By Melanie Slaugh
Melanie is enthusiastic about the growing prospects and opportunities of various industries and writing articles on consumer goods and services as a freelance writer. She writes extensively for internet service providers and also topics related to internet service providers in her area for presenting the consumers, the information they need to choose the right Internet package for them.
If you are a fan of Open Wonderland, then you know how helpful it is to start your world building project with existing 3D models. Since Open Wonderland uses 3D models in .kmz (Google Earth) or .dae (COLLADA) formats, compatible file downloads can be difficult to find, especially ones you don’t have to shell out big bucks for.
Most Open Wonderland users are familiar with the Google 3D Warehouse, but there are other sites that also offer 3D models for free.
Some of the sites have more variety than others, and some of the sites have some great models, but not in compatible formats. For those, you can often use the models if you can convert them. For educators, Autodesk makes all of their 3D modeling tools available for free from their Autodesk Education Community site, so even if you don’t know how to use those tools, it’s not too difficult to learn enough to convert from one file format to another. When browsing these sites, keep in mind that for a real-time environment like Open Wonderland, you will get the best performance with models under 2MB.
- Google 3D Warehouse – The accompanying website for Google SketchUp where modelers can upload, download and share three dimensional models. When you have access to this, you have access to tons of free 3D models.
- OurBricks – This is a small but growing site with almost all models in COLLADA format. One unique feature of this site is that it supports animated COLLADA models, some of which work well in Wonderland.
- TheFree3DModels–This site offers a variety of free 3D models in various formats. You can’t use the search box to find ones that are compatible with Wonderland. They are out there, however. You’ll have to scroll through the listing to find them, though all models are clearly labeled with file types, which helps.
- 3DVia–This site requires you to sign up, but it is still free. You can download various 3D models, made by people like you. You can also upload your models, so that you can access them anywhere and share them with others. It is super easy to search by file type, which is a huge plus! They also have a very large selection to choose from.
- TurboSquid–This site has 3D models you have to pay for plus free ones. The search for free brings up over 7800 results, so the selection is good. Finding compatible formats is a little harder. There is no good search for them, so you will just have to look manually. The format types are listed in the thumbnails, however. If you do opt to pay for a model, TurboSquid will convert the model to .dae for no extra charge.
- Exchange3D–This site is also a mix of free and pay 3D models. The bad thing is that you can’t search for just the free ones. You have to hunt them down. The good thing is that you can search for the format types. At least it is some help.
No matter what type of 3D model you are looking for, someone out there has probably made it. Save time and energy by taking a few minutes to search these six websites. Maybe you can find a free model to use. If not, remember to share your creations with the world, and help out other fans of Open Wonderland.
You can contact Melanie at slaugh.slaugh907 @ gmail.com.