The 3D artist is truly an enigma among designers. Unlike other kinds of designers, not everyone is aware of what 3D modeling designers do.
If you’ve ever seen a movie with something unrealistic added in – such as the dragons in Game of Thrones – you’ll have seen the work of a 3D artist, but movies aren’t the only type of work 3D artists do. Let’s take a look at this amazing person and what their life might be like.
What Does It Mean to Be a 3D Artist?
No matter what sort of project they are asked to do, a 3D artist is still an artist. They study many of the same things a 2D artist does, including light and shadow, as well as texturing and color. How they use this information is the only difference. While a 2D artist uses pencils, ink, or paints to create these things, a 3D artist uses a computer and a selection of computer programs instead.
Where a 2D artist might spend hours practicing gradients with their pencils, a 3D artist must sharpen their skills with programs like AutoCAD and ZBrush instead. The results of an accomplished artist are no less amazing. They’re often so realistic that you can’t tell the difference between their work and a photograph or real video.
A Day in the Life of a 3D Artist
The life of a 3D artist is an interesting one, no matter where they work. 3D artists can be a freelance 3D modeler, remotely for a company, or in an office. Regardless of where they work, here are a few common things all 3D artists end up dealing with during the day.
- They read a lot of emails
The workday usually begins with a whole bunch of emails. There will be feedback from customers, requests for changes, information on new projects, or requests for more information. All of these emails need to be answered and reports given on the status of various projects.
The 3D artist may not have to do meetings every day, but the people they work for will want to be kept updated. Meetings are also a necessary part of team projects, such as designing new products, making a CG movie, or putting up a new building.
- Working on projects
Regardless of what type of 3D artist they are, projects will always need to be finished. Most artists choose to break up the grind of a large project by working on smaller projects as a break between stints on a larger one. Working on a project may involve shooting videos for backplates, going out to a site to look at the location of a new building, or modeling the art on a 3D program.
What Sort of Personality Do They Have?
You have to have a particular sort of attitude to be a 3D artist. The 3D artist must be independent. After all, the creative process is something that has to come from inside, and no one can help them with their part of a project. That piece of it must come from them and them alone.
The 3D artist also needs to be creative. Creating new products, buildings, and characters require not just an understanding of how things work, but also a certain degree of aesthetics. All these things need to look good as well as being functional. That doesn’t take mere technical understanding, but a passion for beauty. A good artist will put a little spark of their soul into everything they create.
They also need one more thing – a drive to succeed. The 3D artist is always learning in some way, even if they are done with education. They’re the ones who buy a magazine simply so they can tear out a page that impressed them and put it up on their wall to study.
A 3D artist may have started off with a certification or a degree, but they never stop once the initial certificate is in their hands.
A 3D Artist Needs to Sell Themselves
The hardest part of being a 3D artist is taking the first step. Many artists learn the programs and create beautiful work but are too nervous to put their work out there and actually land a job. The successful 3D artist has to overcome this fear and to be bold in their accomplishments. This doesn’t mean being overly proud or egotistical, but it does mean showcasing work to the best of their ability.
New 3D artists can get their work noticed in a variety of locations, including DeviantArt, LinkedIn, and 3DArtistOnline. These places give you a place to put your portfolio if you’re not quite ready to create your own website. The most talented artists may even find themselves featured in 3D Artist Magazine, a great achievement for any budding artist’s resume.
A 3D Artist Isn’t Afraid to Experiment
Today’s technology is always advancing. Since the first computer was created, technology has been developing at an incredibly rapid rate. From the first clumsy CG was created of a planned highway in the 1960s to the incredibly realistic CG movies we see today, things are always changing.
Now, a 3D artist may require a 3D printing service to make a physical representation of their work, or they might need to learn a new program to help them create characters for augmented reality. Whatever the case, the 3D artist is eager and ready to embrace these changes.
The 3D Artist Is Competitive
There are thousands of other 3D artists out there, and they all have similar goals. The 3D artist knows that he is part of a larger community. The 3D artist often looks to other artists for inspiration, while always working to make their own work the best out there.
Most 3D artists are happy to help others learn and even join forums and other online communities to share tips. Regardless of where they are experience-wise, the 3D artist has one goal – to be the best.
The 3D Artist Is Well Paid
We have all heard the term, “starving artist,” but that just doesn’t apply to the 3D artist. There is a huge demand for 3D art, and many different industries require 3D renders for their businesses. You can expect good pay for your time if you decide to become a 3D artist, and you don’t need to get a four-year degree in order to do so. While a bachelor’s degree is helpful in landing a job, 3D art is skill-based, and there are jobs available for anyone who can prove they can do the work well.
|3D Artist Job Information|
|2018 Median Salary||$74,600 per year|
|Number of Jobs, 2018||79,900 and growing|
|Job Outlook, 2018-26||6% (As fast as average)|
The 3D Artist Is at Home in a Variety of Environments
3D artists are needed in a huge variety of industries, which means where and when they work can be extremely varied. Don’t expect to see your 3D artist refusing to work at a trendy office or looking for jobs restricted to just one location. Thanks to their ability to work remotely, you can find a 3D artist just about anywhere in the world.
A 3D artist may find themselves working in a busy office space to be on-site with a team, traveling to a construction site to scope out a potential new building space, or sitting at home in their pajamas. Wherever they work, they still need to stay focused and get the job done.
3D Artists Are Professionals
We’ve all heard of an artist’s temperament, but for 3D artists, that simply doesn’t apply. Big businesses depend on them to help move technology forward, and they can’t afford to have such a crucial team member fly off the handle. The 3D artist knows that their role is essential and keeps a cool head even under tight deadlines.
No matter what industry you go into, from the medical field to the gaming field, deadlines are an inescapable reality. Many other aspects of their jobs can’t be completed until after the artist’s work is done, making it one of the essential roles in any new venture.
3D artists provide vital CAD services, and they don’t lord their vital function over the rest of the team. They listen carefully to their customers and recreate what the customer imagines as accurately as possible. There are some who may look down on this, thinking that because the 3D artist doesn’t hold a leadership position at a major company, they aren’t important.
These people would be very wrong, however, because if the 3D artist is removed from the equation, disaster strikes. The 3D artist knows and is confident in who they are. They are simply humble about it.
3D Artists Believe in Themselves
The job of the artist is to imagine, nearly from scratch, something that has not been seen before. New characters, new creations, new offices – all of these things call for fresh ideas and a little bravery. Artists are at the forefront of brave new ideas that pave the world around them, and their work has a real and physical impact on the planet.
Unfortunately, self-doubt can rob these very same artists of that ability, rendering them helpless to finish old projects or begin new ones. Beginner artists can question whether they have the skills to turn their hobby into a real job, while advanced artists may feel burnt out and worry their creative ability is gone.
Fortunately, 3D artists have learned to believe in themselves and their capabilities, which is why so many of them can be successful and creative for many years.
3D Artists Dream Big
Creating 3D art is more than merely having a technical understanding of the process. When art is simply a few clicks on a screen, it lacks the heart and emotion that a genuinely passionate artist possesses. In order to create that passion, however, artists need something to strive for. This means setting goals that are lofty and worthy of shooting for.
Some artists dream of working on a major video game, a big-name movie, or in helping children with disabilities gain amazingly lifelike arms. They break that lifetime goal up into little pieces and use those smaller goals to help guide them through their careers.
A 3D artist may know they can’t create a new character for Nintendo on their very first day, but they will use that end goal to put their portfolio out there, to get hired by a smaller gaming company, and to work their way up bit by bit. Every time they have a setback, instead of getting discouraged, they use their passionate desire to reach their goals to help them bounce back.
There are so many things that couldn’t exist today without 3D artists being who they are. We would have no realistic fantasy games, no dragons swooping through the skies of our movies, and certain things we take for granted would be much harder or even dangerous. The next time you see an animal leaping through fire in an action movie, rest assured that it’s likely a CG.
Without the 3D artist, prosthetics would be mass produced and roughly shaped to fit a person’s arm, instead of custom made to fit the person. Without the 3D artist, there could be thousands of prototypes made and thrown away because they couldn’t be precisely designed first. These precisely made prosthetics allow people to do things that were impossible years ago – like competing in the Olympics. Some artists have even turned limbs into works of beauty to be admired instead of hidden.
The 3D artist knows their worth and knows that without them, the world would be a radically different place. The next time you wonder who the 3D artist might be, just look around. Their presence can be felt everywhere. The 3D artist is very different from other artists, but they have one of the most critical and needed jobs in the marketplace today.
Cad Crowd Provides a Home for the 3D Artist
At Cad Crowd, we provide a place for 3D artists to connect with clients looking for help getting 3D models and CAD designs created. The artists on our platform are top-of-the-line and have worked with some of the best companies around the world. If you want to join our platform as an artist, or are looking for an artist yourself, connect with us!