My goal is to be a concept artist in the entertainment industry. I major in illustration and my department head wants me to take 3D modeling classes.
My question is: Do concept artists need 3D modeling skills or should they be kept separate?
Alum Jeremy Melton gave a presentation today and he said that with all the companies and jobs he's worked for, his bosses always told him that they should be separate skills and that if you are concept, stick with that and leave the 3D to the animators.
A concept artist should know enough about modeling to know its limitations.
Plus unless you are completely old school you will probably use simple 3d models for lighting and perspective for painting. So I think its worth knowing. Also most concept artists do other things besides concept work as a career. If you just do concept you will have big gaps in your employment. I like to have steady work and so I learned to do a lot of different things backgrounds, concept, matte painting, modeling and texturing. The more you know the more of an asset you will be to a company.