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3-Dimensional Artist Career Profile

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a 3-dimensional artist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and required skills to find out if this is the career for you.

3-dimension artists work for television, movies, and video game companies. They typically need a bachelor's degree in animation, computer graphics or fine arts to compete for jobs in this field.

Essential Information

Working with either physical materials or multimedia design software, 3-dimensional artists use their artistic talent to create various projects. Some of these may include animated characters for a video game or a website that uses 3-dimensional effects. These professionals, like other multimedia artists and animators, usually need to hold an art-related bachelor's degree. On-the-job training is sometimes provided to teach artists to use the required computer software. Other requirements include possessing a solid portfolio of work, technical skills and creativity.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in animation, computer graphics, art or a related area
Required Skills Artistic talent, creativity and the ability to use computer animation software
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% for multimedia artists and animators
Median Salary (2015)* $63,970 annually for multimedia artists and animators

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Profile

Job Description

Three-dimensional or 3-D artists can work with clay, stone, metal, fabric and non-traditional materials to create their works of art. These artists can also work with multimedia tools and animation software to bring designs to life. They may be sculptors, specialize in 3-D abstractions or work in mixed media to create artistic works. Professional 3-D artists often have a combination of natural talent and artistic education.

Professional 3-dimensional artists who intend to make a living through their art, whether it's in galleries or creating designs for websites, must also have excellent people skills and the ability to sell themselves and their creations. Similar to other creative fields, a big break often comes through networking with those who can provide career assistance.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), multimedia artists and animators, including those who work with 3-dimensional animation and models, earned a median annual salary of $63,970 as of May 2015. The BLS predicted that the employment of multimedia artists and animators will grow 6% for the 2014-2024 decade.

Artists can also find related careers that involve 3-dimensional art skills. For example, some artists are employed as art directors or art teachers at various levels, from elementary school to college. However, these positions may require specialized education and certification, in addition to an art background.

Education Requirements

Although it's not strictly necessary, 3-dimensional artists, such as sculptors or multimedia animators, may enroll in certificate or degree programs in fine arts to prepare for careers in the world of professional art. Students have the opportunity to study 3-D design, 3-D animation and 3-D model design, as well as related areas, like color theory, graphic design, sketching, painting and art history.

Job growth for 3-dimensional artists is expected to be average through 2024. Applicants preparing to enter this field should have a bachelor's degree in a related field and develop a strong portfolio to demonstrate their artistic skills and abilities. Taking courses in computer animation, drawing and sculpting can also help applicants appeal to prospective employers.

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