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Become A 3D Modeler

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Working As A 3D Modeler

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $63,970

    Average Salary

What Does A 3D Modeler Do

Multimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, animation, and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

Duties

Multimedia artists and animators typically do the following:

  • Use computer programs and illustrations to create graphics and animation
  • Work with a team of animators and artists to create a movie, game, or visual effect
  • Research upcoming projects to help create realistic designs or animations
  • Develop storyboards that map out key scenes in animations
  • Edit animations and effects on the basis of feedback from directors, other animators, game designers, or clients
  • Meet with clients, other animators, games designers, directors, and other staff (which may include actors) to review deadlines and development time lines

Multimedia artists and animators often work in a specific medium. Some focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual effects for movies and television shows. Creating computer-generated images (known as CGI) may include taking images of an actor’s movements and then animating them into three-dimensional characters. Other animators design scenery or backgrounds for locations.

Artists and animators can further specialize within these fields. Within animated movies and video games, artists often specialize in characters or in scenery and background design. Video game artists may focus on level design: creating the look, feel, and layout for the levels of a video game.

Animators work in teams to develop a movie, a visual effect, or an electronic game. Each animator works on a portion of the project, and then the pieces are put together to create one cohesive animation.

Some multimedia artists and animators create their work primarily by using computer software or by writing their own computer code. Many animation companies have their own computer animation software that artists must learn to use. Video game designers also work in a wide variety of platforms, including mobile gaming and online social networks.

Other artists and animators prefer to work by drawing and painting by hand and then translating the resulting images into computer programs. Some multimedia artists use storyboards or “animatics,” which look like a comic strip, to help visualize the final product during the design process.

Many multimedia artists and animators put their creative work on the Internet. If the images become popular, these artists can gain more recognition, which can lead to future employment or freelance work.

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How To Become A 3D Modeler

Most multimedia artists and animators need a bachelor’s degree in computer graphics, art, or a related field to develop both an impressive portfolio of work and the strong technical skills that many employers prefer.

Education

Employers typically require a bachelor’s degree, and they look for workers who have a good portfolio of work and strong technical skills. Multimedia artists and animators typically have a bachelor’s degree in fine art, computer graphics, animation, or a related field. Programs in computer graphics often include courses in computer science in addition to art courses.

Bachelor’s degree programs in art include courses in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Degrees in animation often require classes in drawing, animation, and film. Many schools have specialized degrees in topics such as interactive media or game design.

Training

Some animation studios have their own software and computer applications that they use to create films, and they often provide on-the-job training so that workers can use the specific software and computer applications.

Important Qualities

Artistic talent. Animators and artists should have artistic ability and a good understanding of color, texture, and light. However, they may be able to compensate for artistic shortcomings with better technical skills.

Communication skills. Multimedia artists and animators need to work as part of a complex team and respond well to criticism and feedback.

Computer skills. Many multimedia artists and animators use computer programs or write programming code to do most of their work.

Creativity. Artists and animators must be able to think creatively to develop original ideas and make them come to life.

Time-management skills. The hours required by most studio and game design companies can be long, particularly when there are tight deadlines. Artists and animators need to be able to manage their time effectively when a deadline approaches.

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3D Modeler jobs

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3D Modeler Demographics

Gender

Male

77.7%

Female

18.0%

Unknown

4.3%
Ethnicity

White

68.6%

Hispanic or Latino

15.1%

Asian

12.6%

Unknown

2.9%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.0%

Chinese

12.0%

French

8.0%

Mandarin

8.0%

German

6.0%

Portuguese

4.0%

Tagalog

4.0%

Sicilian

2.0%

Filipino

2.0%

Ukrainian

2.0%

Turkish

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Russian

2.0%

Carrier

2.0%

Armenian

2.0%

Korean

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Italian

2.0%
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3D Modeler Education

Schools

Academy of Art University

18.0%

Art Institute of California - Inland

12.4%

Savannah College of Art and Design

11.8%

Full Sail University

11.8%

Art Institute of Phoenix

3.7%

Ringling College of Art and Design

3.7%

Bowling Green State University

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.1%

South University-The Art Institute of Dallas

3.1%

Art Institute of Philadelphia

3.1%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

3.1%

Columbia College Chicago

2.5%

Parsons the New School for Design

2.5%

Virginia College-Huntsville

2.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

2.5%

Purdue University

2.5%

Rhode Island School of Design

2.5%

Digital Media Arts College

2.5%

University of Central Florida

1.9%
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Majors

Animation

20.8%

Graphic Design

14.9%

Drafting And Design

10.5%

Computer Science

9.5%

Architecture

5.9%

Computer Applications

5.9%

Mechanical Engineering

5.3%

Fine Arts

5.1%

Design And Visual Communication

3.8%

Photography

2.5%

Business

2.3%

Digital Media

2.1%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.9%

Entertainment Business

1.5%

Electrical Engineering

1.3%

Interior Design

1.3%

Communication

1.3%

Information Technology

1.3%

Graphic Communications

1.3%

Environmental Design

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.7%

Other

16.4%

Associate

13.9%

Masters

12.9%

Certificate

4.3%

Diploma

0.9%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.1%
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Real 3D Modeler Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
CAD Sculptor/Digital 3D Modeler Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 19, 2016 $165,000 -
$185,000
CAD Sculptor/Digital 3D Modeler Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2011 $135,000 -
$217,000
CAD Sculptor/Digital 3D Modeler Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 14, 2011 $115,000
CAD Sculptor/Digital 3D Modeler Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 25, 2013 $110,000 -
$170,000
CAD Sculptor/Digital 3D Modeler Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2012 $110,000 -
$170,000
CAD Sculptor/Digital 3D Modeler Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Feb 05, 2013 $105,000 -
$125,000
3D Modeller ZOOX, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jan 08, 2016 $90,000
Senior 3-D Modeler Charlex, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $90,000
Senior 3D Graphics Modeler Eat Sleep Play, Inc. Salt Lake City, UT Nov 02, 2009 $90,000
3D Modeler Blue Sky Studios, Inc. Greenwich, CT Dec 31, 2010 $87,267
CAD Sculptor/Digital 3D Modeler Pro Unlimited Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2012 $83,720
3D Modeler Blue Sky Studios, Inc. Greenwich, CT Aug 22, 2010 $81,466
Senior 3D Modeler Thekla, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 11, 2014 $80,000 -
$100,000
3D Modeler Blue Sky Studios, Inc. Greenwich, CT Oct 20, 2010 $75,705
Senior 3D Modeler Thekla, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2011 $70,000 -
$95,000
Senior 3D Modeler Thekla, Inc. Berkeley, CA Oct 01, 2011 $70,000 -
$95,000
3D Modeler and Designer Make Retail, LLC Saint Paul, MN Sep 19, 2013 $67,000
3D Modeler Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. Waltham, MA Sep 04, 2015 $60,320
3D Modeler The Blocks Project LLC Richmond, CA Feb 15, 2016 $55,389
3D Modeler Archibim, Inc. Sterling, VA Oct 01, 2011 $55,347
3D Modeler Zenimax Media Inc. Richardson, TX Jun 16, 2014 $55,000
Artist/3D Modeler Judobaby, Inc. Redwood City, CA Oct 01, 2011 $51,002
3D Modeler Archibim, Inc. Sterling, VA Oct 01, 2011 $50,130
3D Modeler Goon Studios LLC Pasadena, CA Aug 24, 2014 $48,000
3D Character Modeler Munkyfun, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2010 $45,718 -
$60,000

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Top Skills for A 3D Modeler

3DDesignComputerModelsAutocadMEPAdobePhotoshopEnvironmentAssetsConceptArtAutodeskMayaCADDesignConceptsVideoTextureSolidModelsLayoutZbrushAdobeIllustratorCompanyWebsiteUVRhino3DDesignStudio3DDesignAssetsGoogleSketchup

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Top 3D Modeler Skills

  1. 3D Design Computer Models
  2. Autocad MEP
  3. Adobe Photoshop
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Enhanced the video images through Adobe Photoshop, while converting files to the proper format for use in Multigen.
  • Developed concept sketches and character design/model sheets Modeled + textured characters and environment assets in 3D
  • Provided 3D models based on concept art given for a mobile app game
  • Modeled the first floor of a 3D Virtual Library Model low polygons assets using Autodesk Maya
  • Acted as the primary 3D Modeling and Animation Instructor for iD Tech's summer Gaming Academy camp located at Stanford University.

Top 3D Modeler Employers

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