when am not making youtube tutorials, am working on client projects, through email, cgtrader or occasionally fiverr, these clients usually have tighter deadlines and small budgets so i need to do my work quick and easy to make it profitable for me while still delivering quality.
so for that these are some of the addons i use to help me deliver in time.
i get alot of orders to make regular objects with pbr textures, usually for games or film, over the years modeling has become easier for me, the only thing that still takes me quite alot of time is uv mapping, thats why i invested in zen Uv, this makes uv unwrapping 100% easier and 100% faster.
lighting is what makes or breaks a render, and presentation is what gets you a job and lighting is 50% of it, light wrangler is a new addon that makes product lighting easier, you can easily light your scenes by making the lights focus on to where you click on any object.
As a freelancer, i cant be very choosy in the projects i work on or specialize in one thing, if i want to get more gigs, but its impossible to master everything too either, so i keep different tools around to help me produce pro level work for any niche, and for vfx i pullout RBD lab, it reduces the amount of testing and experimenting i have to do to produce what i want, since it comes with alot of different templets i can choose from.
if i dint have sanctus procedural material library i would have to create materials from scratch everytime i work on a project, and since every project comes with its own material requirements, i save hundreds of hours by relying on the sanctus library for all sorts of detail materials.
if i want, a blend of procedural materials, procedural masks and pbr materials, i grab smartify smart materials, its a new library of materials that i have come to like, because of its seamless way of blending different materials and textures depending on different parameters like height, thickness, ambient occlusion, shadow, cavity and more.
as a freelancer, some of the first projects you will get are from small beverage companies who want to make a commercial for a new drink and want a nice fluid simulation included, blender comes with mantaflow but if you want more control and superior quality look into flip fluids.
like i said, as a freelancer, its hard to specialize in one niche especially when you are starting out, so you need to attract all types of clients especially archviz clients, there work is easier to do so to standout from your competitors adding fountains and other dynamic effects can help you win more clients, you can do this using the aquatiq water library.
still on the topic of archviz, skyies are a big part of architectural visualization, they appear in backgrounds, in reflections and also help with the lighting of your scene, choosing the right addon for your background will speed up your workflow while giving you better lighting and better reflections.
another addon that would really help in your archviz business is procedural crowds, you can use it for alot of other things but in archviz, you can populate streets, buildings and give life to your renders.
in a professional setting, its hard to render anything without adding any form of vegetation, the right addon should have great scattering features, a versatile library of vegetation and plants and an easy way to optimize your scene to render faster and efficiently, these are all features the Geo-scatter addon comes with.
finally what ever niche you choose, if you have to render out your output, you want a way to do it faster to deliver your projects so that you can get onto the next one, remember as a new freelancer most of the jobs you are going to get, wont pay much. though the work may not be much as well, most of the time you will spend on the project is going to be rendering time, so an addon like memsaver is a great way to cut that in half, it optimes you scene to use memory and vram more efficiently speeding up your renders.