Asset library preperation & R&D for upcoming landscape project
When you setup as a new studio you don't have the luxury of a "drag & drop" model/texture library. How do you know where you are with your assets when those projects come along? You'd better get to work...
Having worked for years in many studios and in-house teams, I've maybe taken for granted the library work someone has done ensuring I've had all the of the assets I've required, when I needed them. Kudos to Hayes Davidson here who employed a DAM (data asset manager) when I was with them. Knowing where you are with your assets helps you plan how long tasks will take.
The image in this post was a "quickly" thrown together piece to assess my library. I say quick because re-linking textures and converting to Corona materials isn't particularly quick! But it also gave me the chance to test a few of the tools I had not dared to try in-house when the pressure was on! D.O.F. anyone?! Displacement? I was afraid before...
For more examples of my quick, development "skiss" images take a look at my R&D work >
Library choices
One of the beauty's of running your own studio is that you get to do things the way you want do them! That includes how you organise your library. I spent some time collecting as many free-to-use assets as possible and keywording these to find them faster. Some choices I have made in regard to my library include:
- Sorting all models by their download origin. For instance all Maxtree models sit in the Maxtree folder to avoid duplicate downloads.
- Anything to be used in 3D, whether a model, HDRI or a texture is in the 3D folder. Only assets such as cut-out people, vegetation photographs and skies will reside in my 2D folder.
- I use Bridge collections and Google Picassa (discontinued but downloadable) for organising and searching through assets. None of us should ever be using the Windows explorer window!
Free models & textures
The internet can be a wonderful thing... sometimes! But when you're starting out the wealth of free assets to be found is just astounding!
It must be said that you need to check what "free" actually means. I know that iToo software for example allow for use of their free assets for private use but not commercially. I know that once the projects are flying in I'll be using the company card a fair bit more than I do now, but this is their business model. Offer, impress & hook!
Below is a list of some of my favourite go to sites for models and textures, both free and paid for:
3D Warehouse - Sketchup user model collection
Design Connected - interior designer furniture
Maxtree - tree and vegetation models
NoEmotion HDRs - HDR collection
PG Skies - collection of HDRI skies
Poliigon - models and materials - sooooo many textures plus more
Turbosquid - model collections
XOIO - model and texture collection from their R&D team
I'll finish up here by just saying that it is NEVER ok to use pirated software or unlicensed assets. Competition must be built on fair play and you are only cheating this industry if you par-take in this. Pay your way!

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