Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

3D Digital Design BFA

Program Overview

Prepares students to design using three-dimensional digital graphics for games, visual effects, movies, virtual worlds, simulations, and many other applications. The curriculum integrates traditional art and design skills, the utilization of commercial 3D software, and design principles related to time, motion, and lighting. Students also study research methods and a range of problem-solving principles, and develop critical thinking and creative capacities. Most important, as a graduate of the 3DDD major, you will have the ability to adapt to the constantly-changing needs of the industry in order to create 3D models, renders, and simulations for a wide variety ofindustries.

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts


  • Approximately 132 students

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Cooperative Education is an option for students in the 3D Digital Design program. Students are available during the summer and the curriculum is flexible enough that they can opt to co-op other terms as well.

Salary Information

Co-op: $17.80           $8.00 - $40.00
BFA: Insufficient Data 

Student Skills & Capabilities

·         Design
·         Teamwork & leadership
·         Problem solving & critical thinking
·         Concept development & implementation
·         Game level & virtual world design
·         Motion graphics & animation
·         3D modeling, lighting, shading, & rendering
·         Programming & scripting
·         Particles and dynamics
·         Compositing, visual effects, green screen
·         Projections, tangible media
·         3D printing
·         Designing characters, vehicles, & environments
·         Rigging & controls
·         Motion capture
·         Digital sculpting
·         Virtual & augmented reality
·         Digital graphics in with dance, music & theatre


National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Equipment & Facilities

Extensive laboratory facilities (15 labs with over $40M in up-to-date equipment) are housed within the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences.

Labs are state-of-the-art, featuring the latest software packages used in design, art, printing, publishing, photography, and film for traditional and digital production.

Software: Maya, Motion Builder, After Effects, Python, OSC, Adobe Production Studio Premium, Final Cut Pro, Renderman, Synth Eyes, Mud Box, Toxik, Painter, Filter Forge, Unreal Engine, Vue, Orange Box Valve, Crysis, Mokey, Fast Track

Hardware: Macs, PCs, 3D digitizer, haptic modeler, 3D printers, large format printers, Organic Motion motion capture suite, green screen

Studios: Downstairs Digital Studio with Macs and PCs, Motion Capture Suite, Installation/Performance Studio, Game Room, ProCam Studio, Tangible Interface Studio, Stereo Studio, Resource Room

Nature of Work

3D digital designers are able to use 3D computer graphics in computer and video games, medical and scientific simulations, data visualization, models for architects and engineers, motion or broadcast graphics, instructional media, virtual worlds, and more. Traditional design skills using commercial 3D software are integrated with principles relating to time, motion, and lighting.

Training / Qualifications

Most artists and designers need at least a bachelor of science degree and a strong portfolio or reel of work.

Job Outlook

Employment of multimedia artists and animators is projected to grow, 6 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Projected growth will be due to increased demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television. (Source:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Titles

Technical Artist, Texture Artist, Digital Sculptor, Visualization Arts, Lighting TD, Concept Artist, Special Effects Artist, Character Artist, Digital Art Designer, Forensic Artist, User Interface Artist, Rigger, Motion Graphics Artist


Graduates from this program accept jobs that vary by industry, size and type of organizations and geographic locations. Some of the employing organizations include: computer and video game developers, advertising agencies, medical and scientific organizations, data visualization, architectural and engineering firms, entertainment companies, education, research institutions, law firms.

Significant Points

  • Named by Business Week as one of the top 10 design schools in the country and one of the top 40 in the world, RIT's Design School is also highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report and Design Intelligence.

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Activision Blizzard, American Girl, Autodesk, Bethesda Softworks, Blue Sky Studios, Broderbund, BrokenMyth Studios, Darkwind Media Ltd., Disney Online, Dreamworks, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, ESPN, Flexasoft, Industrial Light and Magic, iVEDix Inc., KIXEYE, Microsoft Game Studios, Moonbot Studios, Nintendo, Partners + Napier, Rock Star Games, Sony Pictures Imageworks, THQ Digital Studios, ThreeWire Systems LLC, Ubisoft, WB Games

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact James Bondi, the career services coordinator who works with the 3D Digital Design program. You can access information about services through our web site at
James T. Bondi, Associate Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603