PDA

View Full Version : Freelance work



skywalker113
11-06-2008, 11:40 PM
How often do freelance 3d artist find work on the internet? I am interested in finding some projects that people could pay a small amount for. I dont have a 6 year collage degree, but I know a leginament amount. I'd like to make a little cash, but not a serious career or main source of income.

biliousfrog
11-07-2008, 03:06 AM
Freelancing is just another term for self-employment, it isn't usually something that is done for a little extra cash but rather as a means to live. I've had a little success with freelancing websites but not enough to consider it a major part of my marketing strategy. Generally the work is extremely under-paid but I'm of the mindset that low-paid work is better than none so it can be useful for making a little cash and some potential new clients when things are quiet.

I was a member of iFreelance for over a year, in that time I got one job for a days work doing some modelling for another Lightwaver. I've cancelled my membership as I didn't break even.

I've had more success with Elance. You have to pay commission (8.75%) and every client has had trouble paying through the site but the projects are a little more sensible, ie. the clients will pay US minimum wage rather than Asian minimum wage.

I'm very picky and generally only go for the high paying, long-term projects. It's quite comforting to know that you're both working under 'supervision' and can call in mediation if things go wrong. As long as the client's happy, they come back outside of the freelance site and you can earn a little more because there's no commission.

You'll be responsible for your own accounts and will need to register as self-employed. An accountant is well worth the costs, they should save you more money than they charge.

Stooch
11-07-2008, 03:13 AM
How often do freelance 3d artist find work on the internet? I am interested in finding some projects that people could pay a small amount for. I dont have a 6 year collage degree, but I know a leginament amount. I'd like to make a little cash, but not a serious career or main source of income.


you might want to spend a little bit more time in college so that your writing skills become more legitimate.

cresshead
11-07-2008, 03:37 AM
of course if your 'old' like me you rely on 'spell checker'
as for freelance work...done some of that it's okay if the projects as interesting and the clients are good...

i ususally get clients from them browsing turbosquid and seeing my contact details also my 'name' cresshead seems to have spead around the net search engines quite well.

i've not done any freelance work for a few months, but then i've not been looking for any either.

Lude
11-07-2008, 03:40 AM
you might want to spend a little bit more time in college so that your writing skills become more legitimate.

Useful comment, big hand for Stooch everyone. (That’s know as sarcasm, by the way.)

Well I have sourced some freelancers through this very forum. Here are a few points highlighting what’s important to me:

1. A good clear portfolio on the internet. Don’t try to make it fancy just keep it simple with reasonable sized images (nothing impresses less than a tiny crap quality image). Don’t use email as your primary source of showing images of your work, if you have to be asked or say you will send some through it’s already too late.

2. Make yourself as open to communication with the client as possible. Get yourself some messenger accounts, msn or Google chat work for me. Once you have them make sure and actually sign-in to the dam things. I can’t stress enough how useful it is to see when someone who’s working for you is online. It’s great for asking little questions and makes the person feel more like a team member rather than someone hundreds or thousands of miles away. Also give them a phone number and use online voice chat, sometimes you can’t beat a chat about something and it helps build trust, you become a real person with a personality not just a texting machine.

3. Regular updates, they don’t have to be images just messages letting your client know you’re alive and are working on their project. If you’re working your way through a problem don’t drop of the radar and say nothing for days just let them know your ironing the kinks out of something.

4. Keep your files very organized and if you client has a different way of organising their files try to adapted and use it. It’s very annoying sending out the files for a piece of work and having them comeback in a deferent folder structure. People have work flows in place and how they structure files is a key part.

Got a go work to do but I’m going to come back and add some more points.

P.S. I don’t have any work to outsource at the moment but you should update people who have shown interest to remind them that you are there. If people forget about you, you won’t get work. Maybe this should have been a point :)

akademus
11-07-2008, 03:43 AM
of course if your 'old' like me you rely on 'spell checker'
as for freelance work...done some of that it's okay if the projects as interesting and the clients are good...

i ususally get clients from them browsing turbosquid and seeing my contact details also my 'name' cresshead seems to have spead around the net search engines quite well.

i've not done any freelance work for a few months, but then i've not been looking for any either.

So... your spell checker accepts "ususally" as a word?

Freelancing is a good way to hone your skills, but on the other side you need decent reel to get any job. There is a lot companies accepting part time freelancing as they sometimes have extra work they can't handle in house. Put something online, make some contacts and wait. Something will come up, eventually.

Iain
11-07-2008, 03:52 AM
Yep the most important thing is networking. Speak to people.
Put yourself about and use an online portfolio to point to your work.

Freelancing is great for occasional extra money but I've had a few jobs that have almost killed me trying to fit them in alongside a day job. A 38 hour working day is not fun. Neither is losing your weekend.

cresshead
11-07-2008, 04:07 AM
So... your spell checker accepts "ususally" as a word?

.

:D:thumbsup:

hey i've just woke up!...spell checker is still tucked up in bed!
spell checkers don't have to be a computer you know!

skywalker113
11-07-2008, 03:40 PM
What are some good places and websites to look for freelance work?

Andyjaggy
11-07-2008, 03:43 PM
Make contacts, and get some work that is worth showing. Once you get a job or two it gets easier.

That said though there comes a time when you just don't want to freelance anymore. I'm getting to that point, the extra money is nice, but I like to have a life, and my wife wants to spend some occasional time with me. So sometimes it's just not worth it.

Iain
11-07-2008, 03:45 PM
What are some good places and websites to look for freelance work?

Easy:
google the type of company you want to work for and phone them.

Seriously, work doesn't come to you. If it does it's riddled with conditions and problems that make it not worth doing.
Go out and get the work. If you can't do that, forget it.

I'm not being flippant. The marketplace is saturated with people capable of decent-excellent quality so you have to be aggressive.

jpleonard
11-07-2008, 03:59 PM
I've been working freelance full time since December 21, 2007, and have had moderate success. I find that ifreelance has been beneficail to me. I've had 10 paid jobs through bidding on projects there, in the past year, earning over $7000, and have had 4 projects not from bids, but through direct contacts from ifreelance in the same year, $3000 income, I've done one job for a guy on these forums, and have had several others from turbosquid forums. I've grossed only about $14,000 this year as a freelancer, I also work a part time job to help fill in any gaps in work. I don't think this is too bad for only having been doing 3D work for a year and a half. I bought Lightwave in April 2007, my first experience with lightwave, and went to freelancing as a main source of income in less than 8 months. I do have to admit that in Mississippi the cost of living is very low compared to much of the country, which has helped tremendously with surviving on a little less than $20,000 this year so far.

biliousfrog
11-08-2008, 04:44 AM
I've been working freelance full time since December 21, 2007, and have had moderate success. I find that ifreelance has been beneficail to me. I've had 10 paid jobs through bidding on projects there, in the past year, earning over $7000, and have had 4 projects not from bids, but through direct contacts from ifreelance in the same year, $3000 income, I've done one job for a guy on these forums, and have had several others from turbosquid forums. I've grossed only about $14,000 this year as a freelancer, I also work a part time job to help fill in any gaps in work. I don't think this is too bad for only having been doing 3D work for a year and a half. I bought Lightwave in April 2007, my first experience with lightwave, and went to freelancing as a main source of income in less than 8 months. I do have to admit that in Mississippi the cost of living is very low compared to much of the country, which has helped tremendously with surviving on a little less than $20,000 this year so far.


Now, it's absolutely none of my business how you work but I wanted to bring up these points for a reason....

At some point, you will either need to charge more money or you will have to do more work - probably dropping the quality to fit more in. At that point, one of two things will happen:

1) you will lose all of your existing clients and will have to compete with more established artists.

2) you will become disheartened with churning out substandard work just to make ends meet.

I've seen it happen a lot. It's amazing how many people give up self-employment because they're not earning enough, working too much or not enjoying it anymore. I'm earning more and happier now than I ever have been but, if I wasn't covering my bills, I'd have to do something else...it's basic math. Lucky for me, I left a reasonably well paid job at an arch-viz company so I knew how much I needed to earn.

Finally, there's a big difference between being cheap and being good value, don't confuse them. You must charge what is appropriate, the client will decide whether it's good value.

I'm sorry to single you out but you seemed like a prime example to make a point.

Andrew March
11-08-2008, 05:18 AM
Skywalker, no disrespect meant but judging by some of your questions in the support area you've probably got a bit of learning to do before you can start looking at making any money from Lightwave.

Of course it really comes down to what sort of freelancing you want to do, do you want to be a generalist, which most freelancers in my experience need to be to make any real money, do you want to specialise in Lighting, in which case I'd say you've got a way to go or some other area of expertise that you have not shown us yet.

You are going to need a demo reel and I would strongly suggest a website with up to date examples of your work and as Iain and Andy have said, you absolutely must put together a strong network of contacts and be aggresive in pursuing them for assignments.

Get in touch with a lawyer who will assist you in deciphering contract terminology and don't work on Sunday's ;)

Andyjaggy
11-08-2008, 10:30 AM
The marketplace is saturated with people capable of decent-excellent quality so you have to be aggressive.

I kind of disagree with that statement. I think only a small percentage of the people doing 3D are capable of excellent quality, and they are usually taken.

jpleonard
11-08-2008, 10:52 AM
Oh, I have had to up my rates recently. I get less jobs, but do half the work for more money, and have been concentrating more on larger scale jobs that seem worth my time and effort. I was doing mostly logos and print graphics, high quality for low prices, but have moved more recently into doing more animations, compositing live footage and 3D, and building characters, and this area seems that people are willing to pay a much better rate for work. I don't know exactly what others charge, but I have to charge a price that will land the job, and at the same time pay my bills. I just finished one animation that ended up being 9.22 minutes, and only got paid $1120 for it, but also it only took two weeks to do. Where I live $350 -$500 per week is a well paying job, so my $560 per week on that job was well above the average for the area in which I live.

I personally could care less what others are charging, as long as I can pay my bills, do what I love, and still have time for my family.

skywalker113
11-08-2008, 11:42 AM
Skywalker, no disrespect meant but judging by some of your questions in the support area you've probably got a bit of learning to do before you can start looking at making any money from Lightwave.

Of course it really comes down to what sort of freelancing you want to do, do you want to be a generalist, which most freelancers in my experience need to be to make any real money, do you want to specialise in Lighting, in which case I'd say you've got a way to go or some other area of expertise that you have not shown us yet.

You are going to need a demo reel and I would strongly suggest a website with up to date examples of your work and as Iain and Andy have said, you absolutely must put together a strong network of contacts and be aggresive in pursuing them for assignments.

Get in touch with a lawyer who will assist you in deciphering contract terminology and don't work on Sunday's ;)

I been working on alot of cars, in order to get more modeling experience. I made about 10 cars so far. Here are some. The mitsubishi is my most recent one. Its the best iv'e done so far. I have not spent alot of time with the texturing and rendering yet, because I am more focused on the modeling.

Iain
11-08-2008, 12:42 PM
I think only a small percentage of the people doing 3D are capable of excellent quality, and they are usually taken.

I used to work for a major housebuilder and we were inundated with offers of viz services from companies and freelancers. The quality of portfolio was never low and usually excellent, especially the Chinese and Indian firms who priced way below the UK norm.

There seemed to be a lot of people in the Philippines and Vietnam too, who do amazing work for buttons. It's quite scary.

I'm not really qualified to comment on other areas of cg but I thought this trend would just follow.

Andrew March
11-08-2008, 01:53 PM
I been working on alot of cars, in order to get more modeling experience. I made about 10 cars so far. Here are some. The mitsubishi is my most recent one. Its the best iv'e done so far. I have not spent alot of time with the texturing and rendering yet, because I am more focused on the modeling.

You're going to have to do a lot more than just modelling cars, texturing is extremely important as is lighting. Concentrate on building a good portfolio with examples of different models, not just cars.

Dexter2999
11-08-2008, 08:54 PM
I been working on alot of cars, in order to get more modeling experience. I made about 10 cars so far. Here are some. The mitsubishi is my most recent one. Its the best iv'e done so far. I have not spent alot of time with the texturing and rendering yet, because I am more focused on the modeling.


The car is good. Your modelling skills are coming along nicely.
Have a go at this tutorial http://www.foundation3d.com/uploads/instruction/2008/02/17-11-721404.pdf
It will hopefuly give you some added tools to your skill set.

And the guys are right. Lighting, texturing, and composition play a big role in getting your images up to that professional level for your portfolio. Remember these are the representation of your skill when you start assigning a dollar amount to your work. Someone needs to be able to look at your work and say, "Yeah, he's worth it."


Good Luck

Stooch
11-08-2008, 09:23 PM
Useful comment, big hand for Stooch everyone. (That’s know as sarcasm, by the way.)

:)

actually my comment was very useful and im not being sarcastic.

first impression is everything and if you ask for a proper freelance rate while sounding like a 16 year old, your chances of making a living arent that great.

so yes - make those palms rosy for me.

jasonwestmas
11-08-2008, 09:28 PM
Do you have a website? As a newer person without a rep. you will need one. Yes you can get work through websites but it's usually far and few between unless people really trust and know who you are.

AdamAvenali
11-09-2008, 11:48 AM
i have also found that if you find a job open for bid online, it is best to try and track down a phone number and personally call. clients tend to like the personal interaction more so than just an email, at least that is what i have come across so far.

if you are going to email a potential client make sure that you have a somewhat formal email address. something like [email protected], and steer away from the ones like [email protected] the same goes when it comes time to buy your domain name for your website.

i have been in the process of rebuilding my site (http://www.adamavenali.com) and just put up a temporary one just for potential clients and so far it has served its purpose. it's more about the content of the site than it being all flash and interactive (unless of course you are applying for a flash job haha).

hope this helps!

virtualcomposer
11-09-2008, 02:16 PM
what is the going rate for certain projects. That always messes me up. Commercials, Indi films, and exc. I'd love to know what a decent rate is without working for nearly free.

jasonwestmas
11-09-2008, 02:36 PM
I would ask if it's ok to call first on the phone . A lot of businesses don't want to talk to everyone under the sun who happens to be interested.

Stooch
11-09-2008, 02:37 PM
going rate varies by location, experience, project duration, benefits, clients, etc. there isnt a magical number. if you are talking in terms of a flat rate, you better understand what you get yourself into and always pad.

if you are in LA and a newbie, i wouldnt go below 275 per day. My rate is substantially higher but I only disclose it to clients after hearing the details of the project and applying all of the factors i listed above.


calling isnt the best thing! if your reel isnt up to par, calling directly puts the guy into an uncomfortable position. its like you are forcing yourself on them. if they want to hear from you on the phone, they will call you or tell you to call them. its an indicator that you have peaked their interest.

create a website and put impressive work on it. if its impressive enough, you will be the one getting emails and calls :)

the market may be saturated with talent, but anyone that is good is usually taken.

Stooch
11-09-2008, 02:44 PM
i had more interesting info but the time limit cut me off so **** it.

cagey5
11-09-2008, 03:32 PM
So... your spell checker accepts "ususally" as a word?

....... There is a lot companies accepting part time freelancing as they sometimes ........

That would be 'There are a lot of companies....' , sorry couldn't resist. ;)

Lude
11-10-2008, 04:03 AM
first impression is everything and if you ask for a proper freelance rate while sounding like a 16 year old, your chances of making a living arent that great.

Hey Stooch, nice to see you elaborate, now you have a good point. But this is just a forum not an client pitch and most of us just want to get our post up for help/advice not sit scrutinising or English before we feel confident enough to post something.

I can see where you’re coming from though; it’s just a few more minutes to read over your post before adding it.

biliousfrog
11-10-2008, 04:33 AM
Here's a few resources that I would class as essential for any freelancer, newbie or experienced...

http://freelanceswitch.com/
Brilliant blog with new articles daily and a regular podcast by professionals. It has loads of interesting articles on how to get work, how to keep it, how to work out rates, how to market yourself...anything that you could ever need to know.

http://www.gag.org/pegs/index.php
Great book on pricing, how to deal with clients and how different sectors of the illustration and animation profession work. Many people (myself included) find it useful for showing how their pricing compares to the rest of the industry. It is also useful for those occassional jobs which fall outside of your regular line of work such as your first TV job, poster campaign, album cover etc.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Project-Manager-Mastering-Delivery-Management/dp/0273701738
Like it or not, a freelancer is not just an artist...they are also a book-keeper, receptionist, marketing agent, diplomat, sales person...and project manager. If you can't manage a project, from sales pitch to delivery, you won't last very long. This book has a wealth of advice for keeping projects on time and on budget. Explaining common terms and industry standard practices which will allow you to converse fluently with any potential client and make sure that you don't under estimate the work involved or allow the project to get out of control.

http://www.xe.com/
useful for working with different currencies

biliousfrog
11-10-2008, 04:45 AM
I'll also post a short math lesson which I found useful for working out commission charges for agencies and freelance sites. As an example, Elance takes 8.75% of anything that you earn through a project, so how much extra do you charge to make your original bid price?

Original bid/quote: $100
Commission/fee: 10%
Once the commision has been taken away you will be left with 90%, therefore -

100 divided by 0.9 = 111.11

So, you charge $111.11, the commission will be $11.11 and you'll get $100

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Original bid/quote: $250
Commission/fee: 8.75% (your cut = 91.25%)

250 / .9125 = 273.97
Charge: $273.97 - Commission: $23.97 - Remainder: $250

I hope that proves as helpful to others as it does me.

skywalker113
11-11-2008, 12:00 PM
Thank you for all of this helpfull advice:)