I’m Aivis Astics, 3D freelancer from Latvia. I created my first 3D model in 2008. I was working in a furniture factory, where I was making 2D drawings for woodworkers and customers. My boss asked me: can you create a cupboard in 3D? I said, I can try! So I started creating my first 3D model in AutoCAD and after that I was really interested in 3D. Here is my first interior visualization, created in AutoCAD in 2008.
In 2013, to see how I had grown, I remastered this scene, and recreated it in 3ds Max.
Selling Stock Models
I started selling 3D assets in 2012. I didn’t have many assets to sell, but developing a source of passive income was a good idea. I was publishing models that I had made during my learning process to online stock websites. My income from it was really small, but I didn’t give up and in 2014 started to create models for sale. I was creating 3D models for interior visualizations: furniture, appliances, lighting, plants, decorative objects, etc. It wasn’t an easy path when, after spending all day at work, you need create models for sale. In 2017 I quit my job and began to concentrate only on 3D. My plan had been to develop 3D asset selling so I could quit my job; I don’t like to wake up so early and I wanted more freedom. 🙂
I spend all my time thinking about what to create and creating new models for sale. Creating models take time. There is modeling, naming, unwrapping, texturing, rendering, and then you need to prepare the models for sale: archive, naming, tags, description, upload, and in the end it takes lot of time to publish a model. Last year I didn’t have time for something new, but I plan next year to start making low poly models for game dev.
Inspiration for New Assets
What to create next? These words are always in my head. One day I went to the drugstore and as soon as I entered I understood that what I needed to create next was “pharmacy stuff”. 🙂 Or, when you are thinking about what to do next and you have cookies and fruits on the table, sweets and fruits is the answer.
I typically think about how much I would pay for a model and try to price models to be available not only for companies, but for freelancers and education.
It’s impractical to price assets according to the amount of time you spent on them. For example, I spent a lot of time creating this pineapple. I can’t price it around $100 because I think no one will buy it at that price; I need to price it lower to get sales. Sometimes I adjust prices, if models don’t sell for a long time. I drop prices and watch what happens. I was experimenting and discovered that in the end dropping prices didn’t increase sales.
I do not promote my 3D models. I don’t have a website, but I think I will create one sometime, and I don’t share models on social media, because I don’t use social media. I have an account on Facebook, but I don’t use it :).
Setup on Sketchfab
I use a neutral color HDRI and a solid background. In my latest published models I use a custom background. When all models have the same background, the presentation looks much better. It becomes much easier to view multiple items in a portfolio. If models have different backgrounds, your portfolio gets really messy and it becomes harder to view models.
One more thing that I discovered recently is “ground shadows” baked AO. It gives a really nice smooth shadow under objects. I really love this feature. Example below:
Why Sell on the Sketchfab Store?
On Sketchfab first of all I like 3D models in 360°. You don’t need to make a lot of previews, wireframes, and checker renders to publish models. I think for a client it is important too; there is no need to scroll through images, just rotate and zoom the object and you can see all sides of a model. The seller can’t hide anything.
At the moment I am trying to take a niche in mock-up, hi-poly realistic single models. Models for advertising, such as magazines, cosmetics, bottles, cans, candies, fruits, and other stuff what can be used in advertising.