3D Artist

Advice for freelancers: payment rates

Tips & Tutorials
The 3D Artist Team

3D Artists Henk Dawson, Neil Maccormack and Paul McCrorey offer their advice for quoting freelance commission costs

3d artist henk dawson freelance advice

Knowing what to charge for work can be tricky. Is it a flat rate, daily charge, per job? Be sure to get all the details…

Consider the facts

Henk Dawson: The cost of an illustration is based on the usage. For example, an illustration used for a presentation will cost less than it would if the same illustration was used for an ad campaign. Another important factor is complexity. When requesting a bid on a project it’s important to have the following information:

• Description
• Media (eg: web)
• Duration (eg: one year)
• Geographic area (eg: USA)
• Size (eg: 8 x 10 inches at 300dpi)

Time is money

Neil Maccormack: Generally, I try to figure out how long the job in total will take. I don’t charge by the hour so it goes on a job-by-job basis. So the more complicated the job, the more changes that are made, then the more I would charge. I also have to [consider] factors like electricity and rendering charges.

Encourage clear communication

Paul McCrorey: In my proposal template, I have a section that clearly states if any changes are required, and the associated charge. Problems will be minimised if all these things are discussed and understood by both parties upfront.


Image © Henk Dawson

Quotes taken from the ‘Going it alone’ freelance feature, originally published in issue 38 of 3D Artist. Available to buy now, available with worldwide delivery, from the official Imagine Publishing online store.

  • Nigel Stutt

    You don’t say….talk about being unspecific!

  • blah blah blah

    this isnt helpful for new freelancers, i know when i first started the one thing i didnt know was how the hell much is too much. all this is doing its giving a vague outline of roughly whats expected in a pay package. what these people really need is how much they should expect to be paid.
    it differs from country to country.
    one example is 2011 amsterdam commercials house,
    4month job
    junior 3D 75-100 Euros per day
    mid 3D 200-250 Euros per day
    senior 300+ Euros per day depending on roll in the team.

    this is the only information you need to give people. it changes from company to company so its nearly impossible to give accurate data so give a rough outline. the biggest hurdle is undercutting and out bidding yourself from the market.

  • Reg

    I tend to agree with Nigel…
    Um… not to put too fine a point on it guys but…. well…. duh…

    I was kinda disappointed in how little actual information outside the obvious was given.

    I understand not wanting to give an exact answer so your competitors won’t underbid you, but it’s nearly impossible to find out what someone who has never done freelancing before should charge when approached by a company looking to contract you… Even an order of magnitude at this point would help…. Less than XX00 and you’re setting yourself up as an alternative to outsourcing to a 3rd world country, more than XXX0 and you’re being totally unreasonable unless you’re a name brand in your own right…

  • Yep the replies were more useful then the article, although hey you are a magazine I get that but now days blogs give us more info then this online. I guess you can look at it this way …. Need more content and maybe something interactive with some of your articles that you put online when I would guess you do not want to give away the magazine … Such as a poll or two asking freelancers to answer questions etc .. Maybe ask freelancers opinions that are submitter and better answers approved etc … It would definitely give more interactivity and content when you do nolt want to give away your articles.