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8 Nontechnical Skills That 3D Artists Need

Updated: Feb 16

As a 3D artist there are obvious skills that you need, 3D modeling, texturing, and more to become successful in your field. As important as those are it takes more than technical skill to be hired. Here are the 8 nontechnical skills that you need to make it as a 3D artist in animation and gaming:

1) Time Management

3D modeling is very tedious and the more complicated the model the more time it will take. Despite this as you continue to practice you should be becoming faster as a 3D modeler. This is important because while working at a studio or start up company you need to be able to meet deadlines. Also you need to be able to set out time for personal projects and be able to plan around setbacks. Life will always find out how to get in the way and you also want to be able to set out time to have a personal life outside of 3D modeling.

2) Writing

After graduating, finishing a program, or being self-taught you are going to start filling out applications for internships and jobs. You have to be able to write a good resume and cover letter. You have probably already heard that your reel is more important than your cover letter which is true but your cover letter will still help you to stand out. It is not a good look if your cover letter is too basic or have many grammar or spelling errors.

Also you will be posting your 3D art online through your website and social media. You need to be able to write an artist statement for yourself and to write descriptions for your different 3D artworks

3) Communication

While working you will be apart of a pipeline. You will be working with other 3D artists, animators, riggers, producers, and CG leads. You will be in several meetings with them and you have to be able to discuss your progress, your needs in order to complete your tasks and you have to be able to receive criticism from others especially the CG leads. If you are not good at communicating it will be difficult for others to want to continue to work with you.

4) Emotional Control

While working there will be setbacks. Maya will crash, files will get corrupted or lost, and there will be times that you have to start a model over from scratch. You will also have to deal with difficult clients who will keep on asking for last minute changes. You have to be able to handle your frustrations when these things happen. No one wants to work with someone who keeps exploding every time a program crashes on them.

5) Discipline

Motivation is not enough. When you start you will be excited as you learn the different programs and tools for 3D artists and you will become proud of yourself as you watch your progress as a 3D artist. But no matter how much you love something there will be days that you are tired of it. You will also have assignments that you are not interested in. Your dream job is still a job and you have to do it if you are working at a studio.

6) Organization

While working in a pipeline you have to be able to save your models in an appropriate filing system for riggers, animators, and other 3D artists to be able to find them. It is going to be very frustrating and consuming if a rigger cannot find your model because it is not named or saved correctly.

7) Pacing Yourself

As a 3D artist you have to remember that you are not a robot. You will be tempted to spend many late nights on your projects but you will only do your best work when well rested. If, after working your hours at a studio, your body is telling that it needs sleep do not force yourself to work on your personal project. It will still be there tomorrow (if you had saved it properly and have back up files) so give your body the rest that it needs.

8) Researching

There will always be new tools and software for 3D artists to learn to become better. Also you need to learn from other 3D artists. Do not work in a bubble. Join different communities where you can interact with other 3D artists, especially those that are more experienced than you, so that you can learn from them. Also keep looking at the work of other 3D artists and study their workflow.


These skills are important. Do not try to depend on just your technical skills if you want to work at a studio.

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