3D modeling — to the outsiders — appears so hip, creative, and intense, that the reward-to-challenge ratio might appear abysmal. And why should 3D modeling even have challenges? After all, a high-spec desktop or laptop, patience to sharpen edges and improve meshes, and mental skill and stamina to come up with new designs are everything that one needs to stay in this game, right? Though a simple google search about the average salary of a 3D modeler paints a merry picture, the reality can’t be farther from the truth.
But, has it been always like that? Are the challenges in the domain of 3D modeling too high to overcome? Are good 3D models all that one needs to keep the wolf from the door? Or, are there any other skills that one needs to master to make the most of their modeling skills?
Let’s have a quick look at these questions to see the top 3 challenges faced by 3D modelers of our time, along with the solutions that are quick, practical, and can help you in the long run.
The leading 3D model marketplaces, such as TurboSquid and CGTrader, are home to thousands of 3D modelers and host millions of 3D models, each. And then there are other platforms, though not that big but equally famous. And why not? All you need is a smooth-working device and software, a hobby for designing 3D models, and internet connectivity, and then it becomes too hard to resist joining the above platforms as a modeler.
Even this pandemic, which has slowed globalization and international markets, hasn’t done much to check the growth of people joining this domain as professionals. So, what could be done? You surely can’t start a revolution or a petition to stop people from becoming professional 3D modelers?
Well, one option is to be like Romans when in Rome. You go and join these marketplaces too. It’s not like there is any dearth of any kind.
Be unabashed and stop prioritizing one platform over the other. Get your designs listed on as many of them as possible. Be mindful of what didn’t work out for you on the other platforms, and improve on those factors for the next one. Though some platforms, like TurboSquid, do reward exclusivity with their loyalty programs, refusing to join other marketplaces for such reasons alone is limiting yourself.
Also, there are always some kinds of 3D designing and modeling contests going on around the web. Such opportunities are rewarding both financially and in terms of giving you much-needed exposure.
There is nothing wrong with marketplaces charging for displaying and marketing your products. That’s their business model, they have to pay their rents too, and everyone gets that.
But sometimes the commissions are too overburdening. Some platforms charge as big as 15% to 20%, and that may not sit too well with some modelers.
Even the gig sites such as Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, etc., may charge somewhere around 20% on every delivered project. But you can’t leave just storm out and take your designs with you. Because, where would you get a place to sell them, right? So, there is not much you can do, can you? It’s not like you can build a platform of your own and sell your 3D models online on your own. That may have been an issue had this been the year 2001. But this isn’t, and you can indeed have a platform of yours developed that won’t charge you for every design you sell.
It’s called a website, or a portfolio — depends on its functionality. With the rise of website and portfolio-building platforms, it’s now easier than ever to have a website of your own, without any know-how of web development technologies.
You can generate leads, as in the emails of your visitors. You can inform your audience about your recent launches, your history with big and small clients, and even host your designing and modeling course online and earn some extra on the side.
Modeling is the analytical and technical side of this job. Before modeling comes a little part called “designing”. Your designs are where your true experience, creativity, and new ideas count the most. But sadly, these are also the most often copies and plagiarised elements. Some call it motivation, but only a true 3D modeler knows the pain. And you can’t do much with that either.
All a skilled modeler needs is one look at your designs, and the next thing you know is a model that’s even better than yours. Polygons, meshes, and dimensions aren’t a big deal for copy-cats.
And that’s why you need to protect your designs. But how?
Simple, you need to let the world know about your work before someone passes them as their own. And this is where your website and social media handles come into the scene.
Let modeling take its course, but as soon as you are ready with designs, make sure that you have populated your web pages and Facebook, Insta, and Twitter handles with the mock-ups or even scratches.
Write a blog informing your readers what’s next you’re working on. Share your handwritten notes. Make your struggle and journey nothing less than a travelogue and let netizens be a part of it. And if one day your designs become famous than your models, then maybe you can try your hands at being a social media influencer too.
If this sits well with you, then make sure to consider these points before you finalize your social media strategy: have a posting schedule and frequency in place, consider using paid Instagram and Facebook advertising to give the needed boost to your reach, be active in interacting with your audience and be respectful with the conversations, and, don’t react or post just anything for sake of increasing your reach.
Think we missed a more crucial 3D modeling challenge? Comment below and we’ll add it to the list and do like, subscribe and share this post with your friends so they can overcome the above challenges too.