So I am an indie game developer working on a small game in Unity and I am in need of a few animated 3D models. I am currently the only person on the project, other than contracting with a music composer for a few tracks, that is. I am a programmer by education and trade so I cannnot do art and I don't think it wise for me to start learnning how to do it at this point in my career. Even if I do learn, my art would not be nearly as good as the one created by a professional artist and I don't want the rest of my project to suffer because of it. So basically, I need some 3D art and I've come here for an advice on what the best ways to acquire it would be.
I've come up with an action plan with several possible avenues of achieving my goal. They are:
- Find an artist in my local area and pay them to do it for me. I've already tried that and the main problem I keep runnning into is (yea, you guessed it) money, or rather lack of it. It seems the average cost for a simple model with a couple animations is upwards of $1,000. I could afford that, but the problem is I'll need a lot more than a couple animations. As the game I am working on involves fighting gameplay mechanics, I'll need many animations per character, probably about 20, at the very least, i.e. a lot more than $1,000. So that is an option, but it would be very difficult to really get what I want with my limited budget.
- Do the initial version myself (in Blender or Unity) and then find an artist to polish it later. Similar problem as #1 above. It'd still cost a lot of money. Plus it'd take time away from my specialty and what I really love doing, i.e. game design and programming.
- Find somebody on Fiver.com to do the model(s) for me. I heard about this site from a co-worker, but I haven't really given it a try. Supposedly you can find people there to do all sorts of art for very affordable prices. Has anybody had any experience with that site? Is it legit? Do they really deliver anything good for such low costs? Sounds to me like one of those things in life that's too good to be true.
- Request/hire an artist to do it for me on OpenGameArt.org (or another similar site). This actually seems like a really good option. It's likely I could find an artist there who'd be open to negtioation as far as the cost is concerned. Has anybody here done that and if so, what was your experience and did they deliver good art?
- Figure out how to generate animated 3D models with Kinect. This is something I only learned about very recently and it actually sounds like an exciting and really goood option. You can purchase a stand alone Kinect for about $300 and the necessary capture softare for a few hundreds dollars more so the cost would be lower than hiring an actual 3D artist. You can scan a person performing the animations you want, then generate an animated 3D model from it, and finally import it in Unity. Of course, it's not as simple as that. You'd still have to do some mesh clean up an so forth, but even with that it's a lot less work than creating a model from scratch. Has anyone here tried this and if so, did you have any success with generating good 3D models and actually using them in a game?
So I need some advice on which of the options above seem best for a lone wolf indie developer with a limited budget? Or are there any other alternatives I should pursue?
Thanks in advance.
Edited by lougv22, 23 February 2014 - 08:06 PM.