Home General Discussion

Freelance work hassles

art73
polycounter lvl 5
Offline / Send Message
Pinned
art73 polycounter lvl 5
Hi All,

Just wanted to ask some peoples opinions who also do freelance work in 3d.

I`ve been doing a job for about 3 months, i quoted for the project as a whole (3d environment) and said it would take about 6 weeks. Its now been about 9 weeks work, albeit part time. The client keeps asking for changes and polish. I`ve been polite and kept to changes/polish because its my first job with them and it may lead to more work but I`m getting to the point that it feels like it never ends. They said they want it finished by the end of next week but i`m already way past what I`d envisaged, plus i`m putting off doing other things. Its probably only a few more days work but i`ve already done 3 weeks more than I wanted. Probably it totals a weeks solid work if I did 9 to 5.

Should I asked for more money ? Or just keen quiet and get it done and hope they come back with more work. Although to be honest I dont think i can be bothered to work with them on anything else. 

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

Thanks

Ade

Replies

  • passerby
    Offline / Send Message
    passerby polycounter lvl 9
    Everyone has problems with their first contract, you really have to set in stone in the contract what counts as a revision and what does not since dealing with moving goal posts like that is a huge time and money drain. It is often best to try to do this kind of work hourly and a good rule if thumb when figuring out your own hourly rate. As far a making a rate goes, i always found a good way to do it, is take your last salary in the same field convert it to hourly and add at least 30% to it.
  • pior
    Offline / Send Message
    pior veteran polycounter
    Some excellent relevant information here : 

    Good luck.
  • kanga
    Offline / Send Message
    kanga sublime tool
    Its your first job so you will be slower, but maybe your hourly rate reflects that. Anyhow the secret to getting what the job is worth is to make a detailed quote first. Set down exactly what you understand that the client wants, get them to review it and sign off on a final draft. That way when the client deviates from the brief you adjust the quote meaning the deadline moves and the changes are charged extra, if it isnt possible to move the deadline then request double time for the overtime you would have to make. If the project is big you break up the job into phases and request payment on the completion of each phase. That way you dont hope for payment at the end and if the client disagrees on the terms (what changes are chargeable and what not) you can just cut and run in place of arguing. You can also request payment before delivery of each phase so the customer doesnt end up with product they didnt pay for. Show screen shots and when the money is in the bank send the files. Good clients can also go broke during a project and money is much better than trying to defend a contract. With new clients it is ok to ask for a percentage up front even.

    Record the time each part of a job takes so you can map your improvement and use that information to give more accurate prices.

    Cheerio
  • Ruz
    Offline / Send Message
    Ruz polycounter
    best to quote per day , but sometimes they insist that it is a fixed price, but I would still ask for more if they are major changes.
    no harm in aksing anyway , they can only say no.
  • slipsius
    I like Ruz's idea of charging per day. Then, if they ask for a fixed price, you can say yes, but once you start asking for revisions, then it's per day. I know some people say you can have 1 or 2 revisions on the initial amount, but after that, you have to pay more. Others will charge per revision right from the get go. 

    Of course, that's all stuff you have to sort out at the start. In your current situation, I feel like next time they ask for a revision, you either have to say only if you pay me, or, "this will be my last revision for the original price. Anything else will start to cost". that way you dont flat out piss them off, and hopefully will lead to more work. 
  • slosh
    Offline / Send Message
    slosh quad damage
    Yea, Slipsius and Ruz make good points.  At some point, you have to let them know they are costing you money you can be making from other contracts.  Next time you negotiate the contract, set in stone what you want to avoid this situation.  It is tough because so many studios feel like that iteration is part of the original cost so specifying the adjusted cost initially is vital.
  • Ruz
    Offline / Send Message
    Ruz polycounter
    sometimes you have to also think is it worth arguing over smaller amounts if there is a good block of work coming your way - then you can give them a bit of leeway. Its all about how you feel really. if they are just taking advantage then you have to put your foot down at some point. I had a job recently where it went over by a week and I was only able to claw back 1 extra day.
    But in the grand scheme of things it wasn't worth making a fuss over it. normally I finish on my estimated time so this was a one off..
  • art73
    Offline / Send Message
    art73 polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks for the responses. Have been doing freelance for quite a while but this is first time with this company. Also its on a new platform that i`m not very experienced with so it was partly my quoted time was for what I`d imagined a more simplified scene but the lead artist i`m working for is just asking to add more and more little details, or adding things that werent in the design brief and then changing the design after I spent half a day working on it. 
    My main bugbear is that they know I originally said a date it would be done by and they obviously werent happy with the level of detail and now i`m way past that deadline. So whos at fault, was it my poor judgement thinking it would only take 6 weeks or them for being really picky about details. I actually did everything that was in the design doc, but then they were asking for more details to be added.
    I think next time i`ll do a daily rate, they set me a budget that they wanted to pay and I said fine. But i`m now realising that i`m pretty much working for free to do all this corrections. Its just whether to tell them, or just finish the last few days work and keep them happy and hopefully get more work in the future from them.
  • Jonas Ronnegard
    Offline / Send Message
    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    It's quite a common pattern, I think it's important to call out on it as soon as possible, the longer you wait the less chance you will have in getting additional money and the company will just push it as far as they can until you say stop.
  • Finalhart
    Offline / Send Message
    Finalhart polycounter lvl 4
    I dont have much experience with freelance but, where is the bar that sepparates the revision from "im just too picky" and "your work is not done as expected"?  In the last one i would feel guilty if i charged extra money.
  • kanga
    Offline / Send Message
    kanga sublime tool
    Finalhart said:
    I dont have much experience with freelance but, where is the bar that sepparates the revision from "im just too picky" and "your work is not done as expected"?  In the last one i would feel guilty if i charged extra money.
    See the film Pior posted, that should give you a pretty good idea. Here though the thing to sort out is if you made mistakes or if the client is using a line to up the quality of the product and keep the price at the lower quality estimate. Standard get more than you payed for tactic. Its usually very obvious what the situation is but, if the mistakes are yours then you have to fix them for free, and usually quickly. If the extension of a brief is what is happening then charge for it. Mostly you will find the extensions become unnecessary.
  • Jonas Ronnegard
    Offline / Send Message
    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    Also just try to confirm concepts and references and really ask a lot of questions before you start, so you are 200% sure on what the client wants, then later you will know if the client is just changing it's mind or if it's you not hitting the target. Many clients try to keep the goal kinda uncertain so they can change things as they see how it goes, this usually becomes a lot of extra work for you.
  • low odor
    Offline / Send Message
    low odor polycounter lvl 13
    I would put together an invoice that lists  your hourly rate  and then the additional changes that they asked for. Tally up the cash, and then add a first time customer discount and subtract the amount to zero. When you send the email tell them additional changes/polish  will  be billed at your normal rate.

    This will give them(and you) a cash value on the additional service they are asking for and establish that you are not working for free. If they argue for more free work, cut them loose

  • cptSwing
    Online / Send Message
    cptSwing polycounter lvl 9
    low odor said:
    I would put together an invoice that lists  your hourly rate  and then the additional changes that they asked for. Tally up the cash, and then add a first time customer discount and subtract the amount to zero. When you send the email tell them additional changes/polish  will  be billed at your normal rate.

    This will give them(and you) a cash value on the additional service they are asking for and establish that you are not working for free. If they argue for more free work, cut them loose

    That's a pretty genius way out!
  • Tits
    Offline / Send Message
    Tits mod
    Full time freelancer for the past 2 years.
    Most client request for me to give them a ''fixed rate'' for a character.
    I Use my daily rate X the time I'm expecting for the character to take. It can be good to add a little bit of padding if you expect a decent pass of correction.
    I usually let the clients know that this cover the work plus a reasonable pass of corrections and input from their side.

    I send screenshots and updates often enough to be able to catch any crits early to minimize the time it will take to make changes.
    Of course as FINALHART said there is a big difference between if you work doesn't meet the requirement (in terms of quality/technical constraint) or if the client constantly change their mind or is very picky.

    I personnally do not charge extra as long as the corretions seems reasonable and are brought up when requested.
    Especially since working with a new client I make sure to get a proper approval in between each step of the process (ex, sculpt, topology, unwraps, textured model).
    Once I have a good relationship with a client and the work is going well I usually request if they trust my judgement enough to skip some unecessary approval (unwrap-topology).

    After a couple of task with a client you can also get a pretty good idea of how you guys work together, how much changes are usually requested and if your time estimates are too low or too high,
    Don't be shy to reach of to the client and let them know if your estimates need adjusting when starting a new task, 

    Once a stage is approved, any additional request is seen as ''extra''
    For exemple, a client changing their mind on a character while at the texturing phase, the changes requested would require some resculpting, possibly some changes to the topology-unwraps and rebake.
    This definitly ''extra'', the sculpt was approved by the client and the changes isn't related to the quality of your work or a mistake from your side. 
    The client CAN change their mind, they just have to cover the cost of those changes.
    I usually explain the changes are not covered by a reasonable pass of corrections as this require some massive change on work that had previously received approval from their side.

    I usually then provide them with an estimate of the time needed for those changes and the additional cost to expect.

Sign In or Register to comment.