Why I settled down as a 3d artist beside the fact that I studied interior architecture
I founded ndvisuals, a 3d visualization studio, in the year 2013 in Mainz (Germany) after my degree in interior architecture. Since then I’ve been working as a 3d artist. At the beginning my work has mostly been freelance jobs for other 3d companies. Over the years I gained a lot of experience and felt confident enough to make the transition from working for others to growing my own business. My company, ndvisuals, works in the field of architectural and product visualization, mostly for small and medium-sized businesses.
In this article I want to tell you why I love being a 3d artist and why being a 3d artist is one of the best jobs in the world.
In contrast to the classical architectural profession, the projects in the 3d area do usually have a much shorter project timeline.
If you’re an architect who for example is working on a large construction project, it can take decades to complete this task. Whereas 3d visualization projects can usually been finished within a few days up to some months. This was one of the reasons for me to work in this profession. I like to structure projects and work straightforward to a deadline in the near future. This certainly would be harder for me if I had to visit a construction site every day for 5–10 years.
Working From Everywhere
If you have electricity, an internet connection, a telephone and a PC, you could be a 3d artist — no matter where you are located.
Most of the work according to 3d is not very hardware heavy. You could scribble your ideas on paper and send the ideas to your client. Afterwards you can start with the scene modeling and the setup. Only the render process is hardware intense. But due to the possibility of online render farms, it is even possible to render animations with only one computer. Depending on the customer and the project, you have to decide whether the costs for external rendering services are available in the budget and are necessary for the deadline. Alternatively, you can own and manage your own intern render farm. You could for example buy used server farms or workstations, if you want to save some money. For the post production you mostly do not need the ultimate hardware power. So in the end it is easily possible to work with a minimum of hardware. This gives you the freedom to choose whether you want to work for example in an office or in your camping van on a laptop.
Depending on the customer and their order, you have the opportunity to put different amounts of creativity into a project. Of course there are costumers who have a very precise idea how their project should look like. In this case, the amount of creative work is limited. However, over time you can convince such customers to trust in you and your creative approach. Sometimes it helps to follow the costumers wish but work on your own attempt simultaneously. As the projects comes to an end you might hand over your own result, too. Now he sees two approaches and two results. If the client isn’t interested in your work, you should focus on getting the clients who love your style/creativity and don’t see you as a employee who just does what they say.
You’re an artist and should think the same way about your work.
Usually one can assume that the customer arrives with an order, which gives you the freedom and trust in your work. In this case you, as an artist, have the choice of material, lighting, camera position and so on.
Worldwide Attention & Changing The World
Social media such as Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, etc. make it possible to generate a broad audience. As a 3d artist, you mostly produce only digital content, so you do not have to create real-world objects to show them. As a result, it is much easier to distribute the produced content on different channels. Also, the ability to share content can increase your reach and can spread like wildfire.
This can also give you the possibility to change the future with innovative ideas being presented virtually.
Doing What You Love
For many people the dream of doing what they love as a job is their life goal. Some follow their passion in their free time (hobby) or work as volunteers after work. Others have the opportunity to make money with their passion, which is often financially more difficult when you do not have the experience in pricing. Especially in the creative field, the amount of people who have just enough or too little money to live is higher than in other sectors. Often, creative people are happy to work on a nice portfolio project or lower their prizes to make the client happy and to have something to work on.
But those who take the step to combine their creative activity with an economic approach are the ones who can live happily from their income.
How to organize yourself, whether as a single freelancer or agency is up to you. Some are happier when they are able to work creatively without managing large groups, while others discover that managing is more important to them. It sometimes takes some time to learn which type of working field suits you more.
When someone asks me what 3d visualization is, I often say that my job reminds me of my childhood. At that time I played with LEGO and built and invented worlds. Today I do the same thing on the PC and I get money for it. The nice thing about this job is that even product visualizations in a studio setup means you build a new world in which everything is possible. When watching the latest blockbusters or video games you can see how far the possibilities of creating virtual worlds has gone to. Due to the ever-advancing development of VR-glasses the viewer now also has the opportunity to completely immerse themselves in these worlds.
Another important aspect is the fact that with 3d visualizations you can pretty easily show your ideas. Sometimes it’s enough to use one single image to communicate the idea. If it’s necessary you can also produce a whole animation and vr experience to convince potential costumers. It’s up to you and of course to the budget.
Have you ever wondered why there exist pictures of places in the universe where nobody has ever been to? Have you ever wondered how a machine works inside when you can’t open them? Well you can! Use a 3d model to explain complex relationships in space or the certain functions of a machine. In 3d you can hide or show elements, you can make them transparent or highlight. This brings in a lot of possibilities which (yet) can’t be done in real life.
Creating a 3d visualization project always means visualizing an idea.
The best part in 3d is to guide people towards this idea. For me as a 3d artist in the fields of product and architectural visualization it’s mostly related to living spaces. That means my renderings help people understand how their future home may look like or how certain furniture could change the mood of a room. Creating these images is a real joy because you know that with your images other people can see possibilities and get creative. As we all want to live in a beautiful home I see myself as the inspirational starting point for others to fulfill their dreams.
Seeing other people adopting, changing or improving your ideas is for me the most satisfying point in being a 3d artist.
I hope you enjoyed my first attempt in writing. Hopefully, I’m able to produce a lot more content in the near future. I may also go through the most important topics of this essay in an extra blog article because they do need more attention. In general my plan is to write about my life as a 3d artist and entrepreneur. Feel free to leave a comment.
Take care and be creative.