Everything you need to know about the job of 3D Illustrator: studies, salaries…

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The 3D illustrator designs 3D images and animations to convey messages or information. This graphic design expert relies on his creativity to achieve his rather artistic work. He must also master the use of digital tools necessary for design. A course of study in a professional school allows you to become a 3D illustrator.

What is a 3D Illustrator?

The 3D illustrator is a graphic design professional who processes 3D images to illustrate various digital media. He uses digital tools designed for this purpose to respond to recommendations from his client or employer.

We can say that his world is an attractive virtual universe, enriched with special effects and light effects. In practice, he designs illustrations for advertisements, Internet, intranet and extranet sites, and especially video games.

He/she may also be required to design images for marketing emails and newsletters. Its 3D design includes the incorporation of animated characters and backgrounds into the virtual content, according to pre-established scenarios. To work as a 3D illustrator, you must have an artistic sense and master graphic design techniques.

What are the missions of the 3D Illustrator?

To design 3D images, the illustrator follows a set of specifications and very precise scenarios. These instructions are predefined by a sponsor. The latter can be a client if the illustrator is self-employed, or his employer if he is employed.

The 3D expert then plays on a graphic palette to realize his artistic conception. His role is to translate the messages to be transmitted into captivating images. These are used to seduce targets who are Internet users or video game enthusiasts. In principle, the 3D illustrator also uses an optical pencil to create his illustrations. To remain creative and effective, it must ensure its missions, which can be summarized as follows:

  • create illustrations and 3-dimensional digital animations;
  • Anticipate the needs of the target audience to create appropriate illustrations;
  • Use your creativity to create original and effective illustrations;
  • Ensure that the visuals are in accordance with the order;

Why become a 3D Illustrator?

One becomes a 3D illustrator simply to live this exciting job. Since it is primarily an artistic creation, the author is free to express his or her imagination, while respecting the guidelines.

If you are interested in this profession, you just have to follow an adapted training, and become a professional in this field. In the graphic design sector, software is becoming more and more innovative, to better exploit the imagination. You can then follow the trend and innovate your creations according to your preferences.

Moreover, the 3D illustrator always has prospects of evolution at hand. At any level of his career, he can become an artistic director or an artistic project manager. The sharing of experience between 3D graphic designers is also a strong point of this profession and a way to broaden their horizons.

How much does a 3D Illustrator earn?

If the graphic designer works as an employee in a production studio, he or she can be paid according to his or her performance. He may be required to create illustrations for video games or animated films. If he works for a communication agency, he can be paid according to the size of the company.

In any case, the 3D illustrator is very much in demand at a time when the virtual world is making its way into many fields. At the beginning of his or her career, he or she can earn an average gross salary of between €1,500 and €3,500. Depending on their experience and the sector in which they work, they can earn up to €10,000 net per month. A 3D illustrator who supervises a production team may also enjoy higher compensation.

What studies are required to become a 3D Illustrator?

To become a 3D illustrator, it is imperative to learn the different computer techniques used in this profession. Artistic skills are also acquired with the mastery of these techniques.

If you decide to go into 3D illustration, take a professional graphic design course. You can join our communication school Sup de Pub in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon or Rennes. We also have campuses abroad, if you want to study in London, New York or San Francisco.

You can start in SP1 Creation to learn about creative tools. Then continue on to SP2 Creation to perfect your skills in digital creation and design. Among the other courses available, you have :

  • SP3 Visual & Digital Creation ;
  • SP4/SP5 Art Direction & Visual Design;
  • SP4/SP5 UI & Digital Design;
  • SP4/SP5 Communication & Graphic Design.
Updated 11 March 2024