3D Artist: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

Artem Orlov Updated 
3D Artist: what they do, how to become one, and where to study

3D artists are creative professionals who specialize in generating three-dimensional models, animations, and visual effects using computer software. These talented individuals work in various industries, such as video games, film, advertising, architecture, and product design. The growing demand for realistic and engaging visual content has led to an increase in the need for skilled 3D artists across various sectors. By the way, recently the ProfGuide career guidance center has developed a precise career orientation test, which will tell you which professions are suitable for you, provide a conclusion about your personality type and intelligence.



There are several specializations within the 3D artist profession, including:

  1. 3D Modeler: Creates detailed, realistic 3D models of objects, characters, or environments.
  2. 3D Animator: Brings 3D models to life by creating movement and realistic interactions.
  3. Texture Artist: Applies colors, patterns, and textures to 3D models, enhancing their visual appearance.
  4. Lighting Artist: Manipulates light sources and shadows to create a specific atmosphere or mood within a 3D scene.
  5. 3D Generalist: Possesses a broad range of skills and can work on multiple aspects of a 3D project.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Some common tasks and responsibilities of a 3D artist include:

  1. Concept development and design
  2. Creating 3D models and animations
  3. Texturing and lighting
  4. Rendering final images or animations
  5. Collaborating with other team members, such as designers, animators, and developers

Pros and Cons


  1. Creative and dynamic work environment
  2. Opportunities to work in various industries
  3. High demand for skilled professionals
  4. Potential for career growth and development
  5. Opportunity to work on exciting projects


  1. Long working hours and tight deadlines
  2. Competitive job market
  3. Constant need to learn and adapt to new technologies
  4. Potential for repetitive tasks
  5. High initial investment in software and hardware

Demand (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)

Demand for 3D artists is on the rise due to the increasing need for high-quality visual content in various industries. In the USA, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia, job opportunities for 3D artists are expected to grow, especially in the gaming, film, and advertising sectors.

Salary Ranges (in USA, Canada, GB, Australia)

Average salary ranges for 3D artists are as follows:

  1. USA: $40,000 - $80,000
  2. Canada: CAD 40,000 - CAD 75,000
  3. Great Britain: £25,000 - £50,000
  4. Australia: AUD 50,000 - AUD 90,000

Note that these figures may vary based on experience, location, and industry.

Where Do 3D Artists Work?

3D artists can find work in various settings, including:

  1. Video game companies
  2. Film and television studios
  3. Advertising agencies
  4. Architectural firms
  5. Product design companies

These professionals are needed to create captivating visual content that engages and entertains audiences, enhances user experiences, or effectively communicates design concepts.

Important Qualities of a Successful 3D Artist

To succeed as a 3D artist, one should possess the following qualities:

  1. Strong artistic skills and creativity
  2. Proficiency in 3D software, such as Blender, Maya, or 3ds Max
  3. Good understanding of color, composition, and lighting
  4. Attention to detail
  5. Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  6. Effective communication and teamwork skills

Step-by-step Career Path

Here is a step-by-step career path for becoming a 3D artist:

  1. Gain foundational knowledge in art and design through high school courses, community college classes, or online courses.
  2. Pursue a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, animation, or a related field. Some universities offer specialized programs in 3D art.
  3. Build a strong portfolio that showcases your skills and creativity. Include personal projects or freelance work to demonstrate your versatility.
  4. Gain experience through internships or entry-level positions at a production company or design firm.
  5. Develop expertise in a specialized area of 3D art, such as modeling or animation.
  6. Continue to learn and stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and techniques in the industry.
  7. Seek out opportunities for career growth, such as advancing to a senior artist or leadership position.

How to Become a 3D Artist

While there is no specific educational path to becoming a 3D artist, most professionals have a degree in computer graphics, animation, or a related field. In the USA, many universities offer specialized programs in 3D art, and some offer online courses for students who cannot attend in person.

To become a 3D artist, it is also essential to gain hands-on experience using 3D software. Many aspiring 3D artists start by experimenting with free software, such as Blender or SketchUp, before investing in professional-grade software like Maya or 3ds Max.

Some professionals also complete internships or entry-level positions to gain practical experience and build a portfolio. Additionally, attending industry events, workshops, and conferences can help aspiring 3D artists learn from experts and stay up-to-date with industry trends.

Where to Become a 3D Artist

There are many universities and colleges around the world that offer specialized programs in 3D art. Here are some examples of institutions in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia:


  1. Ringling College of Art and Design
  2. Savannah College of Art and Design
  3. University of Southern California
  4. Gnomon School of Visual Effects
  5. California Institute of the Arts


  1. Sheridan College
  2. Vancouver Film School
  3. Seneca College
  4. Centennial College
  5. Concordia University

Great Britain:

  1. Bournemouth University
  2. University of Hertfordshire
  3. The University of Portsmouth
  4. Teesside University
  5. The Glasgow School of Art


  1. Griffith University
  2. Queensland University of Technology
  3. RMIT University
  4. University of Technology Sydney
  5. Billy Blue College of Design

Can You Enter the Profession with a Different Degree?

While it is possible to enter the 3D art profession without a degree in computer graphics or animation, having a degree in a related field, such as fine arts or graphic design, can be beneficial. It demonstrates a strong foundation in artistic principles, which is essential for creating visually appealing and engaging content.

However, having a degree is not always necessary, as long as you possess the necessary skills and experience. Building a strong portfolio that showcases your talent and versatility is essential for securing job opportunities and advancing your career as a 3D artist.

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