In which industries can you work as a 3d artist?

When someone hears about a 3d artist, they immediately think that the person works on movies or games industry. However, that is not always the case. I have labeled 14 different industries 3d artists work in.

  • Film, TV commercials and serials

Widely known industries and most artists work in this field. It requires a lot of artists to work on small bits to create the final product. Very time consuming and demands different specializations from the artists.

  • Game Design

Again widely known industry. Artists generally need to work together with developers. Specialization and time changes based on the type of game that is being created.

  • Video Editor/Motion Graphics

Mostly looping motion graphic works or intro/outro clips. I tend to come across these artists working freelance most of the time. It consists of designing posters, short films, logos, title sequences, music videos…)

  • Architectural Design

The goal is to help architects and also the clients to have a visual representation in front of them. Details and scale is especially important in this part. The artists in architectural design often have to deliver extremely realistic renders but I also see some renders that are targeted on the main structure so the surrounding models/props are low quality or even 2d.

  • Software Companies

Some examples that pops in my head are NVIDIA, Realflow, Redshift. For example, NVIDIA wants to test their GPUs or drivers on rendering a 3d scene. They can’t always work with a cube or a sphere without shaders. So they need 3d artists, both to test the capabilities of the new tech and to try to improve their products based on new effects/plugins etc.

  • Medical Animations and Modeling

Mainly for surgery animations both for the doctors and patients. Doctors or hospitals need 3d animated videos for educational purposes as well as for figuring out some difficult health situations. Patients can benefit from these animation or models by viewing and getting up to speed on their conditions and the solutions.

  • Universities and Education

Universities need 3d artists especially to educate students, but I have also seen some Universities using these artists for research purposes either for medical or industrial purposes. Apart from Universities, 3d education as in tutorials or one to one education is a common job title for artists. This can range from Youtube tutorials, to online workshops, to schools just designed for art like Gnomon or Lost Boys Studios.

  • Manufacturing Firms and Industrial Design

This contains a wide range of different materials. This section mostly requires 3d artists to do some great modeling/shading and lighting. For example home items/furniture that we see in IKEA product renders. Or tools and machinery producing firms need renders to visualize for themselves and to show to the customers the product. Even though it probably requires its own title, I want to include “3d printing” here since it is growing rapidly. Artists are needed to design and 3d print models that can range from small doodads to massive houses that people live in.

  • Defense Industry

I had some experience with this part. Since shooting a video for some new bomb/weapon/armor/tech is both dangerous and expensive, 3d artists play an important role here. Again both for educational and representation purposes 3d animations are vital in this sector. I know that most of these companies hire their own artists instead of outsourcing since there is a big know how.

  • Aerospace Industry

Simulations of missions or models of prototypes and rockets, again both for representative and educational purposes. I am not sure but these kind of companies probably hire their own 3d artists just like the defense industry. Most common and recent example is the Mars Rover landing animations on Mars from NASA.

  • Automotive Firms

All the automotive industry uses 3d to show their new models/designs. I worked for Bentley in this part a few years ago. A new model was going to be released so they needed a reveal trailer (something between a tv commercial and a design project). [Youtube Link Here] It is not only about the model of the car or the lighting, 3d artists are also needed to show a new piece that is added to the new model or how the engine works or the company may need interior/cross section/wireframe renders of an automobile.

  • Science and Geology

Consists mostly of simulations of natural phenomena like earthquakes, volcanos, tornados, flood simulations since they are very difficult and dangerous to film. Used widely for education purposes or to share information with visual representations.

  • AR and VR

This industry is mostly included in the game design category but in recent years AR and VR grew tremendously. It ranges from games to education, from sculpting models to entertainment type of applications. They are even used to discover and browse new artworks or visit museums in virtual spaces. I often see artists that call themselves AR or VR artists and for good reason.



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Berk Erdag

VFX artist writing about mostly the business side and a bit about the artistic side and some technical experiments of the VFX and CG Sector.