Sorry it this is the wrong section.
I’m playing with the idea of going freelance and doing 3D Architectural Visualizations.
I’m not quitting my day job just yet, but I would like to make a living relying completely on my 3D skills.
Actually games and animation is more my thing. But that’s hard to come by, where I live.
I figured that Architectural Stuff is something thats needed no matter where you are as opposed to games or animation, which usually means that your SOL if there is no games company or other 3D company where you live.
I would really appreciate some tips on how to get started, some of the stuff you have had to deal with, and what to watch out for.
I’m gonna list a number of questions, but feel free to add any worthwile relevant information, regardless of the questions.
How do you aquire clients?
Do you actively seek them out, or do they come to you via your Website/advertisements/Word Of Mouth ?
If you actively seek clients out. How do you go about doing so? (I don’t wanna come off as too aggressive) Do you simply mail them a sample of your work?
Meetings with clients.
Since your freelance, you probably do your work wherever your Computer is located.
Do you have clients come by to your place, do you meet them in a restaurant or cafe, or do you go to their office?
Do you only deal with local clients or also distant ones?
How do you manage such clients? Do you drive to them, or spend a night at a hotel (depending on the distance)
Or is it rarely necessary, since everything is done via phone, internet and email?
How do you determine your prices?
Obviously, pricing is very dependant on your location, and the amount of work and the size of the client.
However, as a freelancer, its not guaranteed that you will have a steady flow of jobs and income. Your pricing needs to anticipate that. Is there a certain rule of thumb you go by?
Do you bill clients per hour, or for a set fee for the project? Are there any major advantages/disadvantages for either?
How do you financially deal with dry spells? (When you haven’t had a client for a while)
Do you try to keep plenty of savings in your bank account? Do you use credit cards?
Do you try to hold on to the earnings from your last job, until the next job arrives?
Are you able to make a living doing JUST 3D Architectural Visualizations?
Do you have a backup plan, when you need to make ends meet?
When it comes to interior architectural renderings, there’s usually a lot of furniture and decorations involved.
Do you design and model them in your spare time and sort of build a private “IKEA” catalog for use with projects, or do your clients always require you to do completely original stuff?
When you need models of furniture and interior decorations. Do you model those yourself? Do you purchase pre-made models off the internet, do you just use 2D clipart wherever possible?
If you model your own furniture. Do you copy/adapt existing designs? e.g. Do you just look at a furniture catalog and model a few pieces from there? Or do you completely design your own stuff.
Whats your strategy for dealing with rendering times (Animations / Single Image for Printing) ?
Do you simply use a commercial renderfarm and pass the costs on to the client? Do you try to invest into your own renderfarm?
What are some of the problems you face with either approach?
Do you tell your client how long a project is gonna take, or do they always tell you by when they need it? How do you deal with unrealistic clients? e.g. Clients who don’t accept that a certain level of quality requires a certain amount of time.
Quality vs. Deadline
Do you feel you often have to sacrifice quality to meet a deadline?
I’ve worked for a small 3D company before, and there the norm was that once a job was done, you had to wait up to 3 months before your recieved payment.
Is this normal? (I work as an admin now)
Is this something you have to deal with? If yes, whats your strategy for politely but firmly demanding your money? Do you deal with collection agencies? Do you watermark all your images and withhold the final product until payment? Do you require an advance?
Realism vs. Style
Do your clients prefer photoreal work, or is it acceptable as long as it looks good?
Do you charge more for internal or external scenes? Which do you find requires more work?
Thats all I can think of for now. Will post more if I think of any.