In visualization, using the right texture for a piece of furniture, the proper material for an interior, or the appropriate plants for an exterior design can have a huge impact on the final product. Similarly, using human figures that accurately represent activities and demographics in these virtual settings can affect how we perceive the scale and nature of spaces in digital images.
Free texture libraries and readymade 3D furniture blocks can make the process more efficient and less time-consuming — especially when these downloadable rendering assets are well-organized and offer a variety of options. Below is a list of a few websites offering resources to help create realistic 3D models on Photoshop, Revit, Sketchup, AutoCAD and other 3D modeling applications. Architects can bookmark these resources for days when they need to produce high-quality architectural visualizations.
A group of independent students from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University created this project to increase diversity in architectural representation. The website features free artistic cutouts of people of different ages, ethnicities and lifestyles. In addition to cultural diversity, the portal also promotes inclusivity by offering cutouts of queer couples.
Started by Lennart Demes, this website claims to provide over 1,500 assets to help create realistic 3D models. These include seamless materials and textures, continuous façades, HDMI landscape options and a few 3D blocks for different terrains and food. The website has a clear display and is easy to navigate using filters and categories. It also features a gallery of projects and images that have been created using the materials from the website along with details of assets used for reference.
The American furniture brand has allowed users to download and use several of their products as 3D models that can be used in Revit, Sketchup and AutoCAD. Architects can choose from a wide range of sofas, chairs, benches, shelves, tables, lighting, electrical components and more to complete their 3D projects with high-quality, detailed furniture.
Design Connected can be handy for those looking to create details and realistic interior settings. While a majority of their database is made up of paid furniture models and textures, they also have a nice selection of free 3D models that include lighting fixtures, wall art, furniture and other décor objects. In addition to their paid subscriptions, they also offer a student discount for those enrolled in full-time architecture, design and fine arts programs.
The website caters to designers from a variety of industries including architecture, interior design and gaming. They offer several kinds of free 3D models that can be used in different softwares. This database includes sofa sets, cars, fantasy characters and even fictional city blocks. Furthermore, the platform also allows designers to sell their own 3D models and earn royalties.
The fuss-free website offers thousands of PNG images and cutouts for noncommercial use. This website can be extremely useful for those who prefer to detail images or create entire renders in Photoshop. Users can either use the given categories or explore the search feature for more specific results.
Dimensiva is particularly useful for those who wish to create high-end interior shots or want to include sculptural décor pieces and furniture in their designs. Their free 3D object library may be limited but it still offers a beautiful selection of fixtures, objects and accessories to enhance simple interior renders.
The website has a large database of cutouts of people, plants, animals and objects. Each category also has different filters like light settings, activity and typology to facilitate quick navigation and selection. These images are available in different resolutions as well. The main drawback is that users with a free subscription can only download a limited number of cutouts in a day. But while this can be inconvenient when meeting quick deadlines, it can be a good idea to bookmark this page and build a sizable library over time.
Lovers of foliage will find this website extremely helpful. The website features 3D models for trees like apricot, fir, birch, maple and oak along with several more generic options. Most models available are 3ds Max compatible but there are also options that can be used in softwares such as Revit, Sketchup, AutoCAD, Rhino and Artlantis.
This website is a treasure trove of seamless textures for Photoshop renders. All .jpeg images are organized by type and then further into subcategories for easy navigation. Free users only get a limited number of downloads per day but given the high quality of these images, it can be worthwhile to build a personal texture library over time.
For those who wish to create intergalactic cityscapes and space-themed renders, NASA has created a library of 3D models, textures and immersive maps and visualizations to navigate the solar system. These images can also be used to create futuristic scenarios and apocalyptic images.