I’ve been working in the 3D industry for six years, while this is may not be an exceptionally long time, I have been very privileged to have served in positions that have given me a great deal of visibility of the market. In 2006 I co-founded and assumed the role of Managing Director of Falling Pixel, an online marketplace for the sale of 3D content. In 2011 the company was acquired by TurboSquid, a much larger and more established 3D marketplace. I have since become a part of the TurboSquid management team. Since then, I have learned a great deal about the 3D marketplace industry, it’s customers and the artists that sell 3D content.
Why should I sell 3D models?
Selling 3D models online on marketplace sites like Falling Pixel or TurboSquid can be very lucrative for the artist. There are a number of individuals who earn a very respectable income from the sale of 3D models, some have even built businesses and employ artists to create and sell 3D models online. There is also a wealth of 3D content that is yet to have been made and customer demand for this content continues to be very high.
3D modelling software is still fairly expensive and it can take many years to master the art of 3D modelling, which means there is not as much competition in the market, especially compared to other digital mediums such as stock photography. If that wasn’t enough, artists can get anywhere from 40% – 70% royalties for selling 3D content and charge prices upwards of $100 per 3D model.
All that said, there are a great deal of newcomers to the industry, many of which are unfamiliar with selling content. It is not uncommon to see artists blindly deciding what models to create with the hopes that there will be a customer out their who will buy their creation. Thankfully our customers are a very creative bunch, they will often consume a diverse range of 3D models from tiny insects to full blown cityscapes and everything in-between. This makes it much easier for the average artist to produce content that will have a good chance of selling. Still, there are a number of artists who create content that is completely unsalable simply because they are not thinking about the intended use or value to the customer.