What does a 3D Artist do?

3D artists create three-dimensional creations, including models, animation, and visual effects, which are used in creative projects, including films, video games, and advertising campaigns. They create special effects to match specific briefs utilizing a combination of hand drawing techniques and computer software. Their creation of graphics and animation often comes through computer programs and editing software. They sometimes work with a team of animators and other artists to collaborate on movies, games, or visual effects.

3D artists research upcoming projects to help find new ways to create the animation or the designs and develop storyboards that map out how scenes will look and progress. They help conceptualize ideas and processes to come up with the best plan for the project. After receiving feedback from relevant team members including directors or animators, they revise and make adjustments to fit their criteria and specifications. They meet with clients, designers, or directors for project review and to set deadlines. 3D artists need a bachelor's degree in art or computer graphics, as well as a relevant portfolio.

What responsibilities are common for 3D Artist jobs?
  • Keep workflows and quality constant across all environments.
  • Assist sales team with all aspects of design project.
  • Define quality and construct 3D environments while manage a team to deliver consistent high-quality environmental assets and locations.
  • Document and archive work pursuant with established standards.
  • Work with production team to establish schedules and milestone tasks
  • Work with the tech art and design team to establish environment and asset creation budgets and pipelines.
  • Monitor incoming assets from both internal and outsourcing partners to make sure they are technically and aesthetically compliant.
  • Give and receive critique from multiple departments and directors during the creation process.
  • Work with production to prioritize work and maintain a clear and consistent schedule.
What are the typical qualifications for 3D Artist jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in computer science, engineering or a related discipline.
  • Skilled with CAD programs such as AutoCAD.
  • Advanced-level rendering and 3D modeling abilities.
  • Proficient with 3D Studio Max, Zbrush, and similar common design tools.
  • Ability to collaborate with other designers and teams.
  • Requires careful attention to detail.
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

3D Artist Salaries

Average Base Pay

$57,989 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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$41K
Median: $58K
$82K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

3D Artist Insights

Read what 3D Artist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Dawn Digital Private Limited
3D Visualizer
Nov 6, 2020

“I can see that i have good career development and scope of learning is vaste.”

FlickPlay
3D Artist Contractor
Jun 4, 2021

“The manager considers what style I have and assign the task I can enjoy to work better.”

AugRayAugRay
3D Artist
Nov 25, 2022

“Good company to learn several departments in 3d production during initial stage of the career.”

Lighthouse Visual Effects
3D Artist
Apr 7, 2022

“All salary payments have been done on time and I haven't had a payment delay experience during all my working here by far.”

Bohemia Interactive SimulationsBohemia Interactive Simulations
Environment Artist
Jan 18, 2021

“Amazing and friendly people to work and hangout with”

RebellionRebellion
Environment Artist
Apr 7, 2021

“Schedule of work was good and well balanced.”

CodemastersCodemasters
Experienced 3D Artist
Mar 11, 2021

“People here are nice and honest.”

automatik vfxautomatik vfx
3D Character Modeler
Oct 1, 2022

“But I see that as a good thing as it's a challenge that improves your skills and self management.”

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3D Artist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of 3D artists

Companies hire 3D artists to make digital animations using visual effects software, which is the key element of their typical day. A 3D artist also plans storyboards for future artwork. Many professionals work in teams to come up with design concepts and execution plans. Sometimes 3D artists collaborate with management and clients to create a coherent design strategy.

3D art is an innovative career that's not physically demanding. The available technology is changing rapidly, so there's always a new technique to master. It's expected that the sector will expand over the next five to six years, so candidates can expect to enter a career with job stability.

Candidates are likely to receive salaries that approximate the average salaries for 3D artists of approximately $57,989 per year. Companies grant bonuses for successfully completed projects and even commissions when a 3D artist's storyboard attracts a new client. 3D artists can work with a bachelor's degree, but the base salary is higher for candidates with master's degrees.

Working as a 3D artist can be a hard job when team members have differences of opinion. A 3D artist needs to have good communications skills in addition to being technologically talented. People with a background in computer science who are familiar with editing software may be especially suitable to become a 3D artist.

3D Artist jobs