Who is a 3D visualizer?
What profession is this, where to study for it, and how much does such a specialist earn?
One of the areas of design is 3D visualization. Volumetric images are used in various fields, but mainly they are needed for a spectacular presentation – a product, interior design, architectural project, and other objects.
In several cards, we will tell you what kind of job it is, what skills are needed, and how much a 3D visualizer can earn.
What is 3D visualization, and what does a 3D visualizer do?
3D visualization is a three-dimensional photorealistic image made by special graphic editors. It reflects all the nuances of the future object:
- Position in space from different angles
- Design details (colors, materials, textures)
A 3D visualizer is a designer who creates such images. This fairly narrow specialization requires knowledge of complex software, and it is important to update skills constantly.
And what kind of tasks does a 3D visualizer work with?
For example, here is a list of typical tasks from a visualizer vacancy:
- Prepare models of interiors;
- Draw the urban landscape;
- model interior/exterior according to photos, drawings and/or measurements;
- To model art objects;
- Engage in 3D animation;
- Create textures;
- Adjust the lighting of the 3D model;
- Prepare renders.
In what areas can a 3D visualizer work?
For example, in architecture, interior design, and commodity production – in these areas, it is necessary to understand at the design stage how the object will look in three dimensions. This is where a 3D visualizer comes to the rescue, which will be able to embody the ideas of their fellow designers and create accurate models of the future product, interior, or building.
At the same time, a 3D visualizer is not a replacement for an architect or designer. It is important to understand that it creates an accurate three-dimensional picture, primarily needed to present the future object, rather than a drawing according to which this project will be implemented.
As a rule, the visualizer works in a team with other specialists. For example, an art director or project designer can be responsible for an idea or an artistic intent, and a 3D visualizer recreates its three-dimensional image.
What skills do you need to work as a 3D visualizer?
First of all, technical. A 3D visualizer works with complex software, and the higher the hard skills of a specialist, the more demanded and valuable he is in the market. It is also important to have developed spatial thinking and be able to read drawings and construction documentation – this is necessary to make technically accurate models.
Like any specialist working with visuals, he needs to understand the basics of color, develop artistic taste, observe, and follow design trends. And also, build up soft skills – you must communicate with colleagues and customers.
What programs do 3D visualizers need to master?
The main programs that are used for visualization:
- 3ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D – they can create detailed 3D models, adjust lighting, textures, and render.
- SketchUp – is often used for modeling residential buildings, interiors, and furniture. It is easier to learn than 3ds Max or Autodesk, so many renderers start with this program.
- Houdini – suitable for realistic visualization of the landscape, buildings, and objects, as well as for animation.
- AutoCAD, Archicad, and Revit – for precise planning of the future premises.
- Autodesk Maya, ZBrush – often used for sculpting objects and rendering natural elements and textures (plants, stones, leaves, water drops).
- Corona Renderer is a popular image rendering software.
Please note that to work in specialized programs, you need a powerful computer: with a processor of 8 cores, at least 16 GB of RAM, and a good video card with 4 GB of video memory and support for DirectX 11.
What education do you need to work as a 3D visualizer?
Experienced visualizers do not advise limiting yourself to self-education: this way, you risk getting incomplete and scattered knowledge. Comprehensive training in a course or university program will be much more effective.
You can get a higher education in 3D design – this will take several years. Still, it will give you fundamental knowledge not only in 3D visualization but also in related industries.
A shorter path to the profession is educational courses. In a few months or 1-2 years (depending on the program’s scope), you can master the basic tools and start working on projects – on your own or in a design agency.
But self-education is useful for expanding skills – it is always important to train in observation, study design trends, and master new techniques.
How much does a 3D visualizer earn?
Here is an approximate price range.
As a rule, agency employees receive a fixed salary, sometimes with project bonuses. In the United States, a 3D Visualizer can expect an average salary of $66,173. To view 3D Visualizer salaries near you, refine your search by location. Salary estimates are based on 12 salaries given by 3D Visualizer employees on Glassdoor.
What are the career prospects for a 3D visualizer?
A 3D visualizer can develop within the scope of his profession: become a leader and mentor for juniors or establish his design agency. Or he can start to master related areas of design – a specialist with a wide range of skills will be valued in the professional market.
It is optional to limit yourself to local vacancies. A professional 3D visualizer with a good portfolio and knowledge of foreign languages can easily enter the international market and work on large-scale projects.