Art: Animation commissions. How much should I charge?
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    Animation commissions. How much should I charge?

    I've seen some price samples for flash commissions but these were mainly cut up and tweened samples, or cut up illustration deformed in photoshop. So if people can ask fortune for something like that, how much one should charge for colored frame by frame sort.

    Sample:
    http://sythgara.deviantart.com/#/d5evola

    This took me probably close to 20 h. A rough set of keys, rough animation, clean up, flat colors and shading.

    I've been told that 350-400$ is a fair price.
    And also depends on details of other characters - fur, accessories etc.

    What do you think?

    Thanks

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    Maybe try breaking the commission down into time? Consider roughly how long the job will take, and try to devise an hourly rate that you can go by for future commissions. If you know this was 20 hours, then you probably have a good idea of how quickly you work and can come up with a price based on that.

    Great animation by the way, love the expression. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sythgara View Post
    I've seen some price samples for flash commissions but these were mainly cut up and tweened samples, or cut up illustration deformed in photoshop. So if people can ask fortune for something like that, how much one should charge for colored frame by frame sort.

    Sample:
    http://sythgara.deviantart.com/#/d5evola

    This took me probably close to 20 h. A rough set of keys, rough animation, clean up, flat colors and shading.

    I've been told that 350-400$ is a fair price.
    And also depends on details of other characters - fur, accessories etc.

    What do you think?

    Thanks
    You should charge based on time and I would say 350-400 is a good price. But the thing about DA is theres a ton of people who undercharge for art (some even take points instead of real money) and inturn alot of kids think anything over 20 bucks is outrageous. Heres a few links to people who do similar commissions and their prices http://griffsnuff.deviantart.com/jou...osed-222815518
    http://colonel-strawberry.deviantart...tuff-238634452
    http://darkmanethewerewolf.deviantar...Open-239280497

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    I think these rates are outrageously low. It's the same as being a freelancer who has to pay for electricity bills / software / rent or mortgage that have a direct impact on pricing. Oh and rights are never even mentioned anywhere!

    Reading on freelancing quotes are your best bet. The Graphic Artist Guild handbook is always a good reference but there are also good threads in the forum about quoting.

    Even though the commissions market is pretty centralized, I'm afraid that Deviant artists don't realize they might be killing the markets It's not because you enjoy doing something you shouldn't be fairly compensated for it or give "friends n family" pricing to everyone.

    Bah, don't mind me. I bitch about hobbyists and come off as too serious for people who don't want to make a living out of their art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noun View Post
    Maybe try breaking the commission down into time? Consider roughly how long the job will take, and try to devise an hourly rate that you can go by for future commissions. If you know this was 20 hours, then you probably have a good idea of how quickly you work and can come up with a price based on that.

    Great animation by the way, love the expression. Good luck.
    thank you : ) that's what i thought, but i'm looking for actual numbers.

    Last edited by Sythgara; September 25th, 2012 at 02:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by egerie View Post
    I think these rates are outrageously low. It's the same as being a freelancer who has to pay for electricity bills / software / rent or mortgage that have a direct impact on pricing. Oh and rights are never even mentioned anywhere!

    Reading on freelancing quotes are your best bet. The Graphic Artist Guild handbook is always a good reference but there are also good threads in the forum about quoting.

    Even though the commissions market is pretty centralized, I'm afraid that Deviant artists don't realize they might be killing the markets It's not because you enjoy doing something you shouldn't be fairly compensated for it or give "friends n family" pricing to everyone.

    Bah, don't mind me. I bitch about hobbyists and come off as too serious for people who don't want to make a living out of their art.


    No i can understand where you're coming from. There's a major difference in pricing on da depending on whether you do it on the side or if it's your main source of money/you actually consider yourself a professional and know how much your stuff is worth. Some people probably don't realize they don't take enough, and there's again the thing where people look for best skill for cheapest. Causing competition in prices.

    Last edited by Sythgara; September 25th, 2012 at 02:58 PM.
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    Thanks for these. Yea looking at the prices and animations it seems like they're on cheaper side. However strawberriy's animations are more like animatics rather than fluent 'disney' quality so to say.
    I don't really know anyone who does high quality commissions to ref from their prices sadly. But yea, I think at the current point of my career I should charge at least 20 per hour compared to 10. The bad part about it is that you kind of have to adjust your prices for 'an average joe' if you want non-company people buy your stuff. Or wait for some rich guy to come along.

    What do you think

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    I know those are crazy low. I dont agree with their prices but its just something to think about, especially if you are looking for people on DA to commission you rather then doing stuff for games or "company people" I also second getting the Graphic Artist Guild handbook!!! Perhaps you should look into making game sprite animation on sites other then DA. Push come to shove you can always try out a price and adjust it later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wingal View Post
    I know those are crazy low. I dont agree with their prices but its just something to think about, especially if you are looking for people on DA to commission you rather then doing stuff for games or "company people" I also second getting the Graphic Artist Guild handbook!!! Perhaps you should look into making game sprite animation on sites other then DA. Push come to shove you can always try out a price and adjust it later.

    http://www.amazon.com/Graphic-Artist...Guild+handbook Is this the one? I see different editions. And yea, I do work currently as a concept artist for a new established movie studio. I'm not currently making a living off commissions. But lot of people say if you start pricing low people are gonna expect the price to stay low.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sythgara View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/Graphic-Artist...Guild+handbook Is this the one? I see different editions. And yea, I do work currently as a concept artist for a new established movie studio. I'm not currently making a living off commissions. But lot of people say if you start pricing low people are gonna expect the price to stay low.
    Yeah thats the one. They put out newer editions every few years to keep up with the changing industry. Dont start low then =)

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    I think this is a very good question, and I'll preface my answer by saying this first: I do not work on freelance; I have a full-time animation job in video games and work on 2d animated shorts in my spare time; my spare time work is personal work and I do not get paid for it.

    When I think about charging freelance I think about what I make hourly at my day job; how, if necessary, I can transition to freelance full-time and earn the same take home (net) pay. (I'm actually salary, but I can still break that down into what is my hourly pay.) I mainly animate 90% of the time, but I'll have to rig and skin characters/creatures too; so I'm basically paid to just animate. If I were to charge hourly for a freelance job, I would look at my full-time hourly rate and never go any lower than that. But, my job pays insurance and taxes on me too, so my hourly take home has the potential to be higher, there's just the benefits I don't see as income. If I were full-time freelance, I would want to make sure that I adjusted my minimum hourly charge to include benefits. (Health insurance is more expensive if you're buying it privately rather than being employed and getting the group discount; something to think about.)

    Earlier I said I basically get paid to just animate. If I were to take a freelance 2d animation job I imagine the average client would want a cleaned-up, colored, effects animation, backgrounds, sound design, music, etc. final commercial or short. Not to mention all of the extra work that goes into animation: storyboards, animatics, color comps, character design, and the back and forth with the client to nail all of this down. All of those things go beyond the realm of raw animation, so you're either going to have to do animation PLUS those things, or you'll have to sub-contract the work. $350-450 for 20hrs worth of work is $17.5-22.5. If working 40hrs a week (and assuming you have steady work) that's roughly $36k-47K annually. When taking all of the extra parts of production you'll have to manage and direct into consideration, to me, that hourly price seems incredibly low. ESPECIALLY, when you have to pay self-employment tax (unless you can get the client to pay taxes on your behalf for that gig), AND hire sub-contractors (if you don't intend to do all the work yourself).

    So, in my mind, with the caveat that I don't do freelance work, I would, at the very least, (specifically) if you work in animation full-time and are doing freelance work: take what you earn hourly and simply double that amount. That should be your starting minimum hourly charge rate. In my opinion, make sure that you're charging for your raw talent and years of experience. Don't sell yourself short you've got quality work and you should be paid well for that skill. If they don't pay what you're asking (you can always negotiate down to your minimum price) or simply say no. Also, negotiating the price might be indicative of how future conversations will go with the client. If that process doesn't go in your favor, but you still take the job, imagine how much you'll detest the job while you're working hard to finish the work by the clients deadline, KNOWING that the client got you "on the cheap" when you're worth much more. Best to say no and find someone that values you enough to pay you what you're worth. You do have bills to pay after-all, and animation has the potential to take LOTS of time (all depending on the quality and process of the animation).

    This took me probably close to 20 h. A rough set of keys, rough animation, clean up, flat colors and shading.
    But, at least in my animation process, this actually takes longer than that: character design, storyboards, and possibly an animatic were created to get to that point. And any number of revisions you might have gone through on those three things to finalize that character, camera angle, background layout, and the character's emotion, and finally, you were able to start rough animation.

    charles tinney
    chazamation
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    Hey Charles, good and helpful post. Thanks for taking your time writing it!

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