One of the most attractive aspects of the 3D visualization profession is that no one will ever ask for your liberal arts bachelor’s diploma when you are vying for jobs. Your work speaks for itself, and will be all you need to maintain gainful employment throughout your career. There are many self taught artists out there, and they’d tell you the best way to get good at 3D art is to do a lot of it.
And then, do a lot more.
However, if you’re new to the industry and think it wise to engage in a bit of formal education to help springboard your foundation of knowledge, there are plenty of options that don’t require a rigorous admissions process and a lifetime of student loan debt.
These online resources will provide you with the structure necessary to get the most out of learning software, understanding the basics of art and composition, and establishing connections you can use to jump start your career as a 3D visualization artist. You certainly don’t need to go to school to be great, but it can’t hurt.
Udemy is a massive online educational service that has paid-for lessons on just about anything you can imagine. You’ll be able to pick-and-choose which lessons you feel will give your budding education the most value, effectively putting the curriculum in the palm of your hands. Udemy offers courses in 3D modeling, animation, rendering, architectural visualization, and more.
The courses come with video tutorials, lessons, and lectures that can help you get oriented with software, processes, and even how to run a succesful freelancing business. Most courses are a mere 12$ for access, and can contain up to a hundred hours of content.
Lynda is one of the most well-known and respected online resource for continued education. You’ll find a robust library of lessons and tutorials specifically tailored for 3D rendering and visualization.
Lynda runs on a subscription basis. For around $20 a month, you’ll have access to an unlimited amount of content, setting you free to learn as much as possible from people who know what they’re doing. With Lynda, you’ll be able to cherry pick which software and techniques you want to learn, making this a great resource for beginners and professionals alike.
SkillShare is a massive online database of video content for people looking to get better at...well...anything! It has a large selection of tutorials that will teach you how to be a better 3D rendering artists. Content ranges from beginner guides to your favorite software, and general theories about lighting, modeling efficiency, and workflow management.
Also, if you’ve got some information you think others might benefit from, you’re free to upload your own tutorials as well. SkillShare is entirely supported by the community of people who use it most. Join that community for free, and start becoming a better rendering artist.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just getting your feet wet, the CG school has an opportunity for you to expand your visualization horizons. The service is a bit pricey (99$ for beginners, 199$ for masterclass), but that shouldn’t deter you from giving what they have to offer an honest look.
If you’re serious about becoming a visualization artist, The CG School provides a structured curriculum that will help guide your path to 3D rendering greatness. You’ll still be able to go at your own pace, but with the knowledge that you’re always headed in the right direction.
I can see your ‘skeptical alarm’ going off all the way from here. I understand how you might think AutoDesk University is the evil empire of visualization software’s cheap ploy at forcing you into spending thousands of dollars on future software subscriptions and licenses. And while that very much be their motivation, that doesn’t discount the fact that on your way out the door you’ll be a fully prepared - even seasoned - visualization artist.
Sweetening the deal even further is the fact that many of the courses offered at AutoDesk University are completely free. Even as AutoDesk stuffs their own software down your throat, at least they’re doing it with a bit of quality, free content to help wash things down.