3D Artists and the Flexibility of This Vocational Choice
3D Artists and the Flexibility of This Vocational Choice

Choosing the career of a 3D artist can be one of the best decisions you ever make. Using 3D computer graphics has so many applications that your job will never be boring. It may be overwhelming at times, depending on the job’s complexity, but it will always be exciting.

And there’s rarely anything as fulfilling than seeing your creations come to life, after all the hard work you’ve put in.

What’s more, being a 3D artist means having flexible working hours. You can set your work schedule, depending on the deadlines you need to meet, and have a great work-life balance.

If you’re interested in becoming a 3D artist, read on to find out what opportunities await on the horizon as you embark on that adventurous journey.

New Horizons for Visual Artists

New opportunities for visual artists arise almost every day. They are always in demand in many industries and can choose from a wealth of job possibilities.

One option is to be a 3D generalist, in which case you can engage in a broad spectrum of projects. With the right skills in various fields, you can always do something different. That can be quite fun and open a lot of doors for you.

However, you can also specialize in one or more fields and become the go-to 3D artist in those specific areas.

You can specialize in many fields as a 3D artist. Some of the most popular include:

●        Architectural visualization

●        3D concept art

●        3D animation

●        3D graphic design

●        Visual effects

●        3D modeling

●        3D printing

What’s even more interesting is that you can further specialize in several subsets of these fields. For instance, when it comes to 3D graphic design, you can go for marketing and advertising, packaging, publication, or UI graphic design.

If you choose to be a 3D animator, you can focus on 3D motion capture, motion graphics, or 3D character or environment design.

There is so much to choose from that it may be challenging to pick just one thing. But whatever you set your eyes on, you can be sure it will be thrilling and rewarding.

And you can always specialize in something new if you ever feel like sprucing things up. Constant technological advances keep bringing new possibilities to the table, so the future of 3D art is incredibly bright.

Industries That Use 3D Artists

Cutting-edge 3D technology has revolutionized the way we live, work, and perceive the world around us. It has completely replaced sketches and other 2D graphics solutions for visualizing concepts before bringing ideas to life.

These days, there’s hardly any industry that doesn’t use 3D technology in some way. 3D tech has taken over nearly every market and industry vertical, completely transforming businesses and shooting their revenues through the roof.

Here are some of the most notable industries that frequently use 3D artists.

1.    Gaming

The gaming industry is quite an obvious example of 3D art applications. Thanks to 3D artists, video games are now looking more and more realistic. Environments, backdrops, scenes, characters, and literally everything else in video games tend to look like they were shot in the real world.

Using 3D animation, 3D artists can create realistic illustrations and depth to any kind of digital environment. All the animated characters can look unbelievably real and move just like humans and animals do.

What’s more, 3D computer graphics make it possible to create anything that springs to mind that can’t be found in the world around us. Some examples are aliens, monsters, and other fantasy creatures.

The possibilities are truly infinite. They are limited only by your imagination.

2.    Architecture

3D visualization in architecture has also become incredibly popular. No matter what idea someone has in mind regarding real estate, you can bring it to life with 3D architectural visualization.

Not only can this be fun, but it’s also very beneficial for real estate development. By creating photorealistic renderings of a particular space before its construction even begins, you can help clients eliminate potential building errors, cut unnecessary costs, and sell properties faster.

Architectural visualization enables clients to see the most intricate details of a real estate property, both inside and outside.

You can even create an aerial view of the property, which can also help with urban planning and landscape design.

3.    Entertainment

The entertainment industry is yet another excellent example where 3D art has numerous applications. Besides gaming, it’s the industry that perhaps pops to mind first when you think about 3D.

But we’re not only talking about movies that were shot or rendered in 3D in post-production. There’s a whole world of special effects created by 3D models, animations, and images that make the impossible possible, such as anything supernatural.

But 3D technology can also enhance a variety of live-action scenes.

For instance, 3D artists can add or remove items from scenes using CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery). VFX artists can add animations and graphics that make, let’s say, explosions in movies and TV shows look real.

There’s rarely a movie or TV show nowadays that hasn’t been enhanced with 3D technology to some extent.

4.    Science

3D art has found its application in science as well. Scientists can greatly benefit from 3D modeling and 3D printing.

They can make 3D models and simulations of various phenomena, such as earthquakes, to better understand them. They can get a better grip on how they’re formed and understand the consequences of stress fields.

Many universities have sciences classes that use 3D printing as a teaching aid. It helps create educational models that students can safely interact with.

5.    Marketing

Marketing and advertising professionals use 3D modeling to develop and promote their products. 3D artists can help them render any product they want before they even start producing it. That way, they can test them virtually to see if all the features will be working as they should.

Afterward, they can make prototypes based on their 3D renderings and start promoting them. That’s excellent for creating demand before even investing in production.

3D artists, particularly 3D graphic designers, can also help design marketing and advertising materials. They can design any kind of visual for promoting a business, including billboards, product catalogs, packaging, ads, and much more.

6.    Publishing

3D art has crept its way into print media publications as well. 3D artists are increasingly designing magazines, newspapers, book covers, academic journals, and more.

They also help create 3D illustrations for textbooks to showcase myriads of plants and animals or remote, inaccessible terrains.

Perhaps the best example of 3D art in publishing is illustrated books. 3D artists can create photorealistic illustrations of things or creatures that don’t even exist, just like they do for video games and movies. They can also use their artistic creativity to illustrate prehistoric events.

7.    Manufacturing

With 3D printing, you can make virtually anything. The manufacturing industry is booming because of it, as businesses can print almost any object they can think of.

All it takes is a bit of 3D modeling, and voila! Their 3D printer brings their ideas to life.

Many companies leverage 3D printers to manufacture parts because it reduces production costs and helps them remain innovative.

8.    Healthcare

The healthcare industry also greatly benefits from 3D modeling and 3D printing. For instance, CAD software can help create 3D models for printing dental crowns. 3D bioprinting is a ground-breaking technique for printing actual human organs.

But what’s the role of a 3D artist in healthcare? They can design 3D-printed prostheses.

3D modeling and printing make it possible to seamlessly design custom prostheses, which can be quite stylish.

There are even bionic prosthetic limbs that turn kids into superheroes. They can have prosthetic arms inspired by Iron Man or Star Wars, or anything else they desire. While their development is primarily the job of engineers, 3D artists often play their part in the design.

9.    Interior Design

3D artists in architecture also include interior design in their visualizations. That’s what helps sell real estate properties, as people can easily imagine themselves living there. It triggers positive emotions, which influence purchasing decisions.

However, the use of 3D art in interior design has more applications. Interior and furniture designers often hire 3D artists to design new furniture pieces. With the use of 3D modeling and rendering, they can make custom pieces for consumers.

They can even use 3D printing to create entire furniture pieces. Like parts for various machines and devices in manufacturing, this saves a lot of costs.

Which Ones Pay the Best?

How much you can earn as a 3D artist depends highly on your knowledge and skills. However, every industry offers a different salary, depending on the complexity of the job.

According to Zippia, the average annual salary of 3D artists in the United States is $71,000.

If you choose to work in the media industry, you can make a whopping average of $83,225 per year. This industry includes cinema, photography, print media, marketing, advertising, publishing, news media, and gaming.

The second place in the highest-paying industries belongs to construction companies. Working as a 3D artist in this industry means making an average of $73,625 per year.

You could earn around $73,500 per year if you worked for professional companies, such as architecture and advertising firms.

However, as these are only the average figures, you could earn much more if you chose this brilliant career. Zippia shows that the lowest annual pay for 3D artists in the US is $49,000, while your yearly salary could reach a staggering $104,000.

Which Ones Have the Most Demand?

The entertainment and gaming industries have the highest demand for 3D artists. Just think about it. All those sci-fi and fantasy movies and TV shows wouldn’t be possible without the brilliant work of 3D artists.

All the Marvel movies, The Matrix, Interstellar, Avatar, hit TV shows like Game of Thrones, and many more cinematic accomplishments were brought to life with tremendous contributions by 3D artists, especially VFX artists.

The same goes for the gaming industry. We wouldn’t have world-famous video games, such as Fortnite, without 3D artists.

However, architecture and marketing follow closely behind in terms of demand.

As a 3D artist, you wouldn’t have trouble finding a job in several industries, but these are the most competitive.

Differences in Skill-Sets

Different industries require different skill-sets when it comes to 3D modeling and rendering. That’s also what sets differences in salaries.

For instance, if you were to work in the healthcare industry, being the master of 3D computer graphics wouldn’t be enough. You would need a certain knowledge of human anatomy and biology, too.

As a 3D motion capture artist or 3D character artist, you need to have proper skills to illustrate and animate digital characters that behave like humans, or like a fantasy creature would. For character rigging, you must understand anatomy and physics to bring all your models to life.

As a VFX artist, you need to make sure the unbelievable will look real, which calls for superb CGI skills.

We could go on and on, but you get the gist. The only decision you need to make is whether you’re going to be a 3D generalist and learn a wide range of different skills, or become a 3D specialist and be the true master in one field.

The latter might be a better option, especially if you’re looking for a higher salary.


Working as a 3D artist can be the most exhilarating and fulfilling experience in the world. It’s flexible, versatile, fun, and you get paid really well. If you have the knack for it, choosing this career will be the smartest choice you’ve ever made.