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View Full Version : Charging for 3D jobs - How much?



Ade
08-05-2003, 01:41 PM
Hi guys alot of u guys have been great in helping me out, I wanted to ask you guys how much would u charge for a whole model and render of a 7 story building apartments with all detail external, no internals done yet (outside windows, balcony's, shop front etc). The client asked if it was possible in one night, we accomplished it in say 15 hours, its 5 am now and im texturing it.
In australian dollars would your charge $2000 for it or more considering its size and request to have it done in one night when originally we had 3 days?

Johnny
08-05-2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Ade
In australian dollars would your charge $2000 for it or more considering its size and request to have it done in one night when originally we had 3 days?


It's that last phrase that makes my ears get hot! If the client has cut the time to work on the job by 2/3, you need to impose rush charges.

I can tell you that in Chicago, I can charge $1200 for a much less complex 3D image than the one you describe, and nobody even bats an eye - even not-for-profits!

If you don't, you're b0ning yourself for busting a gut to accomodate the client's change in schedule, and sending a message that excellent work comes out of the microwave.

J

Ade
08-05-2003, 03:13 PM
So in Aussie dollars how much?
Riki, Jimzip u guys can help too...

murdoch
08-05-2003, 04:00 PM
many roads in on this one.

how well do you know the client? how big is their company? how much do they stand to make from your work? how well does the work answer the clients brief?

do you work to an hourly rate? how established/recognised are you as a company? how many people were involved in the 15 hour stint? what other work did you have to reschedule to accomodate the revised deadline?

$2000 dollars in GBP is about 800 - considering the 'rush' aspect i'd be inclined to try $5000, but i'm not familiar with the market place. if you're handing over the model as well, go for $6000.

better to go in high and come down if they choke. amendments, of course, are extra. javascript:smilie(':D')

good luck

Ade
08-05-2003, 04:03 PM
They are an architectual, design, interior design place. The Apartments are an $8million venture.
I have just started and didnt charge an hourly rate, it took me 15 hours to model 7 stories with all facades and windows, now im rendering and placing it detailed like.

Do you think $2K-$3K will scare them away?

js33
08-05-2003, 04:23 PM
If it does I would look for other clients.
Seriously if you had 3 days and then they decided they want it the next day it sounds like they are seeing how high they can make you jump. Stick to your guns and charge them the full price it would have taken you to do it in 3 full days. Plus a rush charge for having to do it so fast. If you let clients push you around now they will always push you around. A former client that always had hard deadlines he said were imposed by his clients, which was sometimes true due to them being late with their part, but I found over time that the deadlines were balony and were his deadlines imposed so he wouldn't have to pay me or others working for him what he should have. Note that I said FORMER client. :D
Seriously if they try to push you to hard they are basically saying lets see how cheap we can get this guy down to. But of course you don't want to be so overpriced that they CAN easily replace you.

Cheers,
JS

Ade
08-05-2003, 04:31 PM
Exactly i dont wanna be replaced, just dont know what the rate for 3d is these days, im new to this.

Im rendering off 4 views high rez, of different angles it is now 8:30 am and i need sleep but i can go another 4 hours.

Johnny
08-05-2003, 05:22 PM
Dude...the issue here isn't whether they might replace YOU...

You need to decide honestly if they are a client you want to KEEP!

We've all been hosed by bad clients...that's the stuff you can live without.

J

murdoch
08-05-2003, 06:59 PM
the last question i always ask before taking on a job is "what's your budget?".

best to sort this one out beforehand. once you're all agreed get a purchase order, it'll have the cost and probably a job number/reference. professional organizations always use these - keeps the accounting and budgeting tidy. if they don't issue these to suppliers then i'd be wary.

paintboy
08-05-2003, 07:04 PM
Ade,
stand your ground. what you do has value.dont sell yourself short.
high buck software and equipment, plus learning how to use it, whats that worth? i am with murdoch, come out big, if they squeal , back off a touch, depending on how loudly they scream. they stand to pack their pockets based on what you've done. also... the first thing you should address after discussing the job, is the price then it becomes "play or go away", a much better place for you.
good luck.

mlinde
08-05-2003, 07:35 PM
Ade, if you have no idea where to start, try this:

As an independent contractor, you need to charge a rate that will cover
(a) your time
(b) use and depreciation of your hardware
(c) health insurance
(d) energy costs

It's a big question out there. I don't know if the economy is as bad down under as it is in the big bad west, but figure you're base is about $75-100 USD (which is about $115-150 AUD) per hour. On top of that there should be a second rate for "rendering" away from the desk, which would be about 5% of your base, so $6-7.50 per hour.

Then add your rush charge. Typically a rush charge is 10% of the total.

This is also a good way to estimate jobs up front.

Johnny
08-05-2003, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by mlinde
On top of that there should be a second rate for "rendering" away from the desk, which would be about 5% of your base, so $6-7.50 per hour.


I'm curious about that, mlinde..to me, that seems low...Still your rig, your setup, your studio, etc..

I agree the rendering rate ought to be lower than your modeling/retouching rate, but high enough to reflect your investment, and the fact that you really don't have full use of that computer until the render's done.

J

js33
08-05-2003, 11:15 PM
I usually charge $50-$75/hr. If too low I can "adjust" the hours;) within reason. I charge $25/hr for rendering so I'm making money while I'm sleeping. :D Then I when I do jobs for bigger companies like murdoch says I usually get a PO and just bid a package cost for the entire job.

Cheers,
JS

riki
08-05-2003, 11:35 PM
Hi Ade, you should charge a bit extra for the rush job, and explain that too them, so in future they give you a bit more warning. I think 2k for a nights work sounds fair. Did you agree on a price prior to the job?

Pricing ultimately depends on the final use, supposedly clients buy one-time publication rights. Depending on what sort of agreement you have. I know most of the time when I'm freelancing I pimp my self out for next to nothing :) I guess if your getting started you need to be keen and you don't want to price yourself out of the picture. If your in a strong position and have lots of work coming in. You can afford to dictate the term of engagment.

Looking at the 'Pricing & Ethical Guidelines Book' they seem to be quoting anything from 2,500 to 5,500 in US dallars. The pricing here varys depending on the output resolution. I'm not sure how much you can rely on these figures.

mlinde
08-06-2003, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by Johnny
I'm curious about that, mlinde..to me, that seems low...Still your rig, your setup, your studio, etc..

I agree the rendering rate ought to be lower than your modeling/retouching rate, but high enough to reflect your investment, and the fact that you really don't have full use of that computer until the render's done.

J

My argument for 5-10% of your hourly rate is a literal cost. If you are a one-man one-computer shop, it's more problematic, but if you have 2 or more computers, and you offload your rendering to other machines, what honest reason can you charge your physical rate? Of course, maybe that's my problem, I've been accused of being an honest businessman a number of times.

If you have one machine, and your rendering takes away from productivity, yes, you should bill a higher rate, but you should also be re-investing in rendering machines to regain that productivity.

Johnny
08-06-2003, 07:40 AM
Originally posted by mlinde
If you have one machine, and your rendering takes away from productivity, yes, you should bill a higher rate, but you should also be re-investing in rendering machines to regain that productivity.

OK..I buy that. Let's say it's a scenario like Ade's, but with a piece of animation. You're a one-man shop and you need to complete the animation as fast as you can. You have 2 Macs, set up for ScreamerNet. How then would you charge?

One the one hand, you are responsible to have adequate and plentiful-enough computers; on the other hand, which of us can just call up and order a new box just to fulfill a rush order? - that expense could gobble up all the profits.

J

mlinde
08-06-2003, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by Johnny
You're a one-man shop and you need to complete the animation as fast as you can. You have 2 Macs, set up for ScreamerNet. How then would you charge?

If the client is rushing a previously scheduled job, or you have a relationship with them and schedules have been discussed before (and now have changed) you should charge a rush fee, which helps offset the fact that you sit idle while your two machines render.

The idea of purchasing rendering machines has to be taken with prudence -- obviously you don't just go buying computers whenever. If you have a job that absolutely has to be done at a certain time, and your current setup won't do it, you have two choices: change your setup (get more machines) or rent time on something like respower.

If you are a one-man shop and you want to make the most of your time, it's cost effective to set aside some of your profits from jobs, and buy machines to set up a render farm. This allows you to work on your workstation and render on your farm -- best of both worlds for work and billing.

Just a clarification -- the render charge assumes I have other machines rendering. It doesn't matter how many, because more machines means a faster render, less power and downtime for those machines, thus improved productivity. The render fee is a flat-rate regardless of how many machines I put into service, unless I have to put my workstation down as well.

battery555
08-07-2003, 12:12 AM
i will say it depends on how badly you need the money. if you have no lack of it then go for higher charge.
i guess A$2000 is kind of under charge if base on your job descriptions.:eek:

riki
08-07-2003, 12:56 AM
You need to be fair and competative. I'm on a 56k connection so if I have to upload 200Mb of files I'll do it at night when I'm sleeping and won't charge any extra.

Maimo
08-07-2003, 02:04 AM
Another way of looking at jobs is, a per project basis. I do alot of TV comercials. and I Do mstly Graphics and Aniamtion for Disney Channel, and Toon Disney, I charge flat fee of $5000 to $7000 us per comercial. Production Scheduels are around 1-2 weeks in length for each spot, I don't have to worry about Hours, Just the project itself. And I keep regular hours (but they can call me anytime they need me).

I cant stand doing anything on an hourly basis. It's taken me a year to get to this level with a few producers, At first i was very acomodating, but eventually they grew so used to having me around and I work really hard to keep them happy, that they cant do without me. Now The Beg for me to work with them.

My advice is that your biggest asset is a strong work ethic, People we learn your worth, and will pay well to keep you around. They cant afford to go with someone who is cheep and flakey, or unpredictable.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Zarathustra
08-07-2003, 09:57 AM
mlinde, once again, is right on the mark. His hourly rate is pretty good.

Technically, I don't charge an hourly rate, but I use an hourly rate to figure out what to charge. Huh?
Ok, this gets easier with more experience, but when I'm presented with a project, I guess in my head how long it will take me and multiply the hour rate and that's my starting point for pricing. Factors that will raise or lower that price are rushes, quality of client relationship, how delicious the project is (I'm a sucker for that last one).

I try to make as much clear, up front, as possible. Quote a price. I RARELY charge more then the quote unless something happens (client adds things, for example) but I would explain in advance what might alter that quote.
I have the deadline locked. I make it clear that the client ONLY gets the finished graphics not the assets created to make the graphics (ie - models, textures, scenes, etc.). If they want the assets, that's an additional fee ( a high one, too). To be fair, I also agree never to use the assets for any other client.

For new clients you have to get $$$ up front and explain a lot more, set up approval stages that get signed off on (so that at the end someone can't say, "I think it would be better as blue"). The better you get to know a client and win each others trust, the more you can relax.

For your case you should charge extra for the rush, and for each high res print you make. It would also help if you said, "this would normally be $x for a 3 day project like this but due to the rush I have to charge $x + $y". That way if the client sees how much extra it costs to get something that fast, they may plan better in the future and give you more time next time (or they're loaded and they won't mind paying $y extra).

woo, that was long :o

gggraphx
08-08-2003, 07:41 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Zarathustra
If they want the assets, that's an additional fee ( a high one, too). To be fair, I also agree never to use the assets for any other client.

Seems to me that by agreeing to never use the assets for any other client you are selling your assets for nothing, they're just not taking delivery of them. Same thing. If they want control of the assets, they should pay, period. That's the way stock photography works--you want exclusivity, you pay an additional fee (a high one, too).

Also, rush charges should reflect the importance of the timing. 50%-100% rush fee is reasonable. With this kind of fee, the client really has to think whether they REALLY need it the next day. They may go back to the original schedule to the benifit of all involved. Hell, I'd pay only 5%-10% just to make your life hell.;)

Jimzip
08-11-2003, 09:35 PM
Hey Ade.
Sorry, can't be much help, I'm 19 and haven't had much experience in the industry.. I've learnt a lot by reading this thread though! ;)

A lot of the other comments seem very reasonable, if it is a rush job, let the client know it, they would give you more time if it wasn't urgent, which means they need you.

That's how it seems anyway.

Jimzip :D