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5 Ways to Make Money with Blender


make-money-with-blenderAndrew Price of has written an interesting article on a few ways to make money with your Blender skills.

Andrew writes:

You might be an artist, but that doesn't mean you need to starve. Put your talent to a real world use and earn some dough!

I personally do a *lot* of work in Blender for Shapeways - prototyping new products and problems with user models. How do YOU earn a living with Blender?


About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. tyrant monkey on

    Interesting articles that give me some nice ideas to make some dough. 3d art gear such as wacom pads, training dvds, books, hardware don't come cheap getting some cash in order to subsidise some of these things will be great. Here in Africa buying things that are priced in either Euros or U$ dollars can be costly due to exchange rates and import duties.


  2. Spongebob: for the suggested ideas the final result is the driving factor, except for the freelance job there is little or no need for complex pipeline integration so program dosn't matter its simply the result.

  3. Spongebob: for the suggested ideas the final result is the driving factor, except for the freelance job there is little or no need for complex pipeline integration so program dosn't matter its simply the result.
    OH! You're my new favorite blogger fyi

  4. Well, I have started as a freelancer at the end of 2007, and I have found very few customers.

    But the main problem, here in France is that Laws are written in a way that dont allow you to sell easily your work !

    - If you are declared as an artist (almost same status as author), it is considered as a non commercial work, and you can sell only unique art works, like a painter, or a very limited number of copies of them, like a photographer (less than 9 or 29 according to the kind of work). If you have to sell works that will be diffused to a large audience, you are supposed to sell to diffusors (Film Producers, Books Editors), and paid with copyright royalties.

    If you are a CG artist, you are not allowed to sell your 3D models, because it is considered as a commercial work. As well as you are not allowed to sell posters on a website. You have to sell graphic works (the final works (image, animation), but not the intermediary works like the 3D models.

    - If you want to sell your 3D models, printed posters or stock images on line, you have to declare yourself as a commercial company, not artistic ! But if you want to sell an animation to a producer, you will not be able to cash money from your copyright royalties, because you must have the status of Artist-Author for that !

    - If you want to make money from lessons given to other people, like teaching Blender, you can't with the previous status ! You need to be decalred with an educationnal status,and you will only be able to take money from these lessons.

    And for each of these status, you'll have to pay not only taxes, but also very high welfare costs, and you'll have to subscribe to a compulsary supplementary pension !

    At the end, you will really earn around 50% of the price of the works sold, and you will often have to deduct of that the production cost..., because if you earn less than a certain amount this cost can't be deducted before the taxes.

  5. I made a lot of money using open source in the last 2 years.

    In a break now because I'm finishing college, but after I'm done with that, plenty more to make.

    Even when I was working as a graphic designer making interiors for a furniture company, I've refused to use windows and 3ds Max, because that stuff was dragging me down badly.

    So it's not impossible, trust me ;)

  6. Roubal: few customers? If you look a bit at yourself, beyond the problem of french law, your own "vitrine" is against you, blinking in every directions, unreadable because of color choice etc...

    But good luck anyway!

  7. Very interesting. One question though. aside from photos iStockphoto seems to accept only vector graphics as illustrations. Are you converting your Blender artwork into vector graphics or is there another option for CG artists?

  8. Well i'm not making all my money with blender; have to paint a lot of houses also!

    But Blender is great for making nice webdesign-graphics. Even discovered that you can do the html an css editing in the texteditor (just use copy-paste and/or find&replace).
    The node-editor with file-output system cuts up the image in every manner i like and places it in my imagemap...i use animation-output for different views of the same scene for different pages.
    And for the x-y-coordinate needed in the css i just flip the picture i crop (for menu buttons) and then flip it back. But than the x- and y-coordinates i can see in the node editor are the same as needed in the css.
    I wish i could understand the pythonscripting cause then i dont have to manually change the absolute positioning in the css.
    Right now i make my whole website within Blender: graphics+html+css!
    Maybe a bit crazy but also i am.
    But an little HTML-editor in Blender would be terrific, maybe for version 2.6?
    Holiday greetings from beautifull Finland!

  9. Andrew, this is a valuable resource. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Related but Off-Topic: I just remembered Is it just me, or does it look like they're in trouble?

  10. @BlendNmix : I'm not a web designer, and I made my site in pure html to be sure that every one can see. I have never less than 7000 visits per month and I had 19550 visitors in may. They downloaded more than 145 GB of images, tutorials and videos.

    Anyway, websites are not useful if you don't sell products on line.

    To come back to the french laws, you must know that when you are declared as a freelance artists, your customers have to fill several documents and to send them to a special office, like if they were employing you instead of being ordinary customers, and they also have to pay some additional taxes existing only when dealing with artists !

    This system is compulsary, and so very few companies accept to deal with freelance.

    They prefer to order images or animations to a big studio, to which they will only pay a simple bill !

    I know many artists who have not this problem and have plenty of work. The reason is simple : because they are not informed or because they prefere to ignore the rules, and they and are all outlaw !

  11. @Roubal. I think I'd ignore the rules because they sound crazy. But I suppose the upside is that you do live in a wonderful country where (unlike the USA) no one has to worry about where their next meals is coming from if they lose their job.

  12. In the USA there are unemployment benefits, food stamps, 2 years' worth of welfare so you can learn a trade (if necessary) and find a new job, and no shortage of churches that help people who get in trouble. If someone doesn't know where their next meal is coming from, they haven't asked.

  13. @marijn : i agree with you. But if one day they are controlled, they might can have to pay more than they have earned !

    @spongebob : That's the reason why working people have to pay a lot for social insurances. This said, everything is not as wonderful as seen from outside. There are many people not finding a job for a long time that can't benefit from the insurance.

  14. I have the same question as Tony.

    If you're using blender images, how do you register at iStock Photo. As a photographer, or illustrator. And if you register as an illustrator, do you have to convert you blender graphics into vector graphics somehow? Thanks.

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