I cannot stress that one enough: ALWAYS GET IT IN WRITING. It’s happened to all or any of us. I’ve heard countless horror stories from freelance 3d artists that have either been completely cheated or overworked by over zealous clients. Yes, it takes time and work to put together an agreement. Yes, you will have to negotiate upfront. Yes, you’ll need to apply and refine your process – but never do or handover ANY work without a signed written agreement.
You will find templates and sample contracts on the internets. The legal terms can carry on for pages if you want to. Try to find work-for-hire agreements and check along with your industry’s professional associations for examples. Here are the important thing factors you ought to look for or make sure to include in your contract:
Project Brief – an overview of the work you will perform, how it will undoubtedly be deemed “complete”, and a detailed list of the deliverables. Be as specific as you can so everybody has the exact same expectations going in.
Schedule and Deadlines – ALWAYS include a deadline. In the event that you leave your project open-ended, it will never finish and unless you are working hourly – I can almost absolutely guarantee you won’t be paid appropriately. If you need materials from the client, make sure to include a delivery schedule that explains what is required and when.
Fees – include the budget and any payment schedule. Always look for a deposit or retainer. Tips for Freelance 3d artist You won’t always get it, nonetheless it shows a greater commitment from the client and establishes a higher level of professionalism upfront. This may help protect you if something goes wrong in the process (see “Terms”).
Terms – that is where you receive into the details. What happens if schedule, deadline, fees aren’t met? What kinds of payment are acceptable? What if the job is stopped or canceled? What if the client doesn’t deliver on time. How many revisions will there be? At what point(s) would be the client reviews? Who owns the work? Are there any usage restrictions? Do your research on this section.
Make certain the client’s name and office address are on the document and make sure to obtain a signed copy (with deposit) BEFORE starting the project. Its not all client is out to have you – but stuff happens. Even a relatively good client can turn bad when deadlines and money are involved. If an unresolvable disagreement gets beyond control, you will have this document as legal backup.