10 Reasons Why Graphic Designers Should Learn 3D Modeling
Should graphic designers learn 3D modeling? This is quite a fascinating question that most graphic designers usually ask.
As a graphic designer, whether you are into creating layout, packaging or print designs, brand and logo designs etc., you must always be on the lookout for ways to improve your graphic design skills, and 3D modeling is one of them!
Before we answer the question we began with, it’s important to note that the demand for both freelance 3D designers and those working locally is quickly growing in the job market.
3D renders are now essential in manufacturing, health care, entertainment, media, and architecture.
According to the report on the US job market generated by Burning Glass Technologies and Epic Games in January 2021, there are more than 315,000 job postings requiring competency in 3D graphics.
Also, the report showed that the supply of employees proficient in 3D graphics isn’t keeping up with its demand, thus giving rise to lots of entry-level jobs for those with these skills to make up for the employment deficit in the market.
The job openings are also increasing at speed 10% faster than that of the overall job market and 50% faster than IT skills.
As virtual reality continues to grow and become prevalent, it also means 3D models will continue growing, and in a few years to come, it will be one of the most sought after skills.
This is because the objects used in virtual reality are usually created through 3D modeling and graphic design.
Epic Games 3D character production. Image source: Burning Glass Technologies
Having seen how in-demand this skill is, it’s worth acquiring to be used to supplement your graphic design skills.
We have highlighted five key reasons why learning 3D modeling as a graphic designer is essential.
5 Reasons Why Graphic Designers Should learn 3D modeling
1 – Advertising and Marketing
3D modeling can be used to produce rich 3D content that you can use in all media channels. Using 3D modeling for advertising has excellent advantages.
For example, the retention rate is more than five times higher when compared to 2D advertising. This is because the eyes usually capture volume and depth, and this makes your adverts more noticeable.
3D models are also very realistic and hard to differentiate from natural products/objects. This is achieved through proper texturing, lighting, reflections, and shades.
3D renders of shoes. Image source: 3d-ace.com
Additionally, some 3D modeling software allows direct sharing of 3D models on social media platforms like Facebook.
Users can interact with the 3D model by moving their mouse around. By so doing, they will see all the sides of the model in real-time.
This strategy is much better when compared to the use of 2D graphics as the potential customers will have the capability to have a full view of the product. So as a graphic designer, it’s essential to consider this.
2 – 3D modeling is critical in Product packaging design
A product package is meant to draw the attention of the customers.
As a graphic designer, you need to know that the potential customers aren’t coming to your store/store of your client.
Instead, they are on their way to somewhere else, and you only have a few seconds to change their minds make them buy from you instead.
The only way to achieve this is by offering something extraordinary that the competitors aren’t offering, and that’s why and where 3D modeling comes in.
With 3D modeling, you can create eye-catching designs that are hard to achieve using graphic design alone. With 3D modeling, you can also refine, test, and modify products before production.
The models created through 3D modeling are identical in detail and dimension with the desired final products. You can also create very realistic mockups of print and packaging designs.
3 – 3D modeling makes it easier to Prepare 3D elements for your Graphics
3D modeling makes it easier for graphic designers to prepare realistic 3D elements to add to their graphics.
Preparing most of these elements takes much time when using 2D programs as compared to using 3D software.
Though there are websites where you can get a variety of 3D elements, getting the ones that meet the requirements of your project is sometimes a challenge, and you are often left with no choice but to design from scratch.
3D modeling can also create powerful logo strings that are otherwise difficult to design when you only have graphic design skills.
4 – It’s easier to create realistic Images
Instead of hiring a photographer to travel and take specific pictures with the help of art and creative director, later spending time working on them on Photoshop to come out as desired, 3D modeling can be used to produce these kinds of images.
Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) creates realistic graphics for art, video games, printed media, films, commercials, etc., more accessible. These are expensive and time-consuming when done manually.
5 – Helps you be Competitive in the Job Market
Having 3D modeling skills will help you stay ahead of other graphic designers.
Also, when you enter a field where 3D skills are required, product design, for example, your skills will fit perfectly.
When you have a strong background in graphic design and 3D modeling, you will also get competitive jobs that are high paying, unlike what you get when you only have graphic design skills.
Having looked at the five reasons you should learn 3D modeling as a graphic designer, you might wonder how you can get started?
6 – 3D Modeling Expands your Mind as a Graphic Designer
3D modeling helps you be more creative. Learning 3D modeling is like learning how to play a new instrument or learning a new language.
To master it, you need to have a lot of commitment and much practice; however, there are enormous rewards down the road.
When you imagine an interesting object and create it, this will motivate you and help improve your creativity in the long run.
Additionally, your capacity to mentally “picture” both second and third dimensions is fundamental in expanding your mind.
3D modeling involves visualising how the output of your design will be before your begin the design process. This gives you the ability to recall valuable concepts and skills.
The research on mental visualisation of 3D space published on Aquila.usm.edu indicated that learning the foundation skills of 3D helps students in their creative development.
Still, it’s also vital in helping them in understanding models and drawings created by others too.
7 – Combining Graphic Design and 3D modeling helps bring Motion Graphics to Life
Motion graphics usually look fun from the outside. However, behind the scenes, there is a lot that goes on.
There are a dozen of programs one needs to learn to be able to create outstanding motion graphics.
Adobe Photoshop is one of the software that is usually used in creating and editing images, texture, matte paintings, etc.
When you have 3D modeling skills, you can create motion graphics materials that look realistic to export to 2.5D animation software like Adobe After Effects to create motion graphics.
You can use the digital sculpting tools of 3D programs to create intricate arts using their customisable brushes, textures, and shapes that are hard to achieve in graphic design.
The human head is sculpted in SelfCAD software.
8 – It makes work easier for human-centred Graphic Designers
Human-centred designers are graphic designers who aim at identifying problems and creating solutions that focus on users’ wants and needs.
Though all types of graphic designs aim at solving a particular problem, human-centred designs focus on specific people facing a particular issue and how a good design can help solve the problem effectively.
The graphic designers usually talk to people in the community face-to-face to identify their problems and use the data to create their designs.
Combining graphic design and 3D modeling will make the entire problem-solving process easier.
9 – Creating 3D logos in 3D modeling software is much quicker when than in a 2D program
Cinema 4D is a standard 3D modeling software for creating stunning 3D logos.
Though it has a steep learning curve, it will get the job done quickly, unlike when you’re using other programs.
In addition to helping you create your 3D logos, 3D modeling software also allows you to bring them to life by animating them.
10 – Combining 3D modeling and Graphic Design helps in enhancing the human experience
Most people usually don’t have the time to read through a lot of information and content, especially the printable versions.
Combining 3D modeling and graphic design allows you to convert content blocks into exciting graphics and images that subtly pass the message or information.
The colourful graphics and renders are pleasing to the eyes, and reading and understanding the information is more accessible.
Customised elements created through 3D modeling boosts usability and enhances navigation through the website or app, and this helps retain users and even increase conversion.
Great and exciting graphics result in a positive first impression and how users view your business or the business of your clients.
How to Get Started in 3D Modeling
3D modeling is just like any other skill. To get started, you need to be determined. There are many online resources, both free and paid, that you can use to help you master this skill.
But before you even think of getting started, you need to have a passion for computers. This is because you will be spending many hours working on the computer, and if you don’t have that passion, it means 3D modeling will be challenging for you.
Additionally, it would help if you were someone with spatial awareness. That is, the ability to visualise an object in the real world and know exactly how it looks and the steps you will take to recreate it.
Though 3D modeling is technical, anyone, regardless of their background, can be able to master it as long as you have the urge to learn.
Before you begin, you need to decide on the program that you will be using.
The 3D modeling software you choose is of importance. This is because most of the available programs are complex, and it takes one a reasonable amount of time to get to know its general areas.
Most beginners give up along the way is mainly because they chose a complex program, and when they fail to figure out how even to create a basic model, they are left with no choice but to give up.
There are many available, and if we start mentioning and describing each of them, we might not exhaust them. But I would recommend SelfCAD to every beginner.
Why Graphic Designers Should Learn How to use SelfCAD
SelfCAD is a beginner-friendly online 3D modeling software for both beginners and professionals in graphic design.
You don’t need to spend months learning to master this program. A few weeks of dedicated learning is all you need to be ready to go.
SelfCAD allows you to design both simple and complex models from start to finish. You can also create realistic 3D renders using the powerful in-built 3D rendering tool of SelfCAD.
If you would like to impress your clients, SelfCAD will help you bring your clients’ ideas to life using powerful modeling, sketching, and modification tools.
If you are running a small design business, you can collaborate with your team in SelfCAD. You can have all your new, in-progress, and existing 3D design projects in one place.
You can also help your recruits or even clients understand concepts better by recording interactive tutorials for them. If you don’t have the time to do this, you can reach out to their support with your requirements, and they will help you. Many interactive tutorials can help anyone, regardless of their experience, get started with much ease.
Author Bio: Sammy Ekaran is a content writer specialising in writing articles on 3D printing and 3D modeling. His writings have appeared on various websites like All3dp, pick3dprinter, 3dwithus, inov3d, and many others. He is currently working at SelfCAD, an easy to use online 3D modeling and slicing software.