How is the Market for 3D models?

Hello :slight_smile:
Recently i found a website for buying and selling 3D game assets. It seems that the site isn’t popular though, i don’t know if it’s new or not or anything.

But it got me thinking about the posibilities of making models to sell in that kind of fashion. I’ve heard of BlendSwap but i don’t really know what it is or if you can sell things there.

So i’m just wondering if selling 3D models is something people often do and just.
What are people’s thoughts on it?

:slight_smile: Thank you

BlendSwap is a source for free models made in Blender that are free. The freedom with which you can use the model is defined by which license the owner of the file decides to put it under.

The most popular website to sell and buy models is Turbosquid. There are only a handful of people I know that make money from selling 3d models online, one of them is a mod of this forum - 3dmedieval. I would suggest sending him a PM about making money selling on turbosquid.

I myself have never had success selling models online but then again I haven’t taken a whole lot of time to market myself either, so I can’t say If it will work for you or not.

cgtrader is more of a newer website for selling and buying 3d models. They have the best royalty rates of all the sites.

If you have quality models and you market yourself well, you can sell online.

Thank you ^-^
That is very informative and i will go ahead and check out some of those sites and see if i can PM 3dmedieval :slight_smile:

should look at the poser/daz markets as well

Excellent suggestions heddheld. Only reason I didn’t suggest those websites is because iv never used them.
Also Razc, Andrew Price on has a great article on his blog about how to make money with blender that includes a small section about selling online on turbosquid, cgtrader and a few more. I’ll post the link when I find it.

Hi guys! I’m from CGTrader and I would say it’s a great chance to gain modeling experience from our community members on and even earn some cash by selling your 3d models.

Racz drop me a line if you have any questions - we’d love to have you on board!

Good luck!

I’ve sent him a message so don’t think i’m ignoring him :wink: ^

One other question popped up while im looking at these different sites.

I saw a model of Mike from Monster’s INC.

If you create a model of something that already exists, such as a character from a movie or show such as Mike, will no one mind you selling it?

I was wondering this because i know on youtube, you can take an amazing song, and clips from a show and spend days editing it into a cool music video, but youtube will deem every single thing about it not to be owned by you or made by you because it was created with someone else’s content.

The original artist or whoever owns the copyright will definitely mind you selling his work as your own. And don’t think giving credit is a way around that. If you are making money, you are treating the content as if you own it. If you are planning on selling something, you need to be the owner: of the concept, of the model, of the texture images.

It really doesn’t matter how much time you spend editing someone else’s work into something ‘cool’. That is known as a derivative work and the original copyright holders owns it unless you have a licence to produce derivative works.

There is a lot of flouting of copyright law on the internet, partly because it’s so easy, partly because of philosophical disputes about intellectual property, partly because the stuff flies ‘under the radar’. Earning cash from someone else’s intellectual property is a quick way to put yourself on the radar.

Polycount just informed me about this:
Contests are good…that chance at a substance designer license is a nice pull too. Definitely keep up the contests with sponsors like that, it gives artist a good chance at getting those tools that would normally cost them an arm and a leg to get.

@Razc, To be honest the market is oversaturated with models. The key is to know 1) your target audience and industry and 2) quality. Out of all the models out there, few really hit the quality level with accessible pricing. You also have to market yourself and keep active.

Andrew Price had a decent podcast regarding that type of work, have a listen:

Wow i really loved that Podcast!
It really helped explain about ways to market yourself and that it is a time consuming process. Not only that but you have to be very diligent in the effort that you want to make money with blender. You can’t just try for it but you really have to decide that that is what you are doing. Not trying to do. Doing. Because i think he said only 20% or so have made money with blender out of the people who answered on a poll.

His story about the Jewlery seller and the jade was really interesting. To kind of some it up for those reading this and not having time to listen to a Podcast. A Jewlery seller had a bunch of Jade things for sale and she had them selling pretty cheap but no one would buy them for months. After a long while she was just so tired of them and didn’t care if she lost money on them and decided to just get rid of them all. She had left town and left a note for someone watching the store to put them 50% off, and when she came back she was surprised that every single jade piece had been sold. What was more surprising, is that the Person watching the shop mistook what her note said and actually doubled the price of all the Jade stuff.
And so because it was more expensive, the customers looked at it and saw it as more valuble and of a higher quality than some other things.
He gave an example of this by saying a girl you really like has agreed to go out on a date with you, and you are going to make dinner for the two of you to eat at your house. You decide to make Pasta even though you’ve never made it before. When you go to the store you see a pound of Pasta for 99 cents. And next to it you see a box of half a pound of italian like fancy looking pasta for $3.50

You’ve never had either of them in your life but you choose the expensive one even though you are getting less because you expect that the more expensive one will be better.
There are many exceptions to this. but it’s a really neat thought.

So instead of trying to join a market by trying to be cheaper than everyone else, some thinking should go into it about what the actual quality of your creation is.

I put up a Model on CG Trader to kind of figure things out since i havn’t had some replies on people i’ve messaged… I made a Auto century turret for some reason and rigged it.
Took this picture to use as the thumbnail;

Took me… you know… like 30-45 minutes to make. It’s rigged and weight painted to allow the legs to move, the body to move and the barrel to spin.
I put it up for the minimum price which is $3.00 thinking that that would encourage people to get it.
But now that i think of it, what i might try is to set it for say $8-$10 and put it on sale (forever lol) for $3-$5.
Because where as i don’t think the quality is necessarily worth 10, i can still sell it for a price that will make people happy but allow them to feel like they got something better than what it may be.

I’m not sure if that’s like… evil or something… but just a thought.

May i ask some questions though instead of messaging people? x:

[] Do all models need to be textured for trading? or does coloring by material do just fine? (That turret doesn’t have an inch of texturing on it, it’s all materials)

[] You can upload many formats to include in the sell such as .Blend .3DS .OBJ … i see that blender can export to many of those, which ones should i include and is there anything lost or broken in the process of saving it as those different files?

[] Where do i find Poly counts in Blender? i heard somewhere that if it’s all quads it’s Faces x2 but i’m confused about that.

[] If something is made with a Sub-Surf Modifier, should i apply it before i save? or can i leave the modifier so that others may be able to lower it back down if needed? (I think i saw a Subdivision ready option that i’m intrigued by)

Thank you all for the help by the way ^-^
Studying up on this takes some effort but i’m enjoying this and i’m very excited to get started on this :slight_smile:

You want to make sure that whatever files you upload will be able to be imported into someone elses software package of choice. If you export it as a .3ds or .obj and then import it back in, and it looks good, then odds are that it will import relatively cleanly into some other software package.

Generally, you are going to want to texture things. textures are a lot more compatible than materials. it’s not necessary, but it will certainly sell better if it is textured.

I upload in .3ds and .obj format. This will give you a pretty good coverage. Again, export them and then import them back in to make sure that they still look acceptable.

your polycount can be found here, faces is the total number of faces (tris, quads, ngons) and tris is everything divided into triangles.

Subdivisions are tricky. If I am doing subd modeling, I will usually apply a lower level of subdivision on it. you don’t want to blowup your total number of faces in the pursuit of smoothness. If you are seeing options for “subdivision ready” then those are probably just calling for models with high quality topology that subdivide well. If you are happy with your topology and think that it will do well being subdivided, then remove the modifier and upload the low poly mesh. maybe include a render of it with and without subdivision so that your audience knows what to expect.

Best of luck to you. keep pushing yourself to improve. make things that you are really proud of, and then ask how they can be better. It’s an uphill battle making money on your own. If you stick with it and start making decent money, keep in mind that you will need to pay taxes on it. You probably won’t need to worry about it for a while, but if you are getting hundreds of dollars a year from selling models, you’re going to need to report it to the IRS.

again, good luck, and have fun.

More importantly if the quality isnt there, I wouldnt put it up to begin with. It does two things, one associates your artist name with cheapened/low quality work, and 2) charging more for it would be almost as bad because the quality cant back up the price.

If you were going to market something that is rigged and animatable, you have to show that. A lot of its is about presentation…and also need. Who would use such a mesh? Game artist? If so is it low poly? UVed with a diffuse, normal and spec map? No?.. Ok is it for those making films? Pixar style animation or comped onto some real footage? Does the mesh match their needs? Is there a market for that in that market?

These are thing you have to ask yourself. The mesh you showed off doesnt look like it really fits in to any of those categories, nor is it at the quality level in which someone would rather buy than make. This shouldnt be seen as discouragement but rather setting a certain standard for both your image and who you are targeting.

[] Do all models need to be textured for trading? or does coloring by material do just fine? (That turret doesn’t have an inch of texturing on it, it’s all materials)

Depends on your target audience, but yes generally you will want a textured product. Not everyone buying meshes will use Blender, so what you do will have to be compatible in most 3d applications if possible.

You can upload many formats to include in the sell such as .Blend .3DS .OBJ … i see that blender can export to many of those, which ones should i include and is there anything lost or broken in the process of saving it as those different files?

No blends. There is a reason for this. 1) Blender still have an image of being for armature work and it might hurt the quality message you are trying to give (maybe in the future that will change) and 2) Its not used that often by the larger cg industry.

The most used are FBX, OBJ and in many cases 3DS. I would recommend offering FBX and OBJ if possible.

Where do i find Poly counts in Blender? i heard somewhere that if it’s all quads it’s Faces x2 but i’m confused about that.

In the info bar, next to where you see the little blender logo. I didnt know it was there at first either. Other apps tend to have the info floating in the 3d viewport itself, where as blender tucks it away up there. If the info window/panel is not part of your layout, you wont get that information.

No, quads are fine and preferable, though often objects are triangulated on export depending on what you are exporting to or what it will be used in. For example, game engines will triangulate everything. This means a face with four verts will be split into two triangles. When selling a mesh you can say it has 20 faces/40 tris (if triangulated).

If something is made with a Sub-Surf Modifier, should i apply it before i save? or can i leave the modifier so that others may be able to lower it back down if needed? (I think i saw a Subdivision ready option that i’m intrigued by)

Some export options will do that for you. Do a test and find out which ones and check the export options hidden in the lower left when exporting. To be safe you can alway apply the subsurf modifier though. my advice would be to use it sparingly and know how to use it…as if you just toss it on to make everything look smooth, you wont grow as an artist and your work might not look that great to boot.

Check out some videos on subd modeling practices. You can do some pretty neat stuff with the right approach. Also not that games wont use meshes like that. You would need a lower poly mesh if that was your target audience. You can however use the subd modifier to bake normal map information onto a lower poly version, giving you the lighting details of the high poly for use on the low poly.

Studying up on this takes some effort but i’m enjoying this and i’m very excited to get started on this :slight_smile:

I would say get better, learn and practice. Get some experience under your belt and perfect the craft before thinking about uploading your models for sale.

pretty much all the above !! get a GOOD rep FIRST 'cos losing a bad one is a pita (just changing your name wont work for long lol )

poly count is largely deciding what market your chasing, for a game asset it needs to be as low as you can make it, for a high quality poser object then it can be 10x higher

to “get the feel” of the market your chasing make some freebies (blendswop or sharecg) ask/beg for comments!! (don’t get upset if your item has 1000 d/l’s and NO comments!!! in a way that’s better then 1 bad comment)

most of all have fun keep learning but DONT give up the day job :wink:

Hmm this is getting a little discouraging looking around at what other people sell on these websites. No matter what it is, someone’s made it, if not 100+ people have made it, made it better than i could ever dream, and remade it as a game model also better than i could ever dream :c

I was trying to look at what is bought most often which would be the cars, the vehicles, house interior stuff… But wow i certainly see that i want to stick to the game design department. I want to get better at texturing cause i’m awful at it at the moment and i want to choose that department because i see what the realistic models look like and they look better than what me taking a photograph of the real object would look like.

DONT give up the day job :wink:

Haha if only i could get one to begin with. laughter slowly turns to a sigh

You are definitively right about begging people for comments.
I switched the turret to free by the way. I thought about taking it down entirely but if someone comments saying about how i uploaded it wrong, that would be helpful information.

I think i need to learn how to do that “UVed with a normal, spec, and bump map” thing. I’ve heard of that process but know so little about it.
It may answer one of my other questions, which is i wanted to make something shiny as a material, if materials are questionable when switching programs, will the reflective and transparent details of the material be lost too?

I could never think of a way to make something realisticly shiny on texturing alone because the shine on something moves depending on how you look at it.

Then i also just wondered about if shapekeys and particles can transfer through programs aswell.

And you know, by the way, me being a person who likes to state appreciation too often, i really do appreciate all the in depth help and advise you are all offering me :slight_smile:
I really do appreciate it.

So it sounds like for now, i need to build up a few low poly models with textures to hand out and ask people how they are.
Then from there, make game ready models of objects i would often expect to see in popular themed games. These could be swords and other medieval weapons, Cars and motorcycles, perhaps a jet or two, and maybe some modern and fantasy guns.

Probably sell each section there in small packs because if i’m new to the industry i’m sure people wont want to shove out a wad of cash for a single item from me.

Hmm… So much to think about :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not an artist, I’m a programmer. I have looked for art on these model sites, and a few things always stop me from buying from them.

  1. Money. I don’t have much to spare. I won’t pay $100 for a couch, even though it’d be worth that to some people.

  2. Matching. I can’t use a couch that doesn’t match anything else in the house. To that end, I need a full set of everything in the same style. And I’ve probably already picked the style.

  3. Optimized for games. I have no use for highpoly assets because they simply aren’t good for games. I need a lowpoly with a good normal map and texture.

  4. Quality. So many of them are obviously amateur stuff. That might be okay for placeholder stuff, but then comes the money aspect again. I have to pay even less for that since it won’t be used in the end, and I can probably model a placeholder one in 20 minutes. (Actually, I can, because I’ve done so for Ludum Dare.)

I like what you’re saying there. It’s sort of a reminder to those of us trying to start selling these things that we should start small.
my views of all this had begun to be skewed by looking at all the things other people make and how realistic and perfect they look.

But what i should really do is start small and cheap. I’m sure i can model furniture just fine, and i already said that i want to get better at texturing so it will be good practice. All i have to do is learn what normal maps are and perhaps the bump maps and those other maps.
Furniture really does sound like a decent start because they can always have different styles. Kind of like the difference between Cars and the Sci- Fi cars. Sci Fi will always be creative and different than actual cars.
I’m not saying i’m going to go make Sci Fi furniture, but i like that there are lots of different kinds.

The only thing i wonder about that is, if people buy models with textures, do they have the means to change the color of it? or should i try and give a few textures of the same thing in different colors?

(Oh and is it better to sell things individually? or in packs? x: )