3D Animator Career Overview & Outlook

3D animation is becoming more and more popular and widely used in creating animated videos, video games, TV series, or product promotional videos.

Creating unique character images with vivid colors requires the artist to have good professional knowledge and skills. They act as animators and breathe life into inanimate shapes.

So is it difficult to become an animator? What skills do we need to accumulate for ourselves to be able to adapt well to the job? The detailed answer will be in the article below!

Please scroll slowly to find the correct information you are looking for, and after this article, you will indeed have a more multi-dimensional view of the work of a 3D animator.

Job Description

3D animation or simulation animation creates motion for models or objects in three-dimensional digital space. Models or objects can be moved dynamically using motion tricks.

3d animation movement

When enjoying 3D animated videos, a 3D animator will feel immersed in a beautiful and exciting virtual reality space.

To create compelling scenes, 3D animators need to create detailed and precise storyboards. The role of this storyboard is to map out the sequence of events or images that need to work to make the animated video more logical and complete.

Once the storyboard was clear, the filmmakers continued to develop the work by modeling the object using virtual rigs to create appropriate character figures.

However, that’s just the visual design. If we want to go further, we need to make more external textures to use as a video.

Finally, we need to create valuable movements for the image just set up above using supporting software.

3d animation

The principle to make each sign is straightforward, and we just need to enter the motion and their trajectory as mathematical equations.

They are then displayed through the graphics processing unit to export the complete animation quickly and conveniently.

In general, compared to 2D animation, 3D animation is more prominent. From the price and the way it is used to make movies, they are all comfortable.

We can ultimately create a simple 3D animated film with the models available in the design software even though our skills are not good at that time.

Education and Training

3D animation is a fascinating field, attracting a large number of participants. As a result, the area is relatively competitive and requires solid educational credentials and work experience.

We’ll outline some of the education and training requirements for 3D animation to help give 3D animator a more precise direction for your future work.


The entry requirement for a 3D animator is a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, fine art, or animation.

It plays a vital role in building the foundation of knowledge that will help you quickly access the 3D animation major. In addition, students also need to look for more courses directly related to computer science.

Moreover, during the study, students also need to accumulate some professional knowledge to serve their future work.

AI and 3D Animation

Specifically, 3D animators need to ensure some of the following requirements:

  • Character Style: This category will show different types of characters with distinct poses and expressions. Students can also build surrounding scenes or illustrations to make the scene more vivid.
  • Proposed design and location: Students need to invest time to learn and explore the design to assess the newly built scene’s status accurately.
  • Drawing frames: These can be considered detailed drafts of the character’s gestures, actions, and words. Therefore, students are required to observe and evaluate in detail to have the most suitable arrangement.


Most 3D animation master’s programs are uncommon. However, if students want to improve their knowledge and experience, they can enroll in the Master of Fine Arts program and then choose 3D animation as their primary major.

group of animators

The Master of Fine Arts course and the advanced courses focus on perfecting software skills and using computer software in 3D animation production.

If you want to join the Master of Fine Arts course, you must have obtained a bachelor’s degree before.

When you have not received any related degree in computer technology, you will not have the opportunity to participate in this course. It is a typical feature of this course to assess the quality of students in each class.

When participating in this specialized course, a 3D animator will be guided and learn more specifically about the technology of creating 3D animation.

At the end of the period, students need to choose a topic for their graduation thesis. If you are lucky, you will quickly have a Master of Fine Arts degree in your hand, and your job opportunities with it are also exceptionally high.

Necessary Skills

To become a professional animator, we need to accumulate and develop some personal skills because it will help 3D animators to orient their next step on the future career path.

At the same time, it can bring attractive job opportunities for you.

Technical skills

Professional skills are an essential step to help us confidently shine in any position. It lays the foundation for your strong growth in the future.

3D modeling

Professional skills include the following skills:

3D modeling

Here, we want to emphasize your ability to design unique and novel 3D models. They can help make the script more vivid. To do this, a 3D animator needs a rich and fascinating imagination.

Acting techniques, cinematography, graphic art

Understanding acting techniques, cinematography, and graphic arts are essential skills for a 3D animation production artist.

They resonate with background knowledge to create valuable videos that bring a lot of human value to users. And we are sure that if you do not have this skill, you will not become a professional 3D animation maker.

Knowledge of anatomy

Anatomy is an urgent requirement, and most 3D animators need to accumulate.

It allows us to quickly and accurately capture every detail of the human body, thereby facilitating the character-building process. Each character built will be realistic and bring a feeling closer to the viewer.

Soft skills

Besides professional skills, we also need to have some soft skills to help us develop and be more active every day. Soft skills play an essential role in your life and work.

3D work needs meticulous

These include the following skills:


Any animation artist needs to have creativity from the heart and soul. Only then will it bring viewers authentic, vivid, and close to real-life footage.

The background and character image often move viewers. You will be successful if you make the audience feel right with the story you have just presented through a series of captivating 3D animations.

It is the most authentic testament to the creativity of the artist. Only when a 3D animator makes the audience feel impressive and emotional, then their creativity makes sense.

Good communication skills

To make a remarkable animated film is the contribution of a whole group. Therefore, teamwork skills are essential for a 3D animator.

We recommend that you not isolate yourself before any group because doing so will cause you to fall into a deadlock. Be bold and give your personal opinions in group activities. Also, try to listen and stay calm when someone contradicts you. It is the key to success for you and all your relationships.

Eager to learn

Eager to learn is a good skill for 3D animator. It can give you access to more new and valuable sources of information. At the same time, it also help you expand relationships for your current and future work.


When doing anything, you also need to be meticulous. Of course, in 3D animation production too. You need to practice this skill because it helps a lot in your work and life.

Keep Going


Creating a complete 3D animated video is not easy; they require the animator to be persistent and meticulous.

If you do not train this ability, you will most likely be eliminated from the organization or group. Persistence largely determines your success in the future.

Time management

Time management skills are the minimum requirement for a 3D animator. The large workload, the pressure of own ideas, and time are typical of animation production work.

Once you’ve decided on this job, you need to accept that particularity and plan to schedule your time effectively.

If you don’t have this ability, it will most likely turn your life upside down and can even lead to severe stress.

You can separate time for each activity and assign them to a schedule that works for your life. From there, it gives you a stable quality of life.

Essential Software & Tools

There are many software or applications to support your 3D animation work. Below, we will introduce 3D animator to 5 leading software that is important for your work.

Autodesk Maya

Autodesk Maya

Maya is a 3D Computer Graphics Application they use to develop video games, 3D applications, cartoons, TV series, and any visual effects.

This software can create heavy digital models, helping us to provide Ultra 3D effects that make a realistic look for the user.

We can use this application for free if we are students. In addition, if you want to upgrade and use them for a long time, you will have to pay a high cost.

The interface of the software is convincing and attractive, allowing users to operate it quickly and conveniently. If you are a beginner, you can also use this application because it comes with the software developer’s detailed instructions.



Houdini is most commonly used to create characters with visual effects in movies and interactive storytelling.

Using Houdini for 3D animation production is excellent; they help video game designers create attractive and attention-grabbing photo effects.

Houdini is also a multi-featured program, and you have access to most of those features to do your job well. Therefore, it is excellent for you to choose and use Houdini Apprentice.

Therefore, choosing and using Houdini for 3D animation creation is a convincing and ideal initiative.



Maxon owns a variety of features such as fast rendering of animations, flexible design, and realistic image building.

Your visible results after using Maxon are perfect. Vivid picture and sound quality, close to reality, creates a friendly feeling for viewers. You can use Maxon for free if you are a student.



KeyShot is extremely easy to learn as well as used to achieve photographic results in minutes through a simple, workflow-based interface with all the advanced features. It is the perfect software for your career both now and in the future.



It is an excellent choice for beginners who want to learn to use 3D graphics software. Understanding it will provide a solid foundation, as the basic skills and concepts are transferable to other 3D software products.

Job Outlook

3D animators are always attractive to businesses or organizations with many different job positions. The salary when you collaborate at those positions is also substantial.

The demand for multimedia artists is increasing; many studies have shown that this demand grows by about 4% every year. It is an advantage for those looking to invest time to study 3D animation production.

Especially in today’s society with developed technology, this category is more and more interested in customers. Instead of choosing traditional movies, they tend to look at 3D animated films.

Because it can help them relieve stress and fatigue in life and bring meaningful and valuable karma, just so many reasons are enough for us to accurately assess and judge the career prospects of a 3D animator.

When you complete advanced courses in fine arts, you will have the opportunity to take up higher positions. For example, maybe a 3D animation manager or developer.

3D animated films


Depending on the position and the amount of work you are doing, the salary will vary. In general, the income level for a multimedia artist or 3D animator is very high.

On average, each animator earns about $70,650 a year. This number is huge and attractive. In addition, you may receive more money than we offer if you increase your work with the worthy ministry.

However, to have such a generous income, you also need to work a lot. You need to accumulate enough specialized knowledge and some essential soft skills to stand and go further in the future.

Weakness, incompetence, self-pity, and laziness will turn you into a useless and objectionable person. Be strong to face all the challenges ahead, and the results will always come to you if you try.

Advantages And Disadvantages

Choosing to study animation is a significant advantage both now and in the future. However, if you do not have a passion for it, you should not follow them because it will make you give up soon.


To shed light on the impact 3D animation production can have on your life, we’ll cover some of its advantages to impact your career. And you will undoubtedly feel motivated after seeing its strengths.

Stable job opportunities

After you complete the advanced courses for 3D animation artists, you will have the chance to collaborate in many different positions. Each job position has its peculiarities, and they match your abilities. In addition, you can also advance faster and further with your career if you have enough knowledge and experience.

Excellent salary

The average one-year income of a relatively high 3D animator is around $70,650. This number will continue to increase over the years, and much will depend on experience and handling situations at work.

Train you on some valuable skills

You will hone and develop soft skills for your career. They help you succeed at work and help you significantly improve your quality of life.

a female 3D animator


In addition to the strengths we mentioned above, there are still some limitations that you may encounter during your work. Specifically, there are pressures on workload and its nature.

Workload pressure

The workload at any position is hefty. If you do not persevere and strive, it will become a barrier that prevents you from reaching higher places.

Nature of work

The job of a 3D animator is relatively complex in both time and space. And sometimes, it is the wall that prevents you from achieving higher goals in the future.


You can ultimately find out more information through the questions section below! These questions are based on surveys from industry stakeholders so that you can be assured of their accuracy.

Do 3D animators need to know how to model?

You don’t need to know how to draw people, but you need to understand the aesthetic of composition to create compelling poses for your animation and great angles for your photos. The fundamentals of energy are the same in 2D and 3D, and you have to know them.

If you know how to build and deploy prototypes, that is an advantage for you before other competitors.

There will be nothing more wonderful than having at the same time a natural talent for life drawings and a deep understanding of aesthetics.

If you have both of those factors, you will surely reap more success in your career.

Can you be a self-taught 3D animator?

3D animation is not something that is learned overnight, and it can take a year or even longer before you can start doing it.

So be patient with yourself and with the overall animation process. Animation takes a very long time to learn and also takes a very long time to do well.

Can you be a 3D animator If you can’t draw?

For a 3D animator, although good drawing ability is an advantage, it is not required. When animating in 3D, you move the character, like a puppet, right on the computer.

Which software is best for animation?

You can refer to some of the software we list below:

  • Autodesk Maya: Maya is a 3D Computer Graphics Application used to develop video games, 3D applications, cartoons, TV series, and any visual effects. This software can create heavy models, which helps us provide Ultra 3D effects that make a realistic look for the user.
  • Cartoon Animator: Animators work primarily in the film and advertising industries. Their standard function is to make life drawings, either by hand or with an electronic aid, and then use a computer to create a visual sequence for an animated film or special effect.
  • Adobe Animator: Character Animator is almost an integrated version of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Because it gives you the common features of both software.
  • Clip Studio Paint: It’s used to create comic books, general illustrations, and 2D animation. Clip Studio is a companion program for managing and sharing digital assets, including with Clip Studio Paint. The software is available in macOS, Windows, iOS, iPad, Android, and Chrome OS.
  • Adobe Animate: Animate help you create scalable, reusable, and adaptive high-quality vector graphics for cartoons, banners, games, and other interactive content. It’s easy to import from Animate to After Effects and publish your animated videos to multiple platforms with the push of a button.

Do animators have to draw every frame?

Animators don’t redraw everything for every frame. Instead, each frame builds from drawing layers.

The cartoon characters are drawn in the film. The part of the character that is moving – mouth, arm – can also be removed as a separate layer.


With the above information, we hope to help you better understand the requirements, skills, and career of a 3D animator.

We are sure that after you finish reading this post, you will have completely different thinking, and at the same time help you to orient your career in the future correctly. We believe that you will succeed as long as you always try your best!