Thursday, 15 March 2018

Web/Magazine Article: Industry and Careers/Initial Research/CG Modeller

I've been trying to figure out, what I want to write about in my magazine article on the industry. I've been deciding between two main parts of the whole process of creating animation which are modelling and animating, and later on I realized that I've been lately enjoying working in After Effects and trying out visual effects as well. After some quick research on those three stages of creating animated movie and considering my work so far I think that the job role I feel closest to is 3D Modeller/Sculptor.

CG Modeller/Sculptor

Interviews and people in the industry:

Min Kim from Tippett Studio

Dallas Doan from Electronic Arts

Innitial Research:


  • ability to follow design reference accurately and work in a range of styles
  • ability to create moderate to complex and organic models
  • ability to model characters, props and environments, working to a good level of finish, if required
  • good drawing skills including use of light and shadow and a good understanding of anatomy strong sense of scale, form, weight and volume
  • Efficiency – the ability to produce work that is ‘detail orientated’, fit for task and for use by other departments downstream in the pipeline
  • be able to do UV maping 


  • life drawing and experience of sculpting or traditional model building are an advantage
  • the main and mostly used software for film and television is currrently Autodesk Maya
  • CG Modelling/Sculpting is together with Texturing and Lighting a part of CGI/3D Generalist skill set (also called Generalist Technical Director)
  • Modellers (Modelling Artists or Technical Directors) create 3D assets for digital world and often building 3D models from scratch 
  • modeller uses a range of techniques, often based on diverse real world skill sets such as traditional sculpting or iengineering
  • modellers particularly interested in creature/character might specialise more in digital sculpting and work with softwares such as ZBrush or Autodesk Mudbox
  • modelling aritst usually aim to become specialists in Digital Sculpture and creature work, althought some people decide to stick with making objects, props, vehicles and 3D assets for film, TV or games and root their careers as a 3D/CGI Generalist
  • polygon modelling is the most common type of modelling
  • modellers need to have an intuitive sense of how an object exists in 3D space, a firm understanding of an objects topology, and a strong eye for detail
  • the ability to use sculpting software is always a bonus (for a modeller)
  • thinking through how does the object works and looks in different viewing angles is essential
  • having a good understanding of human body anatomy is also very helpful for modelling human-like characters 
  • using real life references also helps with creating the model in 3D space


  • Autodesk Maya/ 3D Studio Max - most common for commercials, games, television and architecture
  • Maya is usually being choosed for high end VFX and feature film
  • Cinema 4D - projects that require more graphic/typographic modelling with After Effects pipelines
  • Mudbox/ZBrush - ideal for more 'freeform' designs and concepts as is for example creatures sculpting 


Job description:
Tutorial for creating a creature in ZBrush:
Human body anatomy:
3D modelling softwares in 2018:
A day in the life of a professional 3D modeller/artist:
Character Art Podcast
Art Cafe - podcast about art in general, interviews with people from the industry


  1. I saw this - and thought of you and your '3D tattoos'... :)