In today's 80 Level Digest, we handpicked great libraries with free assets that can help you whether you're working on a personal project or a professional assignment.
A number of 3D artists are always on the lookout for ways to speed up their workflow and make their creations more visually striking. This is where asset libraries come in, offering a treasure trove of pre-made models, textures, HDRIs, and other assets for artists to use in their projects. And when it comes to asset libraries, free ones can be a particularly valuable resource, as they allow you to access a wide range of assets without incurring any costs.
In this article, we have picked up some of the best free asset libraries available for 3D artists. Whether you're working on a personal project or a professional assignment, these libraries will provide you with plenty of things that can help you save time and effort during the creative process. So, without further ado, let's dive in and discover some of the top free asset libraries for 3D artists.
Let's start our today's list with Megascans, a high-resolution 3D asset library created by Quixel, a provider of 3D scanning and texturing technology. The library offers a wide range of 3D assets, including scanned surfaces, materials, plants, and objects, as well as 2D and 3D scanned elements, such as rocks, trees, and buildings.
One of the major advantages of Megascans is the high resolution and level of detail of its assets. The library is built on a proprietary 3D scanning technology that captures the intricate details of real-world surfaces and materials, making the assets highly realistic and suitable for use in film, game, and architectural visualization projects.
In addition, Megascans assets are compatible with a wide range of 3D software, including 3ds Max, Maya, Blender, Substance 3D Painter, ZBrush, and more, making it easy for users to integrate the assets into their workflow.
All Megascans assets are available for free for Unreal Engine users but if you're not using UE4 or UE5, you can also find some free 3D assets, surfaces, decals, atlases, and more as well.
Another great digital asset library we'd like to include in our list is CGTrader, one of the largest sources providing over 1,650,000 stock and custom-made licensable 3D models, with a number of them being free. The platform has a large managed community, providing a great opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals as well as get inspiration and support.
The platform offers a wide range of file format options during download, including but not limited to C4D, MAX, 3DS, OBJ, and FBX. It also has several low poly options that are optimized for use in VR and AR projects.
The CGTrader Marketplace has almost everything you may need for your 3D projects, from full-scale blocks and buildings to the smallest of details such as wall ornaments, floorboards, rugs, and more. With such a wide variety of options available, you can be sure to find what you need to bring your project to life.
Next up is ProductionCrate, a powerful asset library that offers a free account option, allowing users to access thousands of professional-grade files and download them for free (although it's worth noting that there is a limit of 5 downloads per day).
ProductionCrate provides a wide range of free items for download, including VFX, Motion Graphics, SFX, Royalty-Free Music, Stock Graphics, Textures Libraries, 3D Models, Materials, Scripts, and Plugins libraries. The assets are compatible with a variety of editing software and can be downloaded in multiple formats, allowing users to easily integrate them into their preferred editing suite.
In addition, the ProductionCrate team notes that it is constantly producing new content adding new assets to the library nearly every day and uploading finished items in bulk at least once a week meaning that users can always have access to the latest assets to help them create stunning visuals and sounds.
Another valuable resource of assets is HDRMAPS, a website created by artist Grzegorz Wronkowski that offers a quality collection of HDRI images and other 3D assets. Among its offerings, the website also provides a selection of free assets that can be used for both personal and commercial projects, as they are licensed under CC-CBY terms.
However, be aware that access to high-resolution images is restricted to paid users. Free HDRIs also require users to sign up for a free account before downloading. Still, all HDRIs are available for free instant download in 2k resolution, which can be a great option for most amateur and hobbyist digital artists.
Another great resource on our today's list is Chaos's Cosmos Library, a high-quality 3D content library available for free for users of V-Ray. It offers a curated collection of over 1000 render-ready assets, including vegetation, furniture, accessories, lighting fixtures, vehicles, people, materials, and HDRI skies.
The assets from the Cosmos Library can be used commercially, as long as the usage is within the rights of the EULA that users accept when installing their Chaos product which includes Cosmos.
The library is designed with a contemporary Western aesthetic, making it perfect for creating realistic and believable scenes in architecture, product visualization, and advertising industries. Overall, Chaos Cosmos is a comprehensive and versatile asset library that can help users save time and create high-quality visuals.
GameDev Market is another wonderful resource that can be especially useful for game developers and artists creating their works for games. The marketplace offers thousands of 2D and 3D assets for your game projects, including numerous free assets.
GameDev Market provides an easy-to-use platform where you can find the assets you need quickly and easily. The assets on the marketplace are organized in a comprehensive and intuitive way, making it easy to find exactly what you're looking for.
For example, you can search for assets by genre (such as fantasy, historical, horror, etc.) or by category (like Environments, Characters, or Objects) and subcategory (e.g. Animals, Creatures, Buildings, Dungeons, Electronics, Clothing and Armor, etc.). This makes it easy to find the perfect asset for your project, no matter what type of game you're working on.
If you're looking for a great texture library, LotPixel may be your choice. The library offers over 1,350 free scan-based PBR texture sets and the number of free assets is constantly expanding.
At LotPixel, you can find a wide range of real-world materials, all licensed for commercial use. The textures cover a variety of building materials such as asphalt, brick, concrete, metal, plaster, stone, and wood, as well as interior and exterior flooring and wall materials, plastic, and fabrics.
One of the great features of LotPixel is the high resolution of the textures. Some of them are available for free at up to 8,192 x 8,192px resolution and some – at 4,096 x 4,906px resolution.
The textures are provided as JPEG files following the specular/glossiness PBR convention, with diffuse/albedo, ambient occlusion, glossiness, height, normal, roughness, and specular maps. This makes the textures suitable for use in creating high-quality, realistic 3D models and environments.
LotPixel also offers dozens of 3D models and decals, however, there are currently no assets in these categories that are available for free.
Another wonderful resource we can suggest is Renderosity, a digital marketplace that offers a vast collection of 2D and 3D content for artists and creators around the world. It is one of the largest and most diverse marketplaces on the web, providing a wide range of not only paid content but also free assets, making it a great resource for finding the perfect asset for your next project.
Among the content featured on the marketplace are 3D models, 2D brushes, textures and scripts, 3D figure essentials, merchant resources, lights and cameras, and more.
In addition, with Renderosity, you can connect with other CG artists from around the world, share tips and techniques, and collaborate on projects. It's a great place to learn new skills, find inspiration, and grow your creative community.
Another great resource we picked up for you is MattePaint, an online library of high-quality reference images that provides a wide range of HDRIs for production use.
The HDRIs are suited for a variety of industries, including visual effects and film, games, architecture, and design. It's a great resource for artists, creators, and professionals who are looking for high-quality reference images to use in their projects.
One of the best things about MattePaint is that the entire library of HDRIs is free to download at 2000px resolution, which makes it an accessible resource for artists.
The library is constantly updated with new and exciting images and it's a great resource for anyone looking to create realistic and visually stunning projects.
Last but not least is a public asset library called THE BASE MESH. Created by 3D Artist Tim Steer, this library contains over 750 assets and it's constantly expanding. All the meshes are under the CC0 license which means that you can use them both for personal purposes or commercially.
The models available on this website are designed to be on a real-world scale and come with basic UVs to allow for faster creative decisions. They can be downloaded as ZIP files containing both FBX and OBJ files and can be used in texturing programs like Blender, ZBrush, Mudbox, or 3DCoat.
The creator of the resource says that meshes are just a starting point and in the future, the library will be expanded with more assets for creative use.
These were our picks for the useful libraries where you can find free assets. We hope this list will be helpful for you, whether you're an artist, game developer, or graphics designer. Do you agree with our list? What asset libraries would you have added here? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform, our Reddit page, and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.