time usage estimate for various tasks (percentage)

Hi, I’d like to hear what various time estimates are for two typical usage scenarios.

UV Unwrap


UV Unwrap
UV Weight

For modeling a breakdown of method and time percents would be useful also


Base Mesh creation

or just modeling directly

It would be good ot know if you are a ‘heavy’/professional user as well.


Wouldn’t that also require an extra first field for Hi-poly/low-poly, game element or film, previs or architectural? Just to define initial work load. But I guess thats implicit in the request.

Yes it might be good to state what ‘field’ it is for.


Are we talking Blender only here? Or in general? I don’t feel comfortable commenting on the animation portion because I don’t use Blender for animation. I’m a semi-professional. Currently working in 3 different fields web design, 3d and medical. Freelance for the first two.

System specs:
First computer:
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
AMD Phenom 9550 Quad-core 2.20 GHz
IGP 9100

Second computer: (used for painting)
HP 2710 Tablet PC
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
Intel Core2 Duo U7000 running at 1.2 GHz

Scene example is a high resolution sculpted figure with props and a basic environment (ie. backdrop with little detail). Total time is roughly 8-16 hours. Please note that many of the steps are combined and not necessarily in this order. I may bake during texturing for an ambient occlusion (dirt) map. During retopology I may model props using it’s tools. etc.

1. Modeling 5-8 hours total

-Base Biped Mesh 1-2 hours (often I will load in a pre-made base mesh from another project to save time)
-Sculpting 5-8 hours
-Retopology 2-3 hours (this varies and sometimes I duplicate the base mesh at the start and bake the displacement from the higher density mesh to it)
-Build props and environment 2-4 hours
-Baking 30 minutes-2 hours (depending on complexity and user error)
-UV Unwrap 2-5 hours (UV mapping may take place prior to sculpting for the figure if I plan to bake to the original)

Things that could improve the workflow and the time each part takes to Model in Blender:

  1. Better optimizations of sculpting so it can handle higher mesh densities. Often Blender will crash without warning at higher density levels because of reaching my computer’s memory limit.

2. Texture 3-4 hours total
-Quick base color with 3D paint 2-3 hours
-Detailed paint in Photoshop 3-4 hours
-Base material creation and texture import/application 1-3 hours

Things that could improve the workflow and the time each part takes to Texture in

-Better brush workflow. Allow texture creation and editing from within the brush controls window
-A complete undo system in the UV/Image window for painting. With brush visual representation just like in the 3d window

3. Lighting 30 minutes to 1 hour

4. Compositing 2-4 hours
I spend a lot of time tweaking the lighting in compositing.
-Adding DOF and atmospheric effects 10-20 minutes
-Adding visual effects (ie. glare, glow, etc.) 20-30 minutes
-Adjust lighting (via RGB and normal nodes) 1-2 hours

5. Final Rendering and any compositing outside of Blender 3-4 hours (~2K resolution)

Improvements to rendering to decrease time:
-A way to export all channels (alpha, reflection, etc.) and/or the composite at a certain point out within a single file (ie. psd) and with a single node.
-Saving of render data to decrease the time it takes to re-render.


awesome report, thank you. The suggestions you included for speed improvement are also welcome.


You are welcome. I could give a big list of feature and workflow/speed improvements. But I don’t want to make this a feature request thread.

You can send the list to me privately if you like.


Perhaps stick suggestions in the 2.5 requests thread?

I’d estimate…
Model - 60%
-modeling - 33%
-sculpting - 66%
UV Unwrap - 2%
Texture - 20%
Lighting - 3%
Rendering - 10%
Compositing - 5%


Model - 30%
UV Unwrap - 2%
Texture - 15%
Rig - 15%
UV Weight - 20%
Animate - 0% (i’m not an animator)
Lighting - 3%
Rendering - 10%
Compositing - 5%

I’m not much of a professional, but I have done some freelance work here and there
but…yeah, I guess modeling/sculpting would be my specialty. it’s what I do best so that’s what I usually stick to

Model = 60 - 65 %
Texturing & shaders = 15 -20%
Lighting = 15 %
Rendering = depends on the scene and engine used
Compositing = 5

hm… i expected bigger texturing percentages. :slight_smile: texturing always takes an disproportional amount of time for me (i mostly do low poly models for games).

always having to switch between gimp/photoshop and blender, saving and reloading the image,… it would be nice if there were a realtime connection like there was with verse a while ago. and better painting tools in blender would be nice too of course.

Hi letterrip, I described quite exactly the timing of a simple process in this issue of blenderart:
it’s the ‘making of head-legs creature’ article.
The workflow was split up in these tasks: sketchsculpt, retopo, PROJECTION ISSUES(half the time in this case), UV, texturing/detailing, shaders/hair, light, render/rendertimes. This is what I measured by watching myself doing actually a single project, so not only an estimation.