Info: going rate for 1,500 tri model+texture

1
I collect data. I'm a data hoarder :) I also share data. I don't know if this is of use to anyone, but it might be.

I was recently looking for a 3D modeler (now closed). I recorded all the quotes people gave me.

The job: a 3D model of a hamster, 1,500 tri, with a diffuse texture, for use in Blender and Unity.

The quotes:
£65
£90
£120
£130
£130
£130
£135
£165
£200
£325
£375
£585
£850

There were 15 applicants: 13 gave a quote, 1 was too unprofessional to be able to give a quote, and 1 had copy/pasted the same e-mail they send to all jobs.

After looking through everyone's portfolios, I went with one that was £130. My decision was a mix price and how well the portfolio matched my project.

Replies

  • Michael Knubben
    Hey, show us the results as well! Would be cool to see.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    yeah it would definitely be interesting to see the quality results vs the quotes given. it would also help find that "sweet spot" of price/quality ratios.
  • Ace-Angel
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    Ace-Angel polycounter lvl 7
    I usually see about 100-150 bucks per thousand tri, with extra on the side pending on the cost of the textures and what is asked of it.

    In your case, it sounds right on the money, although I'm honestly disgusted by the person asking for 850 quids for a model of a hamster, that's not something even people on Turbosquid would ask for in the cloudiest of days.
  • Michael Knubben
    Ace: as a freelancer you ask what you think your time is worth. A lowpoly hamster might be fairly easy, but you'd assume he/she usually does more demanding stuff.

    Odds are that this person charges that amount because they're good enough to ask it, or because they have so much work already they're in effect 'selling' their leisure time. It can be better to inflate your price to where it's worth it than to say 'no'.
  • Adam L. Gray
    Wait, you peeps charge per triangles?

    I should start selling more hp models, then..

    As for the 850 one though, most likely due to things like VAT and Tax sometimes messing up international business a bit.. And then there's currencies to consider as well. It would of course also depend on the detail level, though as for it only being a alpha/prototype, it might had been a tad much :3
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 14
    Did you give them more information beyond what was in that post? What was given wasn't really enough to bid on with confidence.

    I work more in the AAA space, but to give you an example, this is the type of info I give out in briefs to outsourcers:

    Software (Maya 2012, 3DSMAX 2013)
    Polycount (1500 tris)
    Texture count, sizes, and type (3 512x512 textures, head+upper body+lower body, diff+norm+spec)
    Sculpt required, or is Crazybump\Xnormal okay? (no sculpt)
    Target engine (UDK, Unity, etc)
    Target screen resolution (in general but especially for mobile)
    Player perspective (FPS, third person, top-down iso)
    Timeframe (2wks, 4wks)
    Concept or reference provided?
    Sample asset provided?
    Deliverable items (finished .MA file with texture flats in TGA format with layered PSDs)

    Not sure what your final result would look like, but this is how I'd bid on that: 1500 poly char with three 512s, third person camera view, rough concepts provided, no sculpt needed:

    Model: 2.5 days
    Textures: 4 days
    Fixes\tweaks: 1.5 days
    Total: 8 days

    Then it boils down to day-rate. Average rates for a US-based freelancer is about $300\day. That can go as low as 250 or as high as 600, but let's keep it average. $300\day * 8 days = $2400.

    Just a fun thought exercise I guess. :)
  • DanBe
    hmm £130 = $210 (CAN) for a 1.5k hamster model...

    I am really interested in the quality bar for this model. It definitely is on the lower end price range, even though its a very simple model...

    was rigging required as well?

    Depending on Rigging + Quality Bar / Art Direction this should be minimum 2 day job max 3 day job (if rigging is involved).

    And the average Freelancer charges around $200 - $250 a day here in Canada...
    Always depending on the job and complexity of the job itself of course...

    I would have guessed it would be around $400 on the low end and then $700 on the high end...

    only my 2 cents and always like to be corrected if applicable :)
  • Snader
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    Snader polycounter lvl 11
    £850 comes down to about 20~25 well-paid hours, so I think it's definitely within the realm of the possible if you're asking for the exclusive usage rights (i.e. he can't sell it to anyone else) for the model.

    I mean, it better be the best damn hamster you've ever seen in a videogame, but it's possible.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 14
    If you look at his job posting it's a humanoid hamster character

    I do similar anthropomorphic animal characters at work, about 1500 tris and hand painted diffuse only textures - the turn around on model & texture is typically 3-4 days.
  • DerekLeBrun
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    DerekLeBrun polycounter lvl 11
    Your data might be biased toward lower figures because you only received applicants to your thread rather than directly contacting freelancers who advertise on these forums.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    Snader wrote: »
    £850 comes down to about 20~25 well-paid hours, so I think it's definitely within the realm of the possible if you're asking for the exclusive usage rights (i.e. he can't sell it to anyone else) for the model.

    I mean, it better be the best damn hamster you've ever seen in a videogame, but it's possible.

    yeah pretty much this. my rates aren't quite as high as that, but they're almost there.
  • Blaisoid
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    Blaisoid polycounter lvl 7
    Good thread. It reminds me that I've been charging too low so far...

    Still, even if 850 pounds is reasonable in theory, I think it only works when you're pretty damn succesful already and you get so many offers that it's not a problem if 60% of potential clients are put off by your prices and choose someone else.
  • DanBe
    Oh a humanoid hamster character... yeah def more complex and would add at least 1 - 2 days...

    so we do end up again at around $800 - 1200 Can...
  • Kevin Albers
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    Kevin Albers polycounter lvl 12
    It looks like a proper benchmark asset was not provided to the people making bids. That should explain some of the extreme price range. Someone could spend a few hours or many days creating a single character with those specs. Presumably the higher prices would result in higher quality topology and texture.

    To get predictable results from outsourcing, you should provide a benchmark asset that represents specs, fidelity, art style and quality that you expect to get back. Of course, you could always outsource the first model and use it as a benchmark for the other models. As long as you are satisfied with that first one, things should get more predictable for the others.
  • marks
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    marks polycounter lvl 11
    Snader wrote: »
    £850 comes down to about 20~25 well-paid hours, so I think it's definitely within the realm of the possible if you're asking for the exclusive usage rights (i.e. he can't sell it to anyone else) for the model.

    I mean, it better be the best damn hamster you've ever seen in a videogame, but it's possible.


    20-25 hours is about 3 average working days. Depending on the fidelity, necessity of rigging and such ... I can totally believe it taking that long.
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    I don't have much to contribute, just wanted to say thanks to everyone for being so specific and forthcoming with pricing information. I was getting the impression that it was somewhat taboo to publicly discuss these topics, and was having a difficult time trying to figure out what I should be charging for my services. Thanks for the perspective, guys.
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 14
    Hmm... here's some more numbers advice. In my corner of the outsourcing world, these are the rates I usually see:

    Low-end overseas art studio: $140 - 180\day ($17.50 - 22.50\hr)
    Average overseas art studio: $200\day ($25\hr)
    High-end overseas art studio: $300\day ($37.50\hr)

    Low-end domestic art studio: $350\day ($43.75\hr)
    Average domestic art studio: $500\day ($62.50\hr)
    High-end domestic art studio: $800\day ($100\hr. this is rare, usually it's boutique studios)

    The range of rates I see for individual contractors are $250 - 375\day overseas, and $275 - 500\day domestic. Sometimes it goes higher, but domestically, contract artists typically charge around $300\day. Bids come from the time estimate multiplied by the day rate, rather than "I'll do it for this flat rate" which could get you into infinite revision trouble.

    Hope that helps too!
  • DanBe
    @Jon, yes i can agree on those numbers, that's what it also should be... thanks for putting them down...

    but there is always the ones that drop the numbers down...

    Low-end individual (post grad student) Freelancer: Free - $50/day
    Average individual Freelancer: $80 - 120/day

    its sad how it drops the market down so low, but then i somewhat understand them as well... from being desperate to misinformed...
  • Dayv1
    Jon Jones,
    Thank you for your briefs example, I'll use that in the future.


    Here is the model that was created:
    Hamster_Model.png
    1615 tris. The artist is currently working on the texture. References.


    Something that I'd like to add to this topic: If your bids are being continually undercut by other people, then the supply is higher than the demand, and you might have to lower your rates to stay competitive.
  • Bibendum
    Something that I'd like to add to this topic: If your bids are being continually undercut by other people, then the supply is higher than the demand, and you might have to lower your rates to stay competitive.
    Not really true. It could be that your work is just not at a quality high enough to justify the price or you're seeking out clients who are willing to sacrifice quality for cost.
  • DanBe
    @Dayv1 yes... unfortunately there is a tremendous high supply there... but still there should be a point where people should not go any lower... from pride to basic survival needs to not destroying the market...

    look at construction sites and their biding wars... you don't see houses build for free... while in our industry you have desperate enough people to work for free...

    this shouldn't be the case...
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    people don't need games though. they do need housing.
  • DanBe
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 14
    how well would your game sell as a text based game or with only ASCII art? Pay for the value you are getting, if you can't do it all up front then offer royalties as well.
  • DanBe
    @Justin... i might have a big brain fart... i am not sure where you getting at... sorry... please elaborate...
  • JacqueChoi
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    JacqueChoi interpolator
    In the past, I've charged $400 for DS rez (below 500 triangles/128x128 texture).

    For 1500 Tri's 512x512 Textures I would charge around $3000 depending on the complexity. ($75/hour)
    DanBe wrote: »
    Low-end individual (post grad student) Freelancer: Free - $50/day
    Average individual Freelancer: $80 - 120/day

    $80 a day is below minimum wage where I'm from. Absolutely no chance that's 'Average' for a freelancer.

    :/
  • DanBe
    @JacqueChoi here in Vancouver people are unfortunately desperate... i saw it more than once go down like that, which made me terrible furious...
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 14
    DanBe wrote: »
    @Justin... i might have a big brain fart... i am not sure where you getting at... sorry... please elaborate...

    I'm saying the art is a large portion of the value in the game.

    There's an indie studio in Austin, Tiger Style, that didn't have the budget to pay their freelancers that well so they promised them royalties as well after the game shipped. After their first title was successful they started paying their freelancers better but they also continued to pay royalties and bonuses because they recognized that those artists had a hand in their success.
  • DanBe
    @Justin ahh ok thanks for the elaboration, much appreciated... it sounds like an interesting business model, though a risky one... none the less people should value the time and craftsmanship that goes into making a game... from coding to art etc...

    but most clients don't cause they know there to many desperate people out there...
  • JacqueChoi
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    JacqueChoi interpolator
    I've lived in Van for 8 years (went to school at Emily Carr). Really aware of the low-balling that goes around there.

    In hindsight, I've regret working on anything that never paid 'properly'. Jobs that Low-ball usually lead to VERY late payments, having to 'lawyer up' to get paid in a small claims court, and legally fighting for a percentage of my 'low-balled' payment.

    Avoid those jobs like the plague, and work for actual minimum wage. It's shitty, but the peace of mind knowing when you're going to get paid is pretty significant.
  • DanBe
    Absolutely agree with you Jacque! That's why I was drywalling for the first year out of school... it paid the bills and i lost weight :D until i found properly paid gigs which got me fat again :D
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    Jon Jones wrote: »
    Hmm... here's some more numbers advice. In my corner of the outsourcing world, these are the rates I usually see:

    Low-end overseas art studio: $140 - 180\day ($17.50 - 22.50\hr)
    Average overseas art studio: $200\day ($25\hr)
    High-end overseas art studio: $300\day ($37.50\hr)

    Low-end domestic art studio: $350\day ($43.75\hr)
    Average domestic art studio: $500\day ($62.50\hr)
    High-end domestic art studio: $800\day ($100\hr. this is rare, usually it's boutique studios)

    The range of rates I see for individual contractors are $250 - 375\day overseas, and $275 - 500\day domestic. Sometimes it goes higher, but domestically, contract artists typically charge around $300\day. Bids come from the time estimate multiplied by the day rate, rather than "I'll do it for this flat rate" which could get you into infinite revision trouble.

    Hope that helps too!


    You're my hero, thanks for elaborating. Are all UFC Champions as knowledgeable about game art? :poly124:
    JacqueChoi wrote: »
    In the past, I've charged $400 for DS rez (below 500 triangles/128x128 texture).

    For 1500 Tri's 512x512 Textures I would charge around $3000 depending on the complexity. ($75/hour)



    $80 a day is below minimum wage where I'm from. Absolutely no chance that's 'Average' for a freelancer.

    :/

    So from what I gather:

    500 tris/128x128 ~ 1 day
    1500 tris/512x512 ~ 1 week

    How does time scale when you get up to more complex characters? Lets say 20,000 tris/w 2 2048x2048's for diffuse, normal, specular, etc? I understand that speed comes with experience, I'm just trying to set a reasonable benchmark with which to measure my own progress.
  • ysalex
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    ysalex interpolator
    How does time scale when you get up to more complex characters?

    Well, personally I think of the old ship analogy.

    It takes a boatyard a year to build a one hundred foot ship, and it takes that same boatyard one year and three months to build a 200 foot ship.

    Probably not accurate because it's just a saying, but it makes its point. Once you have the workflow down, adding complexity to actual work is not a linear scale. 1500 tris does not take 3 times as long as 500, and 20,000 tris does not take 40 times as long as 500.

    Most of my characters are in the 10-15K range. Right now I am doing a 45K character for a client who wants it built for a game engine, but for something other than using it in an actual game. I've perceived no huge difference in time. There is some for sure, but not huge. I mean, there's no point in using 45K's worth of tri's and huge maps if there is going to be no extra detail than a typical 15K model, but that amounts to maybe an extra week sculpting? That's not that much really.

    Sigh. I underbid anyways. Not massively though.
  • EarthQuake
    Really, giving rates by triangle count or texture resolution is a little silly, more often art style, complexity of design and quality standards are what are really going to give you an accurate time estimate. Certain assets the difference between 2,000 and 20,000 triangles is not going to be that much of a time issue.

    Very complex assets with very low triangle budgets may even take more time than more generous budgets, because its going to take a lot of time to optimize a complex design and get it working with tight restraints.

    So it all depends, I would never give a rate based on triangle count/texture resolution alone.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    ysalex wrote: »
    How does time scale when you get up to more complex characters?

    Well, personally I think of the old ship analogy.

    It takes a boatyard a year to build a one hundred foot ship, and it takes that same boatyard one year and three months to build a 200 foot ship.

    Probably not accurate because it's just a saying, but it makes its point. Once you have the workflow down, adding complexity to actual work is not a linear scale. 1500 tris does not take 3 times as long as 500, and 20,000 tris does not take 40 times as long as 500.

    Most of my characters are in the 10-15K range. Right now I am doing a 45K character for a client who wants it built for a game engine, but for something other than using it in an actual game. I've perceived no huge difference in time. There is some for sure, but not huge. I mean, there's no point in using 45K's worth of tri's and huge maps if there is going to be no extra detail than a typical 15K model, but that amounts to maybe an extra week sculpting? That's not that much really.

    Sigh. I underbid anyways. Not massively though.

    yeah the important note here is that the time it takes to make a model doesn't go up as the polycount does. the complexity of the model is what makes the time go up.

    if someone wanted a set of pipes that looked photo-realistic and had 30k triangles, that's pretty easy and shouldn't take too long. if they want a mech with fully animateable flaps and jet boots and shit for 40k triangles... that will take a lot longer to make. not because it has more polygons but because it's way more complex.
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 14
    Regarding time scaling for more complex characters, the other guys answered that really well, so I'll speak more about data. In my experience outsourcing current-gen characters, the average time for developing one from a concept to final and ready to rig is about 4 to 6 weeks. I usually see it broken down something like this:

    base mesh: 5 days
    sculpt: 11 days
    game res mesh + UVs: 5 days
    textures: 12 days

    It can go faster or slower depending on the artist and the specs, but on average that's how it usually shakes out.
  • JacqueChoi
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    JacqueChoi interpolator
    EQ speaks truth.

    I generally have an hourly wage in mind, then charge them what my time estimate would be.

    The needs and the tech can fluctuate drastically. Needing to pixel paint with a pencil tool with a 16-bit pallette on a 64x64 texture can be more time consuming than freely polypainting a 1024 texture.

    No real hard fast rule for anything.
  • Skillmister
    Jon Jones wrote: »
    Regarding time scaling for more complex characters, the other guys answered that really well, so I'll speak more about data. In my experience outsourcing current-gen characters, the average time for developing one from a concept to final and ready to rig is about 4 to 6 weeks. I usually see it broken down something like this:

    base mesh: 5 days
    sculpt: 11 days
    game res mesh + UVs: 5 days
    textures: 12 days

    It can go faster or slower depending on the artist and the specs, but on average that's how it usually shakes out.

    Wow that's quite an insight!
  • DanBe
    @Jon Jones is that for a Hero Character?

    I usually get about 20 Business days which is about 4 weeks in studio.

    2-3 days in Basemesh + Props (Assets Base)
    8 days sculpting and detailing + hitting likeness etc
    2 days retoppo and building game res mesh
    ~2 Days Baking Maps
    5 days Texturing

    of course those numbers are just approximates... since some things go faster or slower depending on the complexity...
  • DanBe
    i should add that's the time estimate on a 12k average complex character...
    heroes and boss monsters and more complex characters get more time of course...
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 14
    Hi Dan! Yes, that's average Hero character spec when I outsource with a studio. That's also about how long it took for the badass character dudes at Vigil for most creatures. Individual contract artists tend to be a lot faster, though, in my experience. 20 days sounds like a terrific rate of speed!
  • EarthQuake
    Jon Jones wrote: »
    Hi Dan! Yes, that's average Hero character spec when I outsource with a studio. That's also about how long it took for the badass character dudes at Vigil for most creatures. Individual contract artists tend to be a lot faster, though, in my experience. 20 days sounds like a terrific rate of speed!

    While you're dropping knowledge bombs it would be great to hear what you've had for average times on other things, like an average complex current gen vehicle, or a first person weapon.
  • Ruz
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    Ruz interpolator
    lol,I rarely get more than 2 weeks( 10 working days) to base mesh/zbrush/retopo and texturing.
  • Skillmister
    EarthQuake wrote: »
    While you're dropping knowledge bombs it would be great to hear what you've had for average times on other things, like an average complex current gen vehicle, or a first person weapon.

    This!
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir sublime tool
    Ruz wrote: »
    lol,I rarely get more than 2 weeks( 10 working days) to base mesh/zbrush/retopo and texturing.

    this.

    and with Disney it was a week and a half at most.
  • Jon Jones
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    Jon Jones polycounter lvl 14
    Whoops, late to reply.

    I'll keep it rough, but all current- and next-gen stuff I've been working on breaks down about like this... for only the modeling to final texture phase, characters are 4 - 6 weeks (sometimes 8), vehicles with interiors are 4 - 8 weeks, third person weapons are about 2 - 3 weeks, I haven't done first-person weapons but realistically I'd guess 3 - 4 weeks. And when I count weeks, I mean a five-day, 40-hour workweek. And I'm at the point now where I'm seeing characters and vehicles as being a nearly equal amount of effort.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 14
    yowch, I don't think I'd enjoy working on one asset that long
  • Brandon.LaFrance
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    Brandon.LaFrance Polycount Sponsor
    Just dropping in to say thanks again to everyone that has responded. This thread is just chock full of great information.

    I am a bit relieved to see that current-gen hero characters aren't getting knocked out in only a week. Jon's breakdown is more or less in line with my current pace, although I could use a lot more practice in the texture painting department.
  • Tamarin
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    Tamarin polycounter lvl 12
    I don't see any time for research/planning. This is often the most critical step.
  • Neox
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    Neox ngon master
    Ruz wrote: »
    lol,I rarely get more than 2 weeks( 10 working days) to base mesh/zbrush/retopo and texturing.

    +1 20days up woukd be one mighty complex character, though "nextgen" (as in ps4 xbone) realistic characters can ge quite complex pretty easy and usually start at around 3 working weeks (15 days).

    those 50$ a day rates spund like pure horrorstories? usually even eastern european and asian outsource studios start at 200$ per artist, of course the artist doesn't get that much but why should an individual artist charge so muc less than an average chinese outsourcer? working for that rate is plain stupid, go work at a supermarket...
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