Podcast: Making Money with Blender

Is it possible to make money with Blender? This episode explores 3 possible ways you can make money with Blender.

Opening Remarks

This week I saw the Korean directed film “Snowpiercer“. It’s a gritty, sci-fi film about the end of the world and it’s fantastic.

Here’s the trailer:

The film is amazing, and is likely to be huge when it finally get’s released in America (currently the producers are haggling over the length of the film). Go see it when you can!

 

Making Money with Blender – My (unorthodox) Story

I started using Blender in high school, and despite my fascination with it, I graduated with terrible grades and stood no chance of getting into uni or a good job. So I took whatever work I could, which mainly consisted of lifting heavy boxes on construction sites, sorting frozen fish, cleaning out portaloos etc. The pinnacle of my career was driving a forklift straight into a brand new ladder as my manager watched in horror.

My dad convinced me to join the Australia Army Reserves (probably in the hopes that they’d make a man out of me). But I was a pretty terrible soldier too. At boot camp I kept daydreaming about how I could make certain things in blender (no joke), and as a result was constantly chewed out for not listening.

“You’re a pile of **** Price” -Sergent

After boot camp I got a job as a debt collector, but I started to take Blender a bit more seriously. I realized that it was just about the only thing I was truly passionate about and I decided right then and there to attempt some sort of career with it. So I started up Blender Guru, in the hopes of getting some freelancing gigs.

I would go to work during the day, and at night time come home and record tutorials.

Coincidentally, it was around this time that I fell in love with a Korean girl who soon had to fly back home.

So as a last ditch attempt to make money from Blender, I wrote an eBook in the hopes of being able to quit my day job and fly to Korea to see her.

Much to my surprise (and probably my parents) the book made about $48K in it’s opening month. So I quit my job and have been running Blender Guru full time ever since.

Also, I married that girl last year ;)

...and we live happily ever after.

…and we lived happily ever after.

So that’s my very unorthodox route to making money with Blender.

 

Here’s 3 more realistic routes:

3 Possible Ways to Make Money with Blender

1. FREELANCING

Get hired to create animations or stills for companies. Usually adverts.

Ahh working from home - Photo by fensterbme

Freelancing from home – Photo by fensterbme

Pros:

  • Working in the industry
  • Pushes you to learn new things
  • Looks good on resume, can lead to better things

Cons:

  • Work is often boring and uninspiring
  • Very saturated market, hard to get noticed

Getting Started:

2. SELL MODELS

Create models for sites like Turbosquid.

Pros:

  • Passive Income
  • You’re your own boss
  • Very lucrative once ball is rolling

“I can confirm that some members make in excess of $50K/year at TurboSquid. At least a few of them are single persons working alone, while others are teams. They all have more than 500 models for sale at TurboSquid, and many of their models are in the $100+ or $200+ price range.” -Source

Cons:

  • Slow start
  • Saturated market
  • Gotta be good

Getting Started

  • Check out the site’s top models to see what the market craves (is it cars, trees, people or something else?).
  • Make notes on how each model is presented.
  • Start making your own models that fit what the market wants.
  • Focus on quality over quantity.
  • Be patient. Money will barely trickle in at the start, but will snowball over time. It’s likely you won’t be able to replace your income until you’ve been doing this for 2-3+ years.

3. WORK FOR A COMPANY

Work for an animation studio, advertising firm or a company that pays you regularly to do work.

The job that everyone wants - Photo by Mathieu Thouvenin

The job that everyone wants – Photo by Mathieu Thouvenin

Pros:

  • Working in the industry
  • Paid to hone your skills

Cons:

  • Hardest avenue to break into
  • May not be what you enjoy

Getting Started

Whilst we’re on the topic on money, Blender Guru is expanding to include an eStore! I want to fill it with stuff that you actually want, so if you can spare a minute, please help me out by completing this quick survey:

Click Here to Take the Quick Survey

 

Know of any other ways to make money in Blender? Post it in the comments below!

Tags: ,

About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • JonthueM

    @Andrew, do you have something where I can Pay per class rather then one lump sum for all the courses. Paying the different rates for each class individual like a prepaid phone-

  • Sam Samson

    Thank you, Andrew, for sharing your story.

    I have a 4th recommendation for making money with Blender or at least how to create a compelling portfolio in competitive market.

    Freelancing, selling models, and working for a company all require a portfolio and lots and lots of publicity. Face it. If you are self-inspired, you have to connect your best with paying clients through self-promotion. Then again, how do you create a representative portfolio without first having clients? The cycle continues.

    Fourth way to make money with Blender: Donate your Talent for Exposure and Experience.

    There are a million good causes out there on the internet. Whether just a Facebook group talking about important world issues or a local community helping kids, these groups and non-profit organizations could use some quality media design pro bono. Give first, build your portfolio through good intentions, and then later sell your portfolio of fine work to others that can pay for your honed skills.

    This is what I like to call win/win. As an artist, donating our services initially hones our skills while helping our community be better through our efforts. As a new Blender artist, I create video and stills for a Free Energy group, learning every step of the way. If you give a little of your artistry to others through compassion, the returns you get may be quite unexpected.

    Blender is more than software, it is a community. Make it a good community.

    #Peace2Uall

    Sam Samson

  • Frehd

    wow. it’s really inspiring to know that it’s possible to make good money by releasing a good product online. I was thinking really small…… and I was actually getting kind of lost because I don’t have any example of successful people around, who freelance.

  • Matthijs de Rijk

    Game creation can also be a great moneymaking project, with a bunch of friends, it’s really possible nowadays.

  • F99

    “Also, I married that girl last year”
    Congrats & all the best from me personally, I didn’t know before now.
    =)

  • Born Bright

    Wow… And for so long it has been just a dream and now you can create it and it can create you wealth by sharing. thank A.P

  • Paul

    Create your own characters. Make a short intro cartoon and see if any T V station is interested in airing your show. If it’s popular the sponsors should follow.

  • Geordi

    Special Guests! You need to be talking to someone! It’d be awesome!

  • Cesar Cisneros

    Dude, you’re the man. Im not even in the visual effects industry and you speak the truth across all mediums of art. Keep them coming.

  • Jeemanx

    Thanks for a great podcast Andrew – I’ve only recently tuned into these podcasts, Anyway, I’d say there is also (thanks to Tears of Steel) a chance of getting VFX work with the massive increase in independent short film production in the last few years.

  • Cyrus Emerson

    That was a very informative podcast. Thanks for sharing your interesting story. :)

  • David

    Listening to your summary of ‘Snowpiercer’. Here in the U.S., there are more and more people on the back of the metaphorical train. The media and government decided to carry more and more passengers on the back of the train, but they ended up just killing and outbreeding everybody on the middle of the train. The government always said that bringing in poor and violent people into the U.S. would make them rich and peaceful. Instead, now everybody is poor and violence is increasing rapidly.

    So that makes the metaphor ‘Snowpiercer’ null for U.S. audiences. (If I interpreted it correctly.)

    Hollywood lectures on how white people must give more and more and more to non-whites have been so successful, that the whites have nothing left to give. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324049504578541712247829092.html

  • linkseyi

    Metaphors about welfare? Probably won’t do well in America.

    • David

      Lol. Welfare and anti-white fare is big business in the U.S., especially from Hollywood. Time Magazine just had a cover story celebrating the fact that whiteys are now infertile, and gloating that all the babies now are black and Mexican. Dying, old whiteys are giving everything they have in welfare, but it’s never enough.

      • linkseyi

        I didn’t mean to start this argument.

  • George Asiedu

    Loving the podcast, Iv managed to get on arch academy but i also saw you did a nature academy to would love to be able to use whatever packs were from that as a mix with the current academy so im looking forward to your store. Haven t had a chance to be as active with Architectural academy because of life changing moment but look forward to playing catch up and honing some skills using blender

  • Sebastián Castro

    Thanks for the good tips, Mr. Price.

  • http://ferretwilliams.com/ Garrett Williams

    That soldier picture barely even looks like you without your smile! Hmm, even after Photoshopping your smile onto it, it still isn’t recognizable as you, but it at least looks like you’re thinking of Blender. You definitely look better now.

  • Josef

    so work , work , and work .. pretty much !

  • Mieszko Lacinski

    Well, I can’t agree that freelancing is only in animation and creating stills. It is true but freelancing is even working as a english proof reader. I’m an freelancer by about 1 year now. Most of my jobs are 3d printing related ;p. But coming back to the e-book. I always wanted to do my own ebook, but I never new how to start with it.

  • une

    What is “unorthodox” o.O ?

    • revil

      it means “not average”

    • Gustav Nilsson

      Unusual / Not usual

    • LswaN

      Like Gustav said, unusual, but more precisely it means an unusual way to think or to do something. For example: “Pablo Picasso has a very unorthodox style of painting.”

  • moullart

    people on the front should think about people on the tail, :P

  • guess