3D rendering artists have a lot on their plate. Between finding work, doing the work, and making sure the work is good enough to get them more work, there’s little time to spare. The most successful artists find ways to shore up their workflow in order to streamline their process and do the best job they can do in a reasonable timeline.
That’s where 3D warehouses come in. They provide artists with ready-made 3D models they can insert into their work without the need to create the content themselves. They are shortcuts that can cut schedules in half, and lead to professional grade renderings that are delivered on truncated deadlines.
This is a list of 7 3D model warehouses that have been developed to host diverse libraries of 3D models spanning a variety of visualization sub-industries. Whether you are a game designer, architect, or marketing professional, these warehouses can help aid in moving along your rendering work and leaving enough time to focus on the things that really make your business tick.
From cars and characters to animals and architecture, Turbo Squid has it all. It’s quality that counts here, and everything down to the slick interface bursts at the seams with it. You’d be hard-pressed to find a single 3D model in their library that doesn’t pass whatever high standard of excellence you use to judge them by. Turbo Squid is simply the best, and one 3D model warehouse you should keep bookmarked for life.
The operative word here is ‘free.’ You might not find the most high-res, Pixar level 3D models here, but what you do find won’t cost you a think. Free 3D is the perfect place for beginners and rendering noobs to cherry pick some content and get their feet wet. You can browse models by category, or based on which modeling program you use. For being 100% free, there are a lot of extras here that make looking for and downloading 3D models fun.
SketchUp has come a long way since it’s initially rocky launch over a decade ago. This is due in large part to the ever-growing coffers of its proprietary 3D model database, simply called ‘the warehouse.’ It’s populated with thousands upon thousands of models created by none other than the robust base of SketchUp users worldwide. Not every model is top notch work, but you’re bound to find something you can use among the stacks.
If CAD is your 3D modeling bag, than GrabCAD has a lot to offer. It’s made up of a community of designers, engineers, architects, and students who all contribute to growing the library of CAD files members and users can browse. The GrabCAD community is vast, meaning the shear amount of 3D models available is large and ever-growing, ensuring you’ll be able to find something to contribute to your next 3D rendering or animation.
CGTrader is a storied, well-stocked 3D marketplace where users can find both high-quality paid for 3D models, and lesser-quality free models for use in their rendered scenes. It comes with a healthy amount of browsing filters that help artists narrow down what they’re looking for and spend less time thumbing through content they have no use for. The site also as a number of VR-ready models that can take your work into the future of 3D visualization.
For rendering artists whose primary mode of creation is fine art, 3DM3 has the database of content to make your lives easier. It’s a crutch used by computer graphics artists around the world, and has cultivated a robust library of resources that goes beyond your typical street lights, fire hydrants, and guys walking dogs. It’s also a place where artists can learn new skills, engage in a community, and share their work with the world.
There’s nothing difficult about using Archive3D, which for its laundry list of users is its most attractive feature. There’s no need to hold a membership card or even provide an email address to start downloading models from one of the largest 3D model databases on the internet. No matter the format or software you’re using, Archive 3D will have something you can put to good use.