3D Design Classes and Training

Find information on 3-D classes and training, with a focus on computer and digital design. Learn about degree options, course topics and software instruction, as well as jobs and salaries. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

As a 3-D designer, you will work on illustrations and animations for use in mediums, such as video games and motion pictures. Classes in 3-D design are available in both undergraduate and graduate animation-related degree programs and will prepare you to use various design and editing software.

Degrees Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's degrees
Certificates 3-D Animation Pre-Production, Engineering 3D Design Certificate
Courses 3-D modeling, concept design, texturing, character rigging, figure drawing, storyboarding, rendering

Which Degrees Are Offered in 3-D Design?

You can complete 3-D art or science degrees at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. A 3-D design program will teach you how to design graphics using traditional drawing skills and sophisticated computer software. A few 3-D degree programs offer hybrid (online and on-campus) or fully online enrollment options. Here are some of the degree programs you might be able to find that have 3-D classes:

  • Associate in Arts in Art and Design
  • Associate in Applied Science in 3D Design and Animation
  • Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts and Animation: 3D Modeling Concentration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Game Design Art
  • Bachelor of Science in Game Design Engineering
  • Bachelor of Arts in Digital Art and Animation: Entertainment Design Concentration
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Animation
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation
  • Master of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design
  • Master of Fine Arts in Design and Technology

What About Certificates for 3-D Design Training?

If you're interested in 3-D design but would rather take a certificate program, you should be able to find a few options. For example, you could take a Certificate in 3D Animation Pre-Production program. Online classes may be offered with this certificate. You could also take an Engineering 3D Design Certificate program. Finally, a 3D design certificate might be offered through a university's continuing education department.

What Courses Will I Take?

Your studies will begin with traditional artistic media, then move on to digital design disciplines. You will develop skills to design innovative products and artwork, perform storyboarding and use software to do 3-D modeling and animation. Most 3-D design degree programs have extensive coursework in subjects such as:

  • Animation
  • Color theory
  • Video production and editing
  • Illustration
  • Typography
  • Sketching

What Software Applications Will I Use?

You will depend on software programs to bring your designs to life. Software programs you might learn to use include 2d3 Bonjou, Adobe suite, Pixologic Zbrush, QuarkXpress and Apple Final Cut Pro. You can stay competitive in the field by keeping up with new industry-standard software applications and design techniques.

What Careers Will I Be Prepared For?

You should work on your portfolio while in school in preparation for interviews with potential employers. After graduation, you may qualify for positions, such as product designer, animator, art director or video game designer. In your career, you may spend most of your working hours in studio or computer labs and may work on projects that have strict production deadlines. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you may earn about $39,330 to start out and move up to around $123,060, which are the respective wages for the lowest-paid 10% and highest-paid 90% of multimedia artists and animators, as of May 2017.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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