3D Artists from Over 65 Countries

The Best Free 3D Rendering Resources For Freelancers

For freelancers earning lean project fees, it’s important to have a go-to list of free resources at your disposal. Here’s a few of the best.

If there’s one thing you’ll have to be in order to build a successful freelance business, it’s resourceful. 3D rendering artists and visualization artists are only as good as their ability to keep learning, pooling assets, and being able to find exactly what they need in order to finish the job and get it done right.

However, those resources can quickly drain a project’s budget if it requires learning new techniques or building models and scenes from the ground up. It is vital freelancers have a few pipelines to pull free content from so they aren’t spending their entire fee on something they might only be using once.

These are the best 3D rendering resources available online, and each one is entirely FREE.

1 | Blender 3D

Let’s go ahead and start with the mother of all open-source 3D modeling and rendering programs. Blender 3D is not only one of the most capable, approachable pieces of visualization software on the market, it has been cultivated and improved upon over the past two decades by the people who use it most. Blender has a dedicated community of artists and engineers, and is a great place to start for freelancers looking to dig their teeth further into professional rendering.

Blender is 100% free to download and use, making it an essential mainstay for any designers working on a tight budget. It can do pretty much anything some of the more expensive pieces of software available, and in most cases is even easier to use. Download it. Now.

2 | GrabCAD

Building your own, proprietary library of models can take years to develop. If you need a place to quickly grab 3rd party 3D models, look no further than GrabCAD (see what I did there?). Unlike most 3D model catalogs out there, GrabCAD has an extensive list of assets that are all completely free. It’s a great resource that will let you build out 3D scenes you are readying for rendering without spending all those billable hours building cars, trees, and “guy playing with dog on the lawn.” You can search GrabCAD’s massive database by keyword and find pretty much anything you’d need to support the work you are putting into  your finished renderings.

3 | SketchUp and LuxRender

Let’s be honest, SketchUp on its own isn’t a great visualization tool. However, it is free, and when coupled with free rendering software LuxRender, it can be transformed into a powerful little engine that won’t crumble your bank account. LuxRender interfaces seamlessly with SketchUp, and is a great alternative to Blender if you’re looking for something of a bit different flavor.

Additionally, SketchUp is a quicker, more efficient modeling tool than Blender will ever be. If you are a designer using SketchUp as a primary digital design tool, pairing it with LuxRender takes a lot of the pain out of producing good renders straight from your model. This is a winning pair if there ever was one.

4 | 3D Total

Becoming proficient at 3D rendering and visualization, you’re going to have to climb a series of treacherous mountains in the form of software education, design experience, and the constant need to keep getting better. Luckily, 3D Total is here to provide a gondola ride and make that journey a hell of a lot easier. It is an online resource providing free lessons and tutorials for a variety of visualization software.

But even more than that, you’ll also find free textures, the latest rendering news, and an engaged community of teachers and artists who are willing to help their peers get better at the thing they love to do. There’s nothing more valuable than attaching yourself to like-minded individuals who want nothing more than to produce better work.

5 | CG Architect

For artists specializing in architectural visualization, CG Architect is the perfect social media platform to help up your game. The online social space is free to join, and features thousands of artists, engineers, and architectural designers who are focused on making unbuilt buildings look incredible. The site operates in much of the same way 3D Total does, only with the pointed mission of assisting a specific sub-industry of rendering. Connect with other members and build a community of other freelancers who’ve sat in your chair and lived to tell the stories.

6 | Xoio-Air

For post-production rendering work in Photoshop or After Effects (or maybe your free editing software of choice), it’s good to have access to a host of free textures, cut-outs, and other 2D entourage. Xoio-Air has a vast library of such assets that will make finishing up your visualizations an absolute breeze. It isn’t the largest database of textures out there, but for high-quality textures that are completely free, you’d be hard-pressed to do much better.

8 Tweaks to Speed Up 3D Rendering Cycles
What are the Capabilities of 3D Rendering in Architecture
3D Rendering and Photo Realism: 10 Best Practices and Tips
7 3D Rendering Issues That Commonly Pop Up in Projects
13 Expert Tips to Help You Manage 3D Rendering
Why 3D Rendering Plans Overtook 2D Cad Plans in Popularity
North American 3D Rendering is Expected to Achieve Amazing Growth until 2025
What-Performance-Specs-Should-Your-PC-Have-to-Handle-3D-Rendering
Rendering Trends - 7 Popular Styles of Architectural Rendering Software Use
Side by Side Comparison of Still 3D Renders and Animation
The State of 3D Rendering and Virtualization Software 2018-2023
Google and Sony Discuss Collaboration on OpenCue Rendering Software Manager
3D Rendering Techniques – 5 Tips to Help You Streamline The Entire Process
How to Achieve Photo-Realistic 3D Renders in 2019 and Beyond
6 Devices That Will Help You Streamline 3D Architectural Modelling
3D Rendering – Then and Now
Designer Tips How to Get Exactly What You Need Out of Your Renderings
5 Business Benefits of 3D Rendering for Architectural and Construction Companies
The 3D Rendering Software Market is Growing Fast - Here's Why
How to Build a PC for 3D Rendering on a Budget
4 Essential 3D Rendering Tutorials for Noobs
Nvidia Unveils the Turing GPU Architecture for 3D Rendering
5 Ways Architects Can Invest in 3D Rendering
Where To Find 3D Rendering Jobs Online
7 Rendering Styles for Architectural Interiors
Real Time Rendering - The Future of 3D Visualization
7 Ways Architects Can Use 3D Rendering
5 Online Resources for Free Rendering Materials
3D Rendering for Real Estate Marketing
Work With The Best 3D Rendering Studios
What is Real Time Rendering and Why It Matters
The Five Best Companies For 3D Rendering Services
The 3D rendering boom in real estate marketing
Product rendering and visualization
Landscape architecture and 3D rendering
Best Free 3d Modeling Software
Best 3D Rendering Services.
3D Rendering and Visualisation in London
3D Renderings: Prices as low as €80 per Image
3D Printing, Architecture and Contour Crafting - The Futuristic Architect
7 Tips For Learning Photoshop
Best Online Resources for Learning 3D Rendering and Visualization
The Best Ways To Utilize Outsourced 3D Rendering Work
5 Reasons Why Photorealistic Renderings are Important for Architecture Firms
Why and How you should outsource you 3d Renderings
What does VR mean for digital innovation
Where to find the best 3d characters
Should a good architect know how to 3D Render
Best 3D Furniture Model Sites for Architects and 3D Artists
Best Texture Resources for Architects and 3D Artists
How Photorealistic Rendering Can Sell Your Next Design
The Anatomy of a 3D Building Rendering
The Best Free 3D Rendering Resources For Freelancers
5 Great Online 3D Modeling Catalogues
Why should I outsource my 3d renderings
Best Render Farms