Becoming a 3D Visualizer: A Professional Development Journey a From Beginner to a Pro
Becoming a 3D Visualizer: A Professional Development Journey a From Beginner to a Pro

3D visualization is the process of creating 3D objects in a digital environment using software solutions. With 3D drawings, it’s possible to look at an object from all angles, add as many details as necessary, and have a realistic presentation of a future project.

A 3D model can be static or animated. This depends on the current needs for representing a product truthfully.

Visualization has become an essential part of various industries, predominantly architecture. Having the option to create 3D objects that don’t exist yet, change them, and improve is very valuable.

With 3D rendering, a visualizer can create images that can be used for various projects. This offers dozens of benefits like visualizing a building before the construction starts, trying out different layouts, or spotting and preventing problems early on.

The career of 3D visualizers is becoming very popular, but many people don’t know where to start. Here, we are going to talk about this journey and how to become a pro in this field.

Going Through the Basics

You can see the work of 3D visualizers everywhere. It’s on product packaging, in video games, movies, cover art, commercials, billboards, magazines, and so on. The two primary industries where visualization is required are the entertainment industry and architecture.

As a modeler, you will be focused on creating models of vehicles, buildings, characters, and so on. These objects will later find their place in a digital world or the physical one. As a visualizer, your main goal is to create a three-dimensional object so that it can be used later.

In some projects, the models need to be more technical, while in some, they need to be hyper-realistic. In some industries, you will need to learn a lot of technical things, as accuracy is crucial. On the other hand, some other sectors are more creative and focus on the artistic part.

Find Your Niche

The world of visualization and modeling is vast. There are many different options to choose from. Of course, every one of them is similar to some level, but to really excel in a particular area, you need to specialize.

It’s quite simple; when choosing an area, your main criteria should be what you like and what interests you the most.

Every niche has its own challenges and downsides. If you work on something you like, you will find it easier to get over those challenges. If you like video games, creating fantasy characters and epic beasts might be fun for you.

On the other hand, if you are into architecture, you will enjoy drawing buildings and houses. The automotive industry will have you draw parts and vehicles like cars, trucks, buses, and so on.

Get a Good Software

Once you’ve figured out the niche that suits you the most, it’s time to find the right software for your needs. As you might have guessed, there are a lot of 3D rendering software solutions out there. All of them come with different features, functionalities, and options designed for different kinds of work.

But this isn’t the only thing that matters. You need to find a tool that has a reasonable learning curve. Simply put, this means that it’s suitable for beginners and that you can learn how to do your work steadily. A lot of software solutions are meant for professionals that have lots of experience.

Working with that kind of tool would make things a lot more complicated. Think about your operating system, the formats of files you export, and storage space. All of these things matter for day-to-day work and can make your job easier.

At the same time, all software solutions come with different packages. These packages can be focused on architecture, animation, characters, and so on. You need to find software that has a package suitable for your niche.

Get a Computer That Can Run Your Software

A professional 3D rendering software needs lots of power. Your computer is the primary tool for your work. This is why you need to be prepared to invest in your future. Running software on a PC that meets the minimum requirements means that you will have lots of issues.

The program will work slowly, and you will make mistakes because of it. Not to mention the fact that it will annoy the hell out of you. On the other hand, you will have to wait for renders for days and experience crashes that will force you to start the process all over again.

The main focus when buying a computer should be the GPU and the CPU. Additionally, also consider getting an external hard drive if you need additional storage space. 3D visualization projects take up a lot of space, and you will quickly require more storage.

Work on Your Portfolio

An extensive portfolio is essential in this kind of work. Naturally, the best portfolio is the one where you have projects you’ve done for previous customers. However, as a beginner, you can’t rely on this. Instead, you can add projects you worked on while learning or the ones you’ve done for yourself.

Even though you haven’t made any money with these projects, they can represent you in a positive light and bring customers closer to you.

Your portfolio needs to be well-balanced with different kinds of works. You need to showcase your strengths but also show that you are versatile.

If you don’t know where to start, simply find portfolios from other 3D visualizer experts in the same niche. Remember to create both an online portfolio and a physical one. You need to present yourself in the best way possible. In this business industry, people judge you based on the images you performed in the past.

University or Online Courses

Education is vital for any kind of job. Luckily, to become a professional 3D visualizer, you don’t need a college degree. This career choice is looked upon as an extension of the IT industry. Simply put, companies don’t require visualizers to have degrees as long as they can do the job well.

Still, you will need to go through some education to learn how to do the job. If you already finished college or simply don’t have the time, there are many online courses to choose from. Some of them are free, while others require an investment.

On top of that, a lot of 3D visualization software companies offer tutorials and education for working on their tools. This is also an important thing to consider when looking for software to work with. Either a college course or an online course associated with visualization will do the trick.

Take it One Step at a Time

Visualization is a complex field where many things are always changing. New software solutions are coming out each year, and new industries are utilizing visualization to their advantage. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be switching your specialization constantly and trying to be the jack of all trades.

Your goals should be to get the necessary experience, skills, and be competitive. If you are looking to do some work as a freelancer, make sure to gather as many positive reviews as you can. Furthermore, you can use those projects to build your portfolio slowly.

Take it one project at a time and try to avoid becoming an idealist. As we mentioned earlier, this is a fast-growing industry where things are changing quickly. Just because you don’t have the “best computer,” “latest software,” and don’t work on the “latest projects” doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing something useful.

Networking is Important

Even though visualization is becoming very popular, it’s still a small market. Most professionals know each other, and they find work through recommendations. You need to network with other professionals and learn from them.

Not only can they help you find work, but they can teach you important skills that you will be able to apply. No matter if you want to do some freelancing or you are looking for full-time employment, it’s essential to connect with the right people and become a part of the community.

By establishing valuable connections, you will grow as a professional and get in touch with a lot of companies. This is how you can land jobs that you can add to your portfolio and increase the chances of getting referred to other clients.


In the end, make sure to avoid procrastination. A 3D visualization job is a fantastic thing, but it takes time to get there. It can be discouraging to focus on improving yourself and applying for jobs when you still haven’t seen any returns.

However, everything that’s worth anything doesn’t come easily. Set your goals and remind yourself often why you are doing this. The more you do it, the better you will be at it, and work will start pouring in.