If you know your way around 3D modeling software like Blender, Wings 3D or Sculptris, it could mean cash.
There’s an emerging market for buying and selling 3D models – especially to game designers, animators and other industry professionals looking for ready-created content.
What will I learn?
Ready, Set, Software
Blender is by far one of the most popular (and free!) options for 3D modeling – according to their website, Google Analytics showed almost half a million downloads per month in 2014!
Here are some options for getting model ready:
- Blender for PC, Mac OSX, and GNU/Linux
- Blender for Android (Prototype)
- Wings 3D for PC, Mac OSX, Linux Ubuntu and Other Linux
- Sculptris for PC or Mac OSX
- Autodesk Maya for PC, Mac OSX, Red Hat Linux and Cent OS Linux
Where to Sell Your 3d Models
The followings are some of the best places you can sell your 3d models on.
One of the largest 3D model marketplaces, TurboSquid offers users up to 80% royalties for selling their work.
Panel Payday: Earn up to $75 per survey. They also pay up to $50/hr for mystery shopping. Join Now!
InboxDollars: Paid over $57 Million to members to watch videos, take surveys, shop and more. Get $5 instantly!
Opinion OutPost: Want fun & high paying surveys? This is the survey site for it! Join Opinion Outpost!
Branded Surveys: Get $1 instantly just for joining for free. Plus get paid within 48 hours by PayPal! Join Branded Surveys
Toluna: Earn PayPal, Amazon & Tango e-vouchers for taking surveys (& product testing!). Join & get 500 bonus!
Swagbucks: Get paid to watch videos, shop online, take surveys and more. Join now & get $5 instantly!
You earn more as a Turbosquid contributor by signing up to become exclusive – as a non-exclusive seller, your percentage will remain capped at 40%.
Payments are handled through wire, cheque, Paypal and Payoneer.
Royalty payouts are monthly and payments will be processed by the 15th of every month.
Plan Marketplace specializes in drawings produced in CAD (Computer Aided Design).
A lot of the designs hosted on this website have to do with architecture – some examples from browsing around on the landing page include Brick Veneer Details and Gable Roof Detail.
They also cover other things built in CAD, such as dumpsters.
The author of the content receives a standard rate of 60% for their work.
Payments are made via PayPal within approximately 30 days.
3. CG Trader
CG Trader puts you directly in touch with clients, and you get offered up to a 90% royalty rate on sales.
From their site, it seems like you have to sign up as a member first to get exact information on just how they pay their contributors.
If you’re interested in becoming a contributor to CG Trader and finding out more, you can go here.
4. 3D Export
3D Export is part of a larger network, and you can join their partner sites WP Export (for WordPress themes) or PSD Export (for graphics).
As an exclusive contributor you can earn up to 70% – but you don’t have to be exclusive to them, and can still walk away with a 60% royalty rate. You set your own prices.
There’s a minimum payout of $10, and payments are once monthly, between the 10th and the 15th.
Payments are through PayPal, Moneybookers or Webmoney.
5. 3D Squirrel
3D Squirrel allows you to set your own prices – but cap prices for items at £10.
Payments are via PayPal and take place on the 1st day of the month after you submit your payout request.
Their royalty rate remains at a standard 65%.
While I couldn’t find much information on Renderosity except a direct link to the marketplace and a link to join, they are hailed in the 3D modeling community for being a great resource for tech news, learning and selling your work. Definitely worth checking out.
7. 3D Ocean
3D Ocean is part of a larger network of sales sites. The same network also includes AudioJungle (stock audio), Theme Forest (for website themes) and CodeCanyon (for code).
Their author fees are broken up as 55% for non-exclusive authors, and 12, 5% to 37, 5% for those who sign up as exclusive sellers.
Learning to Fly
Sharpen up your 3D modeling skills with some of these cool courses and tutorials:
Getting into It
Browse through catalogues and see what’s selling right now – like anything else, it’s down to knowing the market and knowing the consumer.
Hone your craft: The internet is filled with tutorials, guides, and more helpful info – make use of it where available. Nobody can be expected to know everything!
Build your portfolio (yes, even if it means taking some low-paying jobs when you start out) and make sure people know where to find you. A simple WordPress blog can be enough to make an impression.
Research and understand rights: Be sure what rights you’re selling – ask the site if you aren’t sure. You don’t want a copyright suit on your hands should you decide to use a model you sold previously.
Backup, backup, and backup: I always encourage those working digitally to back-up in as many places as possible and then some more. Never risk losing your work!
When working in multiple formats and on the move, use this handy 3D model converter from GreenToken.
Have you discovered a new marketplace that should be on this list?
Have you already made cash from selling your 3d models on one of these sites?
Feel free to get in touch through the comments!