Where are the best places to find 3D models for design and animation?
An easy way to supercharge your workflow is to use pre-made assets for design and animation. Finding the best sites for 3D models allows you to focus on the composition rather than spending your time creating new models from scratch. Some of the biggest artists in the world use these tools, so what are you waiting for?
We’ve collected some of the best sites around the web where you can find thousands of 3D models to use in your work. Whether you’re looking for realistic backgrounds, buildings, or characters, there is a solution out there for you. Some of these sites even offer free assets for designing on a budget.
Get those bookmarks ready. You’re going to want to save these for later.
Let's start with THE go to place for free assets and models: Quixel Megascans. Recently acquired by Epic, they have over 16,000 assets in the form of textures, models, and brushes. All their assets are super high quality and created from real world 3D scans. It's a kitbashers dream!
Kitbash3D is the king of kitbashables (is that a word? It is now). With numerous themed kits, they have every asset you could possibly want to build out your 3D worlds! The site is easy to use, so you’ll have no problem finding exactly what you need.
3D Scans is yet another site with FREE high quality 3D models based on 3D scans of sculptures from art museums. If you’ve seen it while perusing the Museo Capitolini, there’s a good chance it’s waiting for you at the site.
Much like Kitbash, BigMediumSmall is an awesome resource for high quality 3D models. Where Kitbash3D corners the markets on architectural assets, BMS has both 3D building assets AND character models that you can populate into those worlds. So if your medieval city needs a few knights, BMS has a Medieval Collection so you can create your own 3D version of Monty Python's Holy Grail (shrubbery not included).
My Mini Factory
MyMiniFactory is a site for fancy folk who have 3D printers, and who want to acquire models they can print out for themselves. While you’ll need to search to find the gems, they have a ton of free 3D models (and a few paid). If you want to get into 3D printing and need a model to print—or want to make money off people buying your models—MyMiniFactory is a great place to start!
Adobe Substance 3D
Adobe Substance is a killer suite of 3D applications, and they also have their own 3D asset area that includes free models. Because Substance is tied into the Adobe family, you can easily move these assets around in your favorite programs.
Joren at the Pixel Lab is one of the most generous folks in the industry. He not only sells a plethora of model packs, but he also has a Freebies section on his site with hundreds of free 3D models sourced from the community!
The Happy Toolbox
For those who need more stylized, cartoony models, The Happy Toolbox has you covered! With well-designed and art directed 3D models, the HTB has themed model packs including food, icons, city buildings, people, and bubbly clouds. They also have a freebies section that you can check out!
Much like the Pixel Lab, Render King is an awesome site with tutorials, texture packs, and 3D models. They also have a pretty nice collection of freebies for you to peruse!
Render Weekly hosts an (almost) weekly render challenge, and they provide high quality models that you can use to hone those lighting skills! Be sure to read each model's copyright, as some aren’t available to use in client work!
Sketchfab is full of models with many uses: you can buy 3D models for 3D printing purposes, VR, or for use in your 3D animations! They also have a healthy amount of free models in a wide variety of styles. It's an active community of 3D artists sharing models and sharing support for each other.
If you've been living under a rock, you've probably already heard of good ol' TurboSquid. It remains one of the most popular 3D model sites out there, with both free and paid models. Fun fact—this is where Beeple gets most of his assets. Why not start working on your own Everydays?
CGTrader is a TurboSquid-esque style site where they also have a collection of both free and paid models. They are well organized so you can search by type and theme to find what you need.
Gumroad is an awesome virtual marketplace where artists can create their own store and sell any type of digital asset, from textures to tutorial series. There are a ton of amazing artists providing 3D models on Gumroad. Some of our favorite artists' stores are Travis Davids, Vincent Schwenk, PolygonPen, Angelo Ferretti, and Ross Mason.
Now you have the tools to get started with some incredible 3D assets. So what are you going to do with them? If you’re looking to leap into 3D design and animation, or want to level up your skills, we recommend Cinema 4D Ascent!
In Cinema 4D Ascent, you'll learn to master marketable 3D concepts in Cinema 4D from Maxon Certified Trainer, EJ Hassenfratz. Over the course of 12 weeks, this class will teach you the fundamental 3D concepts you need to know to create beautiful renders and tackle any task a studio or client might throw at you.