If you’re naturally creative and have taken an interest in games, film, XR, or the metaverse, then you’ll likely take an interest in 3D animation. 3D animators are responsible for essentially bringing characters and objects to life with the use of animation software. 

To get you started on the right path, we’ve broken down everything you need to know to become a 3D animator: what they do, the average salary, and how to get started utilizing 3D animation programs. 


What Does a 3D Animator Do? 

3D animators bring films, games, and other forms of media to life by creating motion graphics in three dimensions. These artists often have a creative mind that can capture how a character or object should look when in motion. Their responsibilities include: 

  • Discussing ideas with directors of other departments in the process 
  • Design idea research 
  • Creating rough drafts of animation designs, models, and storyboards
  • Defining animation proportions
  • Creating realistic environments and layouts 
  • Implementing movement mechanics
  • Collaborating with other artists and designers
  • Integrating sound and visual effects to create a seamless scene


Average 3D Animator Salary

If this career path sounds interesting to you, then you may already be sold. If not, then let’s take a look at the average 3D animator salary so that you can have an idea of what to expect. According to Indeed, the national average salary for a 3D animator is $66,784 per year. Of course, this varies based on your location, experience, and education level. You may also be able to negotiate your pay and benefits. 

This will also depend on which route of employment that you choose. You can work as an employee at a large company, work on a job-by-job basis as a freelancer or contractor, or you can even start your own business. The main items that you’ll need regardless of where you are is a computer system or a tablet and stylus combination. 


How to Become a 3D Animator 

In all reality, the process of becoming a 3D animator is often more expensive and time-consuming than it needs to be. Many people will tell you that you need a Bachelor’s Degree, a portion of time to gain experience to impress employers, continued education, and more. 

Luckily, technology has made it as simple as ever. We can break down the process into three simple steps that DON’T involve college or spending 4+ years of your life dedicated to learning. 

1. Utilize 3D Animation Programs 

3D animation programs will become your best friend in the process of becoming an animator. These types of programs are designed to give you the exact education that you need to become an animator in a shorter time frame. They also are typically less expensive, too. 

The ideal 3D animation program will teach you the basic skills and knowledge of software that you’ll need to get started, help you start building your portfolio, and prepare you for launching your career. 


2. Build a Stand-Out Portfolio 

Building a portfolio starts in your program, but it is also the next step after you complete it. You don’t just need a portfolio to land your dream job – you need a portfolio that stands out from the rest of the applicants. 

Of course, the best computer animation programs will help you create unique art that shows your talent, but try to go above and beyond. After all, demonstrating your skill and talent is better than just telling the interviewer about it. 

3. Apply for Your Dream Job 

Lastly, after you have the education and portfolio behind you, start applying for jobs! You might take some small jobs at the beginning to gain more experience and continue adding to your portfolio, but don’t be afraid to apply to your dream job. You may or may not get hired right away, but you won’t know until you take the chance. This process doesn’t need to be complicated! 


The Best 3D Character Animation Course

As mentioned, the first step in the process is to approach some type of education. If you’re looking for a college alternative, then you’ll want to look into a program. The Animation Program from Vertex School is one of the best computer animation programs available due to the accessibility, affordability, and comprehensivity. 

The Animation Program is a 9-month long bootcamp that is designed to teach you the skills and knowledge that you need to secure your dream job in games, film, XR, or the metaverse. The bootcamp is entirely virtual with pre-recorded videos on demand. There are live class sessions and one-on-one live mentorship available to complete the educational experience. Upon completion, you’ll receive a certificate to prove your education.

This bootcamp is a comprehensive learning program that covers animation foundations, body mechanics, acting, lip syncing, and so much more! 

During the Bootcamp

With so much information packed into a short amount of time compared to traditional college degrees, your investment is truly jam-packed with value. You might be wondering what to expect, since you will have some sort of a time commitment. 

Though this course is pre-recorded and available on-demand, you will have live class sessions to attend. The minimum time commitment is 20 hours per week, but it’s recommended that you have 30+ hours per week available for the best learning experience. 

You will meet for live sessions twice per week, complete the pre-recorded lessons alongside the live sessions, and then complete any work or assignments on your own schedule. 


After You Finish 

After you’ve completed the course, you can expect to be prepared for launching your career within the industry. Most students who complete this course are hired within the industry quickly based on their knowledge, skills, and stand-out portfolio. 


The Application Process


If you’re serious about pursuing your education and landing your dream job in games, film, XR, or the metaverse, then the Animation Program will fully prepare you. The application process is simple: 

Step 1: Complete a 10-15 minute application that covers your background, goals, and experiences. 

Step 2: Schedule a portfolio review and meet with an Admissions Representative to further discuss if you’re a good fit for the program.

Step 3: Complete online enrollment with your Admissions Representative and pay tuition.


Apply Today 

With limited seats and start dates available, be sure to grab your spot now! Click here to start the application process for the Animation Program today. If you’d like to learn more about the program first, then you can click here.