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ref commission advice

Before I start, I'm gonna say that I understand that every artist does things differently and I should always check their TOS before commissioning them. But I'm asking for advice on these things in a "is this normal/customary" kind of way.

I've never commissioned a ref sheet before and I'm not sure how to go about it because of two big questions I have.
  1. It's pretty common to see clean and dirty versions of ref sheets. If I wanted both, would I have to pay extra to get two copies...? Did you have to pay extra for both copies?
  2. Is it considered...impolite or rude to ask for a .psd/.sai file of your ref sheet? For example if later you want to change the text because you edited the character. If not would this cost extra too usually?
Any advice on this would be appreciated, like I said I know everyone is different but I want to see if there's a general consensus.

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 1st, 2012 09:28 pm (UTC)
1. I think this maybe depends on the situation and the artist! I don't do this sort of thing, but if I did, I think editing out naughty parts might take me about an hour because I paint with detail and lighting, so I might ask for $5 or $10 to cover my time. It might take other artists two seconds with a solid color or an eraser tool-- and thus they might not charge at all... it really depends on the detail and how they do their work! If you are commissioning someone and it is not obvious how they handle this, just ask them before you seal the deal. Any artist worth their salt will answer you. :)

2. I don't think it's considered rude. Some artists might not care at all, while others might be more protective of their layered copy. What you can do is explain that you may wish to alter the text at a later date to reflect on the character, and ask if it would be all right to either send the layered file OR perhaps just a copy of the art without any text. That way you can change it as necessary. Ask before you start the commission, be clear and explain your intentions, and again any artist worth your time will let you know how they deal with the situation.

Really, it almost always comes down to "please communicate clearly with one another before money changes hands". :)
Oct. 1st, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
1. Like nambroth said, the first one depends entirely on the artist. Some would do a naughty version and slap a censor sticker over. Some [like me, if I did adult refs] with simpler styles could just edit the lineart slightly and color appropriately.

You could always just request the adult version [keeping in mind some artists charge extra for that, but not all] and then request a censored version. Making a censor bar shouldn't take any time at all and will allow for a "clean" reference without much extra effort on the artist's part.

Also keep in mind that some adult refs will vary due to the fact that some artists will do "close up" shots of the character's genitals and close up shots in general sometimes cost a bit extra.

2. Not rude. Again, it depends on the artist. I don't mind giving the base files to a customer. I actually had a ref sheet commission where it was requested I make it so the commissioner could move the poses, closeups and color swatches around to design her own reference, kind of like a sticker sheet. :) She made a really pretty background for it and typed in all her own text and it turned out great!

Anyway, it couldn't hurt to ask, but make sure you DO ask. Most artists, in my experience, are very understanding and will work with you. :) If there are certain things you want/don't want, shop around before making your final decision on who to commission.
Oct. 1st, 2012 11:42 pm (UTC)
1. Depends on the artist. I do charge extra because extra work goes into making the naughty bits (sketching, inking, coloring, recoloring if the client wanted it a different shade, etc.). I don't charge much extra, usually about $10. Depending on if you need a closeup of the naughty bits. Other artists may charge more or less, or none at all.

2. Ask the artist before you commission them. I might consider it off-putting if you give them the money and then demanded the .psd. xD; Not that you would demand it, but this is definitely something you want to ask before money exchanges hands.

I don't know how other artists handle references, but I do give my customers an editable .psd and let them have free reign. I have no idea what background colors or facts they might want to include about their character (and sometimes they might tell me and I could get it wrong, or they'd want to change it) so it's just easier that way. :)
Oct. 1st, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Like others said, it depends on the artist.

My ref sheets are pretty simple, flats on lineart, so I wouldn't charge for two different versions. Naughty bits are easy to edit out.

Please ask about that before hand! I, personally, don't give out my PSD or SAI file. I will give high res PNGs without backgrounds and no text if requested.
Oct. 2nd, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
speaking from my personal stance here.

1- it would depend on how much extra was getting drawn. if it was just a minor anatomical addition, the additional price would probably be minor. if it were something major like an extremely complex tattooed quadrupal mecha-dong, it would cost hella more. in other words, cost would be directly related to the extra time spent drawing it as opposed to the fact that it'd be saved as another file.

2- personally i'd have no issue, but i tend to work in real media and so it wouldn't be like i'd be giving away TRADE SECRETS or anything as all of the artwork would be on one (scanned) layer. others might feel differently, but i don't really see any reason why it should be a problem.
Oct. 2nd, 2012 04:58 am (UTC)
I like this comment!
Oct. 2nd, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
1. Pretty much going with everyone else on this one. It depends on the artist. Personally, I wouldn't charge extra. I just do lineart with flat colors, and closeup detail shots of things are included in the price. The only time I'd charge extra is if it was like, to quote funkicarus "an extremely complex tattooed quadrupal mecha-dong." Because that's like the best description ever and it bears repeating.

2. Depends on the artist again. I'd be totally willing to do a semi-merged lower resolution PSD, especially if the only thing that was being changed was the text. Semi-merged being the only separated layers would be background, actual art, and text.
Oct. 2nd, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)
Echoing everyone above.
My personal preference is not to charge for a clean/dirty one normally unless they want all new poses ect.
I don't personally give out sai/psd files, but will on request change text for a very small fee at a later date if need be. Like $1-2 small fee.

Really, just ask around and find what suits you best.

Oct. 2nd, 2012 04:11 am (UTC)
I charge extra for multiple versions, yes. Generally when I've been asked for them clients have wanted the clean version to have shorts or something and extra work =extra money. You know, erase bone, draw panties, etc.

I would probably give out the psd or sai. But echoing the ask before hand. I'm more likely to be favourable to that sort of thing if people ask upfront rather then trying to slip it in at the end, "Oh hey, email me the work files, kthx".

Edited at 2012-10-02 04:14 am (UTC)
Oct. 2nd, 2012 07:19 am (UTC)
Thank you everyone for your input, it really helps!
Oct. 3rd, 2012 03:11 am (UTC)
1. I personally charge the base price for the ref.sheet and then just add a little fee to it since I am drawing the "extra bits." I just take the tame/non-nude lineart and draw in the naughty parts, so I'm not redrawing the whole thing, so it's quicker and cheaper that way.

2. Going with Fetalstar here, I'd also be willing to give a semi-merged .PSD in a slightly lower resolution. But for me this is just to protect my art from being edited to a degree and/or printed out/sold/claimed to be theirs since they have the .PSD file, etc. I normally don't give the commissioner the .PSD files so asking beforehand would be great.
Oct. 3rd, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
#1- I would only charge a little extra for a clean vs dirty set. I keep the clothes on a separate layer [if there are any] so it wouldn't be a problem. It's the same image with naughty bits drawn on.

#2- I wouldn't consider it rude myself, I would happily leave the text on a separate layer so that you could edit it later if need be, since it would just be a separate text layer, it wouldn't be a problem.

Any other edits though, I'd prefer went through me first :)
Oct. 5th, 2012 10:48 am (UTC)
1.) echoing everyone else. . . I would not charge for an adult/clean version, but if I put myself in the place of another artist who'd prefer to charge for different versions, I think i'd see charging more for requested censors (for example, if you request to add clothing to make it clean, then that should cost more). if you just ask for a clean version without any specifics, then I'd see myself charging less.

2.) it's not rude, but it's also a personal question. I see myself kind of protective over my layers, because too many people want to swipe those latex secrets contained in my art. @_@ Id probably flatten those things before sending the psd. . . It depends on the person really, but if they don't want to send it, let's hope they don't make a big scene about it. XD
Oct. 6th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
1 - It depends more on what exactly you want. If you want a typical set of equipment to a non-explicit, Sailor Moon style nude, then there would be little if any charge. However if we're talking about a crazy set of equipment to a hugely elaborate outfit, obviously there would be a more sizable charge. As mentioned before, this depends on style too: flat colors will be easier to change than something with crazy shading.

2 - There's nothing wrong with asking for the psd (especially a modified psd so you can just modify the text); however, I'll echo other people and say that it really depends on the artist so ask for this early, before it's paid for, rather than after it's finished. Personally I wouldn't have an issue with it, but then again, I'm more causal about this than most: I'm fine with just giving people the pdf for changes on character sheets.
Oct. 7th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
I normally don't charge extra for making a clean/dirty version because the 'naughty bits' are easy to add in another layer on photoshop. XD

As for sending the actual PSD file, I personally would, after resizing it a little. (The files I work with are kinda huge.) But yeah, it's just different from artist to artist.I happen to be kind of lenient.
Oct. 20th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
Totally late to the game on this one but whenever I hire someone to do a ref sheet now, I generally ask them to leave space for the text but not actually include it... that way I can add my own and edit it whenever I want. I think more artists would be comfortable with this than giving away their raw files but it doesn't hurt to ask if that's what ya want!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


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