Which role is right for you?

3D World - - FEATURE -

Jon neill, bruce suther­land and ewan wright of axis ex­plain The main Job roles

char­ac­ter artist

You will be re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing the main fo­cus of any piece: the char­ac­ters! You should have a thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of anatomy, and the ap­pro­pri­ate tech­ni­cal skill and knowl­edge of rel­e­vant soft­ware. An ideal char­ac­ter artist is some­one who can take a model from con­cept to fully re­alised CG char­ac­ter with re­al­is­tic shad­ing and grooming.

en­vi­ron­ment artist

This role re­quires a skilled artist with a broad back­ground cre­at­ing dif­fer­ent types of as­sets us­ing both hard sur­face and sculpted tech­niques. A thor­ough knowl­edge of mod­el­ling, sculpt­ing, tex­tur­ing and shad­ing, as well as the abil­ity to trou­bleshoot tech­ni­cal prob­lems, is a must. There are more op­por­tu­ni­ties to be­gin your ca­reer with an en­try-level po­si­tion as an en­vi­ron­ment artist.


Rig­gers cre­ate the joints of a pup­pet, and an­i­ma­tors con­trol the strings that move them. Rig­ging re­lates most di­rectly to the skele­ton and mus­cu­la­ture of a model, which an­i­ma­tors can then use to bend, con­tort and di­rect move­ments. Rig­gers need a solid un­der­stand­ing of maths, while suc­cess as an an­i­ma­tor de­pends more on achiev­ing a sense of rhythm, flow and move­ment.


Light­ing artists do what you might ex­pect – they light – but that means far more than sim­ply adding flu­o­res­cent strip lights to a scene. It means work­ing with highly com­plex ren­der en­gines to give a sense of phys­i­cal­ity and space to dig­i­tal en­vi­ron­ments, repli­cat­ing the real-world light­ing that sur­rounds us ev­ery day. If you can grasp the com­plex physics of light­ning, then a num­ber of tech­ni­cal CG jobs will open up to you later down the line.


Com­pos­i­tors are the artis­tic mae­stros at the end of the process that take the work of all the de­part­ments be­fore them and layer them into one fi­nal beau­ti­ful shot. The chal­lenge is in blend­ing var­i­ous stra­tums of work – such as FX and matte paint­ings onto plate pho­tog­ra­phy – with­out the seams ever be­ing vis­i­ble to the au­di­ence. Com­pos­i­tors should have a ro­bust un­der­stand­ing of colour, real-world pho­tog­ra­phy and im­age com­po­si­tion.

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