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5 Vital Visualization Tips

Use these 5 useful tips when growing your career as a 3D rendering and visualization artist if you hope to get the most out of your time spent.

The knowledge and experience required to be a professional rendering artist is vast, complex, and can be difficult to grasp in a way that makes pursuing a career in the industry viable. Often, there are few obvious places to start, and many young visualizers find themselves spiraling into a deep, dark hole of software, techniques, opportunities, and their own reflection after a three day render-a-thon.

But, no matter how far along you are in your education in 3D rendering, there are a few useful tips that will make that flailing feel a little less out of control. You won’t find any pointed technical advice here, only broad-stroke direction on how to best spend your time, and how to best focus your approach when it comes to getting better at 3D art and visualization.

Use this guide to help create a plan of attack when it comes to being the best rendering artist you possibly can be.

1 | Start with a Sketch

Depending on the kind of work you’re doing, this might be provided for your. However, it behooves any type of visual artist to start with an idea and sketch it out until it’s been developed enough to take into the computer. 3D modeling and rendering is rigorous, time-consuming work, and you want to be sure you aren’t wasting it on something that hasn’t been fleshed out with pen and paper.

The more you sketch, the better you’ll become at working an idea until it is worthy of a full-blown 3D render. And if you’re working in the computer and things just

2 | Always Try Something New

It’s going to be difficult, and there will be growing pains, but trying new things with every job is the only way to be sure you’re continuing to get better. Whether it’s introducing yourself to a new tool or technique, or messing around with lighting in a way you’ve never tried, there are countless ways to push yourself into new areas of work.

And if you’re really feeling ambitious, start learning the ins and outs of a new program or two. All modeling and rendering software is not created equally, so having more than just a single program under your wing will help future-proof your career.

3 | Lighting Matters Most

Light is how we are able to see the world, so if you’re renderings aren’t presenting light in the way we’d view it in the real world, they aren’t succeeding. And while light is the most important aspect of any rendering, it’s also the most difficult to get right. You’ll likely spend the first large chunk of your visualization career wrestling with light models, shaders, and post-production tricks in order to make the best use of light in your work.

And once you’ve mastered that, you can begin to manipulate light in ways that push your work from professional to awe-inspiring. But, in order to break the rules, you first must understand them.

4 | Be Your Own Worst (and Best) Critic

In any creative field, there lies a very fine line between being critical of your own work and not ever thinking it’s good enough. You should always be pushing yourself to do better, but you also must understand the constraints of the project your working on and do your very best within them. Critique your work, do it better, but don’t dwell on the same job just because you aren’t 100% happy with it.

Move on, and apply that critical energy to to the next project. Find the balance between simultaneously loving and hating your work, and you’ll do just fine.

5 | Be Part of the Community

3D rendering and visualization artists are a passionate, fiery bunch. Get to know them. Not only will they help give you confidence to go on with your career, they might even help you on the technical side as well. You can find message boards, forums, Facebook pages, and other groups all around the internet. You might even make a few great friends in the process.

Be warned though, because with every person willing to help you out, there sits a troll waiting to tear you down their own personal rabbit hole. Luckily, these people are easy to identify, don’t last long, and are easy enough to leave basking in their own self-loathing.

. . . . .

These tips should keep your career on track as you build a portfolio and become the best rendering artist you possibly can. In the end, work trumps all. Keep your head down and your nose to the air for new opportunities, and the quality of work will follow.

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