Is it possible to use Blender for freelancing?

If you know you’re way around Blender. Could you use it for Freelancing?.

Or would you need a more commercial tool?.


I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able too.

BlenderNation has a page with a few freelancers listed on it, and plenty of people around these forums use Blender in their professional workflow.

There have been some users of Blender who have been hired for (and successfully delivered) rendered animation for television advertising, architectural presentations & visualisation, game assets, and still imagery. Hell, Plumiferos is an Argentinean feature length film developed using Blender (though the review by a team member is less than stellar - it isn’t a disaster and it did get finished/published).

So yes, it is possible to freelance using the software as your tool of choice. There are already people that do so… The proviso being that your freelance work is for a finished product. Blender is not yet very friendly with other applications when used in a pipeline. So whilst you could freelance for a job putting together an animation for an advertisement or the model of a building for use in architectural visualisation; you are not (yet) going to be able to export your animations to Nuke or Maya for composition with other animations / footage. Blender is close, but not quite there yet.

Actually export from blender is fine, it’s import that has been more problematic.
I have successfully used blender in many pipelines with external tools.

the FBX exporter is great for going to maya…

disclaimer here… collada support has been re-written recently so IO may well be very much improved using that format (I haven’t tested for anything more than static models)… the developer is active and responsive to bug fixes and features though…

all IO options for blender have pretty basic material support: usually only one texture and basic properties… so a bit like using an external renderer in blender, expect to set up the materials again! (and be prepared to script to transfer regularly)

I do have to add that I have been rigourous with naming, done some trial and error to find the “best” way to suit clients workpractice and usually do a couple of days scripting work to get a really solid pipeline going… not strictly needed, but it does make workl more efficient and saves headaches!

the path to lightwave has always been strong too… modeeling and animation can transfer easily…

the issues with Nuke is that openEXR comes in upside down i believe… I don’t have experience of that though, so can’t comment on workarounds… (it’s been argued that this is differing interpretations of the openexr spec… personally I don’t care who was more right! it is being looked at…)

you could always output different channels and save as tiff or whatever as a high colour depth output
option to any external compositor if you use “multiple outputs” in blender internals compositor this isn’t even painful!

for model making to be put into an external app or illustration work blender is a “no brainer” as is any project that “leads” with blender as the main platform…

I use Blender in my pipeline along with Lightwave for freelance work. I mainly use it when I need some dynamics work and a couple of other things. I wouldn’t use it as my main application though, because there is no official support. If I came across a ‘show stopper’ bug, my only option would be to post it here and hope someone fixes it, but with a commercial app, you have more direct support for this kind of thing. I would never want to put a deadline at risk…

Steve, i’d argue the opposite… a showstopper bug and i call Newtek or Autodesk: it isn’t going to help me meet my deadline… (unless I’m EA or ILM or something). Here the community response (for user issues) or the bug tracker has historically got me sorted promptly more than once… (though the backlog on the tracker with the new version means that we are in “special times” at the moment…

That said, there are some things that blender just cannot do, so for that sort of “showstopper” it would be unwise to use it! (but that goes for any computer package really!)

as an example, if I’m doing some compositing then blender will often fit the bill, but if i’m doing a lot of compositing then using something with breadth and depth and tools for more specialist problems that may arise would be wiser! “garbage mattes” and “animated masks” CAN be produced in blender… but the workflow is better in a dedicated app for example…

but at the end of the day, nothing beats a solid knowledge of software and an ease of use and facility with it that only comes from long practiced use…

Yes you can use it for freelancing. If you are in complete charge of getting the finished product to the client, then you use what you want.

As has been stated by others, if you are in charge of producing an asset that has to be worked on by someone else later in another application, then it get’s tricky.

I worked for a small games company, which back then was looking specifically for blender users, as it was their maintool.
Currently I work for a film-studio, and Blender is my maintool as well. No problem there.

The two main reasons for decision here are:
Can I get the job done with the chosen tool?
Do I have to work with others and can we work together?

The client usually doesn´t care what you do as long as you:

  • get the job done to his satisfaction
  • meet the deadline(s)
  • do your job on legal ground, use no pirated copies of software, no useage of sounds/music/images that come with royalties

To state the by now obvious again - it gets tricky if you have to work with others. You have to be sure that they can collaborate with you. There´s no point in doing a kickass rig in blender when the animator works with maya lateron =)

The sentenced I’ve heared most over the years was:
“Wow, I’ve heared of Blender but didnt knew Blender could do this.”

And I´ll do my best to keep hearing that very sentence :wink:

I’ve made couple of TV commercials with Blender and some VFX for films, no sweat. Got paid, and being happy.

I think they fixed that particular ‘feature’ or at least someone is working on it.

Can’t really test it meself, just going by what I saw on the IRC.

yep, I’ve used blender for both freelancing and working at companies too. And using it indeed.

There may be some things you can’t do, but you can allways get creative :wink:
But it’s getting to a point where the sentence catches opposite sense… in commercial tools I often can’t do what Blender allows me XD(and nope, not a super fan of any software) And coming totally from commercial background, and owing my salaries and my career to all those packages… the fact actually surprises me. Every day more.

Can I get the job done with the chosen tool?
Do I have to work with others and can we work together?
Exactly the key of it all.(well, for working inside companies, or as an external but tightly integrated in their workflows, very dependant those in certain packages. (ie, for physics engine plugins, etc))

But if for usual freelancing, rarely there’s some issue that skills can’t perfectly solve.

It seems like all the freelance sites I look at are for Maya and 3DS Max.

Are there any for modeling in general?. Like a rendered image of an object.


sorry, I don’t use any freelancing sites…

you are confusing capability with marketability: it’s absolutely possible to use blender for freelancing, but if you want to bid on software specific jobs then you need to know that software!

it’ll be very rare to get a gig where someone asks for blender specifically, but there are many jobs that want a result (eg give me a model, give me a render, give me an illustration, give me a video…)

I agree completely that blender can be used for commercial projects. Some of the material I have seen as by the authors using blender are leagues ahead of what is being produced by so call professional programs.

I had a feeling it was possible(Tool wise). But thought every freelance job was program specific.

I plan on maybe doing a little freelancing when I go to College.

If anybody knows any job places that would be great.


Well Joeyrf, you could start here. Jobs pop up here on Blender Artists every so often. Not every freelance gig is going to be from a large entity or will demand you use a specific program. I’m in the middle of a freelance project that I found here. So far I’ve earned $180, with $60 on the way. It’s not much, but it has helped pay the bills.

There was a recent job offer on this board from Carnege Mellon, promising $3000. I think that was taken pretty quick, but if you keep your eyes peeled you could get lucky.

Personally I think right here, right now are even nice oportunities to get started.
The forum often is flooded with nice little projects, some with more requirements, some with less. Or go join a game Modteam of some kind somewhere on the net.
However, go out and play. It is the chance. Many many private projects have the tendency to never leave the WIP section, I am certain most agree on that, and at least my harddrive proofs it =).
Once you are in one of the teams and you are part of something, you have the drive to finish stuff. And finished stuff means an addition to your portfolio besides the awesome feeling of having created something, and to work for clients as freelancer you need a portfolio to show your skills.

You score several times:
You get to work with others.
You can train your skills.
You add to your portfolio.
You might even earn some money.

The only trick is to distinguish the 13 year old driven overzealous project that is destined to shipwreck, from the young enthusiastic but doable project to the mature project that requires serious dedication.