A freelance career in 2D and 3D design is one of the most sought-after jobs in 2021, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the rising trend in remote work. This career path provides you with an opportunity to create art assets used in animated films and video games and lets you unleash your visual aesthetics.
Still, with the rapid growth of interest in photorealism and graphical fidelity, 3D design has now taken the lead. However, as a niche profession, you should expect tough competition among qualified peers.
So, for example, once you have decided to apply as a 3D designer at any Triple-A game development company of your choice, focus on building a rock-solid portfolio first.
However, if you’re already working as a 3D designer and you want to achieve a quality balance between life and work, you might want to think about looking for an available freelance gig for that same position.
This article outlines the vital elements that you need to become a successful freelance 3D designer for this year.
1. Choose a Software
Among the essential steps to becoming a successful 3D designer is to get started with the right resources and tools for your skill level.
After you have decided on your software of choice, the amount of work you’ll be able to do will increase. Not only that, but also you’ll get your job done faster than before. The good news is, there are a handful of free, open-source 3D applications to look out for online.
Moreover, some of these types of software have an active and supportive community that you can rely on whenever you need help on tool usage or get stuck on a project. Be aware, though, because such 3D software lacks advanced features and has a steep learning curve.
If you want comprehensive 3D software for future commercial use, opt for a paid one instead. Just make sure you’ll become adept at using it in no time.
2. Get Certified
One of the most incredible things about choosing a freelance career is the effortless entry level when landing a job.
However, it’s still much better to get a certification in your chosen specialty so you can improve your chances of getting hired on the spot. Thankfully, these days there are multiple online 3D training courses you can attend where you’ll get certified afterward.
From here, you’ll learn plenty of new things that range from motion graphic creation to illustration tips and layout tips.
In fact, one example of such an online course is creating a 3D render of a company’s product, as seen on an explainer video on their website. With online courses, you only have to devote your time wisely to learn those modules that you need.
After all, in the 3D design realm, a bachelor’s degree requirement is rarely the case. In fact, a remarkable array of certifications in 3D design, coupled with an acquired skill level and a sufficient amount of experience, are often enough to solidify your professional reputation in the given path.
3. Create a Portfolio
Even if you have an insufficient academic background, you can still be successful in professional 3D design as long as you’ve built an impressive amount of projects and sample works.
However, if you just started as a newbie in the 3D design world, don’t dive into eye-popping or complicated stuff right away. Instead, do your best to create a collection of simple models first.
One of the most crucial aspects to cover here is that you get the hang of 3D modeling fundamentals and have successfully applied the basic design principles as seen on your portfolio. After all, your portfolio can make or break your likelihood of achieving a 3D design career.
4. Build a Network
Another perk of being a freelancer is the consistent work-life balance and flexibility that it offers. In fact, a freelance life gives you spare time to establish a reliable network of professionals in the same area of expertise.
These individuals may include your fellow learners, instructors, or even your workmates. So, who knows, the people you’ve recently worked with might become your trusted character references. Therefore, you need to maintain a healthy professional network and strive to stay in contact with each other.
5. Be a Generalist
Once you have mastered your favorite 3D modeling software, obtained a design certification in such a field, and built a portfolio and professional network, the only thing left now is to boost your chance to get a 3D design job.
Of course, one effective way to do so is to apply for any available 3D modeling job that’s outside your scope of interest. Having managed to land a few generalist gigs will show on your curriculum vitae that you’re capable of handling multiple 3D-related tasks in a wide variety of areas.
In addition, having this advantage will give hiring companies the impression that you can effortlessly pull off whatever they throw at you.
Overall, the year 2021 may throw some challenges at you. However, as long as you apply the above success elements and persevere, you can still get a freelance 3D design job.