Should You Consider a Career in 3D Designing in 2021?
Presently, there are plenty of professions that simply didn’t exist a decade or two ago. Also, the career paths currently available to people vary and are much more creative and inventive than in the past. 3D designing is creating characters and environments that are based on artistic concepts. In order to create realistic textures, modellers wrap 2D surfaces on digital frames, creating characters which animators can then control.
Although this may sound relatively obscure, 3D designers work for a variety of industries and actually produce models for video games, 3D movies, websites, graphic design, animation, special effects, character props, and also work with people in other fields such as geologists, architects, scientists, engineer, healthcare professionals and much more.
Given how varied, creative, and versatile this career path is, it's attractive for many to go down this career path and become a 3D designer. If you’re interested in the world of 3D designing and want to know more on why it's becoming popular if you can be interested in pursuing it in 2021, read on!
What Do 3D Designers Actually Do?
3D designers are classified as multimedia artists and normally work in busy and high paced offices, but some also work from home as freelance 3D designers. They’re usually part of a larger team of creatives that create projects for a variety of stakeholders, usually in the graphic design, film, or video gaming industry. This is considered a highly specialized field and it is in high demand, so the modeller usually has a lot of choice regarding where to work. The 3D modelling software continues to develop as well, offering professionals in the field exciting new avenues and possibilities.
3D modelling involves a high degree of knowledge in computer programming and software, as well as a creative eye, attention to detail and perfectionism. If you want to become a 3D designer you don’t have to be a fine artist, with the right tools, you can start where you are and you will be able to create interesting designs.
What education and training do you need to become a 3D Designer?
The training of a 3D designer depends on which field they want to specialize in. If you want to become a 3D designer for video games, you should probably opt for a bachelor’s degree in game design. On the other hand, if you are interested in architectural or engineering modelling, you should opt for either of their bachelor’s degrees and once you’re in, you should choose to focus on modelling modules. Overall, though, it is advisable to get at least a bachelor’s degree, as there is a large pool of competition to match the large demand for 3D modellers. It's definitely advisable to do some research on different art schools and their programmes, as some are very specific and highly specialized, which could be the perfect match for you!
Do 3D modellers earn well?
Once again this strongly depends on which specialization a modeller has. The highest-paid in the industry are those that work in motion picture films, followed by those who work in video game design, closely followed by software publishing and computer system design.
How much a modeller makes is also greatly dependent on the company they work for, their location and experience, so it’s important to take those variables into consideration when thinking about getting into the world of 3D designing. In fact, a typical 3D modeler will most likely work as part of a larger design team, especially when first starting out. As of June 2021, the average 3D modeler in the United States makes $61,264 a year, which is $31.42 per hour when you commit to 37.5 hours a week.
As a result, in the art world, it’s not uncommon for artists to work on a freelance or self-employed basis, which provides flexibility and independence, but it also means that initial earnings may be measly. This does change quite quickly though, as you expand your portfolio and also get your name out there as an up-and-coming modeller.
Best Careers in 3D Designing
The best thing about 3D designing is that there are many career options in the field to choose from. With many opportunities on the horizon, you can get your foot in the door with entry-level positions. As a result, entry-level jobs in the field will get your feet wet by helping you sharpen your skills and develop a good work ethic.
With that in mind, here are a few of the most popular jobs in the field of 3D modelling:
First, a graphic designer is responsible for creating visual concepts. Graphic designers often use computer software to communicate ideas and concepts of their creations.
In this job, graphic designers focus specifically on 3D visual concepts – whether it’s item rendering, conceptual or concrete illustrations, or company logos.
Typically, these designers will work alongside marketers, advertising personnel, and other designers to come up with ways to better advertise, inspire, and inform consumers. How? By creating elaborate products, such as:
- Reports, etc.
Video Game Designer
Being one of the most lucrative industries to date, video game designers are the people who make the games that many people love to play no matter the platform – PC, consoles (i.e. Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo), mobile, etc. With that said, creating the core features of video games is essential to making them more fun and exciting for gamers.
The good news is, with plenty of technological advancements popping up nowadays, there is plenty to do in this line of work. As a videogame designer, you’ll be responsible for using 3D design and modelling to create amazing settings, inspiring characters, and easy-to-use game mechanics.
Web developers are responsible for designing and creating websites, whether it’s for a business, an organization, or for multiple clients. Keep in mind: To build a portfolio for web development, it’s recommended that you take up as many entry-level opportunities as possible, and get to know the client(s) that you work with.
As a web developer, you’ll apply 3D design concepts that allow you to comprehend and create well-functioning websites that have a good mix of imagery and user interface (UI). In that case, your goal would be to create a more engaging and user-friendly experience for those who will visit the site. That means ensuring the following:
- Knowing coding
- Working well with 3D models and graphics
- Creating and testing various applications, AND
- Incorporating both video and audio into the site
Ever wondered how buildings are designed? If so, then this is for you!
Architectural designers work with architects, real estate designers, and other designers to create a sustainable building, whether it’s a house, a public building, a government building, etc. Typically, you’ll be:
- Creating various layouts
- Putting together elaborate plans and drawings
- Conceptualizing buildings and landscapes
- Working closely with clients to ensure that their needs and expectations are met
- Coming up with technical drawings and renderings, along with research product solutions, AND
- Ensuring that everything in the designs comply with all building codes and regulations
3D Printing Technician
Finally, 3D printing is another popular occupation in the 3D modelling industry. As a 3D printing technician, you’ll be doing the following:
- Preparing files for 3D printing
- Working with 3D printing technology and equipment, AND
- Making sure that all 3D printing machinery are working at their best to create suitable products.
Since 3D printing has already revolutionized how 3D modelling is done, this has become a requirement for going into the field. In other words, you’ll need to have some working and demonstrative knowledge of 3D printing, so that you can have that hands-on experience when applying for an entry-level position in 3D designing.
Is 3D Modelling ONLY For 3D Modelling?
The short answer is no.
In fact, businesses and corporations will often use 3D modelling. Here’s how:
- Businesses – Whether you work for a business, or are planning to start your own, 3D printing lets you be innovative in your business endeavours. Even as an entrepreneur, 3D printing allows you to take on technical and design roles to help you perform 3D printing tasks.
3D printing technologies are also beneficial for consumers, because ultimately, your business will be catering to them when providing them with products and or services. As a result, you’re opening up your business to newer opportunities either in-person or online.
- Operations and Administration – 3D printing can also be in operational and administrative roles in companies. Nowadays, more and more companies are looking into how they can improve various areas such as operations and administration.
Such roles include:
- Sales reps
- Human resources, etc.
All in all, the world of motion design, video games, graphic design, and the need for 3D designing, is generally expanding. With more and more developments in the industry that push the creative boundaries to limits rarely dreamed of a few years ago, 2021 is definitely the year to become a 3D modelling professional. The industry is not only expansive, but collaborative, exciting and lucrative. If you’re a creative person that is also computer savvy, consider 3D modelling as a career path, get those creative juices flowing and create amazing designs in no time!
Enjoy powerful modeling, rendering, and 3D printing tools without the steep learning curve.
Need to learn 3D Modeling? Get started with interactive tutorials.
About the Author
Henry Wiegand has been involved in many projects and loves reading and writing about business development. He is a business development manager at Gum essays writing services.