View Full Version : licensing characters???

07 July 2003, 01:26 PM
Hello all,

I'm a student finishing up my graduate thesis in Computer animation and have started freelancing in the NYC area to pay the bills. I've gotten a good gig rigging and animating and the company I'm freelancing with is interested in using one of my thesis film characters w/rig for a client demo. The thesis film is not released yet so I need to protect my rights to my character and I'm not totally sure of how I should handle this.

All I really know is that I need to protect my ownership of my character. So I know I need to write up a contract for a one time use deal for this demo as well as add a reasonable fee for use of the character.

Does anyone have a good example online of a one time use character license? I need one as an example to go by as well as the name of a good copy right lawyer ( in the NYC area if possible ). The lawyer would probably be the better way to go here so that I know I'm protecting myself fully.

For a round about estimate of time for design, modelling, rigging / eveloping we are talking +5 to 6 weeks work. On top of this I will need to spend 3 to 4 days modifying the rig specificly for this demo. This is my first freelance gig out of the gate and the company is a good one so far so I'd rather not step on ther toes. Any advice that can be give would help tons.

Thankx all,

Michael Ware
Rigger and Animator

07 July 2003, 04:07 PM

so first thing I did was go out and purchase ...

The Graphic Artist Guilds
- Pricing and Ethincal Guidelines hand book ( 10th edition )

Still figuring out how I'm going to handle this but thinking ...

license the char and rig for one use only for this demo only while retaining full ownership of the charater and rig. Charge a small fee for the usage as well as the modifications that will be needed to be made for the shots.

back to work I go ... I'll have a chance to go through the book later this evening then I'll post any good info I find.


Michael Ware
Rigger and Animator

07 July 2003, 06:32 PM
Make a contract that says that the company rents the character from you for a specific project, wich in this case is the demo. And that they can't use it fo anything else. With out your writen agrement. Copy write the character and the rig.

Then charge then for the modifications that you need to do to the character for them to be able to use on thyr demo.

Now I sugest dont get greedy, its you first job so be reasonable.
Depending on the difficulty of the modifications charge from 50 to 75 an hour, try to keep the job around 500 to $750.

Now I know rigging is not easy and it can get quite fustrating, but since this is your first job. Word of mouth and plublicity for you as an artis is more important then money at this time.

Another way you can go about this, and I recomend this better is try and see if can work some kind of partnership or deal. Saying that if he gets the job then you will work on board for a percentage.

But eather way copy write your rig and character.

Thats my 2 cents.
Hope it helps.
Good Luck :wavey:

07 July 2003, 05:04 PM
thankx for the info nottoshabi

ahh I was thinking 1.5k for a one time use. Another industry friend of mine jumped down my throat for going so low. Still up in the air here. He's also on me to raise my rates quite a bit. Heh, I'll give it a few jobs before i make that jump I think.

As for copywriting the character and rig.. is there anywhere I can go online to read up on how to go about doing this? Or is there a book that contains this information? Currently I'm still quite the newbee in the freelance market so I haven't had to deal with this issue yet.

Now that i think of it I'll check through my graphic artist book later and see if there's any information there on copy writting

thankx again nottoshabi,


Michael Ware
Rigger and Animator

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