Existing Models

Why and when should you use preexisting models?

I had someone a while back ask me why in the world would I tell people that are just starting out to use existing 3D models in their project.

I’d like to go over what constitutes an existing model.┬áIn my eyes, “existing models” include any models that are previously generated by yourself or another resource. They can be in any 3D model format and downloadable from a website or local server.

Benefits and drawbacks of using existing models:

Drawbacks –

Harder to control the accuracy when you’re not the one making the model. – tolerances can be all over the place and scale is never the same from one model to the next.
Textures are usually in need of assistance. for remapping as they were intended to be used.
More often than not, the model is broken into mislabeled groups and require a slight bit of rejoining of meshes.

Benefits-

Time savings. – Once a model is built, it is good to use over and over in multiple applications.
Reference. – Artists draw and model from reference. Having the actual model to learn from is priceless.
Free models are awesome. Sometimes when fleshing out an environment, I’ll hop on the sketchup warehouse to search for furniture to use in my scene versus spending hours building out all the little things. This goes back to the time savings.
Some of the places where you can get preexisting models.
Models that already exist are for sale on multiple sites such as Turbosquid and Evermotion.
Free models can be found all over the web. certain sites like the Sketchup warehouse has hundreds of thousands of models for you to download totally free. The only drawback is, in a lot of situations, you get what you pay for. So be a little particular when deciding what version of that phone or vehicle you want to download.

If you’re doing a model that has a lot of hardware, I recommend going over to McMasterCarr and downloading your models directly from their product pages. You can do a search for “3D models” right on their home page to find what they have available.

Here are the links to those sites:

TurboSquid

EverMotion

Trimble 3D Warehouse

McMaster-Carr

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