A thorough knowledge of anatomy, scale and proportions are necessary to not only create convincing-looking 3D humans but also to create believable creatures and characters of any description.
The solution to making this task easier, especially for those new to the world of 3D modeling and Sculpting is to download and make use of a base mesh, basically, a model that you can use as the base to build your own creation on top of.
There are many talented modelers and sculptors out there who have generously made their own base meshes available as a free download, varying greatly in detail and versatility these base models can provide the beginner 3D artist with the perfect springboard from which to unleash their creativity and create convincing looking characters for games, 3D illustration, comics and a myriad of other potential applications.
The Graphic Assembly has ventured out onto the World Wide Web to find the best Free 3D Character models and base meshes to use in Blender, ZBrush or your personal 3D software of choice. Meet Blenda and Blendo the male and female base bodies created specifically for the free open-source 3D modelling software Blender.
This stunning couple was created by YouTube Blender tutor and game designer Royal Skies for his own personal projects and creations, who has very genourously made these male and female base meshes available to the Blender community absolutely for free.
Blenda the female base mesh is the most detailed of the two figures and is fully rigged, weight painted and ready to go, with 148 total bones, 22 correction bones, 49 correction drivers, 59 mesh correctional shape keys, 59 shape key drivers, 49 poses and 4 organised libraries with hair physics, jiggle physics and colour cordinated, custom deigned, easy to see bone shapes for both the left and right side of the body.
Blendo the male model while lacking Blendas detail, is still fully rigged and is the ideal base model for Blender 3D artists to build upon.
Originally designed for ZBrush this Stylised Male Hero Base model also comes in .obj format so can be imported into any 3D modelling software of your choosing, including Blender. The perfect start for your next superhero, comic book style character.
Another ZBrush creation by the talented Rodesqa, comes this stylised female base mesh, which will act as the springboard for all your female character modelling needs.
Also available as an obj file and totally free to download on CubeBrush, so what are you waiting for? Download it while it’s still free. If you require a base mesh with a higher level of detail, then this free athletic looking female base mesh is hard to beat.
No textures or materials are included and this detailed female character is not rigged but she is anatomically correct and will provide an excellent base mesh for your next female character.
The Anime Realistic Male Base Mesh is also anatomically correct and highly detailed consisting of 8,790 polygons and 319,542 vertices.
The download also includes brow, beard and hair curves, all in .obj format for your convenience. The perfect starting point for your next male character.
This stunning 3D male figure which reveals the muscles laying beneath the skin (ecorche) is the perfect 3D anatomy reference for both 2D and 3D traditional or digital artists everywhere.
In order to sculpt or model a convincing three-dimensional character, being able to see the underlying musculature is of enormous value and this highly detailed free male ecorche model by talented Russian artist Dmitry Fedorov is a must-have addition to everyone’s 3D character model library.
Available as a free download in .obj format, this stunning figure can be easily imported into any 3D application including Blender and from there can be used as a highly detailed base mesh for sculpting or modelling.
This amazing and free stylised Teenage Mutant Ninja blockout figure, features Leonardo in all his glory complete with samurai swords and is the perfect TMNT base model for any fan of the comic book heroic turtles, or anyone learning how to create sophisticated cartoon characters for comic books, games or movies.
The free download is available as a .blend file, a .fbx file or a .obj file. with the BLEND file having the advantage of consisting of seperate objects for each body part allowing for easy posing and animation within Blender.
If you are learning how to create 3D cartoon characters from scratch, then you will realise what a complicated and difficult process it can be.
Give yourself a head start by downloading this amazing 3D cartoon cat character model which will give you amazing insight into how characters are created within Blender.
Even stylised cartoon like characters still need to follow simple rules of proportion and anatomy to look convincing.
Wolf with Animation
This incrdible 3D cartoon base mesh will allow you to easily build your own cartoon horse inside Blender without having to worry too much about these important details, as all the hard work has already been done for you.
If you want to use the model without the animation you can simply reset to bind pose or disable the skinning entirely.
You may also turn off the wolf’s mane since it is skinned separately.
You can also do it the other way around. If you already have a quadruped model you can bind it to the existing joint chain and use the quadruped cycle.
Drunk Troll Tavern
This stylized environment piece easily blends in a mobile game platform because of its low poly count.
While the interior is not modeled, the exterior makes up for it. It presents a proper silhouette that can clearly be viewed from various distances and vantage points.
The entrance has a parked carriage and a signboard that shows several written announcements. There is a bar on the top floor that features beer barrels and bottles of liquor with stables below at the rear end of the tavern that add a nice overall touch.
Also the tavern shows a mix of materials and fixtures including metal details, cloth banners, windows, ropes, bottles, and aging wood.
With a little bit of texturing you can make use of an environment that can act as a venue to numerous stories.
Baba Yaga’s Hut
Baba Yaga’s Hut is set up as a location that’s VR and film friendly.
This stylized piece is well-dressed with various focal points starting with a witch and a boiling cauldron. Not far behind is a hostage trapped in a cage.
On the river we see several rescuers including a priest holding a cross and knight preparing for an attack.
The scene is surrounded by a cloudy mist, adding to its mysterious ambiance. Despite not being a part of the action the interior is also populated with several items such as potions, candles, and a broomstick.
There’s also the nice touch of another witch apprentice and an accomplice bat flying around.
One of the staples of environment prop designs are barrels.
A scene looks more organic with a pile of barrels in a corner giving the sense of a recent occupancy. With this free download you’ll have several barrel types ranging from a standard storage barrel to a beer barrel.
The models come with PBR textures that are ready for Unity and Unreal Engine. The author also conveniently provides several exchange formats such as FBX and OBJ extensions.
This model comes with the complete PBR textures which is a nice benefit.
What makes this model unique is its emissive texture which is a must for any futuristic or post-apocalyptic setting.
After the proper set-up you’ll see the screen lighting up the whole scene. You can take this further and animate the texture like the model in the Advance Tiling for Environment demonstration.
This model can also serve as a good base for a modular asset that can populate a space ship command center or docking control bay.
To be upfront, this model does not have a well-organized hierarchy. You may need to clean up certain aspects if you want to modify the asset.
But needless to say the scenery looks good based on the Blizzard style of glowing features and details.
With a night scene the model shows off its magic with its emissive texture. Also through this model you’ll get a glimpse on how to create basic but appealing foliage.
This goblin warrior is close to a AAA character with such attention to detail.
The author made several interesting design choices to add to the menacing nature of the goblin: nails instead of thread line the side sole of its footwear, and a shield that looks as if it was torn straight from a door.
The main leather material complements all the other elements of the design including the belt straps, armor, bandages and even on the model’s footwear.
A threatening look is achieved through a mischievous expression, piercing ears, and emissive textures.
You’ll also get a nondescript treasure box that the goblin is protecting. The model is sculpted in Zbrush, polished in Blender and painted in Substance Painter.
So this whole model is meticulously hand-painted and you can tell.
The effort can be seen in the blending of various props. The scene is given detail through a variety of props such as sand, rocks, cacti, barrels, fence, trees, and of course, the tower.
By far, this model is the most detailed on the list.
The model is highly realistic with the proper muscle groups for both arms and legs, as well as its torso—all displayed in its full glory.
The realism also extends to his props: a detailed helmet featuring ornaments and chips, an intricate design on the shield, a flail with a spiked morning star, all the way down to a caligae or Roman leather sandals.
While the model is made in Zbrush, the download also offers several formats such as OBJ and FBX files which you can readily import to Blender.
However you might need to decimate it first as the original model has 19 million points in its highest subdivision.
The site also offers several free models such as a teeth model and a helpful guide on how to retopo a Marvelous Designer model.
Dusty Old Bookshelf
Here’s a cool model divided into many objects: the bookshelf itself and the books.
You can use this to populate an abandoned room, or you can just use the books and put them into an existing shelf or on top of a cabinet.
These models are shipped with PBR textures which adds the dusty and realistic look.
A fruit basket is another prop that gives life to any environment scene, especially a market place.
The download contains various foodstuffs such as grapes, oranges, tomatoes, pears, and cheese.
As this is a low poly model it will not hold well for close-up shots but the model serves as a decent grey box blocking on your scene.
The Great Sword
This stylized model makes a great weapon or even prop in any game.
It features chipped edges that suggests it has been through a lot. The cryptic glowing runes engraved in the center suggests the sword is of magical descent too.
You can treat it as a rare or hero item like the Excalibur where only the righteous can wield it.
With this download you get the three main Pokemon from the Gen 1 games: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander.
It may not be an action piece but it can be a cute figure piece of them huddled together.
Charmander has an additional texture accent with a glowing tale which is great for newbies in the 3D space to study.
This low-poly car ships with a simple texture.
The car comes with a platform too and the model is also segregated in a hierarchy so you can easily move the body and wheels around.
In this model you’ll find several buildings that can populate a city.
For caution’s sake the creator didn’t consider any zoning. However you can still use parts of the model to block your own scene.
The asset also does not have any textures. Maybe this is a good asset to use for brushing up on your painting skills. There are several variations in this asset from a singular home to four-story buildings.
Cartoon Land is a low poly environment based on a rural setting.
It comes with basic textures with different variations of land topology.
As for the models themselves, you’ll get trees, grass, a ranch, and a house, among other items.
If you want to complete the set you can even design your own assets to match the scene.
Vincent is a professional rig made by the Blender Foundation.
The character has an appealing design that can easily blend in a Pixar animated film.
It comes with the necessary bells and whistles for you to animate the character from the IK and FK switch to the expressive facial rig.
To maximize features you’d need to download the BlenRig add-on.
Fortunately, like Blender, BlenRig is free. As the rig has dozens of parameters you may find it hard to navigate in the viewport.
But you can turn off several parameters such as the muscle system for faster playback and simply turn them back on when rendering.
Like Vincent, Proog is a rig made by the Blender Foundation.
As such you can expect that it made use of the latest tools Blender can offer at the time of the model’s creation. Even though Proog has been created for the previous version, he has been updated to work with the Cycles renderer for a more detailed look.
Proog also has hair material you can play around with and study. You can check on how to use Proog’s various rig features by reading more on the download page.
Ballie is good beginner rig to study body mechanics.
You don’t have to deal with the complexity of a facial rig but you can still provide emotion and personality through its shape and movements.
Basically, Ballie is half-bodied rig with only a pelvis and legs.
On the plug side Ballie is already animated once you open the rig. As such you can dive right in and immediately see what the rig can offer your projects.
With its shiny eyes and extra-terrestrial skin, this model’s design will remind you of any recent alien film.
You can animate this model as it is already rigged and ready to go. Although you may need to add custom controls to fit to your taste.
The model also comes a gradient texture with gradient tapers giving it a subtle focus toward the body.
Nikko doesn’t really have a complete facial rig.
However if you want to try to animate penguins like in the film Madagascar this rig is a good start.
It may have a somewhat flawed deformation but it will be good enough for many body dynamics exercises. The rig also features IK legs and arms.
What makes this model stand out from a typical robot is its rear turbine.
This means you can animate flying body mechanics fast. It’s just a bit tricky to work with at the beginning as the model is already in a position rather than in a neutral pose.
However once you get around the model it functions like any other rig.
Sara Tween Girl
Sara is a teen girl model. She has a weighted skin and ships with several textures, pretty standard stuff.
You can use her in anime projects with her pigtails and slightly larger eyes which are just adorable. She comes with a school girl attire, eyelashes, and a hair ribbon accessory.
Low Poly Character
All other characters in the list have already been posed and designed with textures. This last one does not. And for good reason.
This character is made as a low poly base mesh on which to build your own character. In its current state you can easily make a muscular design or give a more chiseled build to a chubby guy.
This also comes skinned so you can immediately build controls on top of it. The model has proper muscle groups in the chest, arms, and legs. You can subdivide the model too and you’ll still keep all the detail.
You can either use it as a base mesh on Zbrush or choose to model on top of it, or just work with this in Blender and have some fun. The sky’s the limit here!