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Pre-made 3D assets are all the rage these days. The 3D model market is thriving with many websites serving thousands of models and custom character designs.
Game engines now have their own asset stores where developers can purchase and import 3D models right into their projects. Pretty crazy!
Yet for 3D artists looking to save time with pre-made assets, hunting down the perfect models can be a hassle. How do you know which marketplace to go with?
I’ve narrowed down your choices to the best twelve websites online for 3D models. This guide will help you find just the right assets for your project and your budget. I’ve included both free and premium websites in this list because only you know what’s right for your project.
With 2D artwork, tutorials, forums, and other related artistic assets, this site is more of an art hub than a marketplace. But when it comes to 3D models Cubebrush has everything you need.
With a wide variety of models it’s easy to find what you’re looking for here. There’s models for cars, animals, weapons, you name it.
Plus a range of prices means you have options when it comes to budgeting for your project. You’ll find everything on Cubebrush with so many new assets being added each month.
You can even search for models specific to certain game engines so you’ll know they’ll be compatible with your project.
2. Blender Market
Fans of the open source 3D package Blender are going to want to check out Blender Market.
It has everything you need to take your Blender renders to the next level. Textures, shaders, scripts, you name it: Blender Market has it and for a fair price.
Blender Market’s 3D model library is massive. They have thousands of individual models available all designed specifically for Blender projects.
Everything from animals to spaceships and medieval battleaxes can be downloaded at the click of a mouse. They also have asset packs for quickly building entire scenes without modeling from scratch.
Their assets are made by professional artists from the game and film industries. Blender Market is a great place to start for Blender artists and game designers looking to quickly flesh out their scenes without breaking the bank.
3. Turbo Squid
So Turbo Squid is one of the most popular 3D asset stores on the web.
With a huge selection of quality 3D assets, great pricing, frequent discounts, and a reputation for awesome customer service, it’s not hard to go anywhere else.
Turbo Squid has just about everything you could want for your game or 3D environments. They carry rigged characters and vehicles and even 3D modeled furniture.
The site even has anatomical models for medical research. Need an eagle and an apartment building for your hilarious short film? Turbo Squid has you covered.
The webstore itself is super easy to use. You can browse by category or by software so you can guarantee there’s no compatibility issues with models.
If you do have any issues with a purchase, Turbo Squid offers a simple return policy. They’ll refund your money so that you can find a better model for your project.
4. CG Trader
CG Trader is another extremely popular marketplace with a wide library of top-notch assets.
With over 1.5 million users, CG Trader serves a large community of digital creatives and designers. Whether you’re just looking to buy great models or hoping to sell your own creations, CG Trader is a must try.
When it comes to purchasing 3D models on CG Trader you’ll find a diverse library to choose from. Basically 3D artists create the works and sell them on here as a marketplace, so the library is growing with each new contributor.
The site has tens of thousands of models ranging in value from a few dollars to several hundred.
To help you find the right models they have a detailed search feature with plenty of filters. This way you can easily search by polygon count, file format, and license agreement(among other things).
If you’re looking to sell your own models online then CG Trader is a great place to start. They offer up to 80% royalty payments and a global customer base so it’s really fantastic.
Launched in 2004, 3DExport has become one of the world’s largest providers of high quality 3D content. Through their online marketplace users can buy and sell 3D models and textures for their own projects(personal and commercial).
3DExport offers a wide selection of hand-crafted 3D models in a variety of formats. Once you find an artist whose work you like it’s easy to browse their portfolio and discover more of their work too.
By offering direct communication between the artist and the customer, 3DExport facilitates a more social environment than some other marketplaces.
They also offer customized modeling and animation services so they connect artists with clients too.
3DExport also provides tutorials for learning game development and 3D asset creation. In this way 3DExport helps develop new 3D artists while providing them a path to making a living in this field.
6. Sketchfab Store
Whether you’re making a game, VR simulation, or augmented reality project, you can find quality assets using Sketchfab.
With Sketchfab you can preview 3D models right in the browser, meaning that what you see is what you get. It’s a great feature that I’ve yet to find on many websites.
The prices are reasonable and their assets are tailored for an assortment of applications.
Sketchfab is also home to a large community of artists and other supporters of 3D design and graphics. They offer tutorials, contests, and an active forum.
In an effort to preserve cultural heritage Sketchfab has teamed up with universities and museums to create 3D scans of real-world artifacts. They chronicle this ongoing journey to use digital technology as way of preserving objects into a digital format forever.
7. 3D Ocean
3D Ocean offers a lot more than 3D models since it’s part of the Envato Marketplace.
They sell graphics, web themes, royalty-free audio & video, and even scripts. It’s a one-stop-shop for your cyber-creative needs.
But 3D Ocean is a great resource for game developers and designers who specifically need some solid 3D assets. Their selection is user-designed and quality tested.
Artists looking to sell their work on 3D Ocean need to be aware that they only allow the very best stuff through their review process. Once through you’ll be expected to build a rapport with your customers and provide some support if issues arise.
In this way 3D Ocean stays stocked with talented artists who serve the growing demand for high quality 3D assets online.
The Hum3D studio website has been creating models since 2005.
After getting hooked on making car models for their own animation, the team decided to turn that love into a full-time effort. Now they have thousands of models available in over 80 countries around the world.
Hum3D has a narrower selection than most other 3D asset stores. Focusing on cars, weapons, and electronics, they aim for quality over quantity.
Yet with a customer base of over 40,000 freelancers, art directors, and designers, Hum3D is clearly doing well. It aims to help you meet deadlines by providing excellent support with their highly technical staff.
Along with their sponsors, Hum3D organizes periodic art contests open to artists of all experience levels. It’s a valuable company both for 3D assets and for connecting with other 3D artists.
Specializing in 3D models for game development and the web, 3DRT is a leading provider of CG content. With a focused inventory of game models and asset packs, 3DRT can help game developers save time on every kind of project.
Assets on 3DRT come in three categories: fantasy, sci-fi, or real-world.
They offer competitive prices on both individual models and themed asset packs.
So if you’re looking to make a game and save money on asset creation, 3DRT is an excellent starting point. They have fully rigged characters each with a dozen or more animations, many selling for less than 20 dollars.
On 3DRT you can get an entire dungeon kit for pretty darn cheap. Use it to build multiple levels for your hack n’ slash adventure game or a design a gritty fantasy-themed animation.
There’s a lot of great assets to choose from and best of all this company sells their assets through other marketplaces too. So you can check the Unity store or something like GameDevMarket for more stuff under their profile.
Not to mention other marketplaces have sales frequently so you could pocket a pretty penny if you keep on the lookout for deals.
3Delicious hosts a large selection of free 3D models inspired by real-life objects and geared towards a natural aesthetic.
As such, 3Delicious is a great resource for designers, illustrators, and environment artists.
With 3Delicious you can find thousands of free models ranging from furniture and electronics to trees and other landscape ornamentation. There’s everything that you’d need to recreate everyday scenes from life.
Cheap, easy to use, and plenty of variety. A website with assets just as delicious as the name itself.
First they provide free models to students and other artists working on personal projects for non-commercial purposes. Secondly their premium service has some of the best prices around.
Not only does Free 3D have a ton of free models to choose from, they sell quality assets for super low prices. Just a few bucks may get you what you need on this website.
They have extensive search features like most 3D marketplaces. Free3D is also a terrific resource for beginners just starting to learn game design.
Artists can find plenty of free resources to practice with by downloading and inspecting some of the many free projects available.
Highend3D is another popular marketplace with both free and paid assets available for download.
With almost 70,000 models listed you’re guaranteed to find something for any creative project.
Highend3D is home to a community of Maya and 3ds Max artists. On top of providing a marketplace for these artists, they’ve made it easy for the community to create and share tutorials from the Highend3D website.
Browse the site and search around to find quality assets plus learning materials for your 3D work. Come back to participate in their community of talented artists and maybe even offer some tips to others.
Author: Josh Petty
Josh is an artist and game developer who specializes in sci-fi, fantasy, and abstract art. His work employs vibrant colors and combines elements of glitch art, outrun, retro-gamming, neo-geo, and conceptual art. He trained as an oil painter before picking up 3D modeling, animation, and programming. He now runs Brain Jar, a small game development studio that focuses on experimental, narrative-driven content. You can learn more on the website or on Twitter @brainjargames.