3D Artist

Last Updated on November 3, 2022

Either you are one 3D professional who wants to elevate your career or a hobbyist who prefers to monetize his skills. There are probably various questions that cross your mind at some point in this journey.

For example, you might wonder, “What are the responsibilities of a 3D artist,” “Is the 3D artist a good career,” or “What skills are required for this position.”

This article helps you understand the details of 3d art professional.

So keep reading to see more!

Job Description

The 3D artist is a promising career

Duties and Responsibilities

3D artists are generally responsible for creating three-dimensional creations, including animation, visual effects, and models. Their products are used in many creative projects, including video games, films, advertising campaigns, etc.

These specialists make special effects to fit specific briefs using computer software and hand drawing techniques. Their process of creating graphics and animation often comes through editing software and computer programs.

For upcoming projects, 3D artists will research new or effective ways to make the designs and the animation and build storyboards that map out how the scene will look or progress.

They also help conceptualize processes and ideas to produce the best and most effective plan for the project. After getting feedback from others, including animators and directors, they will edit to fit their specifications and criteria.

They also sometimes meet with designers, directors, or clients for project review and consider deadlines. That’s where communication skills come into play.

Here is a quick rundown of a 3D Artist’s responsibilities and duties:

  • Research new projects with tools and ideas.
  • Conceptualize the design, colors, interaction, and movement.
  • Create three-dimensional aspects of projects, including landscapes, visual effects, and characters.
  • Communicate with clients to know their requirements
  • Build storyboards for your client’s approval
  • Help conceptualize processes and frameworks for the projects
  • Create graphics using a combination of computer software and hand drawings.
  • Collaborate with creative visualizers, content creators, and marketers.
  • Get feedback from any stakeholder, such as directors, managers, or clients, and make the essential modifications.

Where Does A 3D Artist Work?

These professionals work in offices. However, there is still the opportunity to work remotely, depending on the company and organization you will join.

No matter where they work, 3D Artists will need a private office or quiet place to work as their work requires intense concentration.

Education Requirements

Some companies don’t have specific educational requirements, but most do.

Degree, certificate

If you want to pursue this field, you may soon realize that many companies don’t have specific educational requirements. You will be alright to go if you can show your talent and knowledge.

It will be better if you have a specific educational background. Some organizations will also appreciate candidates with at least a certificate, if not a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in graphic design or any similar field.

Moreover, If you want to become one 3D artist in the field of medicine or science, you will need to prepare an additional set of skills.

Computer design is typically not adequate here, so you will need to own enough knowledge of biology or other relevant fields.

Essential Skills

As a 3D artist, you need to constantly improve your skills as there are always some things to discover and learn in various industries.

Here are several skills that this position will require.

Hard Skills

1. Coding

Although understanding coding is not mandatory, it will help 3D artists to do their job well.

It will help them know how their software behaves and works to design better graphics effectively. In addition, coding knowledge will help integrate large visuals on an application or a website.

2. Technical Skills

As a 3D artist, you need to be proficient in utilizing many animations, 3D modeling, drawing, and design.

You must be adaptive to any new technology and software to enhance the quality of your work. In addition, you may learn to storyboard and script.

3. Illustration and Drawing Skills

3D artists create storyboards and find the ability to draw beneficial. They typically use external tools to digitize or illustrate their creations. Learning to draw also helps hone their attention to detail.

Soft skills

When you become a 3D artist, you will need to use communication skills often.

1. Communication Skills

When you become a 3D artist, you must get involved in many discussions with your team members and clients. So you must articulate your ideas and communicate them written and verbally effectively.

You also need sharp listening skills to understand your client’s requirements and make concepts accordingly.

2. Attention to Details

3D artists often take on work related to 3D animation and modeling. So their roles may require making elaborate character movements, landscapes, or life-like effects.

So to come up with great-quality graphics, they must take care of any minor detail, such as characters’ hair movements, facial expressions, or the shadows and lights in scenes.

3. Teamwork

A 3D artist is often part of a team when working on projects in the film and advertising industry. Moreover, the 3D artist can also assist the creative team in producing concepts and ideas.

So they need teamwork skills to constantly collaborate with several people and be adaptive to various temperaments.

4. Organizational Skills

As one of the 3D artists, you may work individually or become part of a team.

Most projects that require 3D animation and graphics are time-bound and may depend on many other aspects of projects.

So making great-quality visuals within a tight deadline will require 3D artists to be organized.

Essential Tools

3D artists will work with various tools and computer software.

As a 3D artist, you will probably have to work with various computer software for every project. For example, your projects may require some tools for motion graphics, image editing, drawing, and three-dimensional image rendering.

Here are our recommended tools for 3D artists that have high processing power:

  • Sketchup
  • 3ds Max
  • Blender
  • Fusion 360
  • Cinema 4D
  • Houdini
  • Mudbox

Job Outlook & Salary

Job Outlook

You can have a good job and earn well as a 3D artist. What you need are a suitable education level and relevant skills.

To land a job as a 3D artist, you should have at least a bachelor’s degree, which most companies require. However, many organizations will also give you a job if you own other relevant certificates.

The common industries and fields that are in high demand for 3D artists are movies, marketing, video games, and architecture. But these are not the only options where you can work. Here are some other options you might consider:

  • 3D concept
  • Engineering
  • 3D printing
  • Interior design
  • UI graphic design
  • Medical Illustration
  • Motion graphic design
  • Manufacturing and Production

Here are some industries and companies where you might get employment are:

  • Software company.
  • Manufacturing company.
  • Graphics design company.
  • Video production company.
  • Engineering service company.
  • Game development company.

Salary

The salary you get as a 3D artist depends on several factors. Let’s discuss them:

Salary Based on Countries/Cities

Your salary will depend on where you live. For example, 3D Artists usually have very high salaries in the US and Europe. But you probably won’t get paid much if you live in Africa, South America, or Asia.

In addition, depending on the city in the US, the salary of a 3D Artist can also vary. Here are the cities that pay the most for these artists:

  • San Jose, CA: $64,183
  • Green River, WY: $65,384
  • Fremont, CA: $65,507
  • Washington, DC: $67,281
  • Santa Clara, CA: $67,922
  • San Francisco, CA: $68,157
  • Lakes, AK: $69,164

Salary Based on Position

The salary you receive will also depend on the experience years you have. The more years of experience you have, your expected salary will be higher.

 

3 Years

From 3 to 6 Years

More than 6 Years

Art Director

None

None

$110.000

Lead/Technical Artist

None

$73.000

$105.000

Game Artist/Animator

$40.000

$55.000

$80.000

The salary is also based on a specific task that you are responsible for, such as:

 

Low/year

High/year

Game Artist (Generalist)

$45,000

$95,000

Character Animator

$40,000

$100,000

Technical Artist

$40,000

$105,000

Environment Artist

$55,000

$120,000

Character Artist

$45,000

$70,000

Concept Artist

$45,000

$100,000

The salaries mentioned above are estimates only and are subject to change.

Salary Based on Studio

The salary you receive will also vary by company and studio. Here are some famous game studios in North America that pay quite well for 3D artists:

 

Low/year

High/year

Rockstar San Diego

$46,000

$120,000

Gameloft

$43,000

$73,000

Blur Studio

$42,000

$89,000

Ubisoft

$44,000

$90,000

Activision

$44,000

$83,000

Electronic Arts

$49,000

$103,000

Blizzard Entertainment

$44,000

$84,000

Note that the salaries suggested above may not be accurate, so they should be used as a useful reference only.

Pros and Cons of Being a 3D Artist

The 3D Artist comes with many pros and a few cons.

The 3D artist is a promising career as it has many benefits. In addition, this work also comes with some disadvantages, but not significant.

Pros

  • Extensive work opportunities.
  • You can express your creativity.
  • Opportunity to work from home.
  • You can get involved in many different fields.
  • High salary, depending on your ability and experience.
  • The demand for 3D Artists is always high and constantly increasing.

Cons

  • It is quite a stressful job.
  • You will need to possess many skills to get the job done well.
  • You can run multiple projects, leading to overwhelming.

FAQs

Can I Take on the Role of A 3D Artist as a Freelancer?

The short answer is Yes. Many artists can find satisfying jobs with suitable salaries as a freelancer.

You can open up various opportunities by joining some of the popular freelance marketplaces. For example, you can take a chance to collaborate with local experts or those from famous companies worldwide.

Freelancing is more popular than ever before. It allows you to have better creative freedom and make greater working schedules. That way, you will have a better work-life balance.

How To Become A 3D Artist?

If you want to pursue this career, refer to these basic steps:

Step 1. Complete Your Suitable Education

Step 2. Learn Relevant Software and Tools

Step 3. Gain Experience

Step 4. Prepare a Digital Portfolio

Step 5. Make a Resume

Step 6. Apply for Jobs

For more details, you can read this article.

Do I Need Certificates to Apply for a 3D Artist?

To become one of the 3D Artists, you will need a degree in a related subject like Fine Art, but it is not required. Identifying positions without formal education is feasible, but most companies and organizations now require a certificate.

Is It Hard to Become a 3D Artist?

It is not easy to be a 3D artist. It requires constant effort from the moment you are in school. It will also require high creativity.

In addition, you also need to possess many soft skills such as time management, teamwork, and communication skills.

The Bottom Line

Generally, being a 3D Artist is excellent. In addition to the high salary that this position can bring, your career development opportunities are enormous.

The future of 3D artists appears to be bright. The developing technologies have enabled them to find new tasks and projects across various industries.

However, you will need to master some skills and qualities as well as get certifications to make it easier to pursue this career.

Hopefully, this article was helpful to you! Thanks for your time.