View Full Version : Advice on pricing?

07-04-2005, 07:13 AM
Hi everybody,

I need advice.

We're doing a character animation for a commercial. This is our first broadcast job as a firm so we don't want to rip no one off or get ripped-off. Total running time of the commercial will be around 20 secs and the total cg footage will be around 12 secs. The animation will be composited onto video footage and there are two shots that need camera movement (only a linear tilt and a straight zoom in) match.

We've done a crab model, textured it from scratch and now animating it as dancing to the given music. Client demands a reasonable amount of photorealism thus we have decided to render it with radiosity.

I've attached the model below for reference. Actually the model was done for a different purpose for a different client and for a different production resolution. But another client associated with them demanded the same model for their project.

So, what would be your pricing assets? What's more important is we need a basis for pricing, some ratios for kinds of work included in the project (like modeling should generally be this much according to texturing and animation is this much more expensive than etc.)

Thanks already.

07-04-2005, 10:40 AM
I normally just go with an hourly rate (actually one for operator time and one lower for just equipment time).

If a model is created specifically for a job the customer has the choice of paying for it outright, or paying a smaller fee for non-exclusive use.

How do you charge for other work ?

07-05-2005, 01:43 AM
Normally we do a variety of design work, most of them being web sites. We are from Istanbul and around here the pricing is mostly set arbitrarily by the natural selection (or elimination) of the market based on a quality scale.

So you somehow 'know' how much something is worth and usually measuring creative work with hourly pay is taken as an overly technical/rigid system which is prone to over-pricing by people. Only some of the largest firms can impose hourly pay system on their clients, once they get the upper hand by earning a big name.

When I posted the thread I was mostly interested in how to rationalize this 'known' price into measurable units corresponding to different work included and on a more or less accurate set of ratios.

07-05-2005, 04:28 AM
when i am doin this commercial work i never charge per hour cause client cant be sure did i spend whole night or regular 8 h work time. so i either do aproximation on amount of work on early begining and than i try to balance amount of work and my money i ask for, or i tell range of money to keep any extra work in that range to satisfy my needs. Or as 3rd solution wait till u re done and tell how much it cost.. but most of clients ask for payment details before work.... and yes dont forget to charge penalityes if after your work is done on confirmed storyboard u need to work more... it is best way to teach clients a lesson.

07-05-2005, 01:15 PM
I would say, NEVER quote for a job after you have done the work. I did this for one client, and they just said no. Although i could have said, okay, you don't get the work then... i needed the money.

In the end i reduced the cost by 400. They gave me 2 weeks to get it done, then asked for it a week earlier. Luckily i had already got it done.
They ended up using my work but messed up getting the thing to the printers, so it was never exhibited. Ended up only printed on crap A2 paper and shown locally. :confused:

Useless clients + big budget = no idea about the processes + work involved + not really caring when it all goes tits up.

The best option is to be as clear and concise as you can at the start, that way you get less problems later on.

07-05-2005, 02:47 PM
You might also take a look at the Grpahic Artist Guild Book on Pricing and ethical guidlines. One of the techniques for pricing that might help resolve to being seen as fair for both you and your clients, is to charge by the frame. Since you have to Render it out with high realism and renderosity this is going to be longer render times. Rendertime = $$ since its time that you could be spending doing other things. Time is money. The 10 edition whihc i have at hand, lists
$130 - $225 (US$) for complex animation
$100 - $175 (US$) for Simple animation

Pg 243 of the 10 edition of the Pricing and Ethical Guidelines Handbook.

Now this is just a general adverage, however those price points are also not set in stone and are subject to change based on where you are at (San Francisco or NewYork, United States versus Berlin, Germany or any number of places)

I would try to figure out what its costing you to render out the images, how much power oyur using what the cost of the machines are that they are rendering on, along with what your general overhead is. And use that to help base your price on. All of those things should help you and your client understand and come to a reasonable price point.

Good Luck.

07-05-2005, 08:11 PM
It is really best to have a contract in the beginning detailing the total cost of the project and ideally to have the client invest in the project up front either a 1/2 or 1/3 the total cost of the project and collect full payment upon delivery. It is also good to have the project outlined in the contract so if the client decides to make any changes after youve done the work have it written that it will cost over and above the original estimate amount, that way they always think twice about making changes.

Most clients will have no idea how u actaully do the work or what kind of time and effort will be involved so u can usaully leave yourself a wide margin for profit or for extra expenses u may have overlooked originally.

This business is all about have lots of fun and making sure u make lots of money doing it! ;)

07-06-2005, 12:45 AM
I found this articles by David Wright very useful when estimating a price for our work: http://www.cgarchitect.com/upclose/DW/default.asp