work in question is going to be something along the lines of a short intro to a website (maybe 1 minute) done in lightwave rendered out in swift3D. its going to be the usual intro kind of thing, with lots of cool effects and probably quite a bit of character animation as well. so its mostly lightwave with a little actionscript thrown in, and some sound editing.

i've got a fair idea of the time its going to take. so should i just be multipling that figure with an hourly rate, then doubling it?

what does everyone think is a fair hourly rate for this kind of job? i'm based in scotland if that helps.

also, if anyone has any tips or suggestions to give me that i should be taking into consideration before taking on a job like this. i would really appreciate it!!

the other thing i am unsure about is the legal side of it. when it comes to drawing up a contract. does anyone know if there are documents out there that i can download and customise to suit my project? the company i am doing the work for has got me to sign an nda, so i guess i should really be covering my side as much as possible as well.

when it comes to getting paid. i've read before that most people ask for half up front, then half on completion. is this generally regarded as the best way to go?

thanks for any help.


08-03-2004, 09:47 AM
Hi Steve yup it does gets asked a hell of a lot and no the answers are always not really that useful.
So here are a few facts to base your rate around BTW this must be some sort of web site because this sounds is the top end of creating any sort of 3D animation for a web site.

some useful facts:-
2 very proffesional out fits in London who produce TV stuff and nearly every high end advertisment on UK TV charge 3D based on a figure of £2000.00 per day (The key word here being based)

3D basic logo £800 - £1000 + for the job (based on approx 3 days work)

Freelance Cameraman (pro DV) charges Between £380 - £ 500 per day.

Web design I charge £20.00 - £30.00 per hour or per job bases usually per job for the orginal job the the hourly rates kick in for updates at a later stage. (this is freelance stuff not my full time job BTW)

A friend a Joiner by trade can currently get paid anything between £10.00 and £18.00 per hour on site in our area on the tools.

So there you go a bit of a confusing list but it give a good over view of trades and prices I threw in the camera man and the joiner just to show in comparison with other pros in other trades 3D rates can be considered quiet under priced sometimes.

The bottom line is how much are you worth? How much do you need to earn to make a living? Equipment depreciation? Do you need to buy any special plugins for the job? etc etc all usual business stuff.

Getting paid:-
I've read others ask for 20 - 30% up front but NEVER release the full animation until the final bill is paid

E.G. Give them the animation with you logo or name on it (bottom or top corner) just use your usual comping application to stick your name all the way through it. If they start moaning tell them they can use it as a place holder until you get paid. Anyone who says its a big job to replace it with the correct animation at a later dates telling you porkies I work in flash all the time so long as you call it the same file name you just FTP one over the other no problem at all.

Another way of doing it would be you retain copyright of the animation / work until all payments of that work has been completed E.G. If they go live without paying you in full you can sue for breach of copyright. (maybe a useful thing to have in a contract but get proffesional advice first as I'm NO Solicitor!!!) :D

If you look on the net (at the above not mentioned big London houses) you will find there terms of business online Big Hint!!

Thats it, all the above is IMO BTW take it at face value E.G a few word on a internet forum and draw YOUR OWN CONCONCLUSIONS

One last thing I know you'll know this BUT if the animation is for Flash on average it runs at 12 fps so if anyone was to render out at D1 PAL (25 fps) there'll be in bother, yes I have seen it done before :D (yes it was me !) also that can come into the pricing thing as well, less frames to render for more animation.

08-03-2004, 11:52 PM
I charge 200 - 300 for a logo anim....

archviz is about 800 - 1200....