Question about best upload practice
Hello! My name is Adam, and I am a casual 3d artist looking to contribute! I've been doing some clever (I think!) things with cycles nodes to produce some interesting material effects and a big modular interior kit. I'd like to work towards getting some models uploaded, but I'm not sure how much to share! I could build my models and bake my special materials into various maps, then upload the textured exchange assets, or I could upload the whole blend file. I feel like the whole blend file would be more valuable to a customer, as they could then customize the details of my node layout to suit a specific purpose. However, if I only upload the baked assets, then I would be able to offer style variations as expansions. Obviously, I'd like to make a few bucks, but I don't want to be a charlatan! I want my customers to feel fully satisfied with their purchase, but I also don't want give out my "secret recipe" if I don't have to. How much of a difference would the two options make on the sale price? Would I come across as stingy or greedy by retaining my tricks? Or would fully mapped objs (unwrapped, diffuse, specular, bump/normal, emission, transparency) be valuable enough on their own?
In the end it's all up to you how you want to handle your business, but one of the most downloaded file formats on this website is FBX, since it can be used in just about every software package now. OBJ is also extremely popular. However, one of the most popular formats is the 3dsmax native file format, .max, and Maya's .ma. C4D is also popular on this website. Blender is not quite as popular here as it may be in other markets. People who offer only native .blend files may not see as many sales as people offering other file exchange formats. I would guess that only 10% of people purchasing content here are looking for .blend. However, it is absolutely growing in popularity everywhere, and eventually, it may become one of the most downloaded formats here as well. So it's smart to be ahead of the curve, so to speak.
Bottom line is that if you want to increase sales potential, it's good to offer native file formats for the reasons you mentioned, but you are probably going to miss out on 80% of the potential sales if you don't offer a few more exchange formats with it. Especially .FBX and .OBJ.
That said, I would certainly recommend baking your procedural materials to high res PBR texture maps. It makes your asset far more appealing to potential customers. However, I personally offer both. I will offer a .blend file with Procedural materials, then also another .blend file with PBR texture maps. That actually seems to attract the most potential buyers. At least for me.
There are a few ways to price your 3D models. You can find more detailed information there https://help.cgtrader.com/en/articles/1498351-what-price-should-i-choose-for-my-models.
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Austeja from CGTrader
3D/2D tools have become more procedural/parametric in nature and that will only increase over time, but it does not mean that the setups/visual scripts that one creates in such programs would have more value then the result they output, both of them have value in its own right.
Maybe provide the parametric files for a premium for those who need more control or would otherwise not be satisfied with the baked results, or for those who want it for learning purposes, etc. But also separately provide sets of output results at lower prices for those who would not want to spend time tweaking nodes and find the baked results just what they need.
Just keep in mind people will always going to have different needs, so providing different options has more value.
Maybe also consider to add custom licensing terms on parametric files to avoid some simply using those files to output results and start selling those as stock media. I believe substance designer provide similar restrictions for SBS files (the parametric source files for the procedural textures), maybe use those licensing terms as a template for your custom licensing terms.
I personally wouldn't share (as you called them) tricks, instead I would stay open for "heavy" customization that suits customers needs. You will reveal "tricks" to anyone if you put native format with setup on sale here. How? Because if its interesting and kind a revolutionary (judging by how you wrote about this, it is) it will be stolen as all good and interesting stuff here and than you can expect a lot of copycats and profiles that sell your models, setup etc.
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