3D Graphic Design is a high tech field
Graphic designers specializing in 3D work with innovative computer graphics software in a range of industries including television, movies, video games and web design. Professional 3D graphic designers usually have at least a bachelors degree in their field and must be expert in the use of 3D software. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the best job prospects are for those who can apply their design expertise in web site design and animation. These specialized areas of design incorporate heavy use of 3D imagery. While some designers are self employed, many work in staff positions. The BLS cites an average salary for multimedia artists and animators of $79,000.
The television industry uses 3D computer graphics software, such as Maya Autodesk and 3DS Max. The fast paced television and broadcast production market creates graphic and animated elements for use in TV shows, often enhancing live action news and sports broadcasts. Some 3D design studios target the lucrative TV advertising production field.
Web designers for 3D create everything from 3D buttons for inclusion in web pages to entire web sites. They incorporate 3D imagery and animation in interactive web pages, and must be expert in web software, such as Dreamweaver and Flash, as well as 3D graphics software.
Designers in the movie industry create and animate characters and settings for live action and animated features for studios like Pixar and Dreamworks SKG. This is a highly competitive field that attracts talented individuals, complicated by the fact that offshore companies compete for contracts at low rates. The field continues to grow with U.S.-based companies such as Laika in Portland, Oregon entering the 3D animated feature field.
Graphic designers working in the video game industry must be expert with 3D graphics software. They must also be prepared to handle the intensive coding and programming necessary to create interactive games. Designers work on a creative team to produce video games. Typically, team members are game enthusiasts themselves. There are bachelors programs available in 3D graphics with a specialty in game design at schools like Expression College, located in Emeryville, California.
Virtual training is a cutting edge part of the 3D graphic design industry where companies create virtual training experiences for their clients. Companies like Heartwood Studios specialize in 3D virtual training solutions for corporate clients, such as Raytheon and Honeywell.