Unreal Journey: Automotive Visualization

Dreaming of a career in 3D? It just so happens that interactive or real-time 3D skills are the fastest-growing set of skills in computer graphics. Demand for candidates with skills in Unreal Engine is projected to grow 122% over the next 10 years.

ArtStation and Unreal Engine have put together a series to introduce and educate aspiring artists on the exciting career opportunities in interactive 3D. We’re answering all the questions you need to know, from where to get started to what to include in your portfolio.

Each segment of the Unreal Journey series will focus on a 3D career profile and include expert recommendations for how you can jumpstart your own journey. If vehicles are your passion and you’d love a job where you can create incredible visuals experiences, this first segment on becoming an Automotive Visualizer is for you.

The Job

As a 3D visualization specialist in this area, you will have strong technical skills and may work on a wide range of projects across automotive. Visualization specialists create visually compelling imagery for both interiors and exteriors and work closely with engineers and designers to collect and coordinate 3D CAD data.


Automotive visualization specialists may be graduates of game, computer graphics, or computer science programs, or from various engineering backgrounds.

Conceptual knowledge

  • Elements and principles of design
  • 3D modeling
  • Real-world lighting
  • Sculpting
  • Visual storytelling

See more in the Creator’s Field Guide > 

Unreal Success Story: David Baylis

“I started learning mostly on my own. I went to study 3D at school, which got me started with the basics (modeling, UV, texturing, etc) but I started picking on my own some programs out of curiosity. In 2014, Unreal Engine 4 was online (as a subscription model at first) and I immediately started digging into it. I was already interested in real-time technology just by playing games and the amount of realism possible (Crysis/CryEngine).

I knew Unreal had great potential due to the real-time viewport. In fact, every assignment I had to do at university, I would use Unreal as my renderer choice. Some amazing demos were created by artists such as Koola or Benoit Dereau, and that was the starting point for me to start learning more in-depth. In 2017, I moved to Vancouver B.C and managed to find a job thanks to this extra skill for real-time rendering.”

A Day in the Life

“I usually go for a run in the morning. That helps me get some energy through my day and stay productive. I  have a few quick meetings with people that reach out to me for projects or questions and then get to my daily 3D tasks of the day for clients. When I get some free time, I do some personal artwork and test out the new tools, or assets in Unreal Engine.  I also try to allocate some time on social media looking at the latest news, and inspire myself for some new creative artworks that I can publish to keep people entertained!”

Check out Case Studies on how Unreal Engine is being used for Automotive Visualization > 

What To Show in Your Portfolio

“I think the first thing you need is passion, and that will get noticed in automotive visualization. Having a good understanding of lighting is very important for automotive. You need to make sure the car looks sharp and that it’s the main subject of the scene. You have to know your cars, because each car has a “soul” and you as an artist, need to showcase the vehicle in the right environment.

It’s not always about being technical, but creating a story. Real-time has gained a lot of popularity and it’s definitely good to get your hands on it if you can but it’s good to know how to use offline renderers also.

Set up your ArtStation portfolio >

Pro Tip

“I always say to not be discouraged by your surroundings. If you love what you do, you’ll get there and get noticed. Create something different and unique. Keep practicing as much as you can.”

Want to be inspired and find more Unreal artwork?

Get Started

Unreal Online Learning

More on Automotive & Transportation with Unreal Engine

Creator’s Field Guide to Emerging Careers in Interactive 3D

Case Studies

More Unreal Journeys

Simulation & Training

Concept Design

Artwork by David Baylis

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About the author

The ArtStation Team