Free 3D Tutorials
Creating beautiful images using the computer has never been more accessible than right now. As we laid out in our previous page, there is a multitude of free 3D software available. The problem is, 3D software can be complex and overwhelming to get started with. Because of this we have created a list of our favourite tutorial sites to get you started on your journey to learning how to create beautiful 3D renders, photoshop paintings and even create 3D models for the use of 3D printing.
General 3D Rendering Tutorials
Obviously, we are a little bit biased, but we provide a wide range of tutorials, information resources, and project examples to begin to understand 3d rendering. Realspace 3D was founded in 2007, our main focus is architectural rendering and architectural animation services. In addition to technical ability we believe strongly in an artistic foundation and recommend honing your artistic talents in addition to your technical ones.
Featured tutorial: This tutorial is a great way to setup your scene in the most efficient way to optimize your workflow.
Lynda is a great resource for individuals looking forward to learning a new craft or two at their own pace. The site covers a variety of topics, including 3D rendering and related crafts. Tutorials vary with regard to the user’s skill level. Perfect for beginners and professionals alike!
Not all tutorials are free, though. Lynda offers a free one-week trial for interested workers. After the trial expires, users can opt to choose between two membership accounts; namely the Basic and Premium accounts. Both accounts require a monthly payment, with the former costing around $20 and the latter costs approximately $30.
Featured tutorial: This tutorial highlights the basics of creating a 3D image using a variety of Adobe software. Perfect for getting acquainted with the process.
This website is dedicated to enhancing the CG craft. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next project or need help in achieving a certain effect, the Ronen Bekerman website is a great source. The website hosts a variety of tutorials created by CG artists. This includes tips shared by Ronen Bekerman himself!
Featured tutorial: Learn more about the process of creating Mohet Sanchaniya’s Kalmar Art Museum in this tutorial. This creation was his entry to the Tomorrow 2017 contest—a contest hosted by the Ronen Bekerman blog.
As we’ve mentioned in our 40 Free 3D Tools blogpost, SketchUp is a popular 3D modeling software. Its intuitive user interface is a popular choice among professionals and newbies alike. Master SketchUp is dedicated to helping its users achieve the full potential of the software. From keyboard shortcuts to creating fixed objects, this site has got it covered for all things SketchUp!
Featured tutorial: We recommend this tutorial for anybody looking forward to learning their way with the software. It covers the subject matter in a concise and appropriate manner.
Here’s another resource for SketchUp fans! Created by SketchUp users for SketchUp users, this website contains resources for CG artists. Want to gather inspiration? Need a stock photo for an effect? Want to cop that render style on your project? This website’s got you covered.
Featured tutorial: This tutorial on creating pool water is an essential one for artists working on water effects. Perfect for a variety of applications where beautiful 3D rendered water comes into place.
3D Total has been around since 1999. The website offers design resources for a variety of software, including SketchUp. 3D Total’s SketchUp tutorials lean towards intermediate and advanced users.
Featured tutorial: Their tutorial on designing and panting dynamic characters is an interesting tutorial for enhancing character designs.
The SketchUp Essentials is pretty self-explanatory. Everything you need to learn about SketchUp is covered in their website. A passion project created by a Colorado native, The SketchUp Essentials will be a great find for beginners.
Featured tutorial: Learn how to make a simple 3D model into a more artistic product with this tutorial. It’s easier than it sounds!
SketchUp School is technically a paid service. However, its business model is similar to Lynda; you get a free week as a trial period to see if what they have is suitable for you. SketchUp School has a certain structure in teaching the software to its members. Their goal is to help you learn how to use the tool effectively and gather all the techniques that are essential in securing 3D rendering work.
Interested in what they do? Take their free trial. If you guys are a good fit, you can proceed to subscribe to their monthly plan for $159 or annually for $1,209.
Featured tutorial: This series tackles on styling your model appropriately to get the best look possible.
Although this website is primarily dedicated to the intricate art of Woodworking, it has some great resources on designing for wood! It showcases the versatility of SketchUp, as you can also use it for wooden objects. Artists who are stumped on how to model wood would find the tutorials helpful.
Featured tutorial: SketchUp Plugins aren’t really brought to the spotlight. This tutorial helps you step your models up by incorporating some SketchUp Plugins.
SketchUcation is another resource website created by SketchUp enthusiasts. The site covers news on SketchUp, tutorials, and resources for the aspiring artist. The group also has their own community, with the forums covering on problem solving and a gallery for their outputs.
Featured tutorial: This tutorial talks about using the Tape Measure tool to its full extent. Useful in measuring objects easily!
Jillian Lare’s website revolves on tips and tricks in helping design students make the best outputs possible. Her tutorials use SketchUp as a tool to create impressive models. It’s not as tough as it looks.
Featured tutorial: Although most people use SketchUp to create 3D models, the software can be used to create 2D ones as well! Learn how to create a 2D floor plan from this tutorial.
This website is dedicated to help aspiring architects in their projects. The editing group is composed of architects and designers. Their aim is to let their visitors learn the things they don’t learn in school.
Featured tutorial: The first part of their SketchUp model house tutorial series is a great introduction in creating a basic 3D architectural model.
This website domain is pretty straightforward: SketchUp Tutorials! Here you’ll find a number of tutorials for new and advanced users. SketchUp resources are also provided, making it one of the best places to hang out for improving your skill with SketchUp.
Featured tutorial: There are countless introduction to SketchUp tutorials, but SketchUp Tutorials’ take on it is a practical guide in learning the basics.
We’ve mentioned them earlier for SketchUp,but 3D Total is also a great hub for Blender tutorials as well! Their tutorials focus on character models and 3D art, so 3D artists and animators may find their content quite useful.
Featured tutorial: This tutorial talks about the trickiest part of coloring: lighting! Learn how to get the a realistic look for your 3D model using Blender.
CG Masters is another website created by a passionate CG community. This website focuses on Blender tutorials. Some of the tutorials need to be purchased, but CG Masters also has free ones up. Their tutorial content ranges from the basics to creating advanced outer space effects, helping fans of Blender improve in their niche!
Feature tutorial: Their tutorial on your Blender setup is a really great one. The tutorial is fitted into a video format, where you’ll learn how to optimize the recent Blender updates and get them to work in your favor.
Blender Guru is a standalone company that provides video tutorials for Blender users. Their tutorials cover different subjects, but their concepts can be applied in creating CG for different industries, like real estate.
Featured tutorial: Blender Guru’s 9-part series for beginners will help take newbies get a head start on what to do with the program. No need to feel overwhelmed anymore!
Blender Diplom is a Blender resource website managed by two passionate Blender artists. The team covers a variety of tutorials and topics for Blender enthusiasts, aside from giving out physical workshops for universities and other interested CG artists. It’s a great place to head into when you’re stuck in a rut and needing some well-needed advice!
Featured tutorial: This tutorial in combing real and fake 3D allows users to use Blender in other unconventional ways. Blender Diplom even notes that you could even skip photo manipulation software like Photoshop after learning this technique. Great to know if you’re saving on computer storage!
Blender Tuts claims with its slogan that you can ‘Learn Blender the easy way’. Founded in 2010 by Spain-based Blender artist Olivar Villar, the tutorials are his way of giving back to the Blender community. The tutorials are in-depth and cover a great detail on what works for the piece and the software. Tutorials aren’t just for achieving effects; there are many guides on improving your workstation and productivity.
Featured tutorial: This tutorial is about one of the hardest things for any artist: shading! The video will help even the newest Blender user find his or her way around their render engine.
Evermotion is a resource website for tutorials for a variety of modeling software. One of their most popular categories are tutorials for Blender artists! Their Blender tutorials cover on achieving certain effects with the software. Expect to get more straightforward tips from this reference.
Featured tutorial: Want to reduce the time it takes for your output to render? Evermotion has a tutorial just for that—using Blender’s latest denoising feature.
Creative Shrimp is managed by Gleb Alexandrov. He started the website to help other enthusiasts improve—because he’s been there before. Gleb’s tutorials focus on Blender, his tool of choice.
Featured tutorial: Remember what we said about Blender being a diverse tool? Gleb shows you that Blender isn’t limited to 3D rendering, but also for typography! Whether you want to try this tutorial out as a break or to learn a new hobby, it’s got some great tips on ensuring your composition is on point.
Blender Nation is one of the oldest and most established Blender communities in the World Wide Web. The website focuses on news, discussions, and learning all related to Blender. This makes their tutorial section one of the richest resources a Blender enthusiast can find. Need to find out how one tool works? Trying to sculpt a model as accurately as possible? They’re reliable community has got it.
Featured tutorial: Some CG artists delve into game development. The trend for most action and questing games is to find powerups or loot in unsuspecting items, like rocks or even barrels. This tutorial shows you how to create a barrel for game development—to make the environment as enticing as possible.
Envato Tuts Plus (stylized as Envato Tuts+) focuses on helping people learn directly from their screens for free. It’s beautiful website and handy tutorials are great for eager learners with Blender.
Featured tutorial: Sometimes the right automobile in your 2D or 3D model can say a lot about the target market your real estate property. In the event you get to design a high-end model, try recreating a low poly Camaro with Envato Tuts+’s nifty tutorial.
Blender Brit focuses on creating video based tutorials for every Blender enthusiast. His videos are hosted on the popular streaming site Youtube, where his videos rack up to tens of thousands of views.
Featured tutorial: Some CG artists work on game development, and some work on animation. Whatever your work entails, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to create a creepy tunnel for fun. This tutorial is heavily inspired from the hit show Stranger Things. An added bonus: Blender Brit gives out some of the textures he uses in this tutorial for free.
Rohan Dalvi is an India-based 3D artist. His passions include 3D modeling and design, and teaching the art. Rohan’s work is usually done with either Houdini or 3dsmax. His personal projects are done with the former.
Rohan Dalvi’s tutorials are based on Houdini, with the goal of helping aspiring 3D artists achieve their full potential with the software.
Featured tutorial: Rohan’s tutorial on procedure modeling is a helpful guide in understand the 3D process. According to Rohan, Houdini became a gateway to understanding proceduralism. This, in turn, helped him understand him how to improve his skills and find his forte: lighting and rendering.
CG Meet Up is a community-based website that covers everything regarding 3D modeling. The website contains news, galleries, and community forums regarding the craft. One of CG Meet Up’s best features is the community-curated tutorials.
These tutorials are free for anybody to access and can come in text or video format. Tutorial topics depend largely on what the community has to offer, but the topic selection seems quite holistic as of this writing.
Featured tutorial: Get to learn more about modeling muscles in this video tutorial. It’s highly recommended for anybody creating 3D models of people or for those in the animation industry.
From the creators of Houdini, SideFX’s tutorials are curated from their community to help their users improve their 3D modeling. Tutorial are categorized into five types: Quick tips, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Masterclass. This means there’s something for you and your level waiting in their website.
Although most of their content is free, some tutorials may need to be purchased. It’s not much to worry about, as most of the tutorials are open access. They also come in a video format, making it easier for you to go along!
Featured tutorial: This tutorial on procedurial truss support system is a good look for architects and architectural artists getting into Houdini. Imagine the possibilities in what you can do once you’ve got this fundamental lesson down!
3DBuzz is a highly recommended website for any CG artist in the making. The website puts the information you need in a straightforward manner, making sure that your focus is on their content. Their tutorials come in a video format and touch a variety of topics regarding Houdini, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user.
Featured tutorial: The complete list of Houdini Fundamentals is definitely bookmark-worthy. It covers everything you need to know about Houdini and how to make the most out of it. If you’ve been using Houdini in a more casual manner previously, these tutorials will help you get into the mindset needed of a professional 3D artist with the software. It’s a great resource for beginners and veterans alike.
Entagma is a modeling resource website devoted to help aspiring 3D artists translate their ideas to visual models—forging practicality and aesthetics. The website is run by Munich-based CG artists Manuel and Moritz, who often create their outputs using Houdini. Both hold creative-related positions in a design studio, making their advice and tutorials quite credible.
Featured tutorial: This advanced tutorial using Houdini’s Heightfields is great for creating terrain models. This makes it useful if you’re creating the landscape of your project and want it to look as accurate as possible.
Houdini Tricks is a Houdini-resource website managed by Erwin Santacruz, a motion designer and developer based in South Florida. The website covers multiple tutorials in improving one’s skill with Houdini, interviews with other successful Houdini users, and other innovative content Erwin has to offer.
Houdini Tricks’ tutorials focus on giving out ‘quick tips’, where you can digest proceduralism one tip at a time. For more advanced classes, the website also offers a Training category, where the tips may need a bit more time to take in.
Featured Tutorial: Most designers want to optimize their work area to help make them more efficient in creating models. This tutorial by Houdini Tricks covers quick marks and how to set them up. This tip is helpful if you’re using Houdini 16 or newer, where going back and forth networks becomes a thing of the past with quick marks.
Peter Quint, or PQHoudini, is a Vimeo user whose videos focus on Houdini tutorials. Each uploaded tutorial has gathered views amounting to around 2,000-5,000 views. Quint’s videos are also uploaded on his Youtube channel, where he’s garnered around 2,000 subscribers as of this writing. Both channels aren’t as updated as they used to be, yet they remain to be a favorite among the Houdini community for their straightforwardness and diversity in topics.
Featured tutorial: This tutorial in Peter Quint’s Youtube channel involves modeling glass. This tutorial is specifically for glassware in a dining context, but the basic principles could be used for other applications—like architecture! The video hasn’t been uploaded yet on Quint’s Vimeo tutorial, making it something of a Youtube exclusive!
Tokeru.com is also known as CGWiki and offers tips in Houdini. The website gives practical advice on learning the basic techniques to shorten the usual learning curve.
CGWiki has two types of tutorials. Shorter tutorials are collated in a single page, separated by headers for each tutorial. An overview of the contents of the page are listed at the top for easy navigation. If you want to jump to another section, you can click the header title and you’ll be redirected there ASAP.
The longer tutorials aren’t as many as the ones from other websites, but Tokeru’s list is a solid start for beginners.
Both tutorial versions have the information typed out, with GIFs demonstrating the process. Perfect for users with poor internet connection and need the information ASAP!
Featured tutorial: Their Quick Tips tutorial page is a treasure mine for beginners. It wouldn’t be fair to single out one specific quick tip, so the whole post gets the feature!
Lesterbanks is a tutorial website managed by the eponymous Lester Banks, a veteran computer graphics instructor. Banks dabbles in 3D design, video effects, and typography, and his tutorials focus on his expertise.
His Houdini tutorials aren’t as many as those listed above, but it appears Banks plans o add more in the future. Tutorial topics revolve from Houdini basics to executing techniques for modeling and animation. If you’re looking for someone to show you how to combine 3D modeling and animation, Banks may be the guy for you.
Featured tutorial: Banks showcases how to animate and model a Penrose Triangle. The object is a popular optical illusion, and has been considered ‘impossible’ to animate. The tutorial comes in a video format, making it easier for beginners and seasoned 3D artists alike to follow through.
Communities dedicated to a specific skill or hobby are a great place to lurk. Everybody is driven by their passion to share their knowledge and help other artists with their skill that gives the content they produce a special kind of charm. The folks at ODForce are quite aware of this.
ODForce is a Houdini-based community. It’s basically a forum, with users posting a variety of content for folks to feast on. One of the popular aspects of the community are the tutorials shared by different users. They’re free and innovative, with the original poster usually posting immediately with regards to any questions that need to be clarified.
Featured tutorial: This smoke solver tutorial is a short but nifty tutorial to simulate gas and smoke effects on your models. The applications for this are endless!
We could give you all the free tutorials the internet has to offer, but in the end, it depends on your discipline to get the work done and to constantly critique and improve your work. Good luck on your modeling journey, and let us know what are your favorite free tutorial websites!