Any tips on how to look for a 3D artist (budget etc.)?


I am a programmer and somehow thought it would be a good idea to start learning game and graphics programming. Fast forward to 4 years later (now), I have written a game using a custom engine and people love it so far. It’s a voxel RPG in space with great potential.

I now need to make a good trailer to sell the game. The only problem is: I don’t have animations…

I want to show some gameplay, so I would need animations for maybe 10 different character/creature models. Plus some textures maybe, but let’s focus on the animations. They need animations for walking, running, attacking and an idle animation at least. And the skeleton needs to be set up, too (bone positions only, I have a custom editor that lets me define the parts of the model that are associated with a bone).

Creatures are for example wolves, raptors, humanoid winged creatures (similar to the Orni in Zelda: BotW), humanoid plants (similar to singing sunflower in WoW), etc.

I have previously relied on people who are willing to help me for free, but it turns out they are quite unreliable (which is okay since I didn’t guarantee payment). I need someone reliable though, but before I start looking for someone, I’d like to know what budget I need for those animations.

  1. What would those animations cost me? Can I get all of them for less than $2000?

  2. And how can I tell that an artist is good? It is my first time hiring someone (if you don’t count the logo designer, which was through a contest). They surely have portfolios, but is there anything specific I have to look for?

To be clear, I am not looking for an artist right now, just for advice. I will do that in another thread in the appropriate forum.

Thank you for reading my post and have a great day!


First option: You can create your project in detail (as you did in this post) at Paid-Work category and ask for people to send their portfolios and quotas. Then you can compare and choose accordingly.

Second option: You can create your project at or similar websites. There people will bid on your project. You can check their portfolios on their profiles, compare and decide accordingly. Check this project for example (See below for bids).

Other than checking portfolios, at Freelancer website you can also check their reputations (review of previous works by other ‘employers’).

So, Good Portfolio + Good Reputation = Good Artist :upside_down_face:

Well, since you have created a custom engine, how can you presently get video out of that engine so that you could capture it into some kind of movie-file format? I think that’s the first question (and maybe a programming task) because it’s simply not going to look as well if you try to use a camera to record it from the screen.

More details would be needed about your “character/creature models,” again since you created a custom engine. They were built to suit the purposes of “your” engine, but did you use standard model-files? Is the artist going to have to animate (therefore: “rig”) your models? Or, can you cause your game to produce the action such that it can be – as above – output to a movie-file?

If you can produce usable action clips from your game-engine to a movie file, thus achieving the “animation” step, then what you have left is a video production process … a huge difference. There are companies in every town that can help you “put on a show” with such material. If CG work is needed, these people might act as “general contractors” for your project.

Probably the first step is for you to try to articulate (a) what you have as sources, and (b) what you envision to be “very similar to what you want.” For instance, look at other people’s promotional videos for games. Which ones do you like, and what in particular do you like about them? Anyone worth his or her salarium is going to first want you to be quite specific, and will be able to provide you a show-reel of relevant experience and similar projects. Many of them will also be willing to advise you – perhaps, for a small engagement fee – what the project actually will cost in various manifestations.

(“Not too different, really, than shopping for custom remodeling of your bathroom . . .”)

Well, the game already has a lot of the necessary stuff. I want to capture gameplay using a screen recording software such as OBS, Fraps, or Dxtory. I will make the trailer myself, that is not a problem.

The only thing that is missing are the animations for the characters and creatures. They currently just slide over the ground. They should obviously walk or run and also have an idle animation while standing. There should be attack animations such as swinging a sword or a biting animation and stuff like that.

The data is output from my ingame editor as an almost finished model, everything is set up except for the bone positions. The editor then just reads the animations created for the skeleton. It’s pretty straight-forward actually. I already tested it with Blender and got animations working.