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Old 02-20-2018, 11:48 AM   #1
Curtis Allen
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Flatting Advice from Flatters Please.

Hi there,

I've been taking on a couple of flatting jobs and digital colouring/restoration jobs recently, and an average rate seems to be something along the lines of $7 per page.
However, I just don't seem to be able to do a page accurately in anything like a time that would make this a worthwhile hourly rate and I struggle to see how it's possible. Yet there seems to be no shortage of people flatting for this sort of money.

I enjoy doing the work, but it's just really not a profitable usage of my time at the moment.

So I'm asking, what am I missing here? Is there some sort of shortcut I'm not aware of that everyone's using to ensure that $7 per page is a reasonable rate.
I know there are programs and plug-ins that automate some of the process, but unless the line-art is very simple and consistently closed, I find that I spend so much time correcting errors that it's not really a time-saver.

Thanks!

Last edited by Curtis Allen; 02-21-2018 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 02-20-2018, 04:39 PM   #2
Scribbly
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You need to create your own system for work. Assembly line style. Working from big to small.
Avoiding unnecessary steps. Using Ps Actions. Using shortcuts. Saving color palettes. And timing the results for improving.
Having a timer (any) could be of use as well. I do use a cook's timer. I can't ignore it.
Rinse and repeat. Make it faster next time.
At $7 you need to work at least 2 page flats per hour to get along.

My 2 cents.


PS: line art open? Where is the problem? You are closing the area w the lasso. Forget plug-ins.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:02 PM   #3
Stewart Vernon
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Timing is going to vary greatly depending upon the complexity of the page. Also, I've found if I'm flatting multiple pages by the same artist, I get faster as I move through the work... because I don't have to keep re-thinking what the artist has done on the page as I become accustomed to his style.

That said, I don't work anywhere near fast enough to make a living at that page rate either. One of the problems is, a lot of the people willing to do that work are outside the US where their cost of living is lower and so for them maybe it is a good wage... but that forced the offers lower here too.

Honestly, I've been quoting $15-$25 per page for flatting myself as it just isn't worth doing any cheaper than that unless I'm doing it for a charity that I support or a friend that I'm happy to help. I don't get a lot of work at those rates, but I also don't get bogged down with a backlog of work that doesn't pay well either.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:57 AM   #4
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Flatting usually takes me minutes. I have been using a program over the years which I have made available online for free: https://www.ayalpinkus.nl/Flatton.html.

(Before you say "plugins don't work": I don't actually care whether you use this or not. It works for me.)
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