Hello, I suggest discussing such an interesting topic together. Each model is a time-wasted hour and I would like to see the result as soon as possible - I wonder for what I was exchanging the hammock at the sea and bicycle walk.
Therefore it is important to understand what and why to do, there must be some kind of strategy.
For convenience, I divided the model into several categories. Each of them has its pros and cons, as well as the level of competition and the maximum cost. More importantly, they have different buyers.
Yes, this is known to all of us clipart, only in 3D. There are people who buy the model solely for the sake of a picture - from it you can make a unique image in a comfortable style, size, at the right angle and with the necessary shadow.
An important feature of such models is that it does not matter if there are free analogues on the torrent, a huge selection of similar models and so on. The buyer chooses based on visual preferences and it's your renderer that can hook it up. Also, a license is important for him (that is, everything is legal) and of course it is desirable that he can easily get the same result as you do on the render.
Of the minuses - of course, earnings. Navryatli someone is willing to pay large amounts for clipart, I think a maximum of $ 25-40 per model (your earnings are 30-40%). Typically, they buy such models of creative agencies and design studios, which are accustomed to the photos and their prices.
Themes for such models are best to search on sites with a clip art (obviously). You need to think like a web designer: what kind of perspective can he use for a postcard or to put on his website. Look also at the mocap: a yogurt bank with a white label, a billboard, a signboard and the like, where the buyer will replace the texture and be able to use the image in the presentation.
As an example, this is a separate site of Turboskvid, which they rolled out exclusively for these customers. In one word, there is a market.
Smart move will also sell the renderers of such models separately in photo-drains. If people order 3d rendering services, 3d models - they will also buy there, because customers are the same. Here I recommend Philip's blog about 3D illustrations.
Hard-surface, which saves time
The main definition for this category is the time savings of the buyer and the difficulty of creating a similar model for him and his inhouse team himself. That's why these models are the most expensive.
This is any technique: cars, military vehicles, airplanes, ships.
The creation of a detailed car takes from two weeks of working time and can not be done after watching several videos on YouTube (unlike a vase, a cup, a table). Therefore, here you save the time of the buyer and his money, eliminate the risks from working with freelancers. For example, if two weeks are required for an experienced modeler to create a good model, then it turns out about 80 working hours. On average, an hour of freelancer work in the West is 5-12 dollars. And if the buyer is lucky, he will receive a similar model for $ 400 (a super cheap option, usually it costs 900 or more). Therefore, the price of $ 150 for a finished car and the lack of correspondence with the performer, and even right now, and not in a month - is the solution to all problems.
However, there is a minus and it is obvious: you will spend a lot of time on the model and not the fact that you will do it qualitatively. You can also make a mistake and do something that is not in demand - I suggest that in the next article I pay attention to this category and the choice of models in it (in any case, write your advice and experience in the comments).
Important: this includes only those models that do not become obsolete. That is, phones and other gadgets do not take, because in a month there will be a new version and your work will be of no use to anyone.
The most advantageous, though sometimes competitive, option is cars that have only been lit at an automobile exhibition and it is desirable that there are a lot of publications about them. It's clear, do not make concepts or cars that will never go into production. That is, Tesla model 3 (at the time of publication of the article) is an excellent option, which is sure to be sold, and Chery Arrizo 7 is bad and maybe no one will buy it (only Hum3d can afford to do such models).
Feel free to submit one and the same model in different versions. For example, cars can be with racing textures, separately with any body kit, separately with the interior and separately of ordinary quality. The buyer needs different models, and even a small change, which seems like a trifle, also saves their time and avoids hiring a freelancer for revision.
Models from trends
A logical continuation of the previous category. This is all about which there are many publications and what is "hysteria" in the network. For example, the Pokemon Go, the Game of Thrones or the North Korean missile launcher they threaten the US, perhaps even an American aircraft carrier, who went to Korea - suddenly something bright will happen to him, and you will have his model.
Trend is not just something from the TV. The events that surround you can also be a trend, though only in this region. For example, there are many demonstrations in the world? - Time to make details of SWAT clothing, barricades and other attributes.
Who will buy them: news sites for the picture, because this is not yet, and the reportage must be done; fan for fan art; an entrepreneur for covers of notebooks, toys and other things. Also, similar "clipart" is needed by various organizations that are involved in the trend - for example, the UN for presentations.
Less: Of course this is a temporary effect and after a while the model will no longer be interesting and there will be a lot of such models. Therefore, it is foolish to spend a lot of effort on them - you need to do it quickly and on time.
If the model is unique and you are the first, the price will not be important and you can set it high enough.
Models for games
With them, I'm sure everything is clear: they are made with a minimum number of polygons, in a game format for unity or ue4 and that 3d rendering services only needed for developers of games and mobile applications.
It's nice that in this category there can be models of any theme: from auto, to characters. Everything is equally necessary in the video game industry. However, there is a small feature: everything must be generic, that is not branded. No nameplates on the car, Nike logos on sneakers and other recognizable attributes.
Models are sold well. An example, besides and so understandable stores with Unity and Unreal, can be a 3DRt store.
The downside is that in this niche a huge number of indie developers who have little money or money were saved on sandwiches at school. Therefore, prepare yourself for the sapport and constant requests to give something for free. Large companies usually do everything themselves and do not count on them. Therefore, there is earnings, but with nuances.
Models for interior visualization
The most competitive and cheap niche. It is here that they will rather prefer a free model than buy a paid one. Among other things, marketplaces are full of identical models, stolen from some sets and rendered in another studio. Since the entry threshold here is much smaller than in the Hard-surface, many models are objectively low.
A good example of earnings and free models is the www.artstation.com site.
In addition, this is not obvious for many, in the niche of the accessories trends and new collections are important, that is, there is obsolescence: architects and interior designers prefer to use furniture in visualizations from new collections that their customers can go and buy in salons. Therefore, in order to keep afloat, you need to constantly make furniture from fresh catalogs.
It is worthwhile to add here that many furniture manufacturers lay out their entire assortment in the form of free models - this should also be watched in order not to do unnecessary work.
However, there are people who work in this niche very successfully, for example, guys from Bulgaria.
People and Characters
Definitely expensive and popular category, both in the form of a clipboard (people in different positions and different professions) and in the form of characters for games, videos. It has a great and constant demand, even despite the development of scanners and the availability of free libraries. Prices are very high and they are ready to pay.
Designers often need hands holding a phone, a gun or a notebook. Of course, the hands should be made separately male and female, of different skin color.
As already mentioned, we need different professions: a driver, a racer, a motorcyclist, a banker. They are used in presentations, on various events and visualizations. Celebrities and politicians stand by themselves - they too are bought for various shows and videos. However, be careful with copyright, not every super hero can be made for sale.
By the way, do not forget about the growing needs of the p-th industry, where you always need detailed and realistic people and their separate bodies - I think it's modeling for an amateur, but this niche does exist.
Another trend is medical imaging. Pharm companies need different anatomical objects for presentations. There are a lot of searches for internal organs, bones and so on. However, the correctness of the transfer and understanding of what exactly you model and how you render is important here.
Cad model, printout
Here I have little experience, I know that there is demand for both models for CNC machines and models for the printer, but I can not say anything worthwhile about it. I think that this is all something special in that it is necessary to delve very deeply.
From the outside I see that CgTrader could not do business on models for printing and switched to a new strategy for VR models. At the same time there are many marketplaces selling only such models.
On this I have everything.
I hope it was interesting and useful for you. If I forgot some categories or you have your own experience - be sure to write in the comments.