As an artist your expenses only go up as you create more are, your projects get heavier so you need more space, your renders take longer so you need to upgrade your setup, and your project deadlines become shorted with clients so you may need to use render farms or hire assistants, with that in mind its always a good idea to start monetizing your art early.
While getting a job as a 3d artist is the most common path for most artist, it is not always the easiest path or viable path, so in this post lets explore 10 other ways you can start earning from your craft as a 3d artist.
10 best ways to make money with blender
#1. sale your renders as stock images and stock videos on sites like pond5, shutterstock
i have watched a lot of videos on how to make money as a 3d artist and no one ever talks about this, yet it is one of the easiest way to make money as a 3d artist, i even did a test account on adobe stock to see if i would make a sale on some of my renders a few years ago and had some success, I dint make a lot only 21$ in the first month but considering i only had about 10 posts this was promising.
the only reason i have not put in more effort in selling 3d stock photos is because it takes a bit of time to upload a project if you are including the modeling, rendering and uploading process but will get back to it when i get an assistant to help me with some of my other work.
my adobe contributor page:
#2. sale project templates for video intros, outros, titles, movie title sequences
there is a lot of studios or independent film makers with a limited budget to hire artists to make good looking movie title sequences, but may have a budget to just buy a template they can make a few edits to and add to there movie, wedding, graduation or film, the demand for blender templates is high and if you are good at motion graphics you can make a killing selling your templates on sites like envato market
#3. create a asset packs like shaders/material packs, texture packs and 3d models
materials,shaders and textures are hard to create and take a good amount of time to make if you are good at making these you can sales the on different market places to artists who prefer spending time on other parts of there projects rather than figuring out how a proper wood shader would look like.
here are afew examples of artists doing a good job of creating shaders and materials for artists:
#4. sale 3d printable models:
3d printing is here to stay but here is a catch, it can only stay if there is something to print.
not every model can be printed, making proper 3d printable models is a skill that takes some work to master but thats a good thing as its not over saturated like other market places.
3d printing also has sub niches like jewelry, 3d printable caricatures and more you can easily dominate these if you are committed enough, you can even make a career by making popular youtubers, tiktok creators and share them on your own social media accounts.
#5 sale content on a subscription basis
it seems subscription models are the future, from netflix to youtube to adobe, every major platform has some form of subscription model so if the big guys are doing it why not you.
you can create projects, renders assets on a subscription model for you subscribers and into todays marketplace every major platform offers there creators the subscription tools necessary
with over 100 subscribers on my patreon i never have to worry about my internet or utility bill any more, i provide valuable content to my subscriber for a small fee. i maintain my subscribers by giving them monthly packs that they would have to buy at higher rates else where its a win win.
#6 make nsfw content
this one is a bit controversial but without risking your image or future job prospects, nsfw 3d content provides a risky free opportunity for those of you who have the imagination for it.
Gone are the days of Onlyfans being limited to actual people, there alot of kinky people out there looking for something different, from animated fun fictions to everything else am sure you can imagine on your own.
and if you can get over your moral standards and would never lower your self to creating nsfw content, you too are not left out you can still create amazing sfw content as fun fiction but the pay difference is noticeable.
#7 make nft pieces
while we may have seen the peak market for nfts, it seems they are here to stay, you can still make a dissent amount of money selling nfts, if you choose the right platform to work with.
make a piece that stands out, know where your buyers congregate and put in the work as every other person has, beeple dint sale his 60 million piece by chance, he worked on it daily for over a year.
maybe when the nft market peaks again it will be your piece that sales for 60 million dollars.
#8 make addons for blender
if you have some programing skills you can make blender addons that help improve blender and sale them on the blendermarket.com or gumroad.com, blender has over 1 million users in an industry that is one of the top growing industries in the world with tight deadlines.
clients want there work done fast and sometimes blender needs some help from addons for that to be possible.
you can check out addons i made my self here:
if you want to learn to make addons you can start here:
#9 become a blendermarket/gumroad affiliate
if your programing skills are Zero, you dont have to miss out, market places like blendermarket, gumroad and more have affiliate programs where you can earn a commission on every sale a buyer you recommend makes.
you can make from 10% to 70% commission depending on what the creator of the addon has setup with you.
- sale your renders as stock images and stock videos on sites like pond5, shutterstock
- sale project templates for video intros, outros, titles, movie title sequences
- create a asset packs like shaders/material packs, texture packs and models
- sale 3d printable models
- sale content on a subscription basis
- make nsfw content
- sale your content as nfts
- make addons
- join a referal program/affiliate
- sale scanned 3d models with photogametry,
#10 sale scanned models with photogrammetry
most apple and android smart phones from 2years ago can properly do photogrammetry and have respective mobile apps to handle the processing of the scan for you.
with sites like sketchfub.com that are dedicated marketplaces for scanned model, you are the only missing link in this chain to passive income. you can start with objects in your own room and continue out to the environment may be this would be an opportunity for you to go out and explore the world abit while letting blender pay the cost