Not all artists will have the time and resources to create dozens or even hundreds of 3D models either for their own projects or for clients. Therefore some artists will look elsewhere to try and find some existing assets that have the licensing to both modify and use for various purposes, from personal to commercial.
You can download 3D assets from numerous reputable sites known as digital media companies/sites that offer a platform so that you can buy and sell 3D models and assets for use in both personal and professional projects. The cost of assets attained from their marketplaces can range from free to $5000, and not all models can be used for any purpose.
There are several reasons why you would want even to consider downloading assets that other artists have created, and some people make a living off of selling their designs.
Why Should You Consider Using Other Models?
If you have been practicing the art of 3D modeling for any length of time, then you will know that there is one cost more expensive than any other, the cost of time. It takes time to hone your modeling skills, especially if you are just starting as a beginner since you need to learn the tools and various workflows.
Even if you are already at the stage where you are confident in your 3D modeling design skills, time remains the most substantial cost of all because it always takes time to build an asset from scratch. Not to mention that clients can often ask for multiple iterations of a model.
So the wise thing to do in many cases is to find an asset that has already been created and either modify it or just use it as it is in your project.
Suppose you are looking to create a specific type of object. In that case, downloading a base model of that asset that is easier to modify is going to be faster than modeling from scratch, especially if you are looking to create multiple variations of that asset.
It can also be beneficial for environmental assets. These are typically static meshes that fill the environment rather than the main model itself. If you are creating an environment for your client that requires dozens of models, this can speed up your workflow significantly.
It also works well if the client wants a single model but to see it in various settings. While you would create the commissioned model to match the client’s design, the environments can be built using downloaded assets.
What Models Can You Find Online?
There are so many marketplaces that sell 3D models and so many artists that create those models that you can find just about anything that you can think of, from low poly models of animals to fully detailed anatomy of the human body from head to toe.
Most often, you will find that models are built for specific tasks, like models for low poly video games or static assets for CGI. There will always be assets available for any purpose, and because they are digital, you will never have to worry about them selling out.
Anything To Look Out For When Choosing Assets?
As previously mentioned, different assets will be created for different use cases, so you will want to know if the model you are prepared to purchase will suit your project. All marketplace sites will have multiple images of the asset made available, all published by the author, and allow you to see the model visually from multiple angles.
There will often be a short description to go with each asset posted, so always be sure to give that a read as well.
Beyond that, several other factors you will often need to consider when choosing your 3D assets.
All assets must be made available in at least one 3D file format, such as an obj. Blender can import a wide variety of file formats into the viewport for modeling but is not compatible with every single one. Check to ensure that the asset’s format is importable for Blender.
Another factor is the license that is attributed to the asset. When you acquire another artist’s work, that asset will be categorized under a certain license, determined by the author when they upload the asset to the site.
The best license to look for is the CC-0 license, which allows you to use the asset for any known purpose without crediting the original artist.
Finally, the most obvious thing to look out for is the price, as there are many assets out there that could go beyond your budget, and some of them can be even more expensive than a high-spec computer.
Where To Find Your Downloadable Assets
Now that you know what to look out for when searching for assets to use in your projects, what about the location of these assets?
Check out the list below for some of the sites we use to acquire new assets…
- Unity Asset Store
- Unreal Marketplace
- CG Trader
- SketchFab Store
- 3D Export
Thanks For Reading The Article
We appreciate you taking the time to read through the article, and we hope you found the information you were looking for. If you are interested in learning more about acquiring or selling some of your models, check out some of the articles below.