This is a good question, and it is a question I hear a lot from beginners and professionals.
There is nothing wrong with using prebuilt ready-to-use assets BUT…….
If you are a beginner and like to start learning 3D / CGI, don’t use prebuilt ready-to-use assets from the beginning. Instead, you should download an asset and begin to rebuild it from scratch. This way, you learn the modeling principles and how to handle the mesh flow. By doing a couple of assets that way, you increase your modeling skills.
Next, create basic materials and learn how the materials and textures will be applied to the mesh by using and learning UVW unwrapping.
When you understand the modeling, texturing and material workflow, you can differentiate the good from the bad assets.
After some time, you have all the knowledge you need to model an asset and understand the principles. When you reach that point, there is nothing wrong with using prebuilt ready-to-use Assets. Keep up learning and become a professional that loves 3D because you know how things are made and how it works.
Here are some pro and contra about prebuilt ready-to-use assets
- fast workflow
- fast to hold tight deadlines
- Fast feedback on how your scene looks like
- correct dimensions, especially by using OM ( Original Mesh) assets or CAD models
- big-time saver
- the asset is not yours
- the asset is not individual; you will find the assets in hundreds of other renderings
- some assets are expensive
- a lot of free assets are not that good
- no modeling, texturing skills improvement
Now let’s talk about tips and tricks for using prebuilt ready-to-use assets.
One point is in focus here: the asset is not individual; you will find this asset in hundreds of other renderings.
What can you do to break the “that is just a copy and paste rendering.”
- Change the color, material and texture also, try different materials
- Reorganize sets, change position and change the scale if possible
- Add and combine different assets to a new set
Again, there is nothing wrong with using prebuilt ready-to-use assets when you know how to use them.
What kind of assets should you use as prebuild if available?
- plants, trees, bushes, flowers and natural assets are recommended because it needs a lot of time and skills to build those types of assets
- humans in 3D or 2D, except you have the skills to model humans
- cars, except you know how to model cars
So use it and have fun creating 3D worlds….