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25 Jan 2017

3D design heaven: TOP countries and designers rocking CGTrader in 2016

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We often talk about globalisation, but there is likely no other industry that is so united and global as computer graphics. With technical knowledge accessible online and the digital nature of 3D artwork, there is no surprise that any creative person in any corner of the world can get recognized and rise to the stars. At the same time, there are traditions and strong designer communities demonstrating consistent development over the years.

This year has been quite eventful for the 3D artist. From creative models for games to models being designed for augmented reality, the market has expanded exponentially. The most recent data from CGTrader unveils that 3D designers came from 128 countries to CGTrader in 2016. On the other end - customers purchasing 3D assets represented 113 countries in 2016. This is not the whole world, but CGTrader team will definitely try to get Vatican City engaged in 2017. And before that, let’s look at what countries were the most active last year... and by the most active we mean uploaded the most models to CGTrader.

In 2016, Ukrainian designers were leading the rank on CGTrader closely followed by 3D modelers from Russia. Ukraine and Russia has always been known for strong CG and game developers communities with a number of annual CG events taking place (there is even kind of a brand “CG Event” with its great low poly chilli-pepper as a logo and series of events across countries). There were also a number of US designers joining and contributing to the platform, which has long tradition, HUGE and well integrated CG market.

Top 10 countries contributing the most designs:

  1. Ukraine
  2. Russia
  3. US
  4. Turkey
  5. Poland
  6. India
  7. Italy
  8. Spain
  9. Germany
  10. Romania

Ok, we know what you're thinking - there will naturally be more people doing a particular job between large population countries. Indeed, that is kind of true. Playing around with population by country numbers we see that the landscape is slightly different. However, Ukraine again ranks in the very TOP followed by a number of CEE countries. This is an interesting trend and an indication of further strengthening globalization in the field. We are definitely happy to see the universe of creatives expanding!

Top 10 countries adjusting for population:

  1. Ukraine
  2. Montenegro
  3. Lithuania
  4. Cyprus
  5. Moldova
  6. Armenia
  7. Serbia
  8. Romania
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Czech Republic

CGTrader has also combed through their large database of 3D artists and picked their top selections for 2016. The artists were judged not by a particular model, but based upon their modeling style, online popularity, sales of models, and the uniqueness of their portfolios. Not to be biased against any particular country or artistic style, CGTrader has included the top designers from the TOP 10 contributing countries in 2016.


3D design heaven: TOP countries and designers rocking CGTrader in 2016 1

Top 3D artists from Ukraine (respectively): 3DRTcom, Deckorator


3DRTcom’s simplistic, yet detailed robotic models has earned a place on the list. Offering various formats such as 3ds max and Blender, the top contributing 3D software programs for gaming, most of the models come rigged, UV wrapped and ready to be animated. Additionally, the materials are included in this artist’s packages making it easy for customization of the models.

Stylistically, the models by 3DRTom are low poly quad modeled in most cases. Characters such as the Chibii racers are modeled with clear separations between the components to make animation and app development (as these models are more suited to mobile gaming) quicker. And while the majority of the models by this artist are robotic and sports related, there are a few higher organic models such as goblins, a hare, and the grim reaper which are worth taking a look at.


The second Ukrainian to make the top 3D artist list of 2016 is deckorator. Unlike the former selections, this artist was chosen for the attention not to the main subject of the composition but to the supporting detail models. Deckorator is primarily a plant and decorum 3D artist (hence the name). However, unlike some of the artists on the web, this designer has a keen eye for detail. The models do not have that generic plug-in appearance or the 2D static look, but rather have a depth and dimension, something in high demand within today’s 3D market. The leaves and textures, the play of light upon the plants as well as the bark textures on the plants are highly detailed and modernistic in design.

In addition to the plants, there are several mosaic panels which can be used for architectural renderings and designs. Because the mosaics are easily tiled, scaled, and manipulated within max, maya, unreal, and blender, creating interactive walkthroughs with realistic plants, materials, and supporting décor is obtainable.


3D design heaven: TOP countries and designers rocking CGTrader in 2016 2

Top 3D artists from Russia (respectively): Maxbugor, Littlechild, Crashmgn


Enter into the peculiar with models from maxbugor. Dark and sinister, the models presented are true to the horror genre and perfect for a sci-fi game or FPS. The majority of his creatures are animated with multiple animations in the package.

The reason that this artist was chosen as one of the top 3D modelers for 2016 by CGTrader is due to the immense amount of detail through the texturing of the low polygon characters, the animation sets which show a high level of understanding for form and muscle movement (even though the characters presented are fictitious), and for the model testing in Unity to ensure minimal, if any integration issues between his models and your game or application. From four legged to winged creatures of the dark and mysterious, maxbugor has delivered a trove of treasures.


If you are not into the darker sci-fi and wish to have models which have more of a childlike presence, then you may wish to look at the selection from our second Russian top 3D world designer, littlechild. While the models do, primarily, hold to the sci-fi genre, the texturing and modeling are more in-line with the manga aesthetics. This means that the spaceships and the characters presented have bright colors, sharp contours, and a glossy “toy like” appearance.

In addition to the spaceships and the Anime like content, littlechild has shown a superb grasp of 3D modeling by presenting several low poly, well textured objects. The construction package models are a prime example. What makes this model unique and desirable for the consumer is this. Architects who are in the mist of construction conceptualizations can use the models to visually show that the model is under construction. When paired with a properly modeled architectural design, the architect can merge the two files together so that the building appears to be built.


CGTrader’s last, but certainly not least Russian top 3D world designer for the best 3D designer for 2016 goes to crashmgn. The artist’s portfolio only consists of 9 models, proving that it's not the quantity of the models which make an artist great, but the quality of those models. Highly detailed, the models offered by crashmgn indicate a firm grasp of sculpting 3D software as well as texturing, design, and composition. In his work cyborg bust, the artist definitively captures the organics of the creature, focusing on the folds of the skin and the underlying muscles, while at the same time showcasing his grasp of mechanics and simplistic modeling.

As the gaming industry and fantasy models require more and more detail with demands upon creativity, texturing, and integration between 3D modeling programs, it is a relief to find that all of the models offered within this selection meet the basic requirements for such integration and customization.

The United States

3D design heaven: TOP countries and designers rocking CGTrader in 2016 3

Top 3D artists from USA (respectively): Xfrog, Digimation, Dreamscape


If you are looking to have a garden this year, but do not have the physical space to do so, why not have a virtual one? With the plethora of plants provided by xfrog, it is easy to setup a 3D scene’s foliage. The plants do tend to have the look and feel of a gaming component, but hyper-realism can be obtained with a simple tweaking of some of the materials. The rocks and the terrain are already set up for photo-realism. Game developers and app developers, specifically those which use 3D applications such as Unreal or Cry Engine will find that the rendering of the trees and other plants available is consistent with the requirements for development.

Those which do not want extensive trees, but just want a plant that they do not have to water and maintain can choose from a collection of Zen/bonsai trees. Render out the model and place it on your desktop for a tranquil hassle free addition to your workplace.


Digimation was chosen as the second top 3D designer in the world for the US by CGTrader due to the aviation modeling of this artist. There are several planes as well as jets available on this artist’s portfolio, each with a level of detail accurate to the model being presented. And while the models tend to run low polygon, the design does not suffer for it. Texturing has been done properly with a keen eye for the placement of the maps to ensure that even though the model may be technically simplistic, the output is high quality.

Apart from the planes and jets offered by digimation, the artist also offers some higher polygon organic models including a skeletal model, elbow and joint models, and dental medical models. These models focus on accuracy as they are oriented to the medical profession. With a firm grasp upon mechanical as well as organic modeling, digitimation earns a place as a top modeler.


Those who are looking for something a bit more militaristic may wish to look at dreamscape’s portfolio. There are several helicopters, jets, and airplanes within the portfolio as well as a few bunkers, boats, and missiles. These models are intended especially for low polygon and app development games. The forms are recognizable, but here is not so much detail as to bog down a gaming platform when the model is animated. If developing a FPS game with multiple aircraft (such as a spin off of World of TANKS) then having the ability to have multiple objects within your scene without the game glitching is essential.


3D design heaven: TOP countries and designers rocking CGTrader in 2016 4

Top 3D artists from Turkey (respectively): Icekazim, Semsa, Hossein_Diba


The first Turkish top 3D designer is icekazim. This artist is a master in designing mountains and rock faces for game engines. What makes the models exceptional is the amount of detail which is obtained even on low polygon models (which are ideal for game development). Additionally, the renders and models offered have a reference point for the developer. This minimizes the need to scale and re-texture the models from an improperly scaled asset. For example, if your character is to ascend a mountaintop, then the mountain needs to be momentous. I would have a high level of detail. With some other modelers, you get pixels when you scale up because the model was done small and the textures are too little. Not so with icekazim.

Apart from the fixed rock models, there are several rock architectural, rock packaging, and general models which can be customized to meet your game requirements. If you are not developing a game, you may find that these highly-detailed rocks and cliffs are a perfect addition to your 3D scene as they render very realistically.


When it comes to modeling out a scene with an attention to detail, many people find that the various components take quite a while to model. This is especially true if the scene is an interior space where books, lighting, toys, electronics, and other components are needed. Semsa makes the top 3D designers in the world by CGTrader based upon the diversity of the models and the quality of those models presented.

Ranging from seats on a jeep to dartboards and books, the portfolio of Semsa allows those making a scene to quickly diminish the time it takes to stage an interior space or add the supporting elements to an external render. Additionally, the models which are provided by Semsa are not low detail but rather built according to what they are supposed to represent, such as the Sony Aibo Dog or the PlayStation 3 with controllers.


Take a look at the image above. If you did not know that this was done by a 3D artist, would you think that it was a picture? I would. The ultra-photorealistic models by hossein_diba make this artist a top choice for Turkish 3D modelers. The models from this artist have all been textured and modeled with a keen eye for the subtle details which make hyper-realism believable. Whether this is the stubble on a man’s cheek, imperfections on the skin. Crow’s feet wrinkles, or pimples/blemishes such adds to the perception that a 3D model is real and organic.

Hossein Diba’s models are primarily celebrity based (but who would not want to rig and animate their own James Bond or Wolverine?) but there are also other non-celebrity/human models available including a deer, a horse, and eagles. If you are looking for a model that is hard to decipher from the real thing, this is a portfolio to explore.


3D design heaven: TOP countries and designers rocking CGTrader in 2016 5

Top 3D artists from Poland (respectively): Rescue3Dcom, Evermotion, CGAxis


As the name rescue3dcom would suggest, the images and models offered by this artist are primarily based upon rescue service vehicles. Trucks, ambulances, police vehicles, and some of the supportive buildings are offered including an emergency radio tower. It is like having your own search and rescue resource page for your 3D projects.

Apart from the rescue vehicles, rescue3dcom also offers an ample amount of community based vehicles and architectural buildings. Buses, postal vehicles, gas stations, lawn mowers, dump trucks, street sweepers, and such are all part of the portfolio. 3D composites which require rescue vehicles, exterior supporting models, but not the high polygon counts of hyper-realism, may wish to look at this top 3D designer’s page on CGTrader.


Evermotion presents a testimony of what a 3D artist can accomplish when given the proper tools and taking the time to do things properly. Oriented in architectural and organic realism, the artist captures a level of hyper-photorealistic quality which is not commonly seen amongst 3D modelers. The fruits and vegetables modeled do not only present the exterior but there is an interior focus as well. Staging of the food can be accomplished without going to another page, as the artist has several different interior spaces available.

The models presented here are not just for the 3D world. Bloggers who need to have a commercial grade kitchen, and do not want to spend the funds to rent such for photoshoots, can have one. Food critiques needing something a bit more original for their page than a stock photo may wish to have their own models staged and rendered. Whatever the reason, the result will be realistic beyond compare.


The last of the top Polish top 3D modelers is cgaxis. This artist was chosen due to the functionality of the models in the portfolio. Many times, a client will require a product to be showcased in 3D. This is especially true for retail products such as shirts, shampoos, shoes, and bottled products. The models provided by cgaxis allow for the purchaser to integrate his or her 2D designs into the materials of the 3D models. For example, the mannequin models have shirts and jeans which can easily be textured with screen-print designs or alternative fashion designs.

Those which already have a definitive branding may wish to see how their brand will look within a retail setting. Where you could pay an extensive amount to a retailer to stage your product or carry your line, you could also use a shelving model and an interior retail model to stage the scene youself. Coupled with the functionality of the models presented by cgaxis is a high quality output, all qualities demanded in today’s online retail marketplace.


3D design heaven: TOP countries and designers rocking CGTrader in 2016 6

Top 3D artists from India (respectively): Nomansafiy, Sabahath11, Mohitpundir28


Explainer videos and whiteboard animations are all the rage in today’s media dominated world. As such, those which are online a great deal tend to find that the models and the presentation gets a bit repetitive and redundant. This is mainly caused by those creating the explainer videos and animations using overly used stock images and models. Nomansfiy gives the option of using a customizable cartoon character for your videos and marketing.

With the ability to change the eye color, hair color, put your logo on the shoes, and remove the glasses, not to mention the ability to change the skin color and remove the hair if you wish, this character become a very useful asset to creating visual content for your or your client’s business. When fully rigged and coded, you can also have the characters offered by Nomansfiy provide user interactivity.


When looking at the qualifying top 3D designers for India, CGTrader looked for an artist showcasing a grasp of light and shadow as well as modeling. Sabahath11’s profile has such in abundance. The use of light, specifically reflective lighting and the lighting of glass, make this designer a top pic. In modeling, it was pleasing to see that the fixtures were not solely dependent upon the revolution function in 3D Studio Max and Maya (this meaning that the artist makes a profile and then clicks a button to make the shape), but created artistic pieces which are not completely symmetrical in design, or vases and containers whose textures could not be made with the revolve.

Going beyond just glass, Sabahath11 couples the staging and portfolio with many flowers and plants. When staged properly, as in the picture above, the flowers bring a sharp focal point to the 3D renders. Perfect for luxury magazine renders, architectural interior renders, and for exterior patio compositions, the pieces in Sabahath11’s profile are definitely worth considering.


Mohitpundir28 is chosen as one of the top 3D designers in the world for CGTrader because the models offered by this artist are easily manipulated and customized. This allows for the customer to quickly create crowds, individualize the character for games and/or apps, and other such needs. Both a male and a female model are offered as flight attendants, but one could easily change the suits to black to have formal wear. The female’s attire could be shed and a dress could be placed upon the model as well. Simple and functional.

In terms of the modeling, the figures presented are rigged and ready to go into a 3D program or gaming software. You will need to do facial rigging should you wish for lip sync and facial animation. However, for general purpose animations, for game characters, and for quickly manipulated models, the portfolio of Mohitpundir28 is one to consider.


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Top 3D artists from Italy (respectively): Codethislab, GuidoVrola, Brex


Game design requires a great deal of coding and models, especially if you are creating a game in which multiple characters interact with one another. Being able to have animated characters which are rigged is ideal, and it is for this reason that codethislab entered this list.

It is hard to find a model on codethislab’s page which is not game ready. Most of the models have even been tested within the top gaming programs to ensure that they can and will function properly. What makes these models ideal for game developers is that even though they are low polygon (which yields to quicker movement in a game) they are not choppy or polygonal in appearance, but smooth and organic. If sports are not your game’s goal, perhaps zombies are. With enough models to create a full FPS zombie game, all you need to do is provide the environment.


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your own gallery of sculpture busts but lack the money to buy all that marble? Well, here is your solution. Guido Vrola is a master in creating historical figures in 3D and presenting those figures in the classical bust statue format. There is a clear level of detail and a focus to give the models that classical marble look. The hair is stylized, but not in a bad way. The overall aesthetics of the busts leaves the viewer with a sense of refinement and artistry. Models can be rendered or (for the most part) printed on a 3D printer.

In addition to the classical, Guido Vrola’s portfolio is also peppered with medical reference models such as the human brain, a human heart, and dental. It was attributed as a great addition to the portfolio that such was found as all of the great Renaissance artists tended to have an extensive grasp of human anatomy. Coupling the traditional with modern 3D modeling technology, Guido Vrola is accurately named one of CGTraders’ top 3D designers in the world for 2016.


Picked for the marketability of the models and the business oriented selection, models created by brex are ideal for the person seeking 3D representation who may not have an extensive knowledge of 3D. For example, if your company is hosting a webinar and you want to give your clients the impression that the seminar is located at a physical location, you could use the TV arenas offered, and then integrate your video onto the screens. Perhaps you are a band and want to give the impression that you have had a huge concert. Use one of the arenas, add some of the lighting fixtures which are offered to give it more realism, and plug in an audience and you are set.

Those which are not oriented to online conferences and presentations may wish to focus their attentions more on the development and proper rendering of physical products which will be offered in their retail stores. Brex offers a number of staging solutions for 3D conceptualizations ranging from various lights to the artistic studio setup. And while the portfolio of brex cannot guarantee that your presentation will be a success, with all the models available and the diversity of business oriented models, it is a step in the right direction for any marketing endeavor.


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Top 3D artists from Spain (respectively): VKModels, 3dmoelman, Anatomium


VKModels was chosen as one of Spanish top 3D Modeler in 2016 for the number of detailed buildings offered. When creating a game, specifically when creating a game for driving, you need to have a number of variable buildings to give the game a realistic or at least a convincing sense of motion and distance. For many game developers, this is problematic. You either have to model out several buildings yourself which cuts into the budget and timeline, or you have to purchase several models which can get to be rather expensive.

The buildings offered in VKModels portfolio are generally in bulk, meaning you can get 4 or more buildings for a lower price. Where you can also purchase individual buildings, most will find that the multi-building option works best. In terms of the modeling, the buildings have enough textures and details to make them visually appealing in a game while omitting superfluous details which would bog down the render time and playability of the game.


There are many situations in which a person requires little 3D to relate a message or a point. For example, if an artist has taken a picture of a painting on the wall and wants to show how that painting would look when hanging above a sofa, then that person only needs a sofa, not an entire interior 3D scene. Additionally, those who already have the interior elements in 3D, such as architectural conceptualization artists and drafters, do not require a complete scene but just supporting elements. Hence, 3dmodelman’s portfolio.

3dmodelman’s selection of chairs and sofas is superb. The detail to the fabric, the design, and the luxury of the chairs and sofas makes the models really pop. What was found to be an additional plus was the fact that the models did not cater to one specific fashion, but rather had a wide range of selections. Because of such a large selection, those seeking leather upholstered chairs can find such as well as those seeking chrome or aluminum framed outdoor seating.


The final Spanish artist for CGTrader’s 2016 top 3D designers is anatomium. Unlike other artists who have a wide range of model genres, anatomium’s models are only catered to anatomical representation. This is a benefit to the artist as it shows that a careful consideration to the realistic presentation and modeling of various parts of the human body has been taken. For those in the medical profession seeking an accurate model, this is where to find it.

Models in the anatomium collection include bones, muscle, and nerve systems. The model of the full female human body is not rigged, and so those wishing to have interactivity will need to keep that in mind. However, for those which need to show a client where a surgery will take place, explain to a class how a certain muscle works, or just those seeking a reference to help them in their academic studies, the models here are sure to help.


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Top 3D artists from Germany (respectively): JonnyDjango, Renderpeople, Pure3D


If you are interested in monsters, zombies and darker creatures, then the creations of jonnydjano may be for you. The creatures which are offered on this portfolio definitively fit within the horror genre. Most of the models have sheers or some variation thereof. Details on the creatures do showcase the artists grasp of anatomy. In terms of texturing, there is more of a printed model/Claymation feel. Those who are looking for high levels of detail with a classical feel may be pleased.

In terms of integrating the models into projects, the creations of jonnydjano tend to be rigged. You will need to make animation sets for your game, but such can easily be accomplished. Materials are given with the models allowing you a level of customization. Those looking to have a FPS game may want to add or remove details from the models to add variation.


Most 3D scenes require people, and as such a lot of time allocated to making the scene realistic. Renderpeople makes the top 3D designer of 2016 list based upon a number of factors. First, the portfolio shows a diversity of ethnic groups. This large selection makes finding and populating a public scene a great deal easier. Secondly, the models presented are high poly and highly realistic. From the pores on the skin to the level of detail in the hair, each model presents itself as a highly-detailed work of art. Finally, the male to female ratio of models in the portfolio made Renderpeople a top selection for 2016.

The models offered by this artist are not to be used in gaming as the polygon count would be far too high to obtain optimal results. However, the models are ideal for compositing and rendering your own static images (such as a business conference, someone sitting on the edge of a tub, or as stock people in an architectural conceptualization). It beats having a stock image any day.

Making avatars for a mobile app or need a customer represented image for instant chat? Try using one of these models.


Michael Betke, also known as Pure3D, rounds out the German top 3D modelers for 2016 with his collection of game ready buildings. The buildings are low poly with a fair amount of detail. Because of the texturing and the design of the buildings, the cottages, Arab city building and medieval buildings presented are ideal for CryEngine or Unreal Engine.

Building an open world environment for a FSP or AAA game requires a bit more than just some well textured low poly buildings and a modeled terrain. Supporting elements are required. Pure3D offers a low poly trees, plants, pines, props, and rocks to get you started. So, if you have ever wanted to start your own world, here is the starting point at which to do so.


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Top 3D artists from Romania (respectively): evozongamestudio, Paul_paslea, Mircea_M


Perhaps one of the best cartoon gaming artists on CGTrader, Evonzon Game Studio offers 5 bundle packages. These packages are the battle car pack, siege weapons pack, Fantasy World Pack, Power Up Packet, and the .fbx + .tga formatted siege weapons pack. The reason for this artist’s place in the top 3D designers is not due to the packages, but rather to the style and the design of the models within each pack.

It is clear to see that these models are intended for a more cartoonish style of game. Yet, even though they are cartoonish, they are not necessarily for 2D apps. One can easily use the elements as part of a MMORP game, an open world game, or for an animation. What we found really appealing about each element in the packages is that there was a focus on detail. Whether the artist was making a hinge to a siege weapon, or the flying pirate ship, the feel was that of an artist who understands shading, texture, detail, and dynamics.


While we were impressed with the illumination models which Paul offers, it was the high level of detail on his AX-7 Assault rifle which gained him a spot in the top 3D modelers of 2016. Yes, there are several 3D modelers which have made assault rifles, but there are few which do so without the necessity of the textures carrying the model. To explain, in many cases the model will be very geometric and plain, there will not be depth to the model. The artist will use the shadows and texture to give it depth. This is not the case with the AX-7 by Paul. The model stands on its own, the textures just accent it.

Apart from the AX-7 Paul_Paslea has an amazing level of detail in his other models. The chairs, lighting, and cabinets shows that he has a firm grasp on modeling principles and design, making him a proper choice for 2016’s top modelers.


The final top 3D modeler from Romania and from 2016 is Mircea_M. Simplistic in geometry, but with the details needed for composition, the portfolio of this artist pleased us. While there are some profiles which are weighted with several variations of the same model just with different textures, this artist has chosen to focus on the design elements of their pieces. Each of the chairs which are presented have an artistic design, and you can easily envision the chairs as part of a studio.

The choice to have Mircea_M in the top designers was based upon the concept that sometimes less is more. All the models offered can be easily customized, added to, integrated into architectural conceptualizations, games, and static renders. With the simple changing of materials and perhaps a bump map the level of detail can be changed. Mircea_M is a great conclusion to our collection of fine 3D artist in 2016.

These are the CGTrader pick of top 3D artists that stood out in 2016. Do you think there are other artists that are definitely worth of at least an honorable mention by standing out with their quality and uniqueness in CGTrader? Let your thoughts out in the comments below - and have a productive 2017!