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Updated List of free 3D Models?


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#1 obizues   Members   -  Reputation: 176

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 01:48 PM

I've checked out a few sites from a google search but most seem to offer a few free models as a means to look at their pay content.

The sticky in this forum seems to include out of date 2D resources.

Could everyone list a few of their favorite sites?

Just as a question, are there fully rigged and animated models available somewhere as well?

I'm trying to worry more about the programming aspect, and less about the art and animation aspect.

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#2 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19418

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 12:49 AM

You could try OpenGameArt.org. For any non-trivial project, you might consider paying for models if you can scrape some money together -- you'll get good quality models that actually go together, and won't have to spend forever searching for them.

#3 Wilhelm van Huyssteen   Members   -  Reputation: 1012

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 03:30 AM

I'm a programmer that also mostly use free models. However finding rigged and animated models that suit your needs is pretty impossible. And even if you do find those perfect models (which you wont) you'l have to go through the hell of converting them to the format you use while keeping rigging and animation intact.

My suggestion is. Find proper free models but don't look for rigging and animation. Then learn to do rigging and animation in blender and write you own blender export script and create yourself a set of standards that you use for all models and that works with your export script. In total you'l be creating a solid content flow and since you'l be rigging and animating models yourself you'l have a much easier time finding appropriate free models.

#4 obizues   Members   -  Reputation: 176

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:23 AM

I guess I'm missing the reason why 3D artists and animators are removed from the process so much. Why is it standard that I'm paying for models or animations but they aren't paying me to make all these things come together?

I'm not just trying to complain, I just genuinely don't understand how everyone doesn't benefit from collaboration.

#5 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19418

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:51 PM

There are a couple of different things at play.

Firstly, some artists do recruit programmers to work with them on a project, but I'd say it's probably less common than hobbyist on indie teams lead by a programmer. Unfortunately, a lot of those programmers are inexperienced beginners who lack the skills to actually follow through with the project, and so many artists have become wary of joining a project that might be likely to fail. Artists do sometimes have to pay a programmer if they want to have a game made.

Secondly -- putting aside particularly simple games -- many projects require multiple artists (unless they're willing to wait a very long time to get the art made), and while they often try to recruit multiple programmers only one is really needed.

Thirdly, a programmer who wants to make a portfolio that is suitable for the games industry will either need to work with an artist or find some other alternative. An artist who wants a portfolio does not need a programmer -- their art can be shown by itself. Artists are also able to contribute to animated shorts or work with simple visualization tools., again avoiding the need for a programmer.


You're also in a particular programmer-centric community here -- you'll find a different balance in other communities.


Collaborations (of the unpaid variety) can benefit everyone, but unless it's more certain (good track record, able to show progress on the project) they're often very risky for a skilled artist.


Does that help your understanding? Posted Image

#6 obizues   Members   -  Reputation: 176

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 01:09 PM

I understand what you are saying. None of these are arguments, because quite frankly there is nothing to argue about reality is reality. This is further what is confusing to me.

Secondly -- putting aside particularly simple games -- many projects require multiple artists (unless they're willing to wait a very long time to get the art made), and while they often try to recruit multiple programmers only one is really needed.

I guess I'm thinking more about a single "game demo" or for experience to understand how everything works to be employable in game development. Not a full game.

The way I see it is:

I want to make an RPG or FPS or some other sort of game. I want a level, or a demo. In order to do this I need say 1 model that's animated for a main character, and 1 model that's animated that I can clone for bad guys. I will need 1 gun modeled, or one sword modeled.

I do not necessarily understand how the art side works, but I would have thought that would be a fairly common set of things that people modeled for a portfolio to prove that they can "create an RPG FPS 'package'" or for animators "to create a character to function in an RPG or FPS world."

Thirdly, a programmer who wants to make a portfolio that is suitable for the games industry will either need to work with an artist or find some other alternative.


That is the exact problem I'm running into. I can't use characters that people have made and fully rigged and animated because most of them are characters like "mario" or "zelda" that are protected IPs or someone ripped from a disk. I however, also cannot afford to pay someone hundreds to thousands of dollars to create a small demo within Unity.

Do you have any suggestions?

Perhaps this question is better suited for the "Breaking into the Industry Section" but:

If I made a game with mix and matched objects that didn't fully mesh together since they were not designed to be, would that be looked down upon in a portfolio? Or would the person look past that and just look at how the objects are programmed?

#7 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19418

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 06:29 PM

Do you have any suggestions?

Sure, there are a couple of options for someone in your position:
  • Continue as you have been doing, and look for free models. It can often be a frustrating exercise trying to find complete sets that fit together well, and the quality can sometimes be questionable, but there are a lot of free models out there if you're willing to spend the time looking. Learning the basics so you can make a few adjustments, or learning to do your own animation on static models as suggested above may open up more possibilities for you if that's something you would be willing to and interested in considering, although obviously again that would mean spending more time.
  • Learn to create your own art. Obviously this is a bigger time investment and isn't for everyone. Adopting a more unusual art style -- particularly if it's a simpler one -- might aid in this.
  • Look for ways to avoid needing content. If you can reduce your needs enough you might be able to make a few model purchases affordable or make it more easy to be able to find suitable free models. Taken to an extreme level, you might be able to avoid needing art at all.
  • Investigate cheap sources for the art you need. In our very own GDNet Marketplace for example, there is a "german soldier base character" for $59, or you could investigate companies like Dexsoft Games who provide content: they have an "elite trooper" for example, where you get three variations of the model for 29.99€. If you're willing and able to convert the format to something you can use, you could consider the model packs from The Game Creators (link goes direct to pack#1). In combination with an effort to minimise the amount of art needed, you may be able to find you you need for an amount you consider more reasonable.
  • Look for an artist to collaborate with. You could use systems such as the "hobbyist" section of our classifieds, or "help wanted" type forums elsewhere online. If you're pursuing a formal education, you might see if there are arts courses being taught and approach some of those students, who may be willing to work with you for no cost, a few beers, or a very reduced amount. For best results, have some progress already made on your game so that you can load up their first model as soon as it's done.

If I made a game with mix and matched objects that didn't fully mesh together since they were not designed to be, would that be looked down upon in a portfolio? Or would the person look past that and just look at how the objects are programmed?

Your portfolio won't usually even be looked at until you've got past initial screening based on your level of formal education, existing experience, etc. At that point, any working game or demo is a plus, even if it does have mismatched graphics. Obviously something more polished and professional looking will make a better impression, but you will not be completely discounted for mismatched graphics. Self-publishing a smaller but complete title (via direct download, iOS app store, XBox Live Arcade
, whatever) is often viewed as beneficial.


Hope that helps! Posted Image




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