Are you interested in becoming a 3D artist, but you can’t decide which niche is the right for you? Check out the differences among some of the most popular and lucrative niches where 3D artists can really thrive.
More and more jobs are constantly being created for various 3D artists these days, as we have entered the world where 3D renderings and animations dictate the sales of different products.
As technology becomes more advanced and sophisticated, consumers are looking for more realistic product representations that will help them make the right choices for their needs and wants.
That’s exactly where 3D artists come in. With their skills in creating 3D animations and graphics, and using computer programs to create a multimedia design, not only can they showcase various products realistically, but they can also develop immersive end products, such as video games.
Different industries and niches require different skills from 3D artists, but the lines between them are a bit blurry. They all need to have excellent 3D modeling and 3D rendering skills, but each needs to develop a slightly different artistic skill set for specific details and tasks necessary for specific niches.
Here are some of the most popular niches where 3D artists can thrive, and the main differences among them.
Architectural visualization is the process of creating photorealistic 2D and 3D images and animations that showcase all the characteristics of a proposed architectural design.
The job of a 3D artist in architecture is to help clients visualize exactly how a particular building, or any other property, will look like once its construction and design processes are completed.
They create a realistic 3D rendering of a proposed architectural design, showcasing every little detail of the property, from the entire exterior and scale to textures, interior furnishings, and even ventilation and lighting.
All of this is important to help clients make the right decisions concerning both exterior and interior design of their properties, but it goes much further than that. It helps them identify and fix any potential problems prior to construction, such as where to put electrical outlets, and many other details concerning optimal functionality and safety.
It goes without saying that a 3D artist working in architecture must have some architectural knowledge. Good interior design skills are definitely a plus, as they can help a 3D artist create compelling visualizations. However, architectural knowledge related to quantitative and qualitative features of the spaces they are designing is an absolute must, as it helps them produce enticing designs that truly speak for themselves.
The gaming industry is another very popular choice for 3D artists these days. Game art is a major selling point for games because it’s what creates first impressions, and compels people to play a particular game. The gameplay is obviously very important, but visuals truly are the primary selling point. If a game doesn’t look very aesthetically-pleasing, most gamers simply walk away.
That’s where game artists come in. There’s a multitude of them, each with different specializations, but 3D game artists are some of the most sought-after nowadays.
They use 3D modeling software to create various characters, textures, backgrounds, objects, colors, lighting, and the environment – all in 3D. They can create realistic human and animal characters with authentic facial animation, fantastical creatures, and authentic landscapes, as well as special effects that make games realistic and immersive.
They need to have excellent design skills for creating compelling, life-like gaming environments, as well as great programming skills for creating functional 3D games.
Product visualization, also known as product rendering, is a process of depicting various products realistically. It involves using 3D modeling and 3D rendering to create realistic imagery or models that will showcase how the final products will look like before they even enter the production stage.
Therefore, 3D artists can help manufacturers design their products for the best outcomes. They can help them visualize different manufacturing options so that they can change how their products look like visually. They can also implement proper changes on the fly for making their products more functional and effective.
There’s a huge number of options here: vehicles, clothing, furniture, technological products – you name it. Whatever a manufacturer thinks of, a 3D artist can visualize it with 3D modeling software.
Their product visualization can include 3D product modeling, product illustration, product animation, product simulation, and design analysis, all with the purpose to bring various concepts to life and estimate their performance.
Medical animation is a very interesting field where 3D artists are in high demand. 3D artists that find various surgical and physiological topics interesting can really thrive in the medical animation industry.
They can create different 3D renderings, animations, and videos for educational purposes intended for medical students and medical professionals, and even their patients.
To do so, they need to model and texture specific scenes, before they can render them to create 3D animations and videos. For instance, they can create a 3D animation showcasing how the heart and its ventricles in intricate 3D detail.
They can create 3D medical animations of every single medical process so that they can help an array of audiences to better understand those processes. In medicine, the smallest details can mean the difference between life and death, so these animations can be extremely helpful.
3D artists can also create medical animations for various medical products, services, and equipment, visually communicating how they work and helping with the sales.
Forensic animation is another fascinating field with plenty of opportunities for 3D artists. It’s a forensic science branch in which 3D artists can use animation to recreate various accidents or incidents both visually and audibly, with the purpose of helping investigators solve crimes, or explain complex issues to other stakeholders.
They can use computer graphics to recreate road accidents, assaults, and various other incidents and events that can help police officers and forensic experts solve their cases. They can also use computer graphics to produce 3D forensic animations that explain how various mechanical devices work, which can also be very useful to investigators.
Forensic animations for recreating a multitude of scenarios and crime scenes can also be very beneficial in education. They can help forensic students improve their knowledge and skills, enabling them to become more experienced in future crime solving.
3D printing is one of the biggest fields right now where 3D artists can showcase all their design skills. Whatever they imagine, they can design it with computer graphics, and print it in 3D.
This has a huge number of applications, as you can really 3D print almost anything you want, from toys, phone cases, desk paper trays, and sunglasses, to musical instruments, garden tools, cameras, and prosthetics.
3D printers print various 3D physical objects from digital files created by 3D artists. The artists use 3D modeling and rendering to create the designs, and simply upload the digital files to a 3D printer. It’s a very interesting process that allows 3D artists to quickly bring their visualizations to life.
VR and AR
Virtual reality and augmented reality are completely revolutionizing the world, opening the door to a huge number of opportunities in various industries. You can now play games in VR, virtually walk through real estate properties, or try different products using VR and AR.
But where do 3D artists fit here? They can combine their 3D modeling with VR and AR to gain a completely new perspective when creating their designs, be it in architecture, gaming, or any other field. They can truly immerse in their creative process, and develop outstanding designs and final products.
Whatever someone wants to create in VR or AR, a 3D artist can help them do it. They can make the necessary 3D designs, and use VR modeling to finish the project. This can even help them become VR artists.
Marketing and Advertising
3D artists can also collaborate with marketing and advertising agencies to help them promote and sell their products. They can make compelling advertising designs to market products and brands, and help attract larger audiences.
They can create photorealistic 3D imagery for posters, billboards, and various other marketing materials, but they can also create 3D animations and videos for commercials.
3D artists working with marketing and advertising agencies don’t need very high special skills as required for gaming, for instance, but they do need to understand how to create excellent impressions and compel consumers to purchase various products.
Whether you are an experienced 3D artist, or you’re just now dipping your toes in the vast 3D world, you should definitely give any of these niches a try. It takes time and effort to gain specific skills for each, but it’s more than worth it. If any of these niches spark your interest, go for it, as each can help you build a very successful career as a 3D artist.
Being a 3D artist comes with a lot of lucrative job possibilities these days. If you’re just starting out, be sure to utilize a quality 3D modeling software solution that will help you hone your skills and create outstanding designs, no matter what field you decide to work in. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up making 3D designs for movies someday, joining the wonderful world of legends.