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How Do I Find Out How Much To Pay Someone For A Custom Job?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by EternalAmbiguity, May 17, 2021.

  1. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I'm planning to release a single later this year and I'd like to use some CGI in the music video. I feel like Unity or Unreal could work for what I'm planning, but I definitely think I'd want to have it done by someone experienced, not me.

    Problem is I've never done this (hired someone for a job) before, and I have no idea what a normal price is. I'm seeing numbers that seem really high to me, like $100-1000 per second, but I think what I'm intending would be a bit more straightforward than what's described (and having it in a game engine might make it easier, maybe?) and either way the end price will be specific to what I want for the video.

    The Job forums here seem very focused on the final "collaboration" step so I'm not sure where I should go to suss out what kind of price I could expect to pay.
     
  2. koirat

    koirat

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    Please post here when you find the answer, I was wondering about this for a few years now.
     
  3. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Generally, you write a brief and then ask a number of appropriately skilled people to quote on the job for you. Any numbers you get aren't useful to you unless there's someone willing to execute on them anyway.

    Availability also often has an impact on what those numbers look like. Want it done now? Expect the cost to be higher, because it's competing with other people who also want work done now. Any time in the next 6 months? That's often cheaper, because people are often willing to secure flexible work at lower rates to fill gaps between other (higher paying) jobs.

    It also depends a lot on the experience level of the person doing the work. Rookies often do things at reduced rates because they need to build reputation and portfolio. The good ones don't stay rookies long. :)
     
  4. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    You need to ask multiple studios/contractors for a quote and pick the one you can afford. Don't forget to describe your requirements in details.

    That's pretty much it.
     
  5. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Okay, thanks. Now I guess I need to find the actual people I can ask for quotes...

    Edit: One more thing I'm not sure about is how I specify that I'm interested in something built with Unity or Unreal, or ensuring that the folks I talk to are experienced in using one of those (so they'll consider it an option when pricing or considering how to implement it). Is it weird to ask if they use Unity or Unreal for their animation work?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
  6. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I try to find a handful of people and have them estimate their cost.

    Usually I go with the one that communicates best and has portfolio of competent work. Price doesn't usually correlate cause you got people from all over the world.

    Professionals are usually happy to spend a little time trying to figure out if it will be a good fit to work together or not. Turds want to know about the money up front and are confident they can do the job before they fully understand what it is.
     
  7. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    I'd expect them to use Cinemat 4d, Maya or Blender depending on the type of animation they do, or Adobe After Effects.

    I'd be surprised if they use Unity, slightly less surprised if they use Unreal.

    BUT.

    In this scenario, you're the employer. Doesn't matter if it is "weird" or not, if you need to know, you should ask away.
    No real reason to get shy. If they react in a weird way, you can look for another contractor.
     
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  8. xjjon

    xjjon

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    What level of quality are you looking for? That will heavily influence the price.
    Do you care where they are from? Cost of living in the area also influences the price.

    Given that, I have hired people with 3-5 years industry experience to do similar freelance work for $5-$15/hr USD from low cost of living European countries.

    For US the range was more $20/hr+

    I find it is cheaper if you find someone whos work you like on social - directly DM them and see if they are open to doing freelance work. Most of them are working in the industry and would take on your job on the side for extra income. If you post a 'job' on a freelance site and get bids, the rates will be higher as usually the people there are doing it fulltime.
     
  9. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Alright, thanks again, I appreciate all of the responses.

    I'm not sure if your questions are specific to the scenario I mention in my OP, but I'm hoping for photo-realistic visuals. Thing is the scene itself would be shorter moments of actual animation interspersed with large segments that are just me and a band performing, so I imagine it'll need to be a person or group near us so we could do a green screen performance or whatever that would entail (something like this, in the most general sense of a band inserted into the CG scene).
     
  10. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Just include it in the brief as either a preference or requirement. However, note that it may not make things cheaper or better. It may also turn some people away from the job. That's perfectly fine if you've got some reason for wanting it. But if it's just arbitrary because they're the tools you're familiar with I wouldn't push too hard for it.

    Unless you have a practical reason for wanting something done with a particular tool I would always suggest letting your people work with whatever they are most used to. Learning a new thing as they go will slow them down and potentially reduce the quality of their work. If you just let them do their thing you'll get the benefit of their existing experience doing it their way. And often the experience of expert people is far more beneficial than the shininess of a particular tool.
     
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  11. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Yeah, my only reason for wanting it is that in my ignorance it seems like it would make the not-directly-focused-on-animation scenes easier to handle, in that you've got a simulated world so things like water in the background while a band is playing wouldn't need a whole lot of attention. But again that's probably due to my lack of knowledge of the field.
     
  12. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Uh, normally for this kind of thing you'd want non-realtime renderer.

    That's an addon. I don't have it.
     
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  13. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    When I used to do a lot of contract work this kind of thing used to drive me nuts. Customers who didn't know how things worked giving us specific instructions that they thought would make things easier just made it harder for my team to do its job.

    If you don't trust someone to know these things better than you then why are you paying them to do the work?

    If someone can't get background water to work nicely then they are incompetent, and you just shouldn't work with them. If they know what they're doing then they almost certainly already know better than you how to get it done, or where to start in figuring it out. Either way, giving them arbitrary requirements doesn't help either of you.

    Don't be the Design Hell Client.
     
  14. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Good point. My thinking was more that IF what I thought was true (though neginfinity's example shows how unlikely that is), someone familiar with these tools would be able to do the job more easily (and cheaper for me) than someone who didn't know them.

    More of a "when all you have is a hammer" type of thing vs. literally telling them to do it a certain way - but point taken.
     
  15. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    For that kind of thing I just talk to people in advance and/or check out their portfolio, blog, whatever they've got to get a feel for their general approach to work. Note that any studio or freelancer who doesn't keep up their professional development generally won't last long in this type of work.
     
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  16. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Okay, thanks again.
     
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