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Old 09-09-2017, 06:52 PM   #1
Krios
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Question Cost of 3D PreViz

What is a good rate for 3D previz on the indie market?
Do indie filmmakers even bother with previz? Or do they just storyboard on napkins? ;]
Is it priced per second or minute?

Here's my style:



And a more polished example, also done in Poser by a certain Gabriel Sabloff



Cheers!

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Old 09-09-2017, 09:21 PM   #2
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Well done. The bar fight was effective.

I use storyboards, previs, and videomatics all the time. Some folks think it stifles creativity on the set, but I think it gives me additional opportunities that I would never have come up with on-the-day.

When bidding work, I do not quote based on the length of the piece because it doesn't account for the complexity of the job.
I start my bids by determining my day-rate. This accounts for my income, as well as all my operating expenses. My rate fluctuates depending with the client (e.g. indie filmmaker, personal friend, Hollywood studio). When helping a personal friend, my rate is almost always $0/day. Then, I look at the work at hand (length, complexity, etc) and estimate with how many days I believe this work will take. It is critical that you get this estimate right. There's no going back for more money unless the client makes requests beyond the scope of the contract.

day-rate * days = bid

Last edited by _Rok_; 09-09-2017 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Rok_ View Post
Well done. The bar fight was effective.
Thank you for the pointers Rok. A daily rate makes things easier.

If you don't mind another question, how many minutes/day would you expect at a rate of $100/day?
And to keep it simple, let's say 2 FPS accuracy. Open GL preview, no need to render.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krios View Post
Thank you for the pointers Rok. A daily rate makes things easier.

If you don't mind another question, how many minutes/day would you expect at a rate of $100/day?
And to keep it simple, let's say 2 FPS accuracy. Open GL preview, no need to render.
It depends on the complexity... :p
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalterB View Post
It depends on the complexity... :p
Ain't that the truth! Two characters vs ten is a 5x difference.
As a reference point, the Eros and Psyche animatic above was averaging about 1 min/day.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:50 PM   #6
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Your personal projects are a good benchmark. What you need to account for in your bid is:
- Operating costs - all of them (be honest with yourself)
- Your profit/income
- Complexity of the job relative to your previous projects
- Client changes (and there will be many)
- Your experience/resume (or lack thereof)
- Your reputation (or lack thereof)
- How much finished work you can create in a day**

** 1 min/day: Since your examples are personal projects, they were done to your spec and finished when you were satisfied. For the purposes of bidding, I'd only consider these as your first submission to the client, not the last. Expect that they will ask for changes and re-dos. Before you know it, that $100/day you were counting on works out to $15/day. Unfortunately, there are times when you simply have to eat it, and finish the gig at a loss. You could walk away from the project, but it should be noted that you are losing a paying client who might refer you to several more.
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:04 PM   #7
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Ain't that the truth! My first gig was a short animation for a flat $500... easy money I thought, until all
the revisions and requests started rolling in. Job took a whole month, and it came out to about $25/day.
Lesson learned.

Here's another example fresh of the production line:



It is definitely more time consuming then two characters.
If an agreement is in place for a flat fee of $100/day, it doesn't matter how many days it takes so long as
the client is pleased with quality and quantity, no? There can even be a bunch of revisions so long as an
honest 8 hour day is still $100.

...and thanks for breaking the estimation process down further--it is as clear now as a nun's conscience.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:22 AM   #8
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Producers deal in absolutes and will want to know how much previs will cost before awarding the contract. There's certainly room to charge overages when the client makes requests beyond the scope of the contract, so you will want to focus closely on the details.

It's not uncommon to add wording specifically calling out the phases of deliverables: e.g. 1) Layout 2) Blocking 3) WIP 4) Final. This DOES commit you to delivering four passes on a shot, but it also limits them to the same.

The reason that an open-ended $100 rate will be unattractive is that you could throttle your efforts down to maximize the number of days paid. Would you do this, yes/no? The real answer is nobody cares. The client won't be comfortable giving you so much control over their budget. A day-rate is something an employer will give you, not a client.

- Thomas
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:49 AM   #9
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So then the $100/day becomes only a guiding measure to figure out a solid x frames for x dollars.
If the Job takes longer, I eat it, and if it not, I enjoy some sun at the end of the day. Makes good
sense.

Guess it's back to Eros & Psyche for now, to learn how much previz can be done in one day.

Thank you once again for your wisdom Rok! It is much appreciated. If you ever find yourself in a
tight spot and need some previz quick, you'll enjoy a 50% discount on your first order... and it's
probably gonna be $100/day, but I'll guarantee a certain amount of frames based on the complexity
of the job :]
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Old 09-12-2017, 04:14 PM   #10
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I like your work, but in terms of advancing your marketability most previs is generally animated (as opposed still frames). So, you're currently creating something closer to 3D story reels, as opposed to contemporary previsualizations.

Here's some food for thought:
- Animated previs in line with other previs shops (for action & camera movement).
- shot #, lens info, TC, frame#, (+more) overlays.
- Work to scale.
- Build sets based on existing production designs.
- Use correct settings from a variety of production cameras and lenses.
- Camera moves should work to the limitations of existing filmmaking hardware so you can either work to a spec, or provide client the spec yourself (e.g. 10" straight track vs 50' Tecnocrane vs Drone).
- Render with 12X handles to allow client to open the cut a bit.
- Generate location diagrams at scale with camera and actor marks.
- 1X slate at the head of each shot with your name, logo, shot info, date, version #, description
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:14 PM   #11
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I see what you mean:



Guessing some of that cinematographic information (shot #, lens info, TC, frame#, ) is supplied by
the director? But this kind of elaborate previz might be too expensive for independent productions.
Gonna dig around a bit more for current prices and maybe for some tutorials on creating previz on
a professional level.

But now that it's clear what a professional previz is, my work so far would be considered more of an
animatic, or as you said, 3D story reel, a stepping stone to a more developed and animated previz.

Thank you for your time Rok!

Last edited by Krios; 09-12-2017 at 07:20 PM.
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