Software tools & resources

In this page you will find many online and standalone software for 3D content, sounds and music creation. A plethora of free assets is also available to you by simply following the links. The software’s and assets are regrouped under the following sections :

1. Free texturing and image tools.
2. Free and commercial modelling, sculpting, animation and mesh optimization tools.
3. Free audio and sound tools.
4. Free assets for many software’s (3ds Max, Maya, Source, Unity, Unreal, etc).
5. Free assets for the latest Unreal Engine.

1. Free texturing and image tools

Handplane is a tool designed with the goal of solving tangent space mismatch issues for everyone. Handplane works by combining an object space normal map with a lowpoly model to create and engine specific tangent space map. This means that artists can continue using their existing baking software to create tangent space normal maps synced with their engine.

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc. GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted. If you intent to use the program, make sure to visit Odedge GIMP tutorials list🙂

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative freeware (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows.

Krita is a sketching and painting program. It was created with the following types of art in mind : concept art, texture or matte painting, illustrations and comics.

Online texture generator and Online Norm/Dis/AO/Spec maps generator is a very easy to use online tool that even support 4K textures resolution!

Roadkill UV Tool load and save OBJ files, Live Unwrap, Live Pin and Pull, Show Polygon Stretching, Topological and Loop Edge Selection.

Spacescape is for creating space skyboxes with stars and nebulas for Windows / OSX.

xNormal is a program to generate normal / ambient occlusion / displacement maps. It can also project the texture of the highpoly model into the lowpoly mesh (complete texture transfer, even with different topologies). Includes too an interactive 3D viewer with multiple meshes and textures format support, shaders and realtime soft shadows / glow effect. It comes with some useful tools like height map, normal map, cavity map, occlusion – tangent/object space and spherical harmonics tools. All these computations are done using multicore / multithreading, distributed / parallel rendering.

2. Free / commercial modelling, sculpting, animation and mesh optimization tools

3ds Max can customize, collaborate and create 3D content quickly. It’s packed with user-requested features and enhancements for entertainment and design professionals.

3ds Max rock generator is a procedural rock generator script for high quality production and real time environments.

Autodesk FBX converter enables you to convert OBJ, DXF, DAE, and 3DS files to or from multiple versions of the FBX format.

Blender is a free open source 3D content creation suite. Everything can be modeled and then export into UE. If you intent to use the program, make sure to visit Odedge Blender tutorials list🙂 Also, Mike Campagnini as made a Blender to ASE export script so make sure to grab it. For those interested in learning Blender or brushing up on some techniques, there is this very well done free e-book / course to run you through it at BlenderCourse.

Coherent UI is a graphical User Interface system especially designed for real-time applications. Developers and UI artists can use standard modern HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to create game interface and interactions. Coherent UI fully supports all HTML5 content creation tools. They also have many tutorials.

Dilay is a free Sculptris-like 3D sculpting application that provides an intuitive workflow using a number of powerful modeling tools. As each tool locally subdivides the mesh where more details are required, Dilay allows artists to rapidly create complex meshes.

IKinema is pretty much the solution to any and all problems you might run into trying to make characters react dynamically to the world around them. Need to point your bow at a monster ? Easy. Want your ogre to punch your character in the face, and not the air near his head ? Simple. Also, they have a ton of how to tutorials on their Youtube channel.

L3DT Standard Edition is a Windows application for generating terrain maps and textures. It is intended to help game developers and digital artists create vast high-quality 3D worlds.

MakeHuman is the free and open source software to create realistic 3D humans for : animations, games, illustrations and Mudbox / Zbrush sculpting.

Maya is a 3D animation software delivers an end-to-end creative workflow with comprehensive tools for animation, modeling, simulation, visual effects, rendering, matchmoving, and compositing on a highly extensible production platform. Whether you work in film, games, television, advertising, publishing, or graphic design, Maya offers state-of-the-art toolsets, combined into a single affordable offering designed to help meet today’s demanding production requirements. Maya delivers new toolsets for previsualization and game prototyping, extended simulation capabilities, and improved pipeline integration.

Meshmixer is the ultimate tool for 3D mashups and remixes. Mash, mix, sculpt, stamp or paint your own 3D designs, or start from over 10,000 models in the Gallery. Now includes direct 3D print support.

MODO is a 3D modeling, animation and rendering program. Originally created by Luxology, a company formed by the fusion of artists and scientists, MODO is a tool that we ourselves would want to use. Designed as a next-generation application with a carefully considered interface and toolset, that works in all together in harmony to provide users with a fluid and intuitive workflow.

Mudbox is a free 3D digital sculpting and digital painting software gives you the freedom to create production-ready 3D digital artwork without worrying about the technical details. Designed by professional artists from the game, film, television, and design industries, Mudbox combines an intuitive user interface with a powerful creative toolset of stencils and brushes for ultrarealistic 3D character modeling, engaging environments, and stylized props.

Photoshop redefines digital imaging with a strong focus on photography; breakthrough capabilities for superior image selections, image retouching, and realistic painting; and a wide range of workflow and performance enhancements. You can also grab those free nice plug-ins made by NVidia. It include texture tools + normal map filter + DDS plug-in + mipster + cube map shuffler. More, check out a Free Seamless Textures Generator by THE ORANGE BOX. It is a simple but time-saving Photoshop action. It generates with just one click a seamless pattern from your picture😀 If you like, directly into the Photoshop pattern palette🙂

Quixel Suite create amazing textures with the industry leading Quixel SUITE. Developed by top industry artists, you are guaranteed the highest quality results and the ultimate artistic experience.

Sculptris is a virtual sculpting software. It is geared toward character sculpting and organic models.

Simplygon is the leading solution for automatic optimization of game content and LODs (Level Of Detail) creation. By replacing tedious and time-consuming manual work, Simplygon offers the benefits of LODs but without the drawbacks of increased production time and development cost.

SpeedTree is a powerful toolkit used to create 3D animated plants and trees for games, animations, visual effects and more.

Sprite Bump will generate HQ normal maps and ambient occlusion maps. You provide the original image and Sprite Bump will handle the rest. Sophisticated but easy to use, Sprite Bump allow you to make stunning characters that look great under different lighting conditions of your 3D Engine.

TerreSculptor HMES is a tool for creating and editing heightmap-based terrain systems targeted mainly for the video game sector. TerreSculptor HMES (HeightMap Editor Software) supports most AAA and Indy game engines using industry standard file formats.

Tree It is an easy to use real time 3D tree generator for the simple creation of your very own 3D tree models apps and games.

Wings 3D is an advanced subdivision modeler that is both powerful and easy to use.

ZBrush is a digital sculpting tool that combines 3D/2D modeling, texturing and painting. It uses a proprietary “pixol” technology which stores lighting, color, material, and depth information for all objects on the screen. The main difference between ZBrush and more traditional modeling packages is that it is more akin to sculpting.

3. Free audio and sound tools

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows / OSX / Linux and other OS’s.

Bfxr is the program of choice for many people looking to make sound effects for computer games.

LMMS produce music with your computer by creating melodies and beats, synthesizing and mixing sounds, arranging samples and much more.

OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is open source software for video recording and live streaming.

SSO (Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra) is a free orchestral sample library. While not as advanced or ambitious in scope as commercial offerings, SSO contains all the basic building blocks for creating real virtual orchestrations. It’s primarily aimed at beginners, but also more experienced composers looking for something lightweight and/or portable might find it useful.

Yamaha VCS-5 is available in VSTi and standalone. The author have built and designed this freeware based on Yamaha’s VCS5 synthesizer from the early 80’s. Every parameter has been carefully modeled to bring you as close to the real sound as possible.

4. Free assets

4.1 Audio

99Sounds is an indie sound design label started by Bedroom Producers Blog. Their goal is to provide free sound effects and sample libraries of commercial quality, at no charge. All of their products is 100% royalty free and offered as such for both commercial and non-commercial use.

Cosmogonical Adventure audio pack is 71 samples for your space adventure or survival type game. WAV 44.1KHz, 16 bit, stereo, royalty free.

freeSFX. The Foundation Sound Effects Library is the result of game sound design expert Stephan Schütze’s recording odyssey across Australia, Asia and North America starting in 2005 and continuing to this day.

Freesound aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, etc released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.

Soundimage.org, a new royalty free music and soundscapes site by Eric Matyas. Eric Matyas is an indie filmmaker and also create original music for his fellow artists and media creators and that’s what his site is all about. He create and offer a wide range of music style, from action to urban music style and can also produce custom music tracks if you hear a piece that you’d like customized, or if you would like him to produce a custom piece for your project.

The Thriller Show audio pack is 73 Samples for your dark adventure, horror or survival type game. WAV 44.1KHz, 16 bit, stereo, royalty free.

4.2 Models

Aipos 3d is a search engine for 3D models downloaded from other websites is an intermediary that allows users to consult a broad range of 3D models present in different portals by providing a direct link to these sites to allow the download of the file.

3D Model Free. All the resources on this site are the website users upload and are not allowed for commercial use.

Archive 3D is a free site where users are free to distribute and modify the file.

Blend Swap is a community of passionate Blender artists who share their work under creative commons licenses.

CreativeCrash is a place where you can buy and sell assets. There are also free assets. It feature a Marketplace, 2D/3D software sections, a community, etc.

ShareCG is absolutely free to use, get an account and upload. The site include lot’s of cool aspects like showcase user work on a sleek and continually improving community site. Easily upload your files. Reach an audience of hundreds of thousands of visitors. Get valuable feedback, comments, and ratings from a community of artists to help user improve. Everything on the site is 100% free to download, drawing a large audience and giving user work the exposure it deserves. And many more cool things.

The Free 3D Models is another free site where users are free to distribute and modify the file.

4.3 Textures

Arroway Textures (costly)
CGTextures (free)
Environment Textures (costly & free)
FreePBR (free)
GameTextures (costly)
Good Textures (free)
OpenGameArt (free)
Texture Labs (free)

5. Free assets for the latest Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine 4 resources page
Unreal Development Kit resources page
Unreal Tournament 3 resources page
Unofficial UE4 Marketplace site

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