3D-Concept Artist: Are they needed?

Hello all.

I’m interested in you guys perspective on the topic of 3D-Concept Design.

I’m 28, and I’m aiming to become a professional 3D- Artist at some point. I worked in Sales and as a Videographer up until now.

It’s kind of hard for me to decide on what I want to become. So far I LOVE practicing 3D so I know that as of now it wasn’t just my childhood ambition - but I really do like it.

The thing is I dont really want to just become a production artist. I’m much more into designing my own stuff.

But I keep hearing that 3D-Concept designers arent really needed in the industry or even as freelancers.

On top of that im 28 with no prior experience in the 3D Industry. All of those guys started at a far younger age than me.

What’s your perspective?

The TL;DR: would be:

I’m very interested in 3D-Concept Design but I keep hearing that it has no real demand.

There are two options, one is to consider doing things the way you want without following rules or trends. However you must come to a point of producing a volume of work -that is impressive- that will get everybody looking for you. This is a contrarian mindset to do anything you want provided that you might or might not find work in the field.

And the other way is to follow practical trends and requirements just to hit the checkboxes, so then you can can find someone to hire you. This is more reserved mindset where you must compromise to certain technical standards and play with the rules.

I can’t decide which option from the two is better. As for me personally I roll with the first option because I am more of more experimental in nature, thus I don’t work in graphics field for this reason. I find research much more exciting than making the best artwork.

i dont know who has been talking to you but 3D-concept designers are in a huge demand right now. (i have worked as concept artist for 15 years now, and freelanced the last 8 years) and ive never been this busy. These days its highly beneficial to know 3D when doing concept design. Big chunk of the industry’s concept artists are moving over to more and more 3D (and most have moved to blender…). There is still room for just 2D concept designers if you are very good, but production wise, using 3D in the concept phase can solve a lot of problems early on, increase the quality, and save time in the end.

Your age should not be a issue if you are dedicated to improving. I’ve seen some people start really late and then really excel. If it’s your dream, go to for it. But keep in mind tech moves reeeally quick. Knowing 3D is good, but if you want to do concept design knowing how to design is the important part. 3D is just a tool to help you make & communicate your ideas. In 10 years, we might use a completely different way of making our designs. But if you know how to design, you will be able to transfer your skills to any other medium.

Now that Blender – specifically, Blender – has made “high-quality 3D renderings” universally available, it becomes a very natural avenue for creating “concept art” that can actually be turned into what it is conceptualizing. You can show exactly what the thing would look like and see it from any angle without physically building anything.

The 3D technology is simply “the tool in your hands.” You’re the creative designer who comes up with the concept(s), and Blender-3D is what you use to execute and show the designs to clients. “The thing I’ve designed is right here, just on the other side of the screen …” But, as Binke said above, it’s just the way that you communicate your designs.

Sorry - I probably forgot a very important detail.

I cannot draw. Or at least… I used to know how to draw but I stopped in my early teens.

My question was more of the likes of “can you do concept art with 3D ONLY”. I mean - yes you CAN - but can you find a job is what I really try to understand.

For sure you can find a concept design job using only 3D, there are already some famous people who only use 3d. What matters is, are your results good? Clients dont care what you used. They are looking for someone who can visualize ideas and solve problems on the given schedule. If you do it by pencil or by polygons does not really matter. My own prediction is in the future concept art might even be 100% made in 3D, as tools, renders etc gets better. 15-20 years ago it was much faster to draw something in photoshop, then to make the whole scene in 3D, but these days, you can almost get there at the same time using only 3D.

Again - clients only care about the final results. Knowing how to draw however is highly beneficial to your design sense. Knowing any kind of basics will help you make better images.

Appreciate your time man.

Do you have any suggestions on learning design basics especially for concept design - besides practicing of course? I know books will not magically make you do good design - but do you have any recommendations anyway?

Do you have any Names of designers who go more into detail regarding design language? So far I always relied on my inner gut feeling & my own interpretation of good design (for my Music and my Videography) which never let me down so to say. But I also know to never over-estimate myself just because I THINK I have talent in any field.

You said you have 15 yrs of experience so I’d gladly take some advice based on that.

No problem! Honestly, there is no correct answer. I think i learned best from just observing other artists that I admire and tried to analyze & copy their work for practice, and analyze what is it with their images that makes it look good. Like analyse how they break down values, shapes… and then just took all that inspiration and applying it to my own work. Like for an example, i love Studio Ghibli, so i own a bunch of their artbooks that ive studied a lot. For design specifically, I like Syd Mead, so ive watched a lot of his work as well. Find work that you personally like and study it would be my suggestion. Doesnt have to be art/design oriented stuff, you can study movies, observing how they do cinematography, lighting, camera angles. If you are looking for picking up new techniques , id recommend maybe checking learnsquared.com there is a few good courses there and a lot is 3D-focused. If you wanna pick up some courses that go a bit more deep into design language and are mora traditional art focused etc, i think you can find a lot of stuff at schoolism.com

I can’t draw either. One of my nephews can create elaborate comic books in his sleep – I hate him. :wink:

3D can let you build “concept art” that might actually go on to become “the real thing.” You can show exactly how the thing will look. You can also do much more abstract “2D in 3D.” This website has a huge amount of art material on display going back for decades.