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What does a 3D modeler do?


What does a 3D modeler do? Functions and characteristics of this profession

If you're interested in the digital world, you've probably heard of a 3D modeler. This role is becoming increasingly relevant in companies that require digital product modeling. In this article, we will provide more insights into this profession.

Autor: Elena González
Product Design
November 19,2020

If you want to know more, stay with us and keep reading.

3D modeling

Before discussing the characteristics and functions of a 3D modeler, let's first define what digital modeling is and what it entails.

3D modeling is the process used to create three-dimensional objects. It involves using design software to create these objects in a three-dimensional form.

A 3D modeler uses this process for various purposes, such as creating and designing animated characters, game environments, or special effects.

The objects, also known as models, can be created manually. In this case, the creation process is similar to sculpting a digital sculpture. Alternatively, the process can be automated using 3D scanning technology.

With this technology, a 3D modeler can create the required object from scratch.


que hace un modelador 3d funciones y caracteristicas de esta profesion

What are the Techniques of Digital Modeling?

Currently, there are three main techniques used in 3D modeling, each with its own characteristics.

  • NURBS Technique: The modeler aims to represent the specific object's curvature. It involves using a mathematical model to create surfaces easily. Unlike other processes, NURBS does not use common features such as edges. Instead, it uses three-dimensional edges to extract the curves with the points that generate the surface appropriately.


    Sculpting: This technique imitates the process of creating a digital sculpture. It was the first technique to use assets that are photorealistic, allowing the creation of models using geometry based on a mesh with millions of polygons.


    Edge Modeling: Undoubtedly, this technique is widely used for creating realistic human faces while maintaining their distinctive features. This type of modeling is performed by loading a base scheme that keeps the loops spaced apart, thus completing or closing the various gaps between the model's features.

What Functions Does a 3D Modeler Have?

As mentioned earlier, a 3D modeler is responsible for creating three-dimensional models.

Just like in any other field, the functions they perform largely depend on the project they are currently working on.

In small-scale projects, a 3D modeler is likely to handle various associated functions, such as rendering and conceptualization. In larger projects, they may work alongside other professionals, focusing on more specialized tasks.

To be more specific, let's highlight some of the common functions performed by a 3D modeler:

Concept generation :

One of the most important tasks of a 3D modeler is creating a concept for the model that reflects all the necessary aspects and requirements. It is like planning the object that will be created.

Depending on the project, the modeler must adhere to specific characteristics and specifications. The visual concept of the model can be generated using a Model Sheet, which is a document that contains perspectives and sketches of the model.


If the project does not require predetermined characteristics or client specifications, the 3D modeler will create the initial sketch that will be further developed.

Modeling Process:

Once the concept is created, the actual modeling process begins. The professional can use various software tools, such as ZBrush or Blender, to create the model.


que hace un modelador 3d funciones y caracteristicas de esta profesion


The work of a 3D modeler requires ensuring that the created objects have the appropriate topology. This means that the shapes used are aligned and positioned correctly. This is achieved through a process called retopology, where the shapes are verified and redesigned to ensure proper rendering or animation of the model.


Texturing is another daily task of a 3D modeler. The final phase of the model involves applying textures, which gives two-dimensional textures to three-dimensional models, making them appear more realistic. Tools such as Substance, from Adobe, can be used for this purpose.

Applying 3D Modeling 

Studying to become a 3D modeler means preparing for a career with many professional opportunities. You can work for telecommunication companies, information technology firms, or animation studios.

It is important to consider that lighting is a fundamental element in 3D modeling. The 3D modeler must always consider lighting to create believable and appropriate perspectives.

Undoubtedly, digital modeling requires specialized training and the ability to apply acquired knowledge effectively. Only then can the results be satisfactory for any company you work for or to find the desired position.


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