What drives people towards becoming a 3D artist?
Was it the excitement of making your ideas alive, the emotion designing evokes in you, or the vast choice of textures, sounds, and graphics all at your command?
Most of the time, when starting to pursue a passion or a dream, we care less about the material rewards we’re getting.
In today’s world, people go above and beyond to pay less. Merge that with the undervalued 3D skillset and growing competition from all over the world - the pressure for 3D artists is definitely on.
How is it then possible to be fulfilled in this kind of job environment and still make a decent living?
Just a couple of years ago, the income of a 3D artist was probably limited to a job at an animation studio or a freelancing career.
However, in the past three years, many interesting alternatives came up, giving these creatives can finally earn a nice living by doing what they enjoy.
Knowing how to code in any of the Software scripting languages immensely helps self- marketing and earning some money on the side. If you’ve gained enough knowledge in coding, use it to write and sell scripts and plugins for 3D Software.
Odds are, you’ve already coded something to help you in your own projects. If you simply share those, and they turn out to be very helpful to others, users won’t hesitate to voluntarily give you money in return.
Artists are constantly in need of materials usually as a starting point in their work. Even though there’s a bunch of different 3D packages out there, many need specially designed ones, and that is exactly where one of the sources of income is.
Make your own course and tutorial on trending learning –platforms such as Udemy. Selling those can be a well-paid job. Some of the courses go up to 3000 enrollments, multiplied by the price of each pop, the result is a nice pay. All the equipment you need is a camera and a mic, and add a screen recording software to that. Then sign up as a content creator with the tutorial you’ve made, and keep that money coming!
Because it solves them as easy as ever before. Buying your own 3D printer is not as fictional as it was. After you’ve done the purchasing part, boost your 3D modeling skills, and just like that, you are set for printing products - almost anything you can imagine, straight from your home.
3D models are very needed, but it’s up to the artist to provide high quality, special software formatting, to be creative enough and think of additional features that may highlight and put that particular model above the rest.
Sites you should check out if this is your way to go are most definitely DAZ3d, Unity Asset Store, Turbosquid, CG studio etc.
There are so many reasons (income being one of them) blogging is an awesome way to go for artists. EmptyEasel has this post by Dan on the topic if you’re looking for details and insights.
The key point is regularly publishing interesting posts, making people more eager to comment on your work, and if you’ve risen to the challenge, the word about your refreshing and unique content is going to spread.
Whether you’ve designed a 3D model, a plugin, or any kind of material, it’s a good money-making strategy to give some for free, because that keeps the visitors coming back for more. If you're knee-deep in blogging, you shouldn’t pass on affiliate marketing. Selling other people’s products on your blog brings you a commission, and most retailers pay nice amounts, sometimes 50% or more.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says the average annual salary of 3D Artists and Animators in America is around $72200. The numbers also say that beginners in the field rarely earn more than 40 thousand dollars per year. On the other side, if you’re experienced enough, you can cash your expertise for around three times more than the newbies.
The variation is proportional on the hourly level, ranging from around 20 to 60 dollars, depending on where you stand on knowledge and practical work.
Another great influence on your salary is your employer, so it is advised for artists to always be on the lookout for the highest-paying ones.
There are some who stick out of the industry with the highest salaries for their employees on an annual level:
1. Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers – around 81 thousand dollars
2. Other Information Services – around 80 thousand dollars
3. Software Publishers – around 76 thousand dollars
4. Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers – around 75 thousand dollars
5. Motion Picture and Video Industries – around 73 thousand dollars, which applies also for Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries, Information etc.
1. Graphic Designers – around 50 thousand dollars per year
They use various methods in order to design, sketch, illustrate a great range of demands.
2. Art Directors – around 97 thousand dollars per year
They generate design ideas, and how to present them, have great skill in advertising and broadcasting. They are also in charge of the artwork’s layout.
3. Film and Video Directors – around 75 thousand dollars per year
They take care of editing all kinds of media, but mostly video and film. They often take care of synchronization of sound and images.
It’s clear as a day that payments for 3D artistry vary depending on many factors, but it’s indisputable that your numbers may skyrocket no matter the circumstances if you’re up to date with the industry’s novelties and therefore new ways of receiving proper monetary credit for your work. Good luck!
Entering the 3D world is definitely one of the most fulfilling adventures you could ever take, as you can visualize anything you ever imagine and bring it to life with your own hands. For a 3D artist, that’s one of the best feelings in the world.
However, the road to becoming one can be bumpy if you have no idea where to start and how to reach your goals. But, if you have a strong will and you’re creative enough to produce stunning 3D visualizations, you can do anything you set your mind to. If you’ve decided to become a 3D artist, here are the most essential steps that you need to take.
This is the first obvious step you need to take because you will be using 3D software for everything you do. There are a lot of different tools out there, so choosing one when you are just starting out can be overwhelming.
Do a bit of research and find out what tools other aspiring 3D artists are using. You can start with Photoshop to get a hang of the basics, but be sure to move on to other tools, such as Blender, AutoCAD, Maxwell, and V-Ray. Trying them will help you learn how to create 3D visualizations, and you’ll quickly figure out which software you’ll continue using.
When you want to become successful at something, you must know that it all comes down to practice. This can’t be stressed enough. It will take a lot of trial and error for you to become truly successful at 3D rendering, or anything else 3D-related, so you need to practice every single day.
That is how you will improve your skills and gain the experience necessary for making it out there and building a successful career. Sketch a lot and make your 3D software your best friend, getting to know every feature it has to offer like the palm of your hand until you’ve mastered them all. And then keep practicing.
Procrastination is the number one motivation killer. If you let it get in your way, you’ll never reach your goals. Eliminate it completely from your life and don’t let anything distract you from your work.
Again, to become successful at what you do, you need to practice. So, don’t come up with an excuse to procrastinate just because you encountered an obstacle. Don’t say that it’s hard, that you’re busy, or that you’re just not good enough. Anything you start doing is difficult at first but, if you truly want to do it, find the time and find a way.
Diving into the works of various accomplished 3D artists is one of the best ways to improve your own work. You can find inspiration in their visualizations and spark your creativity, so be sure to constantly stay in touch with what they are doing.
It’s more than easy to do so these days, as you can find literally anything you want online. There are plenty of 3D artists out there and they all have their portfolios up online. You can also read about their success stories and listen to interviews, as they certainly have a lot of tips and advice to share.
When you truly master your skills, you need to create a portfolio of your artwork. Choose the best works you have created, works that really showcase your talent, creativity, and experience and put them in the portfolio that you will share with the world.
It goes without saying that you should create a professional website where you will share your portfolio, because how else would people find you and hire you? But, don’t stop there. Keep expanding your portfolio and adding new works, especially those from all the successful projects you’ve engaged in. Showcase your skills and you will open the doors to a lot of new possibilities.
Sharing your portfolio on a website isn’t enough, because how would people know about you in the first place? You need to get your artwork noticed, and the best way to do it nowadays is to harness the power of social media.
Share everything you do on social media because people will share it as well and the word about your work will spread like wildfire. People will quickly learn about you and visit your website to check out more of your work. You can also post your work on forums and get honest, genuine feedback that can help you keep improving.
Networking is incredibly important for any line of business, especially when you’re still building a name for yourself. It can help you meet new aspiring 3D artists like yourself, so you can exchange experiences and knowledge and learn a lot from one another.
Moreover, you can meet a lot of influential people who may want to hire you, or recommend you to someone who may need a 3D artist to work with. Networking is all about making connections, so get involved in a 3D community and you can make strong connections that can help you realize your dreams.
It’s important to always keep enhancing your skills and push yourself to the limit because there will always be new things to learn and discover. Never give up and never stop growing. You can find inspiration all around you, so constantly feed your creativity and your drive for improvement.
The most successful 3D artists are never fully satisfied with their work because they always see room for improvement. So, don’t be disappointed if you notice some flaws in your work, because that’s the only way you can grow and come up with fresh and innovative ways to step up your game.
The ultimate key to becoming a successful 3D artist is to start small and dream big. You can’t become successful overnight, so start slowly from square one and work your way up. Follow all these steps, and remember that practice makes perfect and that you can truly do anything you set your mind to, especially in the exciting and innovative 3D world.
You think finding a great freelance 3D renderer is hard?
Try assessing their talent, expertise, and skills.
The problem with hiring any artist is not in the lack of available talent but in the shortage of time and resources needed for evaluating their reputation, ambition, and work ethic. This is especially true for architecture and design firms that are looking for a quick but trustworthy freelance 3D rendering artist.
Freelance or in-house, let’s not forget that your new hire must reflect your company’s values and seamlessly fit into its culture. Communication is of great importance when it comes to design projects, which means that your 3D artist must be easy to collaborate with and able to understand your vision.
All this calls for a holistic assessment approach, the one that takes into account both hard and soft skills. To help you create a framework for hiring freelance 3D rendering artists, we’ve compiled a list of evaluation tricks for you to use while screening, reviewing and interviewing your firm’s candidates.
Without Skype, of course.
There are numerous ways to find a good freelance 3D renderer. Though your options extend beyond the online universe, the talent pool is here not only vast but also nicely organized. Online job-finding services allow you to preview potential hires’ profiles that include both portfolios and endorsements.
Read them carefully, and pay attention to various signals that indicate the artist’s reputation. How many gigs have they worked on in the past? Do their profiles showcase ongoing projects and long-term collaborations? Which firms have employed them before you, and have they rated their work?
If not, send these firms an email to ask them why. Perhaps there was something about this 3D artist’s creative process that they weren’t satisfied with. The artist’s portfolio can be technically perfect, but that still doesn’t mean that they possess all other qualities that should qualify them for your projects.
Also, google their name. High-end 3D rendering artists usually have a website presentation of their own, along with success stories and client testimonials. If what you see meets all your requirements, write their name down and continue your search. Check them on LinkedIn, UpWork, and Freelancer.
After checking the potential hire’s online reputation, most firms conduct a phone screening before they eventually set up a face-to-face meeting. In these digital times, these two steps are often merged into one, when the candidate is simultaneously screened and interviewed via video chat such as Skype.
But you’re not looking to fill in a permanent in-house position, so don’t waste your time. If you’ve done your research right, and if the artist’s online reputation says enough about their performance, invite them for a meeting straight away. You’ll have a better chance of evaluating them face-to-face.
Again, online research should tell you everything you need to know about the artist’s background in 3D modeling, which includes both technical and creative skills. The interview serves to evaluate whether or not the freelancer is a good fit for your project, so ask them the following five questions:
With this question, you’ll be able to determine how ambitious and hardworking the candidate is, just as well as whether they have any formal education and should you consider that as a plus or not.
The candidate is here expected to talk about their failures as an artist. 3D rendering is very hard, and it takes a lot of trials and errors to perfect it. Their answer should tell you how they deal with setbacks.
Don’t ask them if they are a team player or not; they know that they must say yes if they are to pass the test. Ask them about their flexibility, and let them give you an example of how adaptable they are.
If the answer is yes, then your search is almost finished. You need an artist who specializes in what you need. If not, label them as a hot candidate and allow them to show you their ideas in practice.
This is very important when evaluating 3D artists, particularly when they are freelancers. You’re looking for a yes, but be careful about what that means. Maybe they’re unemployed for a good reason.
If the candidate has checked off all your boxes, both online and in person, then it may be a good time to evaluate their performance in practice. There are two ways to do this, depending on how much you are in a hurry – by assigning them a low-profile project, or by asking them for a mock-up of a big one.
The first way may be better, as it allows you to assess hard and soft skills alike. The artist will have to collaborate on a project, keep in touch with the rest of the team, and eventually deliver your first 3D design. You’ll see how self-sufficient they are too, as well as how they manage budgets and deadlines.
If you’re in a middle of a project that must be completed ASAP, then a mock-up is a good alternative. An experienced artist should be able to do it in a couple of days. You won’t ask them to do a full 3D render, of course, but rather a project plan that details how and when the design will be completed.
In either case, let them talk you through their process. Listen carefully as they explain their ideas since that is the best indicator of how outspoken, ambitious, and creative they actually are. A good 3D artist should showcase all three of these qualities, but should also be able to take in constructive criticism.
So, listen and criticise.
If you need a reliable freelance 3D artist fast, then this 3-step strategy is your only chance. You cannot entrust somebody with your design without knowing their professional background, meeting them in person, and letting them prove themselves in practice. As evaluations go, this is the shortest route.
Art has always intrigued us and awakened our creative side, which is why it comes in various forms. People love art because it can speak to them in different ways and invoke new emotions and feelings that they haven’t experienced yet. Since there so many mediums through which artists can express themselves today, you can now simply choose your theme and focus on an art style that you feel comfortable with.
There are people who like art in the form of music, some prefer poems, other paintings, and so on. What’s important is that there are so many different mediums out there but, in every one of them, there are creative and inspiring artists who continue to provide great content. And with the latest tech advancements come new forms of art as well.
The latest art forms are heavily influenced by television and the whole concept of motion pictures. In the beginning, TV shows and movies were very simple but today they have amazing graphic animations that spark great interest. Today 3D artists work for movies, video games, TV series, and other similar mediums to present their creations and enhance our experience.
There have been some amazing trailblazers in this area over the years, so let’s explore the work of some of the best 3D artists around the world.
Tomstrzal is a name of a 3D artists that is a graphic designer and has been working in this field for more than a dozen years. The real name of this artist is Tomasz Strzalkowski but he is known by his artistic name and for his various forms of dark art that many people found interesting. He was first noticed through social media when a lot of his work went viral.
Many big social media pages and large websites shared and posted his work and the crowd responded really well to it. On the Zbrush Central website, fans can even find his sketchbook and see what his work process looks like. He became really famous with audiences that love darker art, but even those who don’t can recognize his talent instantly.
Tomasz has worked and contributed to many triple-A video games on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. Some of the titles he worked on are Hell Wars, Painkiller, Bulletstorm, and Gears of War.
Born in Romania where he got his industrial design master’s degree at one of the most well-known Fine Arts Academies in the country. Today, Daniel Dociu is one of the best concept artists and art directors. When he got his degree, he stayed at the academy for some time and worked as an assistant but soon enough he decided to leave the position and go to Greece, where he would work as an artist and a graphic designer.
This is where he started drawing attention to himself. After only a couple of years, his door to America opened and he went to the US to work for some of the largest game development studios in the world such as Electronic Arts, Square, and Zipper Interactive.
Additionally, he was able to grab a lot of different rewards during that period such as Game Developer Magazine Power 50, Lurzer’s Archive, The Best Fantastic Art, and Into the Pixel.
He also got many excellence awards for working in different fields such as creature designs, concept art, science fiction art, environment art, and transport art. At the moment, Dociu is the main art director at NCsoft North America. His son is following in his father’s footsteps as a 3D artist and he works in the Sucker Punch Productions video game Company.
Christian Severin is one of the most well-established visual effects artists in the 21st century. Apart from having knowledge and experience of working in both Art Departments and Animation Departments, he realized that Visual effects were his calling and that this is where he thrives.
Ever since he made this switch he made a lot of success in his career and worked for many interesting franchises in Hollywood.
He worked on big films such as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Reagans, North Shore, I Robot, 300, American Gangster etc. He also worked for many famous TV series such as Sons of Anarchy, Desperate Housewives, Suit Up, White Collar, and others.
Even though our list has been going in this direction so far let’s mention the fact that 3D art is not just about animation and graphic designs – there are other fields where one could attain great success. Edgar Mueller is a 3D art painter where his art comes in the form of an illusion that makes paintings look completely real.
Muller can be classified as a street painter, 3D artist, and an illusionist that became famous because a lot of his paintings simply went viral on social media, mostly on YouTube. After a while, a lot of people knew his name and many subscribers were anxious to see him upload his new work on YouTube. Throughout the history of art, Edgar Muller was the first person ever to try and use photoluminescent paint for art.
This kind of paint creates images where the color changes when the light changes. This means that people are able to see different paintings during different parts of the day. He is truly a unique kind of painter who not only creates great art but also combines 3D art and painting in a fascinating way.
Derek Spears probably reached the height of his career when he won two Emmy’s for his work done on the Game of Thrones TV series in season 5 and 6. He won these awards as a Visual Effects supervisor in one of the most iconic TV series ever.
The fact that he has a background in electrical engineering is probably what makes him so unique and good at understanding the relationship between technology and art that encompasses visual effects.
Before working mostly in the film industry, he was employed at Silicon Graphics where he worked on the compositing system that won the Academy Award. His portfolio is full of films, commercial effects, and television. Some of the best-known movies he worked on are Superman Returns, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolfman, Around the World in 80 Days, The Mummy 3, and many others.
At the moment, Derek is working in Pixomodo but before that he was working in Television, supervising and creating high-end materials. Apart from working on Game of Thrones from season 5 to season 7, he also worked on other famous TV series such as Black Sails, Midnight Texas, and The Walking Dead. He is a member of both Television and Film academies and likes technology and art equally.
Rayn is the name of the artist with the full name Raynante Martinez. He has a computer science degree and works as a digital artist, photographer, a storyteller, and a trainer. However, all of the design skills and art that he has done so far, he owes to himself, as he worked on his skills over the years until he was able to come up with great art pieces.
These design and computer skills have helped him earn a couple of different awards such as the Digital Arts Award, Stellar Art Award, and an award at the Philippines International Art Show. He comes with a rich background in different areas such as art, animation, modeling, graphic design, character animation, photography, web design, illustration lighting, and many others.
What’s great about his portfolio is that all these areas are connected in some way and they complement each other well. This is what allows him to look at things from a different perspective and create art that is truly memorable.
These are some of the most exciting 3D artists to look out for in the future. Of course, this is our opinion and everyone has their own favorite. On top of that, there are really countless worthy 3D artists today and keeping track of them all is simply impossible. Do you like our list or is there anybody else you would like to see on it? Feel free to share your opinion and give us some artists that you like.
Architects have a lot on their plates. The profession was once described to me as a circus juggle who throws all 10 of his flaming chainsaws up in the air at once, and must do everything in his power to keep them from hitting the ground or chopping off both arms. It’s an apt comparison, and one that points to the many things an architect must keep in motion on their way to designing and executing successful buildings.
One of those flaming chainsaws, or perhaps a few of them, have to do with the production of visuals to aid in the design process, marketing, and communication with clients and consultants. These visuals not only promote the work, they act as a conduit through which the designer is able to convey their ideas through visualizations.
It isn’t easy work, and requires a very specific set of skills to do well. This is where freelance rendering artists can come in so handy. They are a rare breed of digital nomad who specialize in 3D modeling, rendering, animation, and in knowing what kinds of visuals will best present an idea.
This article will outline why hiring freelancers is important, and how it can contribute to the continued success and growth of your architecture business.
Architects and designers are always talking about ‘process.’ It’s the thing that transforms an idea into a feasible work of architecture. The process is all about a disciplined approach to moving a concept forward in a way that adheres to all constraints of the job.
A vital aspect of process is the feedback loop. It’s a constant checking of the work against critique in order to make the design better, or bring it back in alignment with the initial ideas. Milestones within this loop are accompanied by visuals that are created to give the designers and the clients the most accurate information the state of the project can give.
These visuals are key to the feedback loop, and are often neglected or underdeveloped because of the time and resources it takes to produce them. Hiring a team of freelancers ensures you’ll always have someone who can aid in creating content with the sole purpose of reinforcing the design loop, providing the most accurate visual information, and transform the process into something that makes good projects great, and great projects iconic.
When working through a building design from concept to completion, the architect is tasked with making sure all parties involved in the process are constantly in the loop. Design communication is something young designers learn very early on so they are always developing their abilities to not just tell someone their ideas, but to show them.
Visualizations - photorealistic or diagrammatic - are the conduit through which the architect speaks to the world. Most people, including your clients, don’t have the right mental equipment to be able to process 2D construction drawings, and must have a more tangible frame of reference if they are to understand decisions and contemplate the ‘why’ behind the design.
Dedicated rendering artists understand this fact better than anyone. They’ve built their career around it. Hiring freelancers to perform your visualization work will ensure not only the highest quality, but the type of content that the layperson will quickly understand. However, be sure to let them know what the most important aspects of the design are prior to their work. They take direction well, and will engage the world with the most iconic essence of your project.
Contractors are used to looking at construction documents. They’ve mastered the language probably better than even the architects who draw them. However, sometimes the design intent can get unceremoniously lost under a pile of line weights, notations, and tags. 3D visuals can help aid in giving contractors construction information that points to the final result of the detailed work.
These types of 3D drawings don’t necessarily have to be literal, but should accompany other technical drawings in showing a few different angles of the same thing. Contractors appreciate this added information because they don’t have to send out 50 requests for information - processes that slow their schedule and fray relationships with architects and clients.
Hiring freelance rendering artists frees up your firm to focus on drawing the vital construction information while someone else provides the supplementary visual aids. Also, building your 3D model in a program like Revit will allow the design information to always be up to date with the construction information. Use these advancements in technology to promote consistency and conduct better construction documentation.
For architecture offices, interior designers, and design studios, finding talented freelance rendering artists who they can rely on to meet deadlines can be a daunting challenge. There are thousands of artists out there, and vetting the ones who will fit in best with your culture, workflow, and budgetary constraints, is key to getting the most out of their efforts.
As hard as it is to find them, it might be even harder to retain them. There will be competition from other firms, other projects, and other clients who will see their value and try to pry them from your grasp. They are freelancers, so by nature they will always be looking for the next best thing to propel their career forward.
So, if you don’t want to make a habit out of finding a new freelance artist every time you need rendering help, you should learn how to keep your artists happy, paid, and under your thumb. If you value their contribution, be proactive about keeping them around.
Here are a few ways in which you can ensure your quality 3D rendering freelancers don’t jump ship and sign with someone who treats them better.
It might sound like a foregone conclusion, but you’d be surprised to hear how many freelancers have stories of clients simply not paying their fees. Be sure to be on time with payment, and even be open to offering extra bonuses for tight deadlines met or jobs well done. Little gestures like that contribute to continued loyalty.
The best way to empower freelancers to do good work is to employ ownership over the work they will be providing. They aren’t simply there to click the mouse and serve your design efforts, they are a part of a team who is all contributing to the end goal of better designs. Make sure they feel like they are on this team - even if they are working from half a world away.
Communication is the difference between executing a design well or poorly. This goes for all aspects of the process, and can make members of your team feel like they aren’t being left out to dry. Make sure your freelance rendering artists know what’s going on with their project so they aren’t scrambling at the 11th hour just to meet the deadline they promised to hit. A design is fluid, so be sure to keep everyone up to date.
Such a simple thing can mean a huge amount of social equity when it comes to how a freelancer feels valued. Engage with them in a cordial manner, and they are much less likely to jump ship because of the way they are treated. Exercise proper email and telephone call etiquette, and even try to develop personal relationships with freelance artists, if appropriate. It seems trivial, but good manners go a long way.
Put yourself in your freelancers’ shoes for once. If you can start to understand how they work, how they think, and how they like to be treated, you can tailor your handling of them in a very specific way. These little details make all the difference when a valued and talented freelancer has to choose between doing your work or the other guys’.
The best artists in the world thrive on adversity. This isn’t to say you should be throwing your freelancers work at the last minute because you didn’t budget your time. It means giving them difficult, unique, or otherwise challenging work that will push their abilities to places it hasn’t gone before. These opportunities can be hard to come by, and your freelance artists will be grateful you put them up to the task of getting it done.
Once you establish an ongoing relationship with your freelance rendering artists, be sure to offer them a token of your gratitude by upping their fees without them asking. This might sound like bad business practice, but people who work behind their own computer all the time respond well to positive reinforcement. Offer them a bit more, and they will be more loyal, work harder, and produce better work for you ever their other clients.
There’s no real secret to keeping the best freelancers around. Treat them well, trust them, pay them, and they will stick around even as other clients try to pry them away.