Hello there, my name is Zack Ciminera and I live near Annecy, in France. I started doing 3D in 2019 a little bit by accident, just to learn something new and I quickly wanted to dig into all aspects of 3D. I love making stuff related to nature by adding animations everywhere I can. I mainly use Blender and Substance Painter for making my models. Sometimes I do photogrammetry.
I started selling models in 2021 because I wanted to finance 3D softwares. My first goal was to make enough money to buy a Substance Painter license. I quickly realized that my animations interested people, so now I try to be more active selling models to see where it can take me!
My state of mind as a seller is to not try hard to sell models. I treat it like a game, and use the possibility of income as an inspiration and motivation to push me to finish my projects. For me 3D is, and will remain, a passion!
Deciding what to create
When I just want to create something, I seek what could be “missing” on the Sketchfab store to get inspired. I look at the best-selling models and try to make similar things myself by adding cool animations. Most of the time, however, I get inspired by just seeing something cool somewhere—something whose movement or look I like. It can be a giraffe running in a documentary, or a ladybug taking off in my garden, and I’m obsessed with finding a way of transposing these moments into 3D. The more challenging it is, the more fun it is!
When the fun part is over, I do extra work to make my model usable by as many people as possible.
How my assets are used
It’s very hard to find out how my works are used, but when I have the occasion—mainly when the buyers contact me for questions—I ask them what use they have of it. So here are some use cases I gathered:
- Sage Morei using my snake for a few seconds of his really cool music clip.
- Mateus.vfx made a video mixing a real video of a city with my butterfly.
- Also a lot of people using my model for VR and AR or for making different kinds of videos
Prices and promotion
When I have to set a price for my models, I mainly focus on 2 axes, the complexity and time that a model requires to be made, while keeping in mind the prices set by other artists for the same kinds of works.
After tracking my sales over time, I adjust by increasing the price of the models that sell well and lowering those that sell less, while trying to stay close to existing market prices.
I try to highlight each new model by making short videos, which I then share on my different social networks (Twitter / Instagram / ArtStation). When I’m very happy with my videos, I publish them on Blender Artists. Sometimes I upload gifs and stickers on giphy.
I try above all to make my scene as beautiful as possible by staging my models. For example, I add a ground shadow for animals that walk, I add a stick so that my dragonfly can land on it, I adjust the post-processing to get nice visual results (but without exaggerating them so as not to mislead buyers).
I also make sure my thumbnail is as attractive as possible. In my opinion, this is one of the most important things because it is what will make people click on a scene.
Before becoming a seller on Sketchfab, I used it a lot for learning; I looked at the models to try to reproduce their rigs, topology, and textures. So it was natural to set up a store here.
Also, the Sketchfab viewer is really awesome. It can run complex animations in real-time without problems—it’s a powerful tool for highlighting 3D work.
The commission on Sketchfab (12%) is also very low compared to other 3D marketplaces.
Good opportunities for new assets in the future
I think AR and VR are taking up more and more space, these domains are growing fast and people need models to showcase in their applications.