Image courtesy of Philippe Morel-Desjardins

Non-Traditional 3D Careers to Explore

Last modification: 15 Apr, 2021
5 mins

Are you a student or a recent graduate searching for your future career path in the 3D industry? If so, it can be overwhelming to pick a career with the diverse options out there. If you’ve considered typical 3D careers and they don’t appeal to you, look no further. We’ve rounded up four 3D jobs that you may have not known about or previously considered. 


We spoke with career-driven 3D experts who generously shared the ins and outs of their jobs and offered great advice for others who may be interested in their roles. From working in television, to architecture and more, these jobs might help you find the 3D role you’ve been looking for!



#1. 3D Generalist


3D generalists are jacks of all trades. They touch every part of the art workflow including layout, modeling, surfacing, texturing, lighting, animation, rendering, and composition. They are always on their toes, needing to meet tight deadlines, be responsive to sudden challenges, work on the latest demo, and provide content to their team.


3D render of a pile of gravel


Pete Mc Nally, Senior Designer and 3D Generalist at Havok, a gaming middleware company, shared that what he loves the most about being a 3D generalist is the variety. With a role that allows him to dip in and out of tasks, and work on both characters and environments in the blink of an eye, he never gets bored.


  3D rendered balloons and merry-go-rounds floating in a large projected screen


Philippe Morel Desjardins, a 3D Generalist who recently worked at Moment Factory, shared that what he loves about being a 3D generalist is working on a multitude of projects and having his team rely on him to tweak any 3D detail at the drop of a hat. 


If you enjoy multi-tasking tasks and working on a project from A to Z, then being a 3D generalist could be the job for you!


#2. Medical Animator


Medical animators combine their knowledge of medical concepts with their 3D skills to create animated content for educational or medical purposes. Their animations range from showing complex scientific concepts, to creating VR pieces for doctors to able to empathize with their patients’ conditions [1]


3D render of red angiogenesis


Jennifer Platt, a Senior Medical Animator at medical marketing agency INVIVO Communications Inc., explained that many people get into the medical animation field by pursuing a scientific illustration or a medical animated illustration degree (she did both!) And although there are limited academic institutions offering these programs, there are various non-typical ways to become a medical animator. Jennifer stated that “not everyone who’s a medical animator has the same background.” In fact, many people in the field have a technical animation background and learn the rest on the job. The added benefit to getting a technical animation degree is that they are much more common.

If you love both art and science, this could be the job for you.


#3. Production Designer


Production designers often oversee entire projects while also being responsible for the visual concept. They identify a design style for sets, locations, character design, costume design, graphics, and motifs, while investigating the world-building aspects of a given project. Depending on the project, they may do a ton of research to obtain the accuracy of a time period and environment. They also work closely with directors and producers, as they tend to manage art departments with a design team [2]


3D illustration of a man on a horse traveling towards a shrine in the forest


Jason Scheier, a Production Designer for an upcoming animated Netflix television series, shared that although his job is fascinating, it isn’t one you would typically get right out of school.


“I think now more than ever, there are many opportunities to become a production designer, but you have to pay your dues. It's a job you can spend 15 years accomplishing. You’ve got to be ready for the marathon, and to learn every aspect of production before you know what the job really entails.”


Jason mentioned that he was an art director prior to being a production designer, which gave him the years of experience required to manage the visual components of a production project.

If you’re an organized people person that loves a challenge, being a production designer could be on your career path! The job is worth the wait.


#4. 3D Architectural Visualizer


3D architectural visualizers bring their designs to life by creating photo-realistic 3D renders or animations of proposed buildings and environments [3]. They produce visualizations of architectural design, while making it look as realistic as possible through the use of texture, lighting, sizing, and the context of the environment.


 3D render of a building with a tree in the center surrounded by young students


Clotilde Garnier, a 3D Architecture Visualizer at NEUF Architect(e)s, shared that what she loves most about being an arch visualizer are the different tasks from studying the materials, to choosing the point of view for visualization. She advised that if you’re interested in architecture, you should pay attention to your surroundings like the material of a reflective surface, the structure of an abstract building, or even the feeling of the location’s atmosphere. These are important components that she reflects on when she models a building from scratch.

If you have an eye for design and architecture, being a 3D arch visualizer could be the job for you.


Now that you know about these outside-of-the-box options, start applying to your future! One of these 3D jobs might just be right for you.




Looking for more resources to kick-start your career? Check out Your Career in 3D 






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