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3D Art Studio

How to Find the Best 3D Art Studio to Outsource Game Art and Assets

Have a great video-game idea? Hiring a Professional 3D art studio can help turn your game concept into a popular, lead generating, money making game.

Game art outsourcing has experienced a huge surge over the years, owing to the global acceleration in game production as well as the growing need for companies to scale and stay competitive. Countries like Indian, China and Korea are the most popular 3D art outsourcing destinations since they offer highly skilled modelers at extremely affordable pricing. Top publishers including Sony, EA, and Activision are now outsourcing the entire game development process, including artwork, programming and testing to developers and 3D art studios in these countries. Moreover, many local studios and indie developers have jumped in and are deploying an increasing number of IPs (intellectual properties) everyday.

3 Steps to Finding the Right 3D Art Studio

Game art includes the painstaking work of creating frame-by-frame life-like characters, with movement, emotions and detailed 3D environments. It is a time consuming and a cumbersome job that requires a lot of skill, meticulousness and patience. Depending on the complexity, the artwork alone can take months, an array of equipment and software, as well as, a team of experts to be done. For companies looking to scale operations, game art outsourcing to a good 3D art studio provides a wonderful collaboration opportunity that is cheaper and faster. However, the vendor needs to be selected carefully in order to get the maximum benefit and satisfying end results. With so many studios around the world, you might feel spoilt for choice. The following steps can help you find the best studio for your 3D art outsourcing needs.

Step 1: 3D Art Outsourcing- Plan Before You Scan

Before you venture out to look for art studios, it is important to develop a clear idea of what you want. 3D art studios are low-cost, and faster than creating the artwork in-house, but they are neither mind readers nor conjurers. You will need to give them a clear material to work with. The most important aspects of planning are fixing the budget and building a comprehensive list of materials and assets you need. Quantify everything, and be as specific and detailed as possible. This will ensure smooth progress and quick turnarounds for a price quotation. Changing the budget or asset list mid project can really mess up the project.

Step 2: Ask for Proposals and Price Quotes

Once you start looking for studios to outsource your 3D artwork to, you will find a number of available options- ranging from mediocre to awesome, prices will vary. Search for studios online, or freelance marketplaces and contractor listings. Sift through their portfolios to ascertain if their quality and style appeal to you. You can find studios that have previously worked in the same genre. Depending on the project and the vendor, you will certainly save 10 percent to 80 percent of what you would have spent on developing assets in-house. Apart from inevitable cost saving, quality of art and smooth communication are the next most determining factors when selection a 3D art studio. In the end it’s always a gamble. Although established studios are more professional and reliable, some of the best work could also come from an obscure garage shop or a one man band.

Step 3: Selecting the Right 3D Art Studio

Once you have shortlisted a few game art outsourcing options, now get ready to contact and grill them. You can get them under a non disclosure agreement, yet be careful about the amount of game information you give them at this stage. Focus more on questioning them. Ask about their past work, clients, team, history, availability, work flow, rough rates and all else that you can think of. Be observant about what and how they reply. These are usually good indicators of professionalism and experience. Here you can shortlist your options further. You could ask the remaining studios to do a test asset for you; in fact some would say this is imperative. This will help you determine whether the studio has the ability to understand and fulfill your needs. A great sales pitch and a stunning portfolio can be misleading, and you want to make sure you’re spending your precious money at the right place. This way you can be confident the team will deliver what you expect them to.

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