Is a 3D modeler considered a graphic artist? When I think graphic artist, I think 2D, photoshop, advertisement, comics, etc, so I am not sure if modelling falls in this category too.

3 Answers 3


This is really opinion-based......

To me, it all comes down to the final product.

If a "Graphic Artist" is designing a tri-fold brochure and during that design process, they create a 3D model of a product, an Illustration of the corporate headquarters, and a map of the area -- that does not necessary make the "Graphic Artist" a 3D Modeler, an Illustrator, or a cartographer.

Like many careers fields, "Graphic Design" can encompass many varied areas of work. But in general a "Graphic Artist" specializes in the production and reproduction of two-dimensional products. There may be areas of work that are used to facilitate the creation of those two dimensional pieces, but unless someone specifically specialized in one of those areas I don't know that a particular label would apply.

In short, I think there's a difference between a "Graphic Designer" and a "3D Modeler" --

  • I would expect a "3D Modeler" to be much more experienced and proficient in 3D Modeling and perhaps not be as well versed with general design principles. Their focus would be in the model, as it should be.
  • I'd expect a "Graphic Designer" to perhaps have some 3D modeling experience and even perhaps be fairly proficient with some things, but I'd anticipate a cap the their level of proficiency. The Designer would be much more focused on a "big picture" where the final product is concerned and any modeling would be minimal or in support of the final design. Not the end result itself.

Of course, the lines are very blurry. Its absolutely possible to be a Graphic Designer with some killer 3D Modeling kung fu. Just as it's possible to be a 3D modeler with some fantastic design skills. The reality is.. the label itself.. is far more about how that individual wants to be positioned or percieved in the market.


Depends on the kind of things the 3D modeller does with his models. All following professions use 3D modeling, some of them don't do much else:

  • Architects
  • Dental technicians
  • Engineers
  • Industrial Designers
  • Medical doctors
  • Physicist
  • Sculptors
  • ...

While some of these may hold a job description 3D modeler. Im assuming that you mean a person working either in the games or film industry. These people don't usually make final pictures, although the certainly can, but rather produce assets for the 3D production.

Due to this and the fact that any person no matter what the job description can use 3D as their tool, means some may be. But also quite many are not. But if you draw a Venn diagram almost certainly the set of people who are graphic artists and included in the 3D modeler set. Most are not however.


My impression is that "Graphic Artist" is usually taken to mean a 2D artist, whether working digital or physical. "Digital Artist" covers 2D and 3D.

A Modeler is of course 3D and digital, and had better be a good graphic artist with good eye for design. So it's not wrong to say a modeler is a graphic artist, but it'd be like calling a physicist an Electrical Engineer. The physicist had better know the circuit theory and parts, but doesn't practice other aspects of engineering such as manufacturability or QC full time. Likewise the Modeler doesn't need to be concerned with packaging, or adapting logos for different situations.

  • Except that a 3d modeler might need to. Say your making a story about characters living in a convenience store. Then you would need somebody to model all the packaging in a store in which case the modeler would need to know about packaging design. Note however that not all modellers do texturing, that may or may not be done by the modeller, but in case they do then they need to know that too.
    – joojaa
    Jan 2, 2018 at 8:32
  • "Graphic Artist" can work with all things visual. Paper, pen, digital displays. Some specific graphic artists are skilled draftsman or modelers. When they perform these functions they are doing graphic art.
    – Webster
    Jan 2, 2018 at 21:51

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