Are you curious about how to sell 3D assets online? You might have just completed a course in digital art, or you might be a seasoned expert who creates more models in your leisure time. In either case, if you are actively producing 3D models, you might be able to make some extra cash by selling them online.

Before entering the world of online 3D marketplaces, it’s critical to realize that the goal of the product you are creating is to, in the end, save time for the customer who purchases it.

Workflow for 3D Assets

How to Sell 3D Assets Online: Full Guide to Sell Your 3D Model
How to Sell 3D Assets Online: Full Guide to Sell Your 3D Model

A digital artist who wants to enter the commercial market must comprehend that the business strategy also plays a role in the success of 3D marketplaces. Businesses go to a CGI artist that is familiar with the digital 3D art process because they lack the time or resources to develop 3D models on their own.

Understanding the 3D modeling technology can help you understand the level of quality that can be expected from a CGI artist. Here is a general description of the workflow a digital artist should adhere to:

  • UV-project a 3D layer to render it.
  • Bake textures in a variety of sizes (1k, 2k, 4k, etc.).
  • Accurately capture and tag the textures.
  • Create a setup with the right lighting and camera angles.
  • creating images with and without a wireframe using image synthesis.
  • The model should be exported into the necessary file types.
  • Use a blank blend file as the native configuration when saving the model.
  • Sort, then put everything into a folder for later compressing and uploading.
  • the rendered models in an upload.
  • Make a brief note of the model’s name and description.
  • Calculating and setting prices.
  • publishing in accordance with marketing requirements. Although a typical workflow has been presented here, you should be aware that it can change significantly and you might need to take additional steps.

Pro tips for how to sell 3D assets online

How to Sell 3D Assets Online: Full Guide to Sell Your 3D Model
Pro tips for successfully selling your 3D work online

Find a niche and dominate it

There are a variety of viewpoints on this, but in our view, it is preferable to dominate a certain niche than to attempt to achieve success through the haphazard way of content development.

You have a better chance of developing a reputation as the go-to expert on medieval weapons or the top vehicle modeler in the industry if the majority of your models adhere to a common topic. Instead of sifting through hundreds of results in a general search, customers are more likely to return directly to your store if you occupy a particular space in their minds.

Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a wise idea, according to the opposing school of thought.

One of the top 3D stock sellers in the industry, who earns over $50,000 a year from selling 3D stock models, was interviewed by CGTrader. He goes into great detail on the kind of models to sell and suggests selling in many different categories. You can’t really contest his success.

Diversifying early on might be a good idea. Find out what’s most effective for you and what brings in the most money. Make a concerted effort to position yourself as a leader in that market once you have a firm understanding of the types of models that are selling.

>>>Read more: 7 best 3D model marketplaces and platforms to sell your 3D models on the internet

Produce top-quality stock

Customers desire well-written, effective content. They want to avoid having to deal with shoddy stuff. One of the reasons we collaborated with leading business experts to develop the CheckMate and StemCell standards was that they want something that would make their life easier.

How to Sell 3D Assets Online: Full Guide to Sell Your 3D Model
Produce top-quality stock

Although the US has historically been our biggest market, we’ve experienced considerable growth in several other nations as well. Electronics, automobiles, furniture, clothing, street signs, and other goods and fashions differ from country to country, so finding popular items from other nations is a great way to market to customers outside of the US.

Given how fiercely competitive the market is, a vendor must be able to produce CheckMate Pro-quality materials. The standard of models is increasing, so you must keep honing your craft to succeed. You must possess the capacity to organize and train yourself. Perform a market analysis on your model. Once you’ve decided what to make, look for a unique way to present it so that it will stand out from the competition.

>>>Read more: How Should We Start the Workflow of 3D Animation Modeling?

Give thorough information

Consider yourself to be your customer. Before making a purchase, it is imperative that you take into account what it would be like for someone to evaluate your model. You must provide a ton of finely detailed renders, pictures of wireframes, turntables, and even live previews of your model.

How to Sell 3D Assets Online: Full Guide to Sell Your 3D Model
Give thorough information

Include precise metadata information and well-written descriptions to avoid confusion. Having a fantastic model is only a portion of the solution; in order to generate sales, it must be presented in a compelling manner.

>>>Read more: The choice to move to real-time animation production workflow of an Asian director

Create stock for VR

VR has undoubtedly increased the number of buyers of stock, but it has also raised the demand for standardization. With so many incredible content production tools currently available in free editions, the entry hurdles for developing a VR/AR game or application are quite low.

Due to this, we have noticed an increase in non-traditional clients, some of whom may have had very little exposure to 3D. Stock artists who are aware of this and take an effort to make sure that their content appeals to the broadest audience possible will have an advantage.

>>>Read more: Unreal Engine Impact on Architectural Visualization

Future-proof your assets for potential customers

We support the use of the StemCell standard in artistic production. When creating content with StemCell, artists only need to create the content once.

TurboSquid will then automatically generate multiple format conversions and package those assets for partners and new uses (real-time engines, AR/VR, etc.), generating extra income for the artist. Going back to older models and updating them to use newer renderers is another way to increase an asset’s lifespan.

Provide options

As long as the model is still flexible, adding more detail and using larger textures is typically the best course of action. Although a customer can resize the textures if necessary, giving them the choice of 4K textures is advantageous. Customers can choose to simplify the mesh if a model has good topology and edge loops.

But it’s crucial to know when to be effective. For instance, a Normal map can handle a lot of the minor surface details instead of modeling them.

11 Helpful pieces of Advice

How to Sell 3D Assets Online: Full Guide to Sell Your 3D Model
how to sell 3D assets online

Don’t forget to make versions of your model that work without third-party plugins

Create a version of your model without the need for any third-party plugins, such as V-Ray, if your model makes use of them. It’s a good idea to make versions that these customers can use since many customers don’t possess third-party renderers or other plug-ins.

Do set up cameras and lights for your file

These components might assist in setting up an excellent render that highlights your model. You should leave cameras and lights in the scene because some clients want to render a model exactly as it appears in the previews.

Do provide display photos demonstrating the appearance and construction of your model

Make numerous renderings of the model that display it from various perspectives. The signature picture, or the image that appears in search results, will be one of the thumbnails. Some marketplaces provide you the option to display your model in a full 360-degree animation. It is strongly advised to incorporate these 360-degree views.

How to Sell 3D Assets Online: Full Guide to Sell Your 3D Model
How to sell 3D assets online

Additionally, you should produce at least two wireframe illustrations to demonstrate the model’s construction. To avoid misleading clients who don’t own the plug-in renderer, we advise you to render some thumbnails without it. The TurboSquid artist materials include various helpful training sites that outline which images to generate and how many totals.

The number of vertices and polygons in your 3D model should be listed

Vertex and polygon counts may have an impact on whether a buyer chooses to purchase your goods. This information should be provided to the buyer even though it is not necessary because some markets require it before the model can be published. In order to give images their best visual appeal, it is typical to render them with subdivision modifiers. These are then removed for the deliverable version you will publish.

This is acceptable as long as you specify this anywhere on the product page. Even if you choose to leave the subdivision in the model, make it simple for the customer to turn it on and off. The model’s polygon and vertex counts can be given without subdivision. If the model was constructed using NURBS, vertex and polygon counts are not necessary.

Don’t shortchange yourself on price

Don’t undersell yourself because customers frequently mistake price for the quality. To estimate fair pricing for your own model, look at similar products that people are currently selling. Better textures and more intricate models will sell for more money. It’s crucial to understand that 3D stock models typically sell 3–4 times per year (on average) and that charging too little won’t ensure a sale.

Do think about exporting to different file formats

Your chances of making sales will significantly rise by making your 3D model available in a variety of file formats. The majority of 3D software programs can support file types like FBX, OBJ, and DAE. Use automatic file-converting tools with caution since they might produce unpredictable outcomes.

How to Sell 3D Assets Online: Full Guide to Sell Your 3D Model
How to sell 3D assets online

You don’t want customers to purchase a product in the mistaken belief that it will function with their app only to discover that you published a conversion with a bug. Models that are returned are a result of unhappy customers!

Don’t falsely advertise

False advertising is typically causing for a refund, a bad review, or reputational harm. When the customer downloads the model, everything that is visible in the preview images should be there. It’s crucial to clearly state in your description what features are and aren’t included with the model, as well as any other relevant details that might aid a customer in making the best choice.

Make sure you bundle the models and textures for simple downloads

The actual product files must be made in a way that makes it simple for clients to obtain all they require. The best way to do this is to make a zip file for the textures and one for each file format with the appropriate name.

For instance, if you started with a boat’s MAX file and exported it to the 3DS and OBJ file formats, you would need three ZIP files: Boat, Boat, and Boat, one for each file format. You have two options for publishing the textures: either in the same folder as your file or in a different location. Many 3D programs provide an archive or packaging tool that will compile the scene’s textures into a ZIP file for you.

You should place your textures in a separate ZIP file if they take up a lot of room, say five times as much as your model. Keep in mind that this method only works if the same textures are referenced in every model file. Note the archive’s final size after compression as well. If necessary, you might need to split up the archive’s compression to make sure the customer can download it without running out of time.

Before publishing the model, make sure it is error-free

Even an error message that doesn’t affect the model’s final render can impede a customer’s workflow and lead to a refund. You must test your file as a professional artist to ensure that it functions as you have described it.

Should not select pointless keywords or categories

The majority of marketplaces should give artists the ability to select the keywords or categories that will produce a product search result. Selecting keywords that accurately describe the model you are offering is important. Make careful to utilize only the model-relevant keywords for the best search results.

For instance, avoid using phrases like dishwasher if you are selling a kitchen sink. If your sink model appears in a dishwasher search, customers won’t buy it because they’re looking for a dishwasher, not a sink. Similar to keywords, picking the wrong model category won’t increase sales.

Do spend the time necessary to create a detailed and expert product description.

Your product description needs to contain important details and be presented professionally if you want to increase sales potential for your 3D model. Consider the needs of the customer as you write your description. What information is necessary for the customer to decide whether to buy your 3D model?

  • Utilized any third-party plugins
  • Additional components like lighting and cameras
  • What are the textures like? What quantity, size, resolution, and format
  • Typical Unit Scale (inches, feet, cm, etc)
  • Construction of objects. Number of items and a general description of the parts and pieces used in the model’s construction
  • Make sure to spell words correctly and use proper grammar; it’s best to use the language that is most popular in the market you choose to publish on. For instance, a customer will want to know if a character is all in one piece or if the head or clothing is separate from the rest of the body.
  • There are significant variations in file types (such as which are not animated)


Above is our guide on how to sell 3D assets online. Since stock models are a growing part of the industry, we have put together the definitive guide to selling your models successfully online on some marketplaces, though the advice can be applied to selling your models anywhere on the internet.

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