Why are freelance videogame character artist more expensive?


I have a question maybe you could answer for me. How much does it usually cost for photorealistic graphics in a game; like character to character bases?

Let’s say a company wants to make a boxing videogame with over 80 boxers and scenery; how much would you estimate the animation and graphics would cost? Example: https://youtu.be/voZdvGt-tGc


I’ll answer the headline question…

When you work full time for a company, they pay for private medical insurance, sick days, paid holiday, the hardware and software you use, the place you work at, the electricity, the support staff (HR) etc. Depending on the employment laws, they may need to pay a severance package if they want to get rid of you and it may take time to do so.

When you work freelance, YOU pay for any private medical insurance, sick days, holiday, hardware & software etc, etc. Your contract with them can probably be cancelled at very short notice as well so they have a lot less responsibilities towards you as a freelance worker. Also bear in mind that you might be waiting months for the next contract to start so you should definitely ask for more than what you’d get working full time.

It may seem like you’re paying more for a freelance worker but it can often be the opposite when you consider the additional cost to employ them full time. I often hear the average cost to employ someone full time as being approximately 10K per month though I believe that’s a US figure so that’s going to differ depending on where you live.


As a rough guide, salary is half the cost of an employee, double it to get the real cost of employing someone.

As for the question above. 80 realistic boxers, modelled, textured, rigged, animated plus environments. You’re looking well into 6 figures.


One month per char only for modeling and textures. So roughly 7years of salery.


7 years?!? This doesn’t sound correct.


You need 80 chars. That is a lot of work.

Why do you think in big studios are working 200 people for years on a game?


you’re talking also about animation. are these current boxers or old boxers? To do a photo realistic requires reference images from multiple angles. Modern boxers can be photo scanned which is still expensive.

The method that is the cheapest is to use a premade model and use blend shapes to match the faces of these boxers and paint over them with skin textures of the actual boxer or a close look-a-like for the classic boxers.

Any head model can be transformed to fit any person . through push and pull techniques and uv texturing. you can achieve good results.

Honestly though why make a boxing game?
Its not gonna be better than fight night champion and there are rumors of a new fight night 2 being considered by ea as stated by Eddie Hearns. The time that it takes to factor the other departments of the game will be longer time a new fn2 will be released.


F8ght Night didn’t live up to boxing and gam8ng fans expectations. Many gamers don’t have faith in EA. It will take a indie or another AAA company that listens to boxers and sports gaming fans input. I boxed over 13 years and I was a Senior Moderator and Community Leader for EA. EA is about money not fans.


Maybe because they want to make a boxing game?
It could end up being something like Ready 2 Rumble or Punch Out, or even something totally different. I agree that it would be an undertaking but that’s still better than making a game you have little interest in making or playing.


Take a look at Reallusion’s Character Creator/Headshot. Then find someone familiar with and licensed to use those programs who is willing to freelance for you.


Fans and boxers have been asking for a SI/realistic boxing videogame for years. EA tried to force arcad arcade/sim hybrid on fans that they didn’t want. It’s sales numbers dipped drastically.


Great If I need this I will contact you for sure.
Thanks & Regards
Prempal Singh


He wants a roster of real fighters with up to 80 characters past and current like fight night. No indie dev has that kind of cash to finance a massive project . Im just giving him/her my honest opinion.


If this the case your best bet is to focus on a solid boxing game mechanics first with a default model. They could look like human cyborgs it wont matter , you can focus on a fun demo and start an indie gogo to get massive funding. Worry about design later…Its a long shot but if you can get one famous boxer to sponser it then maybe who knows it can get support. But you have round4round boxing to compete with and ea ufc 4 is the last one in their contract, it’s still rumor but ea is considering a new fn , they did include bishop and frost in ufc 3 as bonus characters.


Round4round is no one to worry about let alone compete with. Honestly they won’t reach alpha stage. They have no idea what they are doing. Sadly a boxing game is gonna be something that’s will be missed. Unless Ea or 2k jumps in other then that none of these indie team Round4round (won’t release at all) and hard knock nights live (Might get a demo) are gonna be 100% trash


Creating such characters is not only about a good modeler, but also about accessible top-tier resources, as was mentioned. Scanning, high-quality captured textures, a pre-production. A freelance developer doesn’t have such resources. It’s very difficult creating a good-looking skin based on those scarce textures available. And they will never match the quality of a by-person taken textures. It alone will cost a lot, but then making such characters is heaps easier.
About timetable, I created simple diffuse-only characters fro an online fighting rpg game. It took me about 3 years to make 15 levels, each comprising 4 female and male counterparts. One week per character, and I couldn’t make it much faster. So one character for 2-3 weeks is quite a realistic esimate, up to one month for a high-quality model with textures. Add to this rigging etc, and it gets much longer. I did only modeling and texturing.


As a Reallusion user I can tell you that the volume suggested
( 80 unique Characters) would be rather challenging even
morphing the base avatars Available in Iclone Character creator as they are quite generic by default

And any specific customization of the Characters requiring the use of an external modeling program will add to your cost as well.


Thanks for the information


Technically speaking, to reduce costs on projects with a large selection of characters, they will typically re-use animations and 3d assets. If you plan ahead, and know where to spend your money, you can easily reduce the costs by 50% or more. This of course requires skilled (and well paid) artists to model characters with topology that is flexible enough to work with different proportions, and an automated rigging system that is entirely code based and not done manually. Having a small team of experienced artists that are expensive is actually cheaper in the long term if you compare it to inexperienced juniors that are learning as they go.