How did we live, one wonders, in a 2D world? Very image was flat. The Victorians made use of the cumbersome but quaint stereoscope to view (mostly) Alpine scenes in a type of 3D which looked more like an arrangement of cardboard cut-outs. It’s a long road from that primitive phenomenon to today’s 3D computer graphics. Yet only relatively recently did the 3D movie hit the world’s screens, Avatar being the iconic example. Animation is big box office business, and releases like Disney’s Tangled are conceived to exploit the full illusory potential of 3D. We all know that hair can stand up on end, but who knew it could stand out to such effect!
Watching is one thing. Creating 3D graphics is an all-consuming pursuit in itself. Usually done using one of the well-known software applications Poser, 3D Studio Max or DAZ3D, the armchair designer may find himself or herself a new career once the modeling, animation and rendering stages have each been mastered and unique, original graphics begin rolling off their hard drive to find a home in the ether.
There exists an endless stream of jobs for the 3D designer, not least in the realm of games for which ever more fantastical backdrops are required, and the pool of individuals with the necessary skills can probably never be full enough.
Tips to help the reader become a 3D designer of note include the following:
- Look into gaining a further education qualification in animation;
- Familiarize yourself thoroughly with 3D software such as MotionBuilder;
- Produce samples of your work in 3D animation and create a website to host these projects;
- Maintain a regular blog to track your progress and showcase your output;
- Decide whether to launch yourself as a freelance, maintaining on-going accounts for tax purposes;
- Find prospective clients and make contact with them.
A career in 3D is almost certain to be an always relevant, not to mention enjoyable and profitable, way ahead.