Of course we are biased towards purchasing assets, but our reasons are based on professional experience in the industry before we even made this website. Purchasing assets is the go to solution for professionals who need furniture, cars, accessories, or just about anything to complete their scenes.
Blender has an absolutely incredible community but sadly there has been growing a stigma around purchasing assets and we would like to share our own ideas for why this should not be the case.
Before I start, I should mention that every 3D artist must at least know the fundamentals to asset creation. If your job requires you to use lots of furniture models, then you should know the basics for modelling simple furniture. If your job requires you to use lots of textures, you should know the basics for making simple textures. These skills will be necessary when entering the professional world because you won’t be able to buy pre-made assets for everything.
So lets get onto some arguments for purchasing assets!
1. Time/Money lost
This is perhaps the single greatest reason to buy pre-made assets. Lets say a client comes to you and asks you to 3D visualise a living-room for a new apartment they are trying to sell.
Now lets break down the time to create the scene if you built everything yourself. Bear in mind, this is to a high quality and for someone with experience.
1 hour for a dining table
2 hours for dining chairs
5 hours for the sofa
4 hours for the lounge chairs
6 hours making a couple of HQ plants for the scene
1 hour making the hanging lamp
1 hour making and simulating the curtains
8 hours making all the books, vases, and other accessories
2 hours making the doors and windows
1 hour on a floor lamp
Now we have spent a very modest 31 hours. Now lets actually build the room and set up lighting to render – about a further 8-16 hours.
There are of course clients who request very bespoke furniture and you may need to model everything, but this is quite rare. And I don’t think you’ll find a client willing to pay a full WEEK of work just for one image.
Think how much more work you could take on if you purchased all the assets and smashed the image out in a day!
2. Small Asset Library
You may argue that point 1 doesn’t account for the fact that you may have already spent the time building your own library in your spare time. This is very true, and of course you can re-use the models you have already made.
Sadly though, this can take a VERY long time to build a full library which contains enough models to give nice variation to each of your images. And a client may not like it if you use the same furniture over and over again in your renders.
For example, at iMeshh we currently have over 800 assets, and lets say on average we spend a very very modest 3 hours on each model (some large models can take days if we re-build it multiple times until we are happy). That would be a total of 2400 hours or 100 days working if you’re working non-stop. Or 300 days working 8 hours per day without weekends.
In reality this sort of asset library takes years to create.
3. Clients don’t care where the models are from
As the title says, this is the sad truth. As much as you may be over the moon and happy to show a client how amazing your model is, they simple do not care. They only care about the end result of the image as a whole.
Whether you got the model from Turbosquid, CG-Trader, 3DSky, as long as it looks good, that is all they care about.
4. Professionals rarely make their own assets
If you go to any professional studio who make multiple 3D renders/visualisations per day, they will all tell you the same thing “We buy our assets”. For the exception of studios who actually model new furniture for furniture companies like Ikea.
They are well oiled machines and have workflows dedicated to pumping out high quality images as quickly and efficiently as possible, and sadly the time lost to making the 3D models themselves is just unsustainable and they will eventually lose money.
If studio’s and professionals purchase the models themselves, then perhaps that is an example to follow. They know what they are doing and have a lot of experience.
5. Your models may not be to a high quality
Another sad truth, your models may not be good enough :(. It is a huge shame when a model is of low quality and completely ruins the whole image.
The fact is, to be good at making high quality models, you need to spend 100s or 1000s of hours perfecting this skill, just like you would spend 100s/1000s of hours perfecting the skill in visualisation. Both are totally different skills. One relies on modelling and exact measurement techniques, and the other relies more on artistic flares with camera composition and lighting. There is cross over, like any 3D job, but they both have their place.
To get good at both requires a lot of dedication and a lot of time, and this is not something that everyone is willing to do. A professional can rightfully argue that they would rather spend 2000 hours on visualisation and becoming a pro in the industry, than 1000 in visualisation and 1000 in modelling and becoming pretty good at both. Decisions need to be made at this point
6. Impress your clients
Clients such as interior designers will often make designs for you to 3D visualise which they can share with their client.
Interior designers often request the most specific furniture for their projects and you would be required to include them.
These sorts of clients can easily chuck 30/40 specific furniture items at you per project and this would be impossible to model yourself.
The kind of visualiser they are looking for is someone who has no arguments about their furniture choices, go away to start working, and then couple of days later come back with the exact items they wanted and you can move forward with the next project (or next 100 amends….).
They would consider this to be far more professional than someone who switches out their own furniture choices with furniture you’ve already made yourself which is only slightly similar to their own choices.
7. The models have already been made
The 3D industry is absolutely BOOMing right now, but it has also been around for quite a few years now. This also means that most items you need, chances are, someone has already made them!
For example, go onto Turbosquid and just look how many times Eames models have been made. https://www.turbosquid.com/Search/3D-Models/eames
Why spend hours and hours making something which has already got a huge library on its own!
It could be a fun exercise for sure, but don’t waste your time.
8. Choose your path
Do you want to get into 3D visualisation for interior architecture?
If so, eventually you’ll get invited to a job interview and you’ll be asked to show off your portfolio of interior renders (and hopefully WOW them).
When you show them the images, they will ask you about the composition, the stories you’re trying to tell, as well as camera and lighting set ups.
They will definitely ask if you can make your way around modelling but this is not the main criteria for this specific job. As long as you can use assets in a way to create believable and realistic images then that is mostly what they are looking for.
If however, you are going for a job for 3D modelling furniture, you will show off your 3D models, some close ups, perhaps on a white background or even in scenes. But they main questions will be regarding the techniques you used to produce this furniture models.
They are both separate skills and perfecting these skills will greatly increase your chances of getting jobs in the specific fields.
9. The industry is growing
As mentioned before, the industry is absolutely booming like never before.
The by product of this, is that more and more people are taking on 3D jobs in varying fields. This means the industry is getting very competitive.
Because you are entering a competitive field this means you need to be efficient in what you do. If you waste time on something you do not need to, someone else will come in and be better than you.
By simply choosing your path early on will easily give you a leg up in your path to success.
Buying assets can basically save you time, stress, money, and give you an edge in your chosen 3D field. You can of course choose to do everything and this is absolutely a great choice, becoming a 3D generalist is much needed in the industry. But for the reasons mentioned above, if you already know a very specific path that you’d like to choose, then go for it! Put all your energy into becoming a master in that field and you won’t regret it.
The wonderful thing is that the world of 3D is so vast, that you can easily do Arch-vis for a job but have a hobby making 3D furniture. You can easily get good at both if you want to.