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So I had to do a lot of rendering lately and I usually don't do that, it was my first job including 3D work.
It was around 5hrs of rendering time for 60 packaging stills.
I wouldn't want to put that time on my invoice but on the other hand, I couldn't use my machines during this time and after all it happened on my machines etc..
So what do you guys do? Fixed rate for rendering? Invoice the whole time? Invoice nothing? Outsource rendering?
I used to compress videos for this firm a while ago and charged them per hour.
Charge per hour for rendering, you are using your equipment for such task.
It's part of the production process, imagine that free rendering was an industry standard, clients all over would say things like "could you rotate the texture map on the logo fifteen degrees to horizontally and re render again? I want to see what that looks like"
rotating the texture takes 2 seconds, the render it's another 5hs.
see my point?
rendering is as much part of the production process as everything else, don't feel bad for charging for it man.
Invoice the time. But the rate for rendering isn't always the same as your work rate. It's just equipment/resource use. But it's up to you. Larger places would have a server/cluster to run renderings on rather than tie up your 'local' machine.
I usually do encoding and rendering time at 50% my labour rate.
Ha! This fucker is getting his invoice straight from Satan!
I don't charge for render times, that just would sound bad. "Wait, you are charging me for the computer running overnight?".
Just bundle whatever you need into the cost. I make sure to get approvals at ever step, so there is very little re-rendering. If a client makes a change after the final, high res image is rendered, then there will be a charge for that change (and I factor in the time to re-render).
It's just like designing a website - you get approvals before you start coding things and you communicate with the client the importance of the process and the approvals.
If you communicate correctly, your clients will respect the process and understand if you make changes after the final render, it'll cost more.
I'd also avoid it because it puts a limit on your size. If you were a large company with a large render farm, you wouldn't charge for that. Just too many variables.
Another way would be to look at online render farms and add that cost to the process, if you need more horse power.