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What Is the Price of 3D Modeling? - Scope of Work, Rates [+ 5 Factors Affecting the Final Cost]

August 14, 2020
Author: Svetlana Veresockaya
Most markets are flooded with a huge number of 3D models. And how beautiful and realistic they can be today - 3D models for architectural design, 3D models of goods in online stores, 3D game characters, and environments for virtual reality, as well as other 3D objects that we can observe in many other projects. They can be used in science, engineering, media, entertainment, and other industries to create realistic models through true-to-life visual dimensions - width, height, and depth.

The price of 3D models is often a good indicator of how well they are made (just like any other product on the market). However, is it always true that the higher the cost, the higher the quality and vice versa?

If you are trying to answer this question and find out the affordable prices for 3D models, do not miss this article based on an in-depth study of this issue. Get a complete understanding of the possible 3D modeling prices that you may face in the market worldwide - in the USA, Europe, or Asia.

What Is 3D Modeling Today? - Top 3 Use Cases of 3D Models

Without going into the specifics of 3D modeling, this process of recreating real-world objects in a virtual environment using specialized software brings a lot - firstly, impressive visual effects in games and animation, and other types of multimedia, secondly, interactive solutions in e-commerce and marketing, and thirdly, real useful products in the field of healthcare and manufacturing. However, more and more industries apply to 3D models to visualize objects as they would look like in the real world - architecture (interior and exterior design), science and technology, etc.

Modern 3D graphics and CAD software allow you to create photorealistic and beautiful stylized visualizations of various objects of any complexity, experiment with colors, change and adjust to your own needs.

3D modeling services are needed in the following cases:
1
To present a product design, goods in commerce for marketing purposes, or any project in architecture or additive manufacturing;
2
To improve or expand the user experience in movies, games, cartoons or any other multimedia project;
3
To assess the characteristics and properties of the product for scientific, technological, or other purposes.
Here are 3 main reasons why 3D modeling services can come in handy today. The benefits of using 3D objects are obvious. They are dynamic and can be viewed from any side, which allows you to interact with them as in reality, even when it comes to virtual reality.

So, if you're going to order or buy 3D models, let's continue to dig into the question, "How much does it cost to create a 3D model?"

Key Factors Affecting the Final Cost of 3D Modeling

Complexity
How complex is a 3D project? For what? What are the design specifications?
Design & art style
What will 3D models look like and in what design style?
Workload & Time limits
How much work will be done for the final product and how quickly?
Team & qualifications
Who will be involved in production and how experienced are they?
3D modelers take on projects that may vary in many ways. For someone, it must be a simple 3D model for the product development, someone will require thoroughly designed realistic 3D characters for a video game, others will run ads with stylized 3D models, and so on. Different modeling techniques are used to create certain types of models that require a certain set of skills and practical experience in CAD software. Thus, project requirements will differ as well that cannot help but take a toll on the final 3D modeling cost.

With solid experience in 3D modeling, we'll offer you the most crucial factors that may affect your project budget:
1
The Complexity of a 3D Model
It is wrong to think that the smaller the 3D model, the less work to be done and the less money will be paid. Size is not the best indicator of the complexity of 3D modeling. Many other details will determine how long it will take to create a 3D model, respectively, how much money will be spent on this project.

3D modeling itself is the sheer dimensional complexity - all three dimensions are used to build a 3D model at its best. Let's look at other measures to formulate the complexity of 3D models:

  • Geometric complexity - the type of lines, curves, surfaces, and shapes will also affect the scope of work on 3D models. It can be any combination of topological, geometric, metric, color, and texture attributes or non-visual characteristics. As a result, the more repeated components are included in the 3D object, the easier it will be to create it. For example, to model windows or pillars will be less time-consuming than 3D game characters.

  • Combinatorial complexity - the number of components used for 3D models is a crucial factor for measuring the scope of work. 3D models are made up of vertices that are connected by edges to form faces in the polygon mesh. From a technical point of view, it is better to count the polygons to see how complex the 3D model is. As a rule, a simple object has a lower number of polygons than a complex one. A low-poly model is almost always cheaper than high-poly models.

Other details such as textures and material properties are also present in 3D models, which can also be taken into account when planning the project budget. The more realistic it looks or the more stylized effects are required, the more knowledge and skills you may need to fulfill all the technical design specifications.
This is Baby Yoda, a 3D character that our 3D modeling team created for one of the projects. It took about 80 hours to make this photorealistic 3D model with textures of skin and hair, and other materials.
2
3D Model Design
We have already partially revealed this point - the more details are included in the design (textures, objects, etc.), the more complex the 3D model. So let's dive deeper into the 3D design - why is this important in terms of cost? You see a 3D model can be fully described in terms of specific design features - shape, texture, color, unity, balance, proportion, etc.

The starting point of any design project is the conceptual sketch of the final product. So, you first need a sketch of the desired 3D models. Before modelers begin creating 3D characters and environments, concept artists always join at the initial stages to make a rough outline of the intended outcomes. You need at least one concept on which you can base your final design. After that, all the necessary reference materials are explored to recreate the object in the desired graphic design.

Will it be photorealistic action characters or stylized 3D cartoon characters? This question will help you determine how much the planned 3D model will cost you. Photorealistic 3D models require more work on textures and rendering, for example. Texturing is what gives an object its shape and depth. To add natural textures to a 3D model, it is important to first refer to the existing textures and then tweak them using digital tools - Autodesk 3ds Max, Maya, and others. Stylized 3D models also require extensive expertise and creative imagination. The conclusion suggests itself: the more custom design requirements, the higher the cost.
3d modeling of characters
This 3D model consists of many design details that represent the big picture of the concept created and developed by our team. It takes an average of 140 hours to create a similar 3D character design and add all the necessary materials and assets.
But if you are not an expert in 3D modeling and cannot estimate the overall degree of complexity that needs to be achieved in your project, you can always count on our qualified help.
3
Scope of Work & Project Completion Date
The final cost varies from project to project depending on the demands. Someone asks to model a 3D character for a quick animated video commercial, others will order a wide range of 3D characters and other assets for game development. As you see the scope of work on these two different projects will differ. For this reason, all the work that needs to be done to complete the project is fully described in the initial stages by the project manager.
3
No one denies the urgency factor that is also crucial for estimating the project in terms of cost. The shorter the time frame, the more money is paid to the 3D modeling team as it must be expanded with extra hands to finish the project on a tight schedule. Hence, you are hiring a team of 5 specialists instead of 2 people so that they could do different tasks simultaneously. This is especially true if you want to maintain a high-quality standard at the same time.
4
Qualifications of 3D Modelers
There are many skills and tools that 3D modelers need to master to create high-quality models that would meet the customer's requirements and needs. For example, the requirements and design specifications for an AAA game or a Hollywood blockbuster will be different from simple product or architectural design in animation for marketing purposes. 3D modelers are tasked with creating just about anything you can imagine - from real-world environments to fully realized and detailed characters. At its core, 3D modeling is a combination of skills and practical knowledge and experience that work together to be used in our technology-driven world.

The art industry maintains a tradition applied in many other industries to award levels of qualifications and determine salaries and responsibilities based on them. The career ladder consists basically of three levels: junior, middle, and senior. They are based on the following criteria: technical knowledge, day-to-day responsibilities, independent work, teamwork and vision.
Junior 3D Modelers
They have excellent basic knowledge of 3D modeling and CAD software, understand and follow style guides to ensure consistency of assets. But they can receive regular reviews and recommendations from team leaders on possible improvements.
Middle 3D Modelers
They are well-versed in all aspects of 3D modeling, with an expert level of experience in using Maya, Zbrush and other related modeling software. There is a significant difference from juniors - mid-level specialists can take an initiative or a project without much supervision.
Senior 3D Modelers
They have the highest degree of proficiency who are able to work well both independently and in a team. What makes these professionals senior is that their excellent troubleshooting skills enable them to find practical solutions based on knowledge and previous experience.
By distinguishing between these positions, you can better understand the levels of competence and set more precise expectations for a particular specialist. As a rule, real professionals are appreciated and paid accordingly. You shouldn't neglect the skill level of every specialist you hire. But remember that 3D modelers are often part of a large design team made up of many other professionals - artists, designers, animators, etc. And you can save money by hiring junior / mid-level professionals instead of senior ones. Typically, there is an art director and project leader who will oversee them and develop and maintain collaborative relationships within the team. They work like links in a large chain.
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Rates of 3D Modelers in the USA, Europe & Asia

Country
Rate, $/hr
USA
$100 - $199 / hr
UK
$100 - $149 / hr
Germany
$50 - $99 / hr
Poland
$25 - $49 / hr
Ukraine
$25 - $49 / hr
(Rates are based on the data given on online review platforms such as Clutch.co, GoodFirms, and presented through comparative analysis)
The easiest way to calculate how much money you need to create a 3D model is to find out the rates of 3D modelers in different markets and multiply each rate by the time it takes to complete the project. Remember that this depends on the difficulty level indicated at the beginning?

Apart from all the factors already mentioned, there is not the last factor - the place where 3D modeling services are offered. It means that you'll pay less for 3D modeling services in European countries (like Poland, Ukraine) than in the USA, Canada or the UK. Let's have a closer look at the numbers so that you could estimate the project right now!

How to Choose a Reliable 3D Modeling Service Provider?

It looks like prices for 3D modeling are on the surface and you can rely on the most affordable offer on the market. However, figuring out the price is half the battle. You still have a few steps to follow to get exactly what you need.

Among a variety of available 3D modeling services, you should find those experts that can guarantee you particular options:
The favorable quality-to-price ratio;
Computer-aided design based on custom specifications;
High-qualified 3D modeling team with in-depth expertise;
Fast adaptability, flexibility, and full transparency;
Effective project management and timely delivery, and so on.
Basically all the above-mentioned points cause a high degree of reliability among all clients. So, your aim is to find the most reliable partner depending on the project needs. With the growing number of companies offering 3D modeling services, it can be difficult to find the best service provider that suits your specific requirements.

When choosing a 3D modeling service provider, factors such as the quality, price, reputation, and others should be considered. However, before making any decision, you should:

  • Take a close look at the website of a relevant service provider - study all the information presented there. Is that what you're looking for? Do they offer those services you need for your project(s)?
  • Read attentive testimonials from previous clients - explore reviews on other independent platforms. What do people say about this company?Are there any compelling arguments in the reviews?
  • Contact a company representative - find out more about a service provider from the primary source. Does this company have everything you need to successfully complete a project? How long does it take to work 3D modeling for your project? How much does it cost to make 3D models? - these and many other questions are best answered before establishing a partnership with a company.

We are glad to welcome you to our website, where you can find detailed information about all the services we offer. 3D modeling is one of the key areas of specialization for Kevuru Games. Thus, you no longer need to look for competent and experienced 3D modelers and other creative talents! They are here to help you with any project - be it for game development, marketing, or any other industry. Contact us to make sure of our extensive expertise right now!
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