How Much Does a 3D Character Model Cost

Does your game have a compelling storyline, an engaging environment, and well-developed mechanics, but something is missing? Of course, now we are talking about character models. 

When it comes to working with 3D game characters, you may encounter a variety of challenges, including a lack of skills, insufficient visual expertise, device capabilities that are insufficient to download and process the software required for producing 3D models, and simply a lack of time.

How Much Does a 3D Character Model Cost

The technique of generating a virtual 3D model of a character using special software is known as 3D character modeling. You may use 3D animation to bring character models to life and explore virtual environments with them.

3D models have several advantages over 2D graphics, and this article discusses all of them, as well as concerns about making a character model in 3D, such as “how does 3D modeling for games work,” how to choose the best 3D model cost, how long does it take to model a 3D character, tips on choosing a platform where you can buy ready-made 3d models. Let’s take a closer look.

Overview of the Cost of 3D Character Models

Well, you’ve decided to develop your own trademark character but don’t know where to start or how much it would cost. Let’s figure out what’s going on.

The trademark character is typically an enthusiastic hero with distinct characteristics, appearance, and habits. They express the image of the protagonist, company, or brand through their connection with the consumer. When comparing 3D characters to 2D characters, 3D characters are more lifelike and dynamic. They are frequently employed in games and in the enormous expanse of Internet advertising.

The characters can be:

  • People; 
  • animals and plants; 
  • created and non-existent creatures (such as zombies or aliens); 
  • machinery (robots); 
  • mythic creatures; 
  • and other inanimate objects can all be characters.
3d character model price

The 3D modeling cost of a game character is determined by the complexity of the model, the character’s quality, the presence of supplementary objects, skins, and the variety of movements.

For example, the 3D modeling of the character and his weapon took our team about seven days. In other circumstances, a skilled character designer or concept artist should expect to spend 3-4 weeks creating a high-quality render.

Some people who are outside of the gaming industry may wonder why 3D artists cost so much. And they take enough time and are not created at the click of a finger. The services of 3D artists are not cheap by any means. Simply put, the artist must first devote a significant amount of effort to learning how to render properly. Second, they require costly software to get the finest potential representations.

Among other things, artists must devote a significant amount of time and effort to a certain depiction, which not everyone is capable of. These are just a few of the reasons why the services of a 3D artist may be deemed costly. Understanding the difference between a 3D artist and a 3D modeler is also crucial in this field. Ultimately, the price tag reflects the level of expertise and skill required to produce top-quality 3D artwork.

Overall, we genuinely hope that you now understand why 3D artists’ services could come off as “expensive” or “pricey”. However, the reality is that they are not. As you can see, the artist will need to devote years of their life to learning enough to even begin making 3D models and art.

3d modeling prices

Types of 3D Character Models

As you already know, there are many types and styles in which 3D character models can be created. But based on our experience, we can highlight a few of the most popular types of 3d modeling. We will talk about them now, plunging deeper into this topic. And it is this knowledge that will enable us to answer the question, “How much does a 3D character model cost?” in the future. 

  • Realism

The goal of realism is to recreate the world as it appears to us in real life on a digital program. This does not imply that the style is reliant on high processing capacity to recreate human faces and other objects. Instead, realistic graphics are concerned with how the environment can be based on reality in order to provide the appropriate sense to the consumers. Modeling characters in realism have and continue to astound a large number of users.

  • Realistic and Fantasy

It features realism art style traits, however, the pictures and animations are not from real life. Although the graphics appear realistic, the designers used this approach to create a realistic fantasy game. To produce a 3D game character design in this visual style, one must have great inventive abilities. The main difference between realism and fantasy realism is that the game appears to be based on reality in the game setting, but it is not.

  • Cartoon

Cartoony video games are popular with youngsters and teenagers. Modeling characters in this 3D art technique appear colorful and, as the name says, cartoony! Interestingly, because of its simplicity, it is also popular among adults and is employed in educational content. It is a non-realistic gaming style that provides gamers with a distinct world and strategic gameplay.

These three styles remain popular in today’s high-demand games. You will certainly be able to name at least one game without any problems, where 3D character models will be created either in a realistic or fantastic, or cartoon style. But in order to incorporate modern and popular objects into your game, you first need to familiarize yourself with character design cost rates. This is what we will talk about in the following sections of our text.

character 3d model cost

Factors that Impact the Cost of a 3D Character Model

When you use a character, you are actually speaking directly to the player. This is not only a well-drawn and implemented 2D or 3D concept; it is the individual’s character, appearance, habits, and approach to problem-solving. Artists employ images of humans, animals, plants, fictitious creatures, and inanimate objects to create characters.

Well, how much does character design set you back? What factors influence the pricing, and can it be influenced? Several major aspects have a direct impact on the cost of character creation.

  • Character design

This can be in either 2D or 3D. A two-dimensional one is less expensive since it uses simpler techniques and software and does not require drawing a character from all potential picture quality.

  • Detailing

The number of polygons is important for a 3D character. These are the elements that make up the model; the more of them there are, the more detailed it is. The quantity of shades employed and work with shadows are considered in 2D.

  • Software Used

The time required to create characters for various engines can vary greatly. For example, designing a character in Unreal Engine will take much more time and cost a lot more than using Unity. So you need to take the time to find the best software for creating games and characters.

  • Rigging

Producing a character skeleton may be required for both creating fixed poses and future animation. Typically, this service is not assumed by default and must be asked for by the client. So be ready to pay more if you require many postures or which was before.

The right choice is to arrive at the design studio with a clear idea of what you require. This does not imply that you must offer the studio an image of a character in complete costume, down to the smallest detail, on a plate. This means you grasp the characters’ roles in the game, as well as their nature and purpose. You can communicate this information to the character design company, for example, by allowing them to freely interpret the character’s picture. So you can collaborate with the team to fine-tune the outcome.

how much to charge for 3d modeling

3D Character Design Rates by Genres of Mobile Games

We will deviate from it because time spent on character design is one of the most important elements influencing pricing. When we consider our specialists’ hourly rates, qualifications, and work length facts, we arrive at the resulting graphic.



Simple 3D character model

Simple object with simple texturing and designated standard PBR materials. 2-3 days

Photorealistic 3D character

A detailed shape or a simple organic shape with simple texturing and a slightly complex PBR material is allocated. 20-25 days

Cartoon 3D character

Wonderfully or partially organic shape with highly complicated texture and slightly difficult PBR material applied. 15-20 days

AAA 3D character model

Super-detailed or highly organic shape with extremely intricate texturing and PBR material applied. More than 25 days

Assets and objects

Simple object with simple texturing and designated standard PBR materials. A few hours (depending on the amount of work)
3d modeling cost

As you can see, concept generation can take 8-24 hours or more, depending on the image’s intricacy. The modeling stage normally takes between 32 and 160 hours. Rigging and texturing might take up to 15 hours. One character model can last approximately 100 working hours before completion. The further professionals that work on a character and the longer it takes, the more expensive character design becomes.

How to Find an Affordable 3D Character Model

Finding 3D character models for your project can be quite tricky and confusing if you don’t know a few basic rules that you should pay attention to. Thanks to this, it will be much easier to determine the 3D character model price. So, here are a few points that we have highlighted for you:

  • Research Different Companies and Prices

In the modern world, a huge number of game studios and companies offer various options for those who are looking for 3D character models. To determine the quality of these character models, you should carefully examine the information about the company and its price, as well as the capabilities and abilities of 3D artists. The price of such models also depends on the level of the company or studio.

  • Look for Special Deals and Discounts

Are you on a budget but still want high-quality character models for your project? Then imagine that it is Black Friday and you are looking for the best discount offers. Yes, many stock resources or companies arrange such sales for their customers. This is especially true for models that are no longer riding the crest of fame. And among these, perhaps, there is exactly what you need.

  • Consider Open-Source Options

On such platforms, for a small fee, you can get ready-made 3D models that you can integrate into your game in the future if your game engine matches the source code of the model creator. 3D modeling prices on such forums or platforms can range from very low to medium, so you can save your budget for future expenses.

3D Character Design Rates

3D Character Model Cost Examples

In the previous sections, we talked about general information and considered the approximate cost of designing 3D character models. But the facts speak best, you see. So now we want to tell you about the cost of creating models that character designers or concept artists spend in our team on specific examples.

For example, when our team took on the development of a stylized dream room, the whole project took 28 days to complete, which is pretty standard for a project like this. This room was filled with many large and small, detailed models. Yes, we are not talking about creating character models here, but such a project format and 3D modeling in the gaming industry are quite popular and in demand among clients and future players.

Stylized Dream Room 3D Model Cost

It took us roughly 7 working days to complete another project that our seasoned team of artists can be proud of. During this time, we produced a 3D model of a warlike dwarf, as well as his armor and weapons. Our 3D artists worked with the character from concept to completion, including sculpting, retopology, UV mapping, and texturing. The character was then rigged and skinned in preparation for animation. The dwarf improved his appearance by acquiring chest armor, a cloak, and a helmet. To portray the warrior’s battle past, we made the metal armor look weathered.

So, depending on the complexity and detail of the project, the character design commission can go up or down. It all depends on the ability of the team. And if you expect to get a high-quality 3D asset, then you should contact a team of professionals who already have extensive experience in this case.

Character Design Commission

2D Character Model Cost Examples

A 2D character will be less expensive than a 3D model. The designer is working with two-dimensional flat pictures that cannot be rotated 360 degrees. Shadows and textures in certain games create a sense of three-dimensionality, while the characters and elements are 2D drawings. If you require many poses, such as an elf with a treasure trove or one watching TV, these will be different paintings.

Determine how many looks you truly require ahead of time. For example, if you ordered seven pieces of clothing for your visual novel character but only used four of them, your spending is exorbitant.

Despite the fact that 2D figures cannot “move,” designers have been using sprite sheets to animate flat pictures since the early days of computer games. A sprite sheet is a single large graphic that depicts the character walking, running, smiling, or blushing. In most cases, the base package of services includes one or two sprite sheets.

Based on our experience, the cost of the 2D game design will be determined by the complexity of your universe and will include the cost of the concept, characters, environment, and animation. The typical method for calculating the cost of 2D art involves the designer rate, hours of work, and the number of artists on your project’s team.

Build a Character Game


So if you have ideas about building a character game in your dreams, we hope this material is useful to you. We looked at various types of 3D models, their features, and what influences their cost and makes them appealing to future players. Our team tried to find the answer to the question: how much to charge for 3D modeling. And also, we have a big tip for those who are going to dive into the creation of the game and are looking for suitable 3D models. 

When looking for a 3D collaborator, you must ensure that they have the necessary qualities. For example, they should understand which application is utilized for which task and how to pick up the circumstances. Experience and the ability to fulfill deadlines are required. If you don’t know where to look for a mate, there are several locations you can attempt.

You might go with the freelance portal option because there are numerous character modeling specialists prepared to work under your terms. They charge affordable fees, however, their rates are heavily impacted by the difficulty of the work. Pay attention to the portfolios of artists, the services that companies provide, and the projects that they can be proud of. If you need expert advice or don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for a team that can create high-quality character models for your game, just write to us, and our team of experienced specialists will be able to help you save money.

Frequently Asked Question

3d model cost FAQ

What are the main factors that affect the cost of character design?

When it comes to character design cost, there are several key factors that come into play. These include the type of character you’re creating (whether it’s 2D or 3D), the level of detail required, the game engine you’re using, the structure of your team, as well as the speed at which the work needs to be completed. By taking these factors into consideration and working with a skilled design team, you can ensure that you’re creating characters that are both visually stunning and cost-effective.

What is the difference in cost between a 2D and 3D character design?

The use of less complex techniques and software, coupled with the absence of the need to create a character from every possible viewing angle, makes a two-dimensional character more cost-effective than a three-dimensional one.

What is the typical 3d character model price in the game development industry?

Character 3d modeling rates can be estimated based on the type of character, the duration of work, and the number of specialists working on it. The cost ranges from $600 for a simple 3D character model to $6,000 for a 3D photorealistic character.

What are the main factors that affect the cost of 3D NFT character services?

The cost of 3D NFT character services is primarily influenced by the complexity of the character design, the level of detail required in the character model, the duration of the project, the skill level of the designers and animators, and the overall quality of the final NFT product.