Monday, 18 July 2016

Selling 3d Models

I’ve been selling 3d models for extra bucks since 2008. It’s not the best source of extra income ever, but it’s not the worst either, and to be honest could be much more profitable if I just focused on it more. 

I’ve recently discovered a new place to sell my models (over HERE) and I’m keen to see the returns it brings. I currently only have 10 models on there, but I have a hat-ton more to load, and because this site isn’t as strict with regulations on what has to be in the 3d file and how it’s set up, and the way you present it, etc (like the site I’m currently using) it will be a lot easier to load more of my older (and newer) models to it. 

When I tell people about selling 3d models, they are often perplexed and ask me questions about it.  I’ve noted some of the more prevalent questions below, with easy-to-understand explanations , sans any heavy jargon.

Questions people ask?

1) What is a 3d model?

A 3d model is a computer-generated object or set of objects that one sculpts in a 3d software programme. Once the model is sculpted, real-world textures, materials, lighting and effects are added to it to make it seem realistic or cartoony or however the look is that is needed for the project it is intended for.

2) How do you make it?

You create a 3d model in any of the many 3d software programmes out there. There are many ways to model something in 3d, but in most programs you build up something from scratch and take it from there. Almost like sculpting in stone. There are some programs where you use pre-existing models and edit them into what you want, but the basic way to do things is to take a shape and start sculpting it by adding more detail. 

3) What do people use it for? And why do you sell it?

The list is endless. You will be surprised at how many industries actually use 3d models in some shape or form.

Visualisations (Interior and Extrerior Architecture)

From architects needing to visualize and display their latest housing development to an interior designer showing their new high-end apartment design, 3d models are used to display new and updated versions of buildings, stadiums, apartments, etc to prospective investors or customers.

Film/TV (VFX and compositing)

Think of any Sci-Fi or Action movie or series and you can bet that there is ample computer graphics (CG) used to assist in telling the story you see. These crews usually have teams of people that do everything from 3d modelling to lighting to texturing but every now and then they will be in a pinch for time and won’t have time to model something themselves. This is when they will go to a 3d model site, and get the model they need to save time and money, to help get their deadlines sorted quicker.


Ah, advertising. It seems everything around us these days is an ad of some sort especially when it comes to online content, but 3d models are used extensively in ads. Those slow-motion product and pack shots you see, even some of the food ads you see, contain some form of digital manipulation and many times, 3d models. I was a 3d artist/animator and compositor for 4 and half years for a production company that specialised in advertising so many of my 3d models were in this theme. Used to bring to life anything from cellphones to alcohol bottles to full on 3d worlds.

3d Printing/Manufacturing/Design

Even before the dawn of public-access and easy-to-use 3d printing, 3d models have been used in manufacturing and designing things. Everything you see in front of you right now that is not food, was probably first sketched, then designed with technical drawings, then modelled in 3d, THEN made. Newer 3d sites now have sections where you can buy and sell ‘ready-to-print’ 3d models. This is a very exciting development in technology right now. Anyone with access to a 3d printer and just basic knowledge of 3d design (or access to BUY 3d models) can print out anything they can think up, from shoes to toys to sports equipment to jet engines?!

Game Development

The multi-billion dollar industry that is Gaming is one of the biggest users of 3d models. Gaming hasn’t caught up to film yet and uses slightly lower quality/detailed 3d-models (low-polygon models). Thus the need for low-poly models is always there for established and indie and up-and-coming game developers. From game characters to objects used in-game to full environments there is always a need for 3d models in games. 

This is just a short-list of uses for 3d models and why people would buy them from a freelancer such as myself, but there are many more industries that use and need 3d models, anything from Education to Forensics to Military to Medicine. It’s a wonderful skill to have in your locker and better yet, even if you don’t the internet is littered with freeware programmes to learn how to do things in 3d and jam-packed with tutorials on how to use these programmes. So if you’re interested in learning how to do 3d, go for it

If you’re too lazy or busy to learn how, you can just buy some of mine

I will discuss this in more detail soon in a video about this, but for now, if you have any more questions about my work or 3d work in general, send me a message or connect with me on my Twitter