Studio head shares advice on how to contract as designer

Jul 25, 2017 at 10:02 am by -gToon

Do you feel like you're making the same products over and over and seeing the same sales over and over, usually from the same customers?

Well, here's some advice about making a living by contracting your design skills.

One way to overcome this kind of repetition is to venture out a little further and take on something new and different.

The first step is to take a look at what you're good at. For example, do you enjoy making models or rigging existing models? Or do you prefer to make textures or promotional images? You could probably find some clients who are looking for these skills.

Or better yet, find someone who compliments your skills. Can you make a model but you're terrible at making textures? Then find a texture artist who's horrible at making models! You may be able to find more projects or more customers if you can combine your skills.

The next step is to build up your online portfolio. Do you have a good selection of gallery images? If so, upload some and then upload more!

Then look through job-wanted postings at Renderosity and other community websites. Then look on sites such as Guru or UpWork and start bidding on projects.

Here some of the recent projects that the Vanishing Point team has been working on. We hope they inspire you to look for projects of your own:

• A military and defense contracting company hired us to make bus and truck models for its simulation software. This involved building the models in Maya to their specifications, then adding textures, and then exporting the models to OpenFlight format. Their team then further rigged the models so end-users could climb into the driver's seat and virtually drive the vehicles.

• We created and rigged a Jesus Christ figure for use in Microsoft's HoloLens technology, which is a virtual-reality (VR) system that projects digital models on top of the device's camera-view. In this case, the model of Jesus was animated to give a virtual sermon wherever the user was located -- in the kitchen, outside, or in an office.

• A game studio contacted us about creating a rigged a soccer/ football player for use in his game, called "Euro Football Run." We created the model to his specifications, added the team uniform, and then rigged it for use in Unity. His team then incorporated the model into the game so the player could run, jump, and collect points.

The game is available for free at the iTunes and Google Play Stores.

• A medical supply company contacted us about creating digital versions of their equipment and to render some images showing how the equipment looked in a typical hospital setting. We purchased a number of assets from the Renderosity marketplace and combined them together to create a hospital and clinic setting. We then rendered images in Poser Pro 2012 to show the rooms and equipment from different angles.

• We worked with some students at Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando, Fla., to help them with a class project: designing their own pet-rehab clinic. We took their specifications and requirements and created an entire digital model of the clinic, which included doctor's rooms, storage rooms, and even a waiting room. But instead of rendering the rooms and giving them images, our team uploaded the finished model to the Sketchfab website, where it was converted into OpenGL format, to be viewed in a web browser. The students could then view, rotate, and zoom the model to better show off all the details.

The teacher said this was the first time any of the students submitted a digital model: most students made drawings and sketches or foam-board models.

There's a world of opportunities beyond the Poser and DAZ Studio community if you just look for them.

John Hoagland is the president of Vanishing Point, where he is the lead developer and programmer its website, as well as being responsible for the strategic direction of the studio. John was the first person to make Star Wars vehicles in Poser format and he continues to hone his model-making skills with both Lightwave and Poser.

About Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point is a multi-national 3D production company, specializing in building, texturing and rigging models, animation, video and film production, corporate design and graphics.

Launched in February 2004, the studio now features product developers from the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, South Africa, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Sweden, Morocco, and India, who are all dedicated to providing high quality models and textures.

To learn more, visit

Sections: News & Features

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience possible More Info
Got it!