Finding the Perfect Search Engine for 3D Models

About the Author

Jessy Lee is the Founder and CEO of Yobi3D Inc.  He likes programming, hacking, and seeing anything in 3D.  He enjoys finding ways to ask computers to do tedious work for lazy humans.


When it comes to game development, there are many talented developers who are passionate about game design. They Yobi3D Logofind innovative ways to write game stories that are interactive and engaging.  There are programmers who spend their time making sure the game can be implemented correctly and the gameplay is smooth. Game architecture, memory usage, I/O requirements are also essential elements to ensure the success of a game.  Another set of also important skills is artistic talent in creating visually appealing graphics.  Unfortunately, these skills often do not exist within one person.  For many indie game developers, they may not have the time or budget to create art assets on their own.  Finding existing resources online is often the better solution for many.

There are many 2D/3D asset hosting sites such as:

2D Assets

Open Clipart – free
OpenGameArt – free
Game-Icons – free
Mayang’s Free Textures – free
CG Textures  – some free

3D Assets

TF3DM – free
Archive3D – free
CG Trader – some free
SketchFab – some free – browser-based 3D editor, free
Blend Swap – free

While these sites each provide a large collection of 2D/3D assets, it can be time consuming going through them one by one.  Major search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo are alternatives for finding assets across different websites.  However, their search result representations may not always provide the best search experience.  It sometimes can be frustrating to find that the 3D model is not usable after clicking on layers and layers of web links.

Yobi3d Truck

An alternative is, Yobi3D, a search engine designed to search for 3D models.  It has a keyword search interface, but with a different approach in displaying the search results.  After entering a search term, an infinite scrolling grid of thumbnails representing 3D models found on a diverse collection of websites is shown. By clicking on one of the thumbnails, users can see a 3D rendering of the model right away.  They can use the mouse to rotate and move the 3D model around to see from different angles and zoom distances. Users no longer need to download the file first, try to find a software to open file, then decide if this is really what they want. The 3D viewer also support different rendering options such as showing models without texture or turning wireframe on and off.  Lastly, a hyperlink is provided on the same screen to redirect interested users to the source website for download.


Yobi3D provides a quick and easy solution for game developers to find assets for use as placeholders or for prototyping purpose.  With the right tool, 3D models in various formats can be converted and imported to different game engines available today such as Unity or Unreal Engine. Developers from Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality communities can also utilize this website  to enrich their content.  As technology advances in these areas, we will see more adoption of 3D content and show that an easy-to-use search tool is more desirable.

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