Looking For a Skilled CGI Artist? Great, Read This First
In 1958, one film noir psychological thriller made history by incorporating computer-generated graphics into the movie.
Just for reference, this was the same year the Barbie doll was introduced, the U.S. launched its first satellite, Madonna and Michael Jackson were born, and the average cost of a house was around $12,000.
So, it was a loooong time ago.
The film I’m referring to is “Vertigo”, directed and produced by the master of suspense – the great Alfred Hitchcock. John Whitney was hired for special effects, and he used a mechanical computer that required a minimum of five people to operate (imagine those daily wages, yikes).
To achieve the iconic opening sequence that reminiscences the staircase that triggers vertigo, Whitney synchronized the gun director’s movement (that’s a part of this huge machinery) with the swinging pendulum, recorded it, and let the computer process it. As a result, the gun director generated spiral drawings.
And there you have it – the first-ever CGI used in a movie. Couple of decades later, Michael Bay ruined everything.
If you’re wondering what’s the moral of the story, it’s quite simple: the best CGI artists leverage their creativity to innovate and engage the viewer’s eye. The challenge is to find the ones who are capable of bringing your vision to life without you needing to break the bank.
At Kaiserbold, we always tell it like it is.
So, if you’re at the point where you want to hire a skilled CGI artist, there are things that you should know.
Read this for your own good. It may be a tough pill to swallow.
The Struggle is Real (But You Need to Get Real, Too)
Hiring and outsourcing sucks. We know. It can get exhausting. You’d probably rather spend a weekend with your in-laws or wax your nostrils.
But let’s take a moment to analyze why finding the perfect CGI artist is so hard. There are three most important truisms here:
1) The good CGI artists are not cheap
2) The bad ones are not good
3) The “ugly” ones are good but are bad to work with
The thing is, there is a definitive increase in demand for CGI professionals.
Looking at the movie industry, CGI has transitioned from being a complimentary dish to becoming the main course. In the real estate market, 3D renders play a key role in influencing the buyer’s decision by visualizing architecture that’s yet to be built. Then there are product configurators, renders in furniture, design, and engineering, and much more.
So, why should you care?
Well, there are direct consequences of the CGI market growth that affect you as well.
Firstly, according to the law of supply and demand – established CGI artists are in a favorable position because they can dictate their prices and be picky when it comes to clients they work with.
However, CGI artists who are just getting started or those struggling with getting work are likely to decrease prices to stay afloat.
The tricky part for you as someone who is looking to hire a CGI artist lies in the following: in most cases, you won’t be able to separate the wheat from the chaff from the very start.
That’s because you’re business-driven and perceive everything through a financial lens. Totally legit.
Another thing that’s a real pain in the ass is the level of commitment needed for a CGI project. It’s not something that’s done in an hour. In fact, it’s quite delicate to get everything right.
When you put your trust into a single person or a small CGI team that you didn’t quite assess the right way, and they let you down, you’re back at point one. Your release dates get jeopardized, your time-to-market decreases, you lose market share, and you’re biting your nails trying to figure out how to be smarter the next time.
But the responsibility is on your side, too. Sorry, not sorry.
Pro tip: If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, try hiring an amateur. We wish we came up with this wisdom, but we didn’t. Nevertheless, it’s smart advice. Quality has its price, and there’s hardly a way around it.
CGI Artist ≠ Your Genie From the Bottle
Even though it’s true that he who pays the piper calls the tune, you need to:
1) hold your horses when hiring a CGI artist and
2) do your homework
Some people might associate CGI primarily with animation and movie effects when in fact – it covers an enormous field of work. When you think about it, “computer-generated image” is a quite broad notion.
There are many different profiles of CGI artists. There’s archviz, 3D modeling, 3D concept development, 3D animation, VFX, 3D graphic design, and more.
It’s OK if you don’t know who you need exactly. We can’t explain what it is that we do to our parents. We’re aware of our limits. That’s fine.
What will surely backfire is acting like a know-it-all and treating your CGI artist like a genie who’s there to grant your wishes. Instead, it helps if you think of a CGI artist as your partner and collaborator – not just your outsourced contractor.
Top CGI professionals are laser-focused to help you make the most of your project. They will ask questions, and you better have some answers. You’re likely to get frustrated if you don’t learn how to communicate what you want to achieve or listen to expert advice.
We kid you not, best CGI artists will not accept a brief that doesn’t provide sufficient information about what needs to be done. The fewer gaps you leave, the better results will be. But don’t act as a passive-aggressive girlfriend pouting about not getting what you want when you haven’t communicated your needs in the first place.
Pro tip: A quiet ego goes a long way when it comes to the success of your CGI project. CGI artists don’t know everything, but neither do you. The best way to approach hiring is to take baby steps towards building trust after the exploratory meeting and initial screening of your potential hire.
Hiring CGI Artists on Freelance Platforms Sets the Tone for Your Relationship
Although Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, and other freelance platforms are often a go-to marketplace for hiring CGI artists, we’d like you to stop and think before publishing a job ad or sending project invitations.
Truth be told, there’s nothing wrong with freelance platforms. We’re not backlashing them. It’s just the matter of whether or not they are the right fit for you.
You see, CGI artists are usually divided into two separate groups:
Sometimes, a “jack of all trades” in CGI will make more sense for your project compared to a specialist. The versatility of their portfolio can bring surprising originality to the renders or animations they deliver to you.
In other cases, specialists may be a better choice.
For instance, with a very narrow focus on Scandinavian architecture, its specific aesthetics, minimalism, and serenity – one CGI artist might nail your vision if you’re targeting this market because of their niche experience. One size does not fit all.
Freelance platforms are great because they offer a centralized and easily searchable base of CGI artists working as contractors. That’s a fact. However, hiring via freelance platforms also sets the tone for the professional relationship you’ll have with your CGI artist.
Without any intention of making general conclusions or imposing our bias, there’s something about hiring freelancers over platforms that resembles the “no strings attached” relationships. This isn’t always the case, of course. Some freelancers are very mindful of their time and are extremely committed to delivering their clients’ best quality. There are also CGI studios that use freelance platforms for generating clients.
Still, you have to be aware that for many – you’re just one project that’s to be ticked off from the list. To be a worthy client for them, you need to stand out either with the budget for the project or by giving them consistent work.
Things are different when deciding to hire a CGI studio and have taken their business operations to the next level. There are usually defined packages, procedures, higher levels of service delivery, and consultancy work included.
Boutique CGI studios are actually the best way to overcome all the challenges of hiring a CGI artist. The best ones form custom prices and have a well-coordinated team that’s excellent at identifying whether or not the two of you would be a good fit. This deprives you of the risk of losing one resource that’s more precious than money – your time.
Pro tip: Be careful if you’re considering freelance platforms for sourcing CGI artists. If you decide to do so, invest at least 40% of the additional time into assessing 1) the quality of different artists’ work and 2) whether or not the potential hire and you have matching collaboration and communication styles.
Stop Sweating & Hire CGI Artists From Kaiserbold
If you’re ready to discuss your project and let our CGI artists do their magic for you, drop us a message.
At Kaiserbold, we won’t take your money and deliver shit.
We won’t leave you hanging.
We won’t lie about the deadlines that we know we can’t meet.
We’re brutally honest and want our relationships with clients to succeed.
However, we’re not the best choice for everyone and it’s vice versa, too. If your approach to business is “no BS” and you’re looking for someone you can rely on for CGI services, then maybe… Maybe we’re the CGI studio standing in front of a client, asking him to check our portfolio and get in touch.