3D Artist

Create lifelike animation of anything the mind dares to imagine. NASA’s Mars Science Lab won’t launch until August 2012 but 3D artists show how every aspect of the mission will work. It’s just like being there.  ►See video.

3D artist without the glasses

Like the Mars simulation, most animation uses 3D graphics software to make virtual worlds seem lifelike without special glasses. Today’s super-fast software can turn any model or picture into 3D without frame-by-frame drawing. 

Anywhere video is used is a potential job for a 3D artist. Do a quick search of “3D animation” on YouTube to see why it’s one of the world’s fastest growing careers.


Canadian schools with animation programs rank among the best, with many graduates recruited by top name film and game studios across North America. Plus, 3D artists are now in demand for many other uses, like simulating cancer’s progress at the cellular level or what happens inside an exploding star.

3D artists help save lives with animated training for medicine, the military and flight. Educational animations also make it fun for kids to learn tough stuff like science and math.

3D artists mash up art with digital graphics and illustrator technologies. They can add specialist skills in areas like entertainment, business, finance, automotive, aviation, healthcare, scientific research or education.

For people who

• Have creative artistic talent with unlimited imagination
• Can visualize lifelike animation from storylines
• Blend artistry with technical skills in complex animation software
• Work well in collaborative teams

Education pathways

Look into university fine arts and community college 3D animation programs to find a range of degree, diploma and certificate options. 

• Admission often requires a personal portfolio showcasing artistic talent.
• Programs are multidisciplinary. They include drawing, composition, character development, narrative story design, storyboarding, modelling, and production – as well as digital tools and applications.


Some 3D artists will land jobs at motion picture giants like Disney, Pixar and Stephen Spielberg’s DreamWorks. Others may choose to mash up their artistic talent with their interests in fields like medicine, aviation or business.

3D artists also get jobs in advertising and graphic design agencies as well as companies that have their own web design and video graphics departments like Microsoft, Google, and BlackBerry.


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