As 3D artists, we are always on the hunt for good resources. I like to add more and more bookmarks to my browser as often as I get the chance. Here I have tried to gather some resources that I think is less known or at least less talked about in the 3D artists community. The quality may vary. Have a look for yourself and see if anything interests you. The list contains both software and websites.
Let’s start with some web resource, all the resources are on the web but duh! You know what I mean.
Textures.com is a very well known site for textures. In the Blender community, we also got poliigon.com that was started by Blender guru. Both well known. Textures.com have a limited number of downloads for their lower resolution textures as well as a high-resolution texture every day that you can download. Both sites have their own take on royalty free license but they are both similar with what they allow.
Another resource that is cc0 and pretty impressive is the Chocofur material library. All their textures are free and cc0 licensed. You only need an account to download the entire library of textures.
Pixabay.com is pretty well known, they have over 1.1 million cc0 images now, not long ago I remember it to be around 600k and it has grown fast. Now there is some alternatives to this site that also follow the same or similar licensing. They are the following in no order.
The above sites can be used for that but here is some extra. Pinterest is the most common place for finding reference today I think and it is currently not matched in my opinion. Just make sure you draw inspiration from multiple images instead of copying straight off. Anyway, for architectural rendering Houzz is an awesome website to get some nice reference as well. You can make an account and save images in idea books to organize them. Just as a side note for any fantasy or character artists. I don’t know much of resources for that other than some brilliant games. But I am sure you already figured that out. Instead I want to point your attention to seventhsanctum.com they don’t have any images but what they do have is a whole lot of generators. Sometimes you need a story for a character and a randomly generated text for a character may sometimes be a good place to start. Or why not generate a name or a weapon.
Ok I don’t really have any good HDRI resources to share so I will move on to some software that I use together with Blender. They can also be used together with other 3d packages as well I’m sure.
The obvious ones are complementary 2D applications Krita and gimp. I myself don’t use gimp but I use Krita quite a bit. No point for me to talk about those though sense most information is told and told again over thousands of times for those software. Anyway, I got some other stuff to share. First off is Kuadro. It’s a lightweight software for loading reference images. It’s great for resizing and moving images around on a second monitor to glance over at while you work. Another great place to look is at gravit.io. They have a a cool vector graphics app as well as an in-browser app for graphics design. Then again, talking about vector graphics and not mentioning Inkscape as an open source alternative would not be fair.
Before you get to work though you may need to do some prep work and sure, OneNote or Evernote can be good tools to gather information about what you will be making but I also want to give a little hint in the direction of Xmind. It’s a Mind mapping application that can be nice to use for fleshing out ideas or planning. Okok I got a few more to share. Next up is Rawtherapee. It’s kind of like a Lightroom alternative. It’s not as simple and uses a more technical terminology and the functionality probably doesn’t overlap 100% But it’s good for postprocessing of single images. Now some 3D guys out there like to photograph their own textures and for them, Digicam Control can be a cool software to check out if you have a DSLR for the task. It’s basically for controlling your camera from the computer. It allows for some pretty fine adjustments and control over settings.
Now we are coming to the end. Up last is the Sweet Home 3D software. I don’t know how well known it is but it got some nice functionality and you can export most of what you make in sweet home 3d to SVG or OBJ format that you can import into blender or other 3d package. For instance, you can make your own floorplan and ether export and import to blender or just take a screenshot and have the image as background image in blender as a guide to model your house. Ok I hope you found some new resource that you didn’t know about before that can be of help to you. If not, well at least I enjoyed writing about it.