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How much to charge a client for an animation

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Frank PiciniHow much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 24, 2008 at 2:51:28 am

I'm a designer and animator working in the TV business for 15 years and have lots of design and production pipeline experience using C4D and After effects. I am working on a freelance project designing and creating a production companies end logo that will bookend all their cable shows that will air on such cable stations as TLC/Discovery to mention a few. I'm not sure what kind of money I should charge. It will include 3D logo design and animation integrated into After Effects for final compositing using camera and object motion tracking from C4D to match 3D layers in After Effects. Most likely around 5 seconds long and some pad out to 10 seconds so it will close or end their shows. I do Book cover illustrations and can kind of go from there since animations are more involved as compared to 2D artwork. Any suggestions for price range would be much appreciated.
Frank Picini


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Rick DolishnyRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 24, 2008 at 5:10:10 am

[Frank Picini] "I'm a designer and animator working in the TV business for 15 years"

and

[Frank Picini] "I'm not sure what kind of money I should charge."

...sorry something doesn't add up. What have you been doing for 15 years? I'm kinda serious; help us figure out where you're coming from and we can offer an educated suggestion.

An uneducated suggestion is $1K / second.

---
Rick Dolishny
Discrete Editors COW Leader
http://www.thecreativeprocess.ca


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Jason SirotinRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 24, 2008 at 11:33:50 am

Frank, we do a good deal of graphics work for several cable outlets and production companies that supply content to them. We have found it is best to charge hourly. For HD motion graphics containing mostly 2D elements it's $90hr, for SD it's $80hr. If we are working with Maya or C4D we charge anywhere from $125hr to $150hr depending on the complexity of the project. We also do a few days of Sampling where we give our clients several style frames to choose from so we don't waste time animating something they will not like. We charge $60hr for sampling and style frames.

Also I have been told that we are less expensive than other graphic houses. So you may want to charge more. I'm curious what others will tell you.

Good luck!

Jason Sirotin
VP Business Development
ECG Productions

Main Website: http://www.ecgprod.com

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http://www.ecgcommercials.com
http://www.ecgfilms.com
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www. ecggraphics.com


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Frank PiciniRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 24, 2008 at 12:09:31 pm

As I stated I work for a Major Tv station and make a salary regardless of how long I take to do a job and in the TV business everything has to be done that day of air unless it's a special project which I just fit in to my regular work. So I get payed a straight salary no matter how long I take or how fast I get it done. So doing freelance work has me questioning what I should charge.
Thanks,
Frank Picini



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Gary HazenRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 24, 2008 at 1:05:48 pm

I'm going to guess that Frank has worked for a facility for the last 15 years and been isolated from mundane things like a budget.

Frank-
With your experience you can easily estimate how long it will take to complete the project (number of days). The only thing missing is knowing what you would charge if you were freelance - your day rate.

Here's a little calculator that should help estimating a rate:
http://freelanceswitch.com/rates/

That said, I'll pay a talented 3D artist more than an AE artist because decent 3D artists are hard to find.

good luck



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Frank PiciniRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 24, 2008 at 2:25:55 pm

Yes Gary I have been removed from all that and just get to design and create. One of the perks to getting a flat salary and not having to budget or figure out what to charge. As a freelance illustrator I can come up with prices for my artwork but since I'm venturing out looking for freelance in the motion field and trying to take advantage of all my AE & C4D design skills I don't want to charge to little or even scare away a client with to high a price especially if it will be a returning one.
Thanks,
Frank Picini



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David RichterRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 24, 2008 at 2:38:56 pm

Frank, I have to agree with the hourly rate idea. Its the only way to have a real basis for justifying costs for a project. Otherwise you end up over time magically creating fees for projects that can vary widely. Not a great way to build trust in the market place.

I would start with a honest appraisal of the amount of hours you think it will take to complete the project. Then add a few hours to cover changes and reviews. For rates, I have seen them all over the board, but for most professionals they seem to be in the $100 to $200 range. Where you sit in that range really depends on how talented you are and how busy you are. Its a bit hard to charge $200+ an hour when you only have one client.

David Richter
Richter Studios
http://www.richterstudios.com
Chicago's Video Production, Interactive and Presentation Services Company





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walter biscardiRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 24, 2008 at 3:08:11 pm

[Frank Picini] "I'm not sure what kind of money I should charge. It will include 3D logo design and animation integrated into After Effects for final compositing using camera and object motion tracking from C4D to match 3D layers in After Effects"

I just figure out the amount of hours I expect the project to take and if I need to purchase any stock images and that's the budget. I don't charge any more or less for a national project vs. local.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

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Christopher WrightRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 25, 2008 at 5:02:44 am

Well, there is animation (2d, motion graphics) and ANIMATION (Pixar, major VFX work for film studios). For the one you can charge an hourly rate more like NLE editing fees, for the other $1k/second is still the norm. Set your prices accordingly.

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Frank PiciniRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 25, 2008 at 11:53:27 am

Thanks everyone for responding to my inquiry. All the info has helped a lot.
Frank Picini



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walter biscardiRe: How much to charge a client for an animation
by on Jul 25, 2008 at 12:45:42 pm

[Christopher Wright] "Well, there is animation (2d, motion graphics) and ANIMATION (Pixar, major VFX work for film studios)."

Yes, this is true. We work exclusively in 2D animation with some 3D elements. If I were to do an original 3D animation complete with characters development and such, that would be a heck of a lot more.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
Read my Blog!
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