Have you visited the Google 3D Warehouse yet? This is an amazing free resource where you can find 3D models of just about anything you can imagine. It’s part of Google Sketchup (Google’s free 3D modeling program) and connected with Google Earth, a worldwide geo-modeling project which aims to put every village, town, and city in the world on the 3D map!* But for someone like me, who specializes in 3D renderings of interiors and exteriors of homes, I’m usually visiting the warehouse looking for furniture, appliances, lamps, or plants to include in my models.
Browsing the “stock” at the warehouse can be addictive — and time-consuming. It has a good search function (no surprise there). But almost every search brings up so many examples that it takes a while to sort through them all to find what you want. And of course, just like shopping at a real store, you always see other cool stuff that you weren’t looking for but have to have (because did I mention that it’s all FREE??).
The 3D Warehouse has been especially useful for Chief Architect software users ever since Chief added a drag-and-drop feature in version X3 — you download the model from the 3D warehouse and simply drop it into your Chief plan, no import process required. So easy even a …. well, we don’t need to go there.
The quality of the models in the warehouse varies. It’s like shopping at a store which carries everything from IKEA to Roche-Bobois to Stickley, all under one roof! And as a general rule, the better the model, the higher the polygon or face count (and I don’t believe the polygon count is included in the model info). Sometimes if you furnish a room with a lot of high-polygon furniture, it can slow the performance of your modeling or rendering programs down to a crawl, so you need to keep an eye on that.
Spending time in the Google 3D Warehouse feels like shopping without a credit card. You can “buy” anything you like — even the Eiffel Tower! The only cost is polygons.