View Full Version : quality versus what you charge?

05-20-2003, 06:17 AM
My client uses a 3D illustrator about half a dozen times a month to whip out various things, often involving glass. All the surfaces I've seen produced by this artist seem little better than rank beginner level.

Tho this artist is touted as being a whiz with color, composition, etc., the images she produces are firmly in the bush-league...the glass looks like a cheapo computerish imitation of what glass would look like (more like cheap plastic).

My very first glass surfaces in LW were 1000 times better, even tho I didn't even know what I was doing! (and still learning).

I wonder whether she (or others), knowing that client X will pay only so much for a 3D image, is deliberately producing images of lesser quality?

I think that a well-executed 3D image is worth its weight, and wouldn't want to invest my time and skill producing a pants-wetting image but only get the same amount of money you might pay for stock imagery ($50-$150).

Do 3D illustrators produce the quality for which they're getting paid? Is there a community feeling of not wanting to give top quality images for bottom-quality pay? I'd think that if clients try to low-ball 3D illustrators, thinking that 'you used a computer..how hard is THAT,' why even do it?

This artist is using Cinema, which has always left me cold, but I think could produce better glass than I'm seeing.


05-20-2003, 03:35 PM
It doesn't matter if someone else is getting paid more than you when they are not as good. If others are charging higher rates, then you have more chance of charging more.

It's worse when others discount, as it could force you to lower your rate.

The more the others charge the better!!!

05-21-2003, 06:14 PM
As a customer, I'd feel upset if I felt this illustrator was sandbagging. On the other hand, it's unrealistic to expect "pants-wetting" results for $50. (I paid almost that much in typesetting fees when the print shop resized my PDFs.)

The important thing is for you and the client to come to an understanding. It's okay for you to say, "This will take me ten hours at $X / hour." It's also okay for the client to say, "That's too much. What can you do in five hours?"

The "final cut" column in Keyframe Magazine addressed the issue of quality v. compensation in a recent issue: "You get personal satisfaction from your work creating fantastic new worlds. It is totally understandable why you would spend extra time on a project in order to be satisfied with it. ... If the extra time you spend can't also be categorized as promotional, educational, or obligatory, then you need to consider if personal satisfaction is worth the resulting wage of $1.50 per hour."

05-21-2003, 06:26 PM
I think you both have good and relevant points.

the scenario I described could very likely be "$X is too much, what can you do for $Y?"

but we all know how so many people who don't do what we do assess what we do:

'It's the computer that really does it,' or 'all you do is hit a few buttons,' or 'yeah, my kid did that for his 8th grade English report,' etc.

the idea that peoples' inaccurate perception of what's involved to bring great imagery into existence, and the effect of that wrong perception on how we're compensated chills me!