Level Up - 3D Generalist

What’s it like?

A 3D Generalist is on the cutting edge of production techniques rooted in a strong understanding of modeling, animation, texturing, rigging, lighting and camera work, typically with Cinema 4d and a third-party renderer like Octane or Redshift. In addition to creating stunning photoreal and stylized renders, a 3D Generalist may also find themselves at the beginning of the pitch or production process assisting the Creative Director in visualizing the early conceptual stage with quick styleframes or previs animatics.

A 3D Generalist has a wide understanding of both the micro and macro aspects of motion design: how to create beautiful frames AND tell a compelling story. 

Good Example Projects

Sekani Solomon – Hidden personal film

Sekani Solomon’s personal film shows what a strong designer with a personal vision can achieve with the tools of 3D animation. Lyrical visual poetry brought to life with Sekani’s ambition to experiment with new techniques, Hidden is a prime example of using voice and vision to make yourself marketable as a 3D Generalist and beyond. 

Need To Know Skills

To start your career as a 3D Generalist you’ll need to be able to do the following.

  • Advanced 3D Workflow: As a Creative Director with a strong focus on design, strengthening your understanding of 3D production workflows will help you understand the requirements and capabilities of your production team, allowing you to better understand how to take advantage of 3D tools in your pitch and design work.

  • Cinematography: Combine your mastery of design principles with an understanding of how to position and place lights and camera in a 3D environment to create theme and tone in the service of storytelling 

Additional Skills

In addition to the skills above, you may want to sharpen your skills in the following areas:

  • Compositing: Modeling, animating, rendering – none of it matters if you can’t put it all together into a final composition. Understanding what makes an image look cinematic will take your 3D work to the next level. 

What Course should I take?

Start Your Journey

  • Cinema 4D Basecamp: understand the intricacies of how to work in 3D, ie. user interface, navigation, lights, shaders, and camera – as well as how to use the curve editor and how to export for use within After Effects.

  • Cinema 4D Ascent: Taking your animation and design skills further into the third dimension, C4D Ascent will give you the confidence and expertise to understand where and when to reach for Cinema 4D rather than your standard toolsets of Photoshop and After Effects. Combining this fundamental knowledge allows you to take a place in virtually any part of the production pipeline.

Grow Your Skills

  • VFX for Motion: Adopting and augmenting skills from industries related to motion design gives you a perspective on workflows and approaches others lack within a team. Visual effects tools like Mocha along with advanced techniques like 3D tracking found within Cinema 4D bolster your team’s capabilities as well as allowing you to lead entire steps within a production as a Senior Motion Designer.

Level Up!

To advance to the next level in your career check out the article(s) below that take you through what you’ll need to know to advance.

Not sure where to go next? Check out our free Level Up! course for more information on where you can go in your Motion Design Career.

Not Ready Yet?

If you’re looking to explore what comes before this level in your career check out these options that you can build on to reach this level: