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Thread: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

  1. #1
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    Default Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    i know this issue has been discused before, but i have been thinking for the past few days about the future of being a 3d artist, and i will be open and transparent about it.....

    i was intially trained as an interior designer, but ended up being a visualizer, or on my path of becoming a professional one, i hope it was the only precious talent i have to survive.

    as my works keep improving, i was approached by clients and companys' to do visualization jobs...sad thing or rather, frustrating is, whenever i present to them my scope of service, either they won't reply back or they just simply disappear after a few enquiries.

    so...now i want to know, to get honest feedback, clients wants the best from visualizers, but not willing to pay, that is common, the thing is, how much are visualizers charging their clients in general? every freelancer has his own price, but just thinking are the charges i'm charging are ridiculous? or nowadays, people are not willing to pay for quality and effort?

    well....hope to hear your feedback

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    Moderator Maxer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    Part of the problem is that architectural firms that have dedicated visualization departments tend to give a lot of work away in order to secure potential projects. In my case I'm one of these people and my firm uses renderings and animations to a great extent during the interview process in order to dazzle the client in order to get the job. It's also pretty common to do at least one rendering for each project we have but most of the time it's more like 5 or 10 for each job. These are not high quality renderings, usually they take 2 or 3 days to do but it gives the client what they want. We can get away with this because we build a little cushion into each job for these types of services, and if we have to do more complicated renderings or animations we charge those separately. I generally charge $90 an hour for all my services including animations unless it's a large project for which I'll charge between $10,000 and $15,000 per minute of animation. It's really all about marketing and what jobs you've done in the past and how badly your clients need this kind of service. Your best bet is to get a job with a firm that already has an established client base, otherwise your going to kill your self by undercharging what your work is worth just to get some jobs from cheep architects who don't appreciate what there asking for.

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    Veteran Member Dibbers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    Quote Originally Posted by mesht
    i know this issue has been discused before, but i have been thinking for the past few days about the future of being a 3d artist, and i will be open and transparent about it.....

    i was intially trained as an interior designer, but ended up being a visualizer, or on my path of becoming a professional one, i hope it was the only precious talent i have to survive.

    as my works keep improving, i was approached by clients and companys' to do visualization jobs...sad thing or rather, frustrating is, whenever i present to them my scope of service, either they won't reply back or they just simply disappear after a few enquiries.

    so...now i want to know, to get honest feedback, clients wants the best from visualizers, but not willing to pay, that is common, the thing is, how much are visualizers charging their clients in general? every freelancer has his own price, but just thinking are the charges i'm charging are ridiculous? or nowadays, people are not willing to pay for quality and effort?

    well....hope to hear your feedback

    I suggest you post a typical image with the price you charge. That way, we can give you direct and honest answers to your question.

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    Moderator Brian Cassil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dibbers
    we can give you direct and honest answers to your question.
    And I promise, we are nothing, if not direct and honest.

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    Default Re: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    thanks guys for your feedback

    Maxer; i'm now working with one of the biggest and well-established
    architectural firms & my primary role is as a visualizer, but 70% of the 3d and renderings were outsourced because of shortage of good visualizers and time issues. my firm doesn't have the resources to do animations, but i was surprised at the amount difference in animations, here, typical animations vary in prices, lowest around $1000 to as high as a few hundred thousands to $1 million,for a fully-detailed showroom, and these last more than 10 mins, and i mean detailed to the max, fully textured with raytrace.

    as requested, these are my last projects, two of them is from my clients'. i use them as my introduction portfolio to potential client's and companys', for the ones i done with a client, i charge S$300 per render in any size, and even that was negiotiated down to $200. the other, an exterior rendering, was initially proposed at $700 for architectural exteriors.

    now, from what i know, a few freelancers working with my company charge between a min of S$500 per render to $1200. that's the market rate at the moment, and at a price of $1200 per render, a max. of 20 changes are allowed. other freelancers charge lowest $300 per render.

    ok...from the level of my rendering, do give me a rating value so i can learn from my weakness
    Attached Images

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    Moderator Maxer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    You are seriously undercharging for your work, I don't care what country you’re in. I wouldn’t do these images for less than $2000 a piece, and these are worth at least that much. I think you've got to see it like this, the architect who wants the work done is going to use it to either sell his ideas to a client and based on what the client sees he will either accept the designs or want to make changes. In reality it doesn’t matter how well the architect is, it's your images that are selling his projects. Now if there are people out there who are willing to put in all that work for $200 or $400 per image you have to give your client a reason why your work is superior to theirs and don't back down when they want to negotiate on the price. I'm just curious, how long do you think it took you to do the interior rendering including all the modeling, lighting, and texturing time?

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    Veteran Member Dibbers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    I agree with Maxer, those prices are rediculous! in the uk these images would go for £1500 - £2500 (UK).

    If you quoted $50 per visual, your client would try and negotiate you down to $25...it's what they do!

    If you charge less eventually you will be valued less.

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    Veteran Member Sawyer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    And you know people change their minds. I get many people coming to me almost ready for me to work for them then the city needs a change & I don't hear from them for 6 months. I just bid a project & I was I thought really low I was later told that they gave it to a photographer who charged hundreds less than me. Always sucks to hear that & I have learned another thing - I consider myself to be good at what I do and people don't always want that. Sometimes a cheaper solution with a more mediocre product is OK for them, not all of our clients are Ghery or even artists. They don't care that the image doesn't look as good as it could.

    I was asked for a quote for one project I said $500 it was pretty easy and simple (I already had the buiding modeled) but I didn't quite trust the client so I added a couple more dollars just to be safe. He saw my price said he wasn't interested said he had a drafter who could do it.
    I saw the final it was just a cad model no materials or advanced lighting. It was just printed on regualr paper black & white the shadows were pitch black. CAD shaded model that was it, cost the guy almost nothing and he was extremely happy with it. I would have put it on the site and added trees and cars... but not what he needed.
    Here is the catch 22 of much of what we do - architects want us to make their work look good only if their work looks good. Not everyone is trying to make attractive buildings, some architects make strip malls, box stores and low income apartments, and storage facilities. If you need a rendering of these you might not want to go to the best illustrators to have it done. Why pay the money for the best illustration of the most commonplace buildings?

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    Moderator Maxer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    I think the bottom line is that there are certain types of people that high end illustrators just shouldn’t be doing work for because they can't afford what you have to offer. I'll tell you that if I did accept a rendering job for $300 I sure wouldn’t spend the time on it that I would on a $2000 image. If there not satisfied with that then maybe next time they’ll think twice before they try to get something for nothing.

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    Default Re: Is there any value left being a visualizer?

    From what you are saying, I take it that you are working in Sing firm?

    Forgive me for saying this, but Singaporean arch firms AND their clients are the WORST client of all.
    We have had a lot of really ugly experience with them lowering the price so much and demanding a lot.
    If this is what they treat their outsource firms, then I guess internal dept is so much worse.

    There are 2 typical situation going on there.
    1. lots of firm wants a project so badly it's willing to sacrifice not getting paid if the client don't like the proposal, meaning fees are going to be slashed big time. If the arch firm doesn't get a penny, how much do you think they will pay visualizer??
    For this case, the arch firm will do almost minimal / no work required, depending a lot on the visualizer to 'do whatever necessary on our artistic ability' to deliver THEIR project. We received a lot of project with just a rough masterplan sketch or just a plan dwg and a lot of scanned images of magazines..... then expect us to give a bombastic image. Imagine you have to design and to visualize at the same time.
    Worse still, some arch firm has that bad attitude of yelling to you if the image doesnt suit their 'expected imagination'
    To make things really bad, some even have a clause in contract saying they can sue you if their client reject their proposal because of 'unsatisfactory' quality of presentation.
    Tough eh? Unfair ? you bet it is

    2. This is a bit better than the first one, but still gives you a big headache.
    Sing firms like to dwell in the dwgs a lot..... meaning they will give you all info at the very last minute. Most of your datas will be changed entirely at the last day of your scheduled deadline. I got one project that has been changed to a completely different architecture in the last day.
    And no, you cant complaint, because it's not 'their way' of doing things. We are to share their risk. Worse case scenario is if you deliver badly or miss deadline, they will blame you for everything. That almost always means re-negotiating your pre-approved fee..... or most of the time risk very very long delay of payment (4-5 mo even up to a year)
    I know this might not mean a lot to freelancers. But once you got several clients your scheduling is going to be hell.
    One project of ours has 62 revisions in total. Just make sure you put a clause in the contract stating exactly how much revision is accomodated. And make sure all revision requests are in writings / emails. They will argue about this later on.

    We aren't really keen to accept any Sing clients anymore, except for the really old friends / clients, because of these problems.

    FYI, we charge 3x to 10x of what you charge for your clients. We had charged at around double your price once but it is twice the headache. So better raise it up. They need you anyway, it's either you are available or you are not. Most of the time the client say our fees are too much, but they return anyway. With that kind of hectic way of doing the arch work, it's your availability that counts. If they say you are charging too much, just remember of your medical expenses of burning those midnight oils before you reply.
    And do remember that over there, there's no hourly rate all is lumpsum price.

    Sorry its a really long reply...... just something I thought need to be shared.

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