3D modeling has been around for far longer than most of us realize. Ground-breaking enthusiasts were already making digitized 3D models as far back as the 80’s. Viewpoint, the first company that sold 3D models to turn a profit, was founded in 1988. However, it took a couple of decades for 3D models to become widely used, and for the industry to become the juggernaut it is today. According to this recent report by Markets and Markets, the 3D Mapping and Modeling market size, already valued at 3.8 billion USD in 2020, is expected to grow to 7.6 billion USD by 2025. These are impressive figures, to say the least.
The question then arises – how does one become part of this immense market, for a chance to get a slice of the action? Consequently, how does one go about building a career as a 3D artist? Here are several tips and facts worth considering:
It is all about creativity… We prefer the term “3D artist” over “3D modeler”, precisely because the job entails having truckloads of creativity and originality. As with any job involving a creative process, 3D modeling will test your inspiration on a daily basis. Therefore, if you happen to be more “right-brained”, you will surely start off your career with a clear advantage.
…but about science as well. Besides being creative, you need to be really good at math and have excellent computer skills. Furthermore, you have to be up to date with the latest 3D graphics and CAD software and get really comfortable with all the technical aspects. This is the only way to stay efficient and relevant in the market.
Good command of English is mandatory. The 3D modeling market is global, in the truest sense of the term. You will constantly be in contact with colleagues and stakeholders from all over the world. Needless to say, it will be nearly impossible to build a stellar career, without being able to communicate in English. This certainly applies to all the industry slang as well.
Invest in your education. Even if you feel extremely confident about the first three key points, learning some more is always a great idea. Online education has never been cheaper or more accessible than right now. There are literally thousands of online courses on 3D modeling. For a more ambitious career, you should even consider getting a 3D modeling degree. Once you realize which type of 3D modeling and which industry of application interests you the most, it makes perfect sense to hone your skills and become more specialized in that particular area. Which brings us to our last point.
There are endless options and possibilities – find yours. As you can see for yourself, a simple search for “3D modeler” on Jooble will provide you with over 127 thousand vacancies. These vary greatly – from freelance work to part-time or hourly jobs, to getting employed by big-time tech companies. Moreover, with 3D mapping and modeling being as widespread as it is, you can consider very different, exciting industries for your career: motion pictures, interior design and architecture, interactive media, computer games, the medical industry, engineering, and many more. You can even create your own original 3D models and art pieces and sell your content directly, via online marketplaces.