How much would you charge per hour ?

Hi guys.

I have been offered the possibility to work as a 3D modeler/ vector illustrator kind of jobin the porcelain industry.
I would work on a freelance basis, charging the jobs I have to do one after the other. There is no certainty for me to work even half-time. It could be around 10/15 hours a week.

The job will imply modeling, UV unwraping, texturing using Inkscape, and rendering (Yafaray…)

I will have to model luxury pieces of crockery and preview how they will look like so that modification can be made when the customer sees the preview. They really are tailor-fitted pieces. This will also imply making little introductory videos.

Some examples of the kind of things I will have to model/texture:

Modeling will be moderately difficult, since most objects are “lathe-able”. Teapots are more tricky.
The UV unwrap is of the utmost importance because the “peeled” fruit technique will be used to apply transfers (decals) too.

Now to the very important (to me) question.
What do you think I should charge for that kind of job ? It is kind of a first for me (I am in theory a violin maker, I work for a recording studio too, but this is a first in the real 3D world.)

That depends more on how much can they afford to pay.
In which country are you?
What are your own fix costs for maintaining your digital studio? Do you work at home, office, …?

How much you charge depends on your experience doing freelance work and of course how much time it is worth to you.

I wouldn’t charge by the hour unless I worked in their offices like a ‘consultant’. Your hours can then be kept track of by the business, and they won’t have to worry about you claiming more hours than you worked.

If this is an online gig, I would charge by the job. Look at your first assignment and ask yourself how long you’re likely to spend working on it. Then from there determine what your time is worth. If this is your first gig, you may have to sacrifice your time and bid lower in order to keep from scaring your client away. However, if you’re a heavy freelancer, turning away one client because they don’t pay you decently won’t kill you.

Sorry, I should have mentionned more details.

@ cekuhnen: I live in France. I will work at home.
Costs: well: I probably will need some upgrade on my PC, unless I use Corefarm for renders. I already own 2 monitors, Wacom, scanner digital reflex camera etc… Difficult to say what the costs are, because I am working at home really…

@ trancerobot: Good point with the hour/job basis. I still don’t know how it will happen in details: will I get a salary and be part of their business ? In wich case I’ll have to count the hours I guess.
Will I stay independant and create a micro-entreprise ? In which case, I’ll charge by the job.

In fact, I just wanted a very rough kind of ballpark. I just don’t know what the wages are with this kind of jobs at my (low) level.

I recently had a free lance also. My suggestion is: what do you think you time is worth? Also this may help:

it’s about freelance writing, but the concepts carry over.

the jobs I did were most times also cost per project,
You on your own need to know how long that would take
and estimate a price.

A per hour thing can start from 25 to 75 Euro. If you just
average up the time you can create a price estimate for
the project. Just give yourself a bit of extra time in case
something needs to be added.

When you do project prices make sure that the contract
also includes a note that the price can go up in case the
work load is changed during the project.

Keep in mind, that as you do more of this kind of work, you’ll build up a library of meshes and textures that will quickly become very efficient for you to work with. You should try to make a pay schedule knowing that what will take an hour now will eventually take as little as 20 min.
Eg; $5 = cup mesh + $5 per texture mapped onto it + $1 / render image delivered .
What starts out looking like $12 /hr will end up being $40 /hr once the library is complete.

And don’t forget that you like doing it.
After getting paid to make graphics it will feel different making them for free. I try to think of the money as a ‘perk’, rather than pay.

Allright , thanks for that estimation: I was thinking about 20 €/ hour. And that is probably OK then, considering that it is a first Job and I am still a bit slow…
I will remember your tip about “stretching of the price” if the project grows bigger.

@ Ric: Exactly, I have already started (and I still haven’t a contract !) and meshes start piling up. I will have to get very organised, naming objects properly, sorting files with logic, etc…
I will have to learn that “link” feature !

Thanks for all your tips guys !

That’s a very important point, many times you will probably find that many different settings use exactly the same porcelain, the difference is the design on it. Take care and time to get the UVs right and it could help you a lot and save a lot of time. You may even create a catalog to help you know what’s what.

When you start, spend at least one day at the factory with the people who actually make and decorate the porcelain. Become friends. They are the experts, and developing a good relationship (you are here to help them do their work, not take away work) can make or break you.

When you start, spend at least one day at the factory with the people who actually make and decorate the porcelain. Become friends. They are the experts, and developing a good relationship (you are here to help them do their work, not take away work) can make or break you.

That is a very good point Artkansas.
A trip to the factory is planned. Unfortunately it is a 600km trip, which is quite far for us lazy French people :slight_smile:

I am really looking forward to this job !