3D modeling is a growing sector. It is a field that can be interesting and exciting since it touches on art, creation, inventiveness, originality, it can be refreshing for our brains which are in constant demand for novelties. This requires knowledge that can be acquired through learning, either via online tutorials, or self-taught by using the various tools at our disposal.
Perhaps the most widely used graphics engine today is Blender. This software can be used as gateways for other more specialized software. Such as Unreal Engine and Unity for video games, DAZ3D for character posing, Maya for special effects in fiction, AutoCad for architecture, Autodesk 3ds Max for animation, etc...
This is the most important point. You will need to analyze the market. That is to say, see what is available on the marketplaces and list what is the rarest and which could interest buyers. Whether in terms of character type, environments, utensils.
It is difficult to know what the market shares are in the world of 3D with the different fields. It may well be that NSFW 3D content (i.e. animations, high definition renders, adult visual news and comics, NSFW video games) has the largest share, followed by 3D SFW games, printing 3D, SFW 3D animation.
You have to be smart and be able to create content compatible with all domains. The easiest way is to make environments, then come utensils. For the characters, it can be more complex because you have to know how to create a skeleton, movement mechanisms. There are techniques to copy and paste faces on existing bodies (by creating a layer that we transpose above a face and then leveling the existing face [very complex]). Or you can model characters in DAZ3D and export them to Blender with conversion bridges (DazToBridge, Daz Importer, Diffeomorphic). You can also create and sell textures. But buyers are generally looking for working 3D models that are ready to use.
The easiest way is to make environments in 3D, you just need to model sets. Perhaps the hardest part is creating textures. Currently what is quite sought after are environments conducive to post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk, or war, or medieval fantasy worlds. So the best is to model abandoned, destroyed or ruined environments.
Some use drones and devices capable of 3D scanning and capturing textures in real time to automatically create environments from real locations. However, it requires a fairly large initial investment, having the authorization of the owner of the land that you want to scan.
Online marketplaces to sell your 3D models
There are several online marketplaces to sell 3D models. There's Artstation, Unity, Sketchfab, Unreal Engine, CGTrader, Turbosquid, DAZ3D, Free3d, Blender Market, Shapeways. It all depends on the sector targeted, whether generalist, for video games, for 3D printing. It's best to try selling your items in a variety of places and see which ones work best for you. The royalty rate, ie what comes back to you as creator and seller varies between 40 and 95%.
Showcase and marketing
Advertising your creations is a key point in order to sell your creations. For this, it is not necessary to spend money, there are several free platforms. The first way is to make a name (or pseudonym) by self-promotion on Twitter, with high definition renderings of your models. You can also post images of your products on platforms such as Deviantart, Behance, Pixiv. You can make 3D animations on Youtube in which your objects are present, with a link to the marketplaces where you sell this content.
You should know that it is difficult to generate more than a few hundred dollars per month with the sale of 3D models. This is a sector that can be saturated very quickly in certain sections, for example it is almost impossible to sell 3D models of weapons for video games, the platforms even refuse to accept this type of content because there are so many offers. Those who manage to make a living from it are smart and excellent in marketing. Making perfect advertising images of your products is without the most important to maximize your earnings.
An easy way to make money is to accept commissions, i.e. requests from people who want something specific, for example the modeling of their face incorporated on the body of a centaur (?) , etc... You can easily earn 50 dollars by commissions on sites like Deviantart. But suddenly you lose your freedom, and people can ask you endlessly to make changes to the creations purchased. By selling on marketplaces, you can refuse to offer support, and therefore obtain full freedom, which can be attractive if 3D modeling is above all a hobby for you. But you will be blamed for this in the reviews of buyers ("be careful, no support from this creator").
Note: Commissions may be earned from the links above.
This page contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our advertising policy, please visit this page.