What is a Modeler?
A Modeler is responsible for creating 3D models used in computer animation and VFX. The models represent an object from all angles and give viewers the ability to digitally enhance those angles so they can better understand the object.
What is the job?
The role of a Modeler involves creating objects in 3D, which could be anything from a character to a whole environment. Depending on the studio you are working in, the role of the Modeler may be split into Character Artists and Environment Artists, or it may be a generic role in which the Modeler does both.
Modelers will work from reference, and this may include photographers, blueprints, data, and concept designs. On top of this, they will work closely with Texture Artists in order to produce models that meet the specific requirements of a VFX pipeline.
The main responsibilities of a Modeler involve creating models as briefed and then presenting these models for progress reviews to leads, supervisors and clients. In addition to this, the Modeler will have to communicate with other departments to ensure that the models they are creating meet the required standards and requirements specified. Following this, they will be responsible for making changes and updates to these models as and when requested, all whilst staying on schedule and meeting set deadlines.
- Flexible in knowledge and modelling skills, to be able to model a wide range of objects.
- A thorough understanding of any industry standard modelling software.
- A willingness to learn new ways to troubleshoot problems.
- Ability to stay on top of deadlines.
- Produce work to a high quality standard.
- Good communication skills.
- Good knowledge of software such as Maya.
- Able to work well within a team.
Salary & Working Hours
The salary for a Modeler can range from £18,000 right up to over £60,000. However, the average salary is around £26,000.
In terms of working hours, most Modeler roles will work a normal 9am-5pm day, however it should be expected that when deadlines are approaching, or when there is a lot of work to be done, that overtime and unusual working hours may be required.
How To Become a Modeler
In order to become a Modeler, it is essential to have above average creative and design skills. As competition for this career grows, those who are able to display a background of greater education and experience will obviously have better opportunities and prospects.
The best way to showcase your work and reach out to potential employers is to create a portfolio of your work. In order to do this, you’ll need to build up some experience and create some example pieces. Building up experience can be difficult, but there are many ways in which you can do it – through courses, apprenticeships, part-time/full-time jobs, and even volunteering. Any experience you can get will show that you have some background knowledge in the field and this will increase the likelihood of you landing a role.
Networking is hugely important if you want to land a role with a well-known studio. The more people you know, the more opportunities you are likely to get.
Where Can It Take You?
3D Modelling is a highly specialised field, and as a result there is usually a high demand for 3D Modelers. Whilst in this case we are primarily talking about 3D Modelling for film or television, the skills you obtain working as a 3D Modeler in the film industry will provide you with the skills to work in other fields such as medical, architecture, engineering and geology, if that is something you are interested in. As with most jobs in the industry, career progression is often through gaining enough experience to be able to work on more complex and bigger projects.
Become a Modeler
If you are ready for the next step in your career, why not take a look at the latest Modeler vacancies on our jobs board? You can view our latest vacancies here.