Resources

CG Software

PAID

3ds Max

3ds Max is Autodesk’s PC-only professional 3D computer graphics program. Like its sister software Maya, 3ds Max boasts a very robust toolset for 3D modelling. However, thanks to a huge library of different modifiers, 3ds Max can make the modelling process a little easier for new or intermediate 3D artists.

PAID

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of applications and services from Adobe Systems that gives subscribers access to a collection of software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, along with a set of mobile applications and also some optional cloud services.

PAID

Blender

If you’re after some free 3D modelling software, you won’t find better than Blender. The open-source program has been around for a long time now, and subsequently has an army of highly dedicated artists, teachers and enthusiasts behind its continued development. And boy, for an open-source project, have they created something special.

PAID

Cinema 4D

After many years with Max and Maya, I switched to Cinema 4D and never looked back. It realy takes a lot of the technical stuff out of 3D and alows the artist to concentrate on being creative.

FREE

Daz Studio

POWERFUL and FREE 3D creation software tool that is not only easy to use yet but feature and functionality rich. Whether you are a novice or proficient 3D artist or 3D animator – Daz Studio enables you to create AMAZING 3D Art.

PAID

Houdini

a 3D animation and visual effects software for use in film, commercials and video games.

 

PAID

Marvelous Designer

Marvelous Designer allows you to create beautiful 3D virtual clothing with cutting-edge design software.

PAID

Maya

Maya® 3D animation, modelling, simulation and rendering software provides an integrated, powerful toolset. Use it for animation, environments, motion graphics, virtual reality and character creation.

PAID

Meshroom

Meshroom is a free, open-source 3D Reconstruction Software based on the AliceVision framework.

PAID

Mol3D

Fantastic complementary tool for a polygon-based artist since its CAD toolset and advanced boolean functions enable extremely rapid creation of mechanical or man-made type “hard surface” models.

PAID

Modo

a powerful and flexible 3D modelling, texturing and rendering toolset – has become a firm favourite among digital artists in the past few years. Tools have been well thought through and implemented, making it very user-friendly. Add to that a really good rendering system and it’s easier to see why so many favour it.

FREE

Sculptris

If you’re interested in the art of digital sculpting, check out 3D software Sculptris, from Pixologic. Perfect for all skill levels, the software is a great starting point for users new to the discipline and more experienced CG artists will find the software a quick and easy way to realise concepts.

FREE & PAID

Sketchup

Sketchup is a user-friendly application that’s free to download and great for 3D modeling beginners. More advanced versions cost money, but you can still create great renderings and animations with the free version.

PAID

Substance Designer

Substance Designer is the Ultimate 3D Material Authoring and Scan Processing Tool. It has become the standard in the entertainment industry for PBR material authoring.

PAID

Substance Painter

Substance Painter gives you all the tools you need to texture your 3D assets.

 

PAID

Vectary

Turn ideas into 3D design with this easy-to-use online 3D modeling software. Start for free with a complete set of tools including real-time rendering and models library.

PAID

Vue

E-on software offers two free versions of its Vue landscape-generation product range. These Personal Learning Editions are non-commercial versions of the company’s high-end products, Vue Infinite and Vue xStream.

PAID

ZBrush

ZBrush sets the industry standard for digital sculpting. Its features enable you to use customizable brushes to shape, texture and paint virtual clay in a real-time environment. When you use ZBrush, you’ll be working with the same tools used by film studios, game developers, toy/collectible makers, jewelry designers, automotive/aviation designers, illustrators and artists worldwide.

C4D Plugins and Scripts

PAID

Octane Render

The speed of this renderer is insane! You need a compatible graphics card and a decent workstation, but Octane makes lighting and look development sooo much quicker then the C4D standard renderers. If you do a lot of 3D work I highly recommend looking into this, all of my work these days is rendered with Octane!

PAID

Arnold

Arnold is an advanced Monte Carlo ray tracing renderer built for the demands of feature-length animation and visual effects.

PAID

Red Shift

Redshift is a powerful GPU-accelerated renderer, built to meet the specific demands of contemporary high-end production rendering. Tailored to support creative individuals and studios of every size, Redshift offers a suite of powerful features and integrates with industry standard CG applications.

PAID

V Ray Render

If you want to use an external renderer then you have a stack of options but a lot of them require you to export out to an external standalone solution. V-Ray enables you to do everything from right inside the CINEMA 4D interface. It goes without saying that VRay is an established and proven renderer that is constantly being developed. It is therefore an excellent renderer to adopt.

PAID

X-Particles

Easily create amazing particle effects right within Cinema 4D! X-Particles is a fully-featured particle and VFX system for Cinema 4D. Using a unique system of Questions and Actions you get full control over your particle simulations without the need for Xpresso or Cinema 4D’s native particle system. Particles, fluids, and gaseous simulations all in one place.

PAID

Vector Pro

Vectorizing directly in C4D with a procedural object, where the parameters can be modified, animated and controlled in realtime. You can even quickly link the resulting segments up to MoGraph or dynamics and animate the individual elements.

PAID

RealFlow

RealFlow is primarily an out of the box fluid simulation piece of software. It is standalone and compatible with all major 3D platforms. So why am I mentioning it in an article about plugins! Well, RealFlow have provided a set of connectivity plugins which make going between CINEMA 4D and RealFlow a breeze for both PCs and Macs.

PAID

Reeper

Reeper is a C4D plugin for creating ropes and similar structures.

 

 

PAID

DEM Earth

Easily Generate dynamic Digital Elevation Models and georeference them in real-time to your world imagery.

 

 

PAID

Signal

Signal is a GSG plugin that’s aimed at automating the animation process. It’s applied as a tag to an object or deformer and you simply drag any animatable value into it (including colours). It’s then a matter of setting some values and letting Signal do its thing, generating random, noise- based animations and seamless loops.

PAID

Topowire

Reeper is a C4D plugin for creating ropes and similar structures.

PAID

Turbulence FD

TurbulenceFD has all the features that a visual effects artist needs to create organic looking particles. Get unparalleled realism and control with voxel-based gaseous fluid dynamics, a physically-based fire shader, Particle Advection, and Multiple Scattering. TurbulenceFD is easy-to-use, with an intuitive workflow, and is extremely fast, designed to exploit high-end GPUs and CPUS with even vast simulation data.

PAID

Diagram Generator

If you’re doing infographics in Cinema 4D, this one is a life saver.

PAID

Dual Graph

Do you want to change a classic Delaunay triangle-mesh to a cell like Voronoi topology, with little effort? Then the Cinema4D python plugin “DualGraph” is for you. It computes the dual graph of the Delaunay tesselation. That means it finds the midpoints of the original triangles and connects these to form new ngons. Resulting in a beautiful mesh.

PAID

Easy Chesterfield

Easy Chesterfield is a Cinema 4D plugin that helps user to create Chesterfield effects for pillows, couches, sofas and similar.

PAID

Cinema 4D – Looping 3D Animation for Instagram and GIF by CG Shortcuts

A great course to start you off on your CG Journey. This course covers an entire project from start to finish and shows you a load of the main features of Cinema 4D along the way.

PAID

Cinema 4D – Ultimate Abstract Art by CG Shortcuts

In this course you’ll learn how to create amazing Abstract Art in Cinema 4D! You’ll be guided through the creation of 10 artworks each covering a different technique and toolset within Cinema 4D.

PAID

Cinema 4D – Daily Render Scifi Scene with Octane Render by CG Shortcuts

Learn how to create a Daily Render in Cinema 4D and Octane render. Create a Science Fiction scene within just 1 day.

 

PAID

Cinema 4D & Octane GeoBoil Effect by CG Shortcuts

Learn how to use particles with mograph
to create this popular effect in Cinema 4D.

PAID

The Octane Materials Masterclass by CG Shortcuts

Everything you need to know about creating great looking Octane materials!

PAID

3d Styleframing & Art Direction by Yeti Pictures

Join forces with Yeti Pictures in this 8.5 hour course and learn about YETI’s production-ready techniques and pipeline.

3D Models

FREE

Disc3D – Small Objects

An open source scanner for small objects.

 

FREE & PAID

Turbosquid

I’ve bought loads of models from these guys in the past. When you consider the time it takes to model from scratch this is often a cheaper alternative. Just have your client factor it into their budget.

FREE

MyMiniFactory

MyMiniFactory merged with Scan the World – an open source collection of 3D scanned models. It also features loads of 3D printable models for sale and free download.

FREE & PAID

GrabCad

Loads of Cad files and 3D printable models for sale and free download, most of which can also be used in Cinema 4D.

FREE & PAID

SketchFab

Another great collection of high quality Free and Paid models.

FREE & PAID

3DSky

Great collection of high quality Free and Paid models on a subscription model. You can download 3 free models per day.

After Effects Plugins and Scripts

PAID

Reelsmart Motion Blur

Rendering 3D passes with motion blur can take forever! But motion blur can realy help sell a shot! Some of the GPU renderers (like Octane) handle this prety well but most of the time it’s faster to add blur in post. If you do a lot of 3D comping this will be your best friend!

PAID

AED Corner Cutters

A collection of 26! scripts to make your life easier in After Effects. Use the included toolbar or use individual scripts in your own workflow. Script icons are also provided if you choose to use them with other toolbars such as ft-Toolbar. What’s new and changed? – Click the version history tab above or simply watch the videos. Version 2.1 – 3 additional scripts included.

PAID

Animation composer

Huge time saver for mograph! I bought this as soon as I found it. Free and Paid plug-in used by more than 50 000 motion designers.

 

 

FREE

FX Console

Speed up After Effects by making it work your way! Manage design progress with the new Snapshot tool and find the effects you need instantly!

PAID

Optical Flares

This is one of the plugins I still find myself using all the time, if used correctly (and not too over the top) it can make your work instantly better! And it plays well with comped 3D elements too. Unleash your inner Michael Bay!

PAID

ORB

Create 3D planet scenes directly in After Effects

 

FREE

Saber

Create High quality energy & lights beams, Realistic Glow falloff, Advanced Core Settings, Built-in Distortion, 50 Presets (View Gallery), Dynamic Text and Mask Outlines, Stackable FX with Add mode.

PAID

Plexus

Plexus is a plug-in designed to bring generative art closer to a non-linear program like After Effects. It lets you create, manipulate and visualize data in a procedural manner. Not only you can render the particles, but also create all sorts of interesting relationships between them based on various parameters using lines and triangles. The workflow for Plexus is very modular allowing you to create truly infinite set of configurations and parameters.

PAID

Copy Pasta

Tired of fiddling around with the render queue to export PNGs? Streamline a process that used to take upwards of ten clicks by exporting directly to your clipboard in one click! The quickest solution for sending your people the snapshots they need!

Editing and Audio

FREE

Audacity

Audacity is a free and open-source digital audio editor and recording application software, available for Windows, macOS/OS X and Unix-like operating systems.

PAID

DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve 15 is the world’s first solution that combines professional offline and online editing, color correction, audio post production and now visual effects all in one software tool!

PAID

Premiere

Premiere Pro CC is the leading video editing software for film, TV and the web. Creative tools, integration with other Adobe apps and services and the power of Adobe Sensei help you craft footage into polished films and videos in one seamless workflow. And Premiere Rush, our new app, is included with your subscription so you can capture footage and start editing on all your devices, anywhere.

Textures, Shaders and HDRI Maps

FREE

Materialize

Bounding Box Software has released Materialize, a free standalone tool for Windows that allows the user to create materials for use in games from images. It is possible to create an entire material from a single image or simply import the available textures and generate only those that are missing.

FREE

3DTextures

Free CC0 seamless PBR textures with Diffuse, Normal, Displacement, Occlusion, Specularity and Roughness Maps.

FREE

CC0 Textures

Over 300 Free PBR Materials, A new one every day. No sign-up. No attribution required. How good is that!!

Stock Photos and Footage

FREE

Pexels

I love this site! Free stock photos you can use everywhere.  Free for commercial use  No attribution required.

FREE

Pixabay

This site is fantastic! Very high quality images available to download at huge sizes, and best of all – they are all free to use however you like!

Productivity

FREE

Camel Camel Camel

I use this when I’m in the market for computer hardware, I got a cheap GPU! This app notifies you when prices drop!

FREE & PAID

Coggle

Coggle is a freeware mind-mapping web application. Like other mind-mapping software, Coggle produces hierarchically structured documents, like a branching tree. This contrasts with conventional collaborative editors, like Google Docs, which provide either linear, or tabular document formats.

PAID

G Suite

G Suite is a brand of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google. Everything you need to do your best work, together in one package that works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet.

FREE & PAID

MacDrive

You’re on a PC but the client has sent you a Mac Drive? Instal this and you’re good to go.

FREE

MyAirBridge

We will transfer your files easily, safely and rapidly from one place to another. You can send them directly to an email address or share files using a unique link.

FREE

Share X

ShareX is a free and open source program that lets you capture or record any area of your screen and share it with a single press of a key. It also allows uploading images, text or other types of files to over 80 supported destinations you can choose from. Get it!

Graphic Design and Resources

FREE

Freebiesbug

Freebiesbug is a web design blog showcasing free high-quality design resources like PSD files, HTML website templates, fonts and other cool stuff.

FREE & PAID

Freepik

More than 3 millions free vectors, PSD, photos and free icons. Exclusive freebies and all graphic resources that you need for your projects.

FREE

GraaphicBurger

GraphicBurger is a buffet of premium quality design resources offered for free to the community. Here you’ll find exclusive PSD files “cooked” in-house along with featured top-notch freebies from creatives around the world.

FREE

PSDDD.co

Launched in 2012, Photoshop Sketch Design Develop Discover (PSDDD) was formed after recognizing a need within the web and mobile app design community. It was two-fold really: designers not only needed convenient access to reliable, high-quality resources in one space, but they also needed resources that would improve the way they worked.

FREE & PAID

PureRef

PureRef was created to be a simple and lightweight tool for artists to organize and view their reference images. Following is an overview of the features and at the bottom you will find a list of keybinds.

Building a Portfolio

FREE & PAID

WordPress

WordPress is used by 30.6% of the top 10 million websites as of April 2018. As such, WordPress is the most popular website management or blogging system in use on the Web, supporting more than 60 million websites.

 

 

PAID

Bluehost

I’ve tried a lot of hosting companies in my time, but after much trial and error I can honestly say Bluehost is the best I’ve used so far. They make it incredibly easy to get a new site up and running with their one-click automatic WordPress Blog installation. You can also use your Bluehost account to host multiple domains—no need to pay more for hosting when you’re ready to start another website. Also, they provide outstanding customer service, I usually just use the online chat feature. I highly recommend using Bluehost for your first website, and you can get started now at $3.95/month!

PAID

Theme Forest

You could design your own site or use one of the free templates that come with WordPress – or you can save a lot of time and buy a prebuilt template from Theme Forest! With prices ranging from just $13, do yourself a favour and grab one of these so you can concentrate on the CG and Motion Graphics! You could even grab the one I used for the CG Shortcuts website here!

 

 

FREE & PAID

Behance

Behance is a great tool for show casing your still and video work, and best of all it’s free! According to Behance they are the leading online platform to showcase & discover creative work. Companies can also explore the work and access talent which means you might get work out of it. I personally prefer to have my own custom site with my own domain, I think it makes me look more professional, but it may well be fine for your situation – if your work is amazing it will speak for itself!