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What Does a 3D Designer Do?

By Angela Farrer
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A 3D designer creates dynamic animated graphics for a variety of projects such as websites, slide show presentations, and video display advertising. This area of multidimensional design can also include video game animation and mobile application graphics. Proficiency in a range of industry-standard software programs is a requirement for most 3D designer jobs. The average 3D designer may work with a team of other designers in a company that specializes in these types of projects for different clients. Some 3D designers might also complete freelance projects or teach courses to aspiring designers.

Experienced designers usually are highly skilled in the use of 3D software such as image editing and illustration packages. Designers who make animated graphics for web pages will generally use 3D tools that create motion out of finished artwork. A 3D designer who creates characters for animated films or video games will also use more comprehensive rendering software to add realistic movement. This type of artistic work generally requires a good working knowledge of movement biomechanics, as well as of visual design principles.

In addition to creating graphic animations from scratch, a qualified 3D designer is also able to make a variety of edits to projects. These kinds of tasks may include adding realistic skin textures to avatars, rendering shiny metallic surfaces on animations of machinery, or making small changes to colors and lighting effects. The results are polished 3D vision effects that keep web surfers, gamers, or film audiences interested in the finished product.

Mobile technology is sometimes another area of opportunity for 3D designers who are able to render visually pleasing web graphics. Application programmers may enlist the help of a 3D designer to create the digital colors and layouts for one of these programs intended for smaller screens. While many designer jobs do not require intensive computer programming, a designer who understands the function of technologies such as object oriented programming is considered an asset to these types of projects.

Many 3D designers create projects under the specific directions of a client with input from an art director in some cases. Designers who build up strong portfolios are often promoted to managerial positions after several years of working for an established design firm. They are then usually given more creative freedom with projects as well as their own teams of junior 3D designers to mentor. Senior-level 3D designers may also share their expertise by teaching higher education classes in the use of 3D technologies.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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