Finding talent within rendering

I work at a lifestyle technology product company and we are looking for help with making beautiful, lifelike renders of our products for our site and our online presence. Where would you guys go to find a freelancer? I’ve found it hard using sites like Upwork and the like and would like to hear some of your tips to get in touch with talented people.

There are many highly skilled people over at Behance but they are usually employed or fully booked in the foreseeable future.

You can post freelance jobs on Coroflot. Or check out CG Society which also has a career board for people focused on computer graphics more broadly than just product design.

Or just hire an intern with a copy of Keyshot. These days the barrier to entry for photorealistic renders is surprisingly low.

I have some time in the agenda available.
I have extensive product rendering experience.
You can PM me on this board.

Completely agree with this. The difference between 30 mins in KeyShot and hours in VRay and post processing is pretty small difference for consumers viewing the renders now.
Only us designers and CG people really notice the very fine renders.

Yes the barriers are very much lower today than they have been before, but I wouldnt say that the overall quality has increased. The quality I am looking for is along the lines of my second attachment, rather than the first.

Coroflot could definitely be something to try! Thanks for the tip.

The first example is really poor. It is not hard to get quality like the 2nd image out of even a year 2 degree students in the UK let alone a “professional”.

First example is bad because 1: wood is much harder to render, especially if you want end grain to look realistic and unique across multiple boards. It also looks like they didn’t turn their antialiasing and filtering settings up so it’s super jagged.

The second could be churned out of Keyshot in 15-30 minutes. No complex textures, no complex lighting. Just a simple object with a few shaders and basic lights setup.

Renderings get hard when you need to do things like mix in soft materials, unique textures, etc. But for very static hard products Keyshot takes the cake 95% of the time - compared to what used to take me a day of setup and shader design in Maya.

What he probably means is the second has a better feel to it, that is in all the details and the overall visual simplicity making for a marketing or even museum quality image - the soft shadow breaking the composition, the subtle gradients over the planes and in the background. This is what only a few companies get right. Plus, well, the first one is just amateurish. There are lots of good product rendering enthusiasts but only a few professionals get that communicative value to be optimal.

This is exactly what I mean, there are a lot of people who know how to navigate the software, but not many who can get that special “feeling” to the images. Keyshot is only half of it, the rest is working in Photoshop or similar to achieve the final touch.

These images are to be used for our site, the product packaging, print material, ads etc, they need to be absolutely top notch so I’m not sure a 15 min render will get us there.

I would advice to head over to Behance and check out the student work.
Pick a bunch of students that have developed a skillset and style you like and contact them if they are open to some freelance .

There is lots of great work there and many ID students today are very capable of achieving what you need.

No need to pay for a full consultancy or professional CG artist to get the quality you have benchmarked above.

Good idea, didn’t think of that. Thanks!

So i agree with many points here.

  1. Software today can do the renderings so much faster
  2. you still need to understand the basics of photography and material creation- this is where many are weak to obtain that photo realistic and dynamic shot
  3. Understanding the did. between an informative rendering vs a persuasive rendering is key. And as mentioned not all can create the persuasive rendering
  4. by my standards both renderings are simple and easy to execute if you properly understand photography and materials - like mentioned the end grain, along with lack of a texture map, and im not even sure what the legs are suppose t be. this comes form the use of “standard materials” and simple click and drag" I use to teach my students to always have a real sample of the material in front of them - just like you would if you where to a market rendering.

In the end its is important to look at the body of work - and there is still a price difference for the work to be done Skilled artistic resource vs render monkey. If you would like to learn more or talk simple send me a email - I even have a great book about photography from back in the day - a simple photography book but the basics cause without the basics…

WOW, what bad advice. You just devalued a whole skill set. If TAVIS needs rendering then he should be hiring an experienced professional that will be there when he needs it, that can produce the work consistently, that is using legal software.

Students aren’t allowed to freelance?

Talvis posted a reference image above and if that is what he needs, then it is no problem getting this from a legally freelancing student.
Of course, he needs to find someone who can provide the service with the skills required and of course on a consistent basis, according to the contract.
As far as I understand, Travis needs a certain number of rendering done in a certain style. Sounds like a pretty simple project to me.
Why not then seek out the cheapest way to get the results he needs?

If we are talking about complex art direction, animation work and the like, that’s a different story…

I would have to disagree with this one. The budget and needs should fit the resource, i.e. I could do the renderings and provide the items you mentioned but I would be charging $150 per hour (perhaps overkill - - same as my professional job, if all i need is sketches done then im not going to a design firm that charges $150 and paying them high dollars when i can give the work to a student if i have access to them. I of course would talk with the professor and ask which student is reliable and make sure my project schedule would accommodate their availability. I have done this in the past and was extremely happy with the level of work and professionalism the student provided.

Chevis, you are a design professional that is willing to put in the time to guide the student. It really depends on who the client is. When I was leading the in house design team at Sound United I had two approaches. If the project was big enough and required a sustained resource, I would just hire someone in house. If the project was either a gap in available resources or a gap in skill sets but only a temporary thing, I would hire the best design firm possible, and they were charging a lot more than $150hr. More like $300-$400. And for that price what i was getting was full project management, and a guarantee that I could push them as hard as I needed.

I went out of house for renders a lot as well. I used xyz mainly: Expect to pay $10k-$20k for a suite of excellent renderings that are super high res, use all of the right materials, and can work for print or web.

You always pay for quality. The question is do you want to pay for it once on the front end, or pay for it twice on the back end?

Those are great - and in terms of level of quality you can really tell where time went in. That work probably involved modeling in things like draft/part lines, weathering on the details, stitching etc. Those are things that often a complete remodel of the 3D usually in a traditional animation package, custom shaders to match the leather grain, etc.

Without the OP’s types of products hard to say who’s right or wrong. More importantly, if a $20k render will actually sell more product. I would argue @ 20K you might be better off building appearance models and paying a professional photographer depending on the type of product.

True, I typically recommend both. Depending on the complexity of the model, a good photo ready model from E-Proto or Image in Taiwan is going to cost $8k-$15k. Then hire a great photographer, at least $5k maybe $10k depending on the level of the photographer and the scenes you want shot, and you might be right back to $20k… but you get the model to show retailers and have at trade shows. That is why typically I recommend both. Yes it is $30k - $40k, but it is all part of doing business if you want to run with the big dogs. I can tell you based on experience that the budgets at the big valley and Asian tech companies are 10x that for one video shoot.

If it’s a simple product then like bepster mentioned, find a freelancer/student/professional whose style you like; maybe they already show a product very similar to yours on their portfolio so the job should be fairly straightforward.
However, it all depends on the types of shots you want, materials, environments and quality of the 3D model. I love it when people say, you just hit the render button and i’s done. Nobody talks about the hours/days cleaning up the 3D models, setting up the scenes, tweaking the materials, lighting, cameras, etc.
Cost will probably be all over the place depending on what you need and who you contact.

The problem with student freelancing is the software. If the student invests multiple thousands of dollars in commercially licensed software then no problem – more power to them. But if the student is 1/6 my hourly rate because they have nothing invested and no overhead then I have a problem and so should every professional designer who has purchased all the software, invested in the equipment to run it and the time to master it – all that is required to produce that beautiful rendering. Bepster, I’m sure that when you do independent work, outside of your employer, you use your own licensed software, your own equipment in your own space and you charge an appropriate rate. If a company that is in business to sell a product needs outside professional services they need to hire a professional. The alternative is for the business to HIRE a student as an intern and purchase the software, equipment and provide the space needed to produce that beautiful rendering – oh, wait, that costs more than hiring a professional.