How to Make a Career in Visual Design and 3D Animation

If you’re interested in creating Visual Effects, Video Games, VR, or Visual Design and 3D Animation then this is the blog for you. This article will give you an introduction to 3D from a complete beginner’s perspective along with discussing the salaries, jobs, careers and other important facts so be sure to stick around till the end. Here is how to get into Visual Design and 3D Animation.

Basics of Visual Design and 3D Animation

There are a lot of buzzwords related to 3D such as 3D Gaming, 3D Animation, 3D Video, 3D Printing, VR, Visual Effects (VFX), Architectural Visualizations, etc. It is very easy to get confused among so many many options.

What is Animation?

But in the most basic terms, animation is the process where drawing, designing, layouts, and photographic sequences have to be edited after which the final output is integrated into multimedia or gaming products. It stands on the principle that images are exploited and managed to create the illusion of movement or motion.

Regardless of what field, you want to specialize in, a basic understanding of 3D is necessary. As all that you learn and make in one field can always be transferred into another.

For example, if you make a character, that character can be rigged and animated to create an animation, it can be exported to a game engine, where it becomes a playable character, it could be 3D printed to make some merchandise, it could be injected into a VR world or can simply be rendered as a still image.

Basics of 3D Animation

The 3 building blocks of 3D Animation fields can be segmented into the following parts:

  • Modeling Modeling an object by creating a cage and moving it around till it forms the shape of your object.
  • Texturing – Textures or Materials to make the surface look real when it’s rendered.
  • Lighting – Lighting to create a pleasing final image, to make it feel natural, and adding contrast to your character.

Overview Of The Visual Design and 3D Animation Industry

The industry of Visual Design & 3D animation is pretty huge with the rise of technological advancements and the progress of the internet. The world is changing and adapting to new technologies such as 3D and Virtual Reality. Meta would be a very significant example of this.

Big Shot Industries such as the Entertainment Industry, Gaming Industry, Film Industry, TV Industry, and Advertisement Industry use these technologies so employment is never-ending. The need, want and demand for this industry is growing worldwide at a rapid rate. This is because the number of internet users is increasing, the involvement of manual labor is decreasing and the use of animation and robots is increasing.

Growing Importance of Visual Design and 3D Animation in the EdTech Sector

The most surprising and underrated industry that needs this industry is the Education & Teaching Industry. It is a proven fact that something taught visually is implanted in the roots of our brain.

Students remember more while learning about something new when they see it happening in front of them which also provides a practical feel rather than just being theoretical. 3D Animations keep students interested by being interactive and appealing. Pilots are trained and tested in a plane simulation, and Drivers are trained in a driving simulation created using 3D Animation & Virtual Reality.

These are some mere examples of the driving demand for Visual Designers and Animators. In other words, if you want an emerging industry where growth is unlimited, this is the industry you should make your career in.

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Things To Keep In Mind Before Getting Into Visual Design and 3D Animation

With the industry being immense and job opportunities being endless, a career in Visual Design & 3D Animation might seem very lucrative and attractive but you need to keep the following things in mind before diving into this industry to make sure you have a painless and bright future. We answer some of the common FAQs and doubts of students and people who are thinking to enter this field:

Is Visual Design and 3D Animation Right For You?

It’s a great field for an artist. Every day you will be getting to work on something new if you know what you’re doing. It’s the best place for creative minds where they get to unleash their creativity in a way that doesn’t have any bounds.

Cost Of Learning Visual Design and 3D Animation

If you’re planning to join any course to learn Visual Design & 3D Animation, you will only have the option to do a Diploma Course or a Degree Course. A Diploma Course in Visual Design & 3D Animation generally costs  2 lacs INR with the duration of these courses ranging from 1.5 years to 2 years.

Return On Investment

The salary or return on investment as a visual designer or 3D animator can range from 8,000 to 80,000 INR/month. It all depends on the knowledge you have.

Job Safety

There is no job safety. If you have what it takes, companies will ask you to join them and will be willing to offer all that you need in return from them. If you are average in terms of skill, you might have to keep secondary options and backup plans.

Showreel

In this field, your work speaks for you. You need to show what you can do rather than saying it or having a written roof of it. Nobodys gonna ask you for your certificates, courses you learned, and programs you worked on as long as your work is top of the line and remarkable.

Specialization

As I mentioned before, there is a lot of specialization in this field such as 3D, 2D, VFX, and Sketching where 3D has Modeling, Rigging, Texturing, Lighting, Rendering, Sculpting, etc. 2D has a more classical animation approach (Tom & Jerry is a great example), puppet-tool animation, motion graphics, etc. VFX has Roto artists, tracking artists, matte artists, and many more. Sketching is further divided into storyboard artists, frame drawing, caricature artists, etc. The list goes on and on and you need to select one and master that specific art.

Job or Business?

This depends from person to person and the mindset they have. A person with an entrepreneurial mindset will be a more motivated and better fit to start something of their own while the general 9-5 working mindset will prefer a job and a decent payout at the end of the month without having to worry about management.

Visual Design and 3D Animation
Source: Pexels

Requirements To Make A Career In Visual Design and 3D Animation

These are the basic needs and requirements to become a Visual Designer and 3D Animator:

  • Bachelor’s Degree – The first step to becoming a Visual Designer or 3D Animator is to enroll in a relevant bachelor’s degree course and learn about the field and get better clarity in the subjects, you want to specialize in.
  • Master’s Degree/Other Certificates – Although it isn’t absolutely important to get a certificate as you won’t have a lot of options for flaunting it, keeping one handy might have an overall impact on your earning potential.
  • Portfolio – When applying for work or showcasing your application, it always serves as an advantage for applicants to have a demo of their work rather than just having it written in your CV. It helps the employer gauge your technical skills and abilities all at the same time while realizing your potential and creativity.
  • Upgrade – Utilize every bit of time you have to upgrade your skills. Put in the extra hard work to re-edit some of your earlier works and have them showcased in your portfolio beside your original work. It helps your clients understand how you have grown and developed yourself.
  • Experience – You need to gain relevant experience in order to rise in terms of level, job positions, and salary structure. Working internships or jobs will help you understand the workflow of a corporate company and get you ready for the various responsibilities involved in this role.

Top 10 Colleges To Study Visual Design and 3D Animation in India

Have made up your mind? Do you want to become a visual designer and animator and there’s no literal force that can stop you? Here is a list of the top 10 best animation institutes in India providing a balance of learning and future opportunities:

  • Indian Institute of Film & Animation
  • National Institute of Design
  • Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics
  • Asian Academy of Film & Television
  • Picasso International Animation
  • Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay
  • Arena Animation
  • World University of Design
  • Artemisia College of Art & Design
  • Amity University

Best Softwares To Learn Visual Design and 3D Animation

Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D is a professional 3D modeling, animation, simulation, and rendering application software that is user-friendly as well. Although it has certain limitations, it is very good for beginners. Those who have certain experience in the editing software Adobe After Effects will find the transition and user interface even simpler and similar, allowing you to go back and forth between the two programs. Whatever you create in Cinema 4D can be manipulated further as a layer in Adobe After Effects.

Blender

Another beginner-friendly software to learn 3D animation and Visual Design is Blender. It is used primarily as a tool for creating 3D models and environments. It has a versatile range of tools available at your disposal, which can be used to create both stylized and realistic scenes for purposes ranging from game design to 3D animation.

3DS Max

3DS Max is a 3D Designing software used to create 3D Character Models, 3D Game Assets, and 3D Animation for video games. It offers an efficient workflow along with powerful modeling tools. The best part about this software is that it is very user-friendly even when making complex animations.

Maya

Maya is a 3D Application used to do modeling, character rigs, and animation. It was built to be an industry-standard software and has been the same over decades and some of the most professional artworks we see and interact with are made using Maya. It’s a very mature and stable piece of software. You need to know Maya to be a good designer and animator.

Zbrush

Zbrush is used to create ultra-realistic 3D models for movies, video games, and visual effects with a high resolution. It is a very common tool for professional film and video game studios worldwide. It helps you improve and gain a great deal of control over the process of digital sculpture.

Houdini

Once you get the gist of how 3D Animation works and are well versed with the general functionality and other necessary tools, then you can start using Houdini. If you aren’t scared of the endless possibilities, Houdini would be the ultimate step up from all the other software. It is a very powerful 3D procedural software used for modeling, rigging, animation, VFX, look development, lighting, and rendering. Houdini is used in films, TV, cartoon shows, advertising, and video games. It’s a must-know software for 3D animators.

Top 3 Most Wanted Visual Design and 3D Animation Skills

Even if there are immense opportunities in this industry, there’s cutthroat competition as well. These are the top 3 skills you need to know, have and practice to be a good fit for any company you are applying for:

Keep Calm & Keep Editing

It sounds pretty simple, right? But it is not as easy to accomplish in reality as it seems. A Great 3D Animation Designer should be ready to edit their work even 10 times whenever required, all while keeping their cool because emotional self-control and effective conflict resolution techniques will be a great plus for you. One should not lose their head over a new round of comments and edits from the Art Director.

Timing

People who have a good sense of timing can implement interesting transitions between the scenes which help make the composite lag less, glitch-free, and just simply fast are highly valued. Invisible Animations which look nice but are invisible to the naked eye are a reflection of professionalism.

Physics & Mimics

Visual Designers and 3D Artists need to understand how to mimic real-life characters and their movements. They need to understand how physics works in the real world and should be able to recreate the same in their designs and animations. This not only helps the animator gain the necessary experience but also provides a clear understanding of the animation process.

Conclusion

I hope this article helped you gain a better idea of the industry and helped you get some information on where and how to start. Ultimately, it’s not rocket science, if you have a keen thirst for knowledge, mixed with the right amount of dedication and effort with a creative mind, you might just end up working with Disney or Pixar.

So all the best on your journey. Share this blog with your friends who need it.

If you have any questions or queries you can contact us at [email protected].

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Maitrayan Bera
Maitrayan likes to be called Matty. Matty hails from Kolkata, India. He is a final-year Media Science student. When he’s not creating great content, or staring at his laptop screen waiting for inspiration, he’s probably contemplating life on the roof with a cup of coffee.
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