Freelancing rates for a UE4 artist

So I have been hired as a UE4 artist for quite a big project. So the project is about making a virtual interactive experience of a museum in UE4 because not all of the museum is available to see for tourists so the ministry of culture asked to make it into virtual experience. I have been asked to handle all the UE4 part and they will provide me with all the high res photogrammetry model.

My job is to make those photogrammetry models into low poly usable and clean models. Then use those models in the level and create some special effects in the engine. for example the world transition into integrated form from a disintegrated form as you walk into the room etc. and then create all the interactivity in the level. So basically i will be doing all the UE4 work and they will be providing me with the high res models and concepts.

This is going to take 2 months of time approximately. I am doing this kind of long term project for the first time so I dont know how should I charge it. They already gave me a test project which I completed and they are expecting me to work with them.
So if some of you have any idea of how to charge this kind of project then please let me know.
Thanks :slight_smile:

Well since it’s your first project you can assume that you will mess up the rate big time as that is just the way it is as far as figuring out the fair market value of your effort. The key to it all though is not so much about how much you will make but the learning experience as an opportunity that such a project has to offer so just come up with a number that you would be happy with and just assume that your under quoting. Do that a couple of times and you should be able to determine the rate off the top of your head.

As a tip what changes the the rate though is copyright ownership and how the agreement in writing is configured as to outline such ownership from the start. Copyright stays with the creator unless conveyed via contract as work for hire so if they want full rights then at least double your rate.

Thanks for your response :slight_smile:
I see. I understand this opportunity will give me a very good experience and I can definitely use this as my resume element. what they proposed to me was 30,000 INR (USD 240) for the whole project. I was wondering if spending my time on this project was worth it or not so I asked them to increase the price a little bit. Thats why I wanted to know how much should I charge to give them a figure.

Humm well once again it all depends on who owns the copyrights as to completed assets.

240 is defiantly on the light side but learning by experience is a cheap education and freelancing is all about building yourself as the brand. Get to that place you can charge crazy numbers like $240,000 for the same project because your George F-N Lucas. :wink:


Once again copyright copyright copyright :wink:

For example if you maintain full rights to the assets you build you could repackaged the assets for the Epic marketplace, or Daz3d or Unity, and make a lot more money than you would off a single project.

As another off the hand example say someone asks you to make an “Angry Bird” as a concept in context. For you effort you charge 50 bucks that includes full copyright ownership. Next thing you know your over coffee and donuts project turns into a billion dollar franchise with you art work plastered on lunch boxes and used in full feature animate film.

My opinion at $240 USD you would be better off retaining the copyrights as the rate of return does not come even close as what you would make based on minimum wage. In this case if your project does goes Angry Birds then your client owes you a ton of bucks as they don’t own the copyrights.

From the Polycount wiki: Freelance - polycount

The following numbers are averages, posted by Polycount members. All numbers are in USD unless stated otherwise. [TABLE=“border: 1, cellpadding: 2, cellspacing: 0”]

Freelancer Type
US Day Rate
US Hourly
Overseas Day Rate
Overseas Hourly

Individual contractor

  • (Freelance - polycount)

  • $37.50/hr
  • (Freelance - polycount)

  • $250 - 375/day $31.25 - 47/hr

    Low-end art studio
    $140 - 180/day
    $17.50 - 22.50/hr

    Average art studio

    High-end art studio
    $800/day **](Freelance - polycount)
    $100/hr **](Freelance - polycount)

    • Individual contractors in the US range from $275 - 500/day ($34.50 - 62.50/hr)
      **These rates are for rare high-end boutique studios.

    Those numbers are the contracting rate for the studio, not what the individuals make. And for professional, full-time contractors.

    For your first job, $15 an hour is more reasonable if you are competent. At least $25 an hour if you want to do it full-time. A freelance artist needs to charge more than what an artist in a studio would make.

    Yeah that sounds about right as far as shop rates goes. Shop rates are usually used as a base to establish a quote and most jobs are usually charged out based on fair market value.

    Say for example the job in hand requires 5 others to be working on the project at the same time. Using the low rate at $300 bucks a day that would b 5X300=$1500

    Something else to keep in mind as a freelancer you learn how to do things faster and is crazy talk that you would debase your fee just because you can do the job faster than anyone else. If the fair market value says 1hr at $300 then that’s how much it is even if it takes you half the time.

    BTW - You probably want to use something like Houdini to get the photogrammetry int o game ready mesh.

    Good Luck!

    Thank you very much. Those prices help to get the base price

    Thank you. Will look into it :slight_smile: