View Full Version : How to charge for Render time?

01-04-2007, 07:26 AM
A client of mine came at me with a request to do a large render of an image I created for them a few years back.

While the setting up of the image they want will take a bit of time, the REAL time will happen when I hit F9... I estimate a render time of between 24 and 36 hours.

I'm not sure how much to charge for this time. The machines doing the rendering are quite capable, but not the latest or fastest. Yet, they'll be tied up until rendering's done.

Dunno if I should charge a flat rate for the rendering, whether it takes 12 hrs or 24, or if I should charge some percentage of what I get hourly for doing modeling/surfacing, etc.

Any suggestions?

thank you!


01-04-2007, 08:42 AM
We usually use a percentage over the projects entire budget, the larger the project, the more needs to be rendered, and rerendered, and checked, and submitted, etc...

01-04-2007, 07:01 PM
OK..do you care to be specific about just how you arrive at the figure?



01-05-2007, 03:31 AM
It's kinda hard to calculate, it's a precentage you learn with time.
We bill this as Render Management, basically we look at what man hours are needed to :

-Make the scenes render ready
-Submitting of said scenes to the renderfarm (a often overlooked expense as it can chew up many many man hours when dealing with lots of scenes)
-Checking whether or not the submitted scenes work (be rendering out the first few frames of all submitted scenes)
-When all seems okay, adjust all submitted scene render ranges to the needed frames.
-Moving and checking all rendered scene images (by using a decent player like FrameCycler, or making a temp comp in Fusion/AFX)
-Adjusting scenes when errors where found and starting this workflow again.

We often find that scenes need to be rendered atleast twice to filter out all errors and screwups.

Now, alot of this can be automated, and you can't let your customer pay for screwups on your behalf, that is just 'not done' (that's why we only calculate a single re-render of a scene, and the rest of the re-renders are costs that we pay ourself)

After a couple of jobs you start to figure out how much man hours you spend per job on render management and can calculate a percentage that will cover some or all of said render management costs.

Sometimes these costs seem not even worth sending a bill for, and sometimes the costs are just too much and you adjust it down so it fits the overall budget.

Hope this helped somewhat.

01-05-2007, 08:28 AM
Hey, thank you!

I appreciate your explaining in detail your process for calculating charges.

I also make my screwups and such "off the clock" and only charge for real work and progress toward the client's goal..especially if there's something I have to learn first...

your answer helps greatly in deciding what to charge them.