30 inspiring examples of 3D art

Fancy adding another dimension to your designs? Be inspired by this amazing 3D art.

Well executed 3D art can seriously spice up a design portfolio. The extra dimension provides an added sense of depth that is very hard to recreate in 2D. With the introduction of open source and more affordable 3D software in recent years, more and more artists are creating incredible 3D art – here are some prime examples...

01. Bed Monster

3D art: Bed Monster
This monster picked the wrong kid to mess with!

Digital 3D modeller and animator Aamir is the man behind this brilliant 'You picked up the wrong bed, monster!' 3D art illustration. Specialising in character and creature creation, Aamir nails the stylised look, modelling and lighting in this inspiring scene.

02. One Is The Loneliest Number

3D art: One Is The Loneliest Number
Stefan Morrell's awe-inspiring portfolio has just been updated with this beautiful, intricate piece

This awe-inspiring, sci-fi 3D art scene was created by digital artist and designer Stefan Morrell. With a clear love of the genre, this talented artist's portfolio is full of beautiful, intricate sci-fi landscapes – but this gorgeous piece is our favourite.

03. Sick Sad World!

3D art: Sick Sad World
Patrick Griellet's suicidal octopus is inspired by A Bug's Life and Ice Age

By day, Pierrick Grillet is a CG generalist who works in a Parisian post production studio, but in his spare time he creates stylised cartoon characters like this. Inspired by the work of Peter de Sève, character designer for films such as A Bug’s Life and Ice Age, this suicidal octopus took just three days to make, using 3ds Max, ZBrush, V-Ray and Photoshop.

04. Prom Night

3D art: Prom night
Riciotti captures this young lady's nerves and anticipation perfectly

3D generalist Mickael Riciotti lets the 3D art do all the talking in this inspiring illustration 'Prom Night' – capturing this young lady's nerves and anticipation of her big night perfectly, Riciotti's brilliant piece is a far cry away from (and refreshing change to) much of the busty female-inspired artwork you see.

05. Stroll in the Swamp

3D art: Stroll in the swamp
Anthony Guebels created Stroll in the Swamp using a combination of tools from 3ds Max, ZBrush and Photoshop

Anthony Guebels is currently working as a 2D/3D artist for Ubisoft Montreal. He specialises in creating promotional artwork, used for the marketing of the different brands of the studio. A personal project, Stroll in the Swamp was created with 3ds Max, ZBrush and Photoshop.

06. Space Girl

3D art: Space girl
Space Girl took Carles Gonzalez several months to complete

Carles Gonzalez has worked for several companies and titles, in videogames and film. Gonzalez worked on this 3D art piece Space Girl in his spare time, with it taking him several months to complete. "My favourite part of the creative process is the sketching and initial stages," he says.

07. The story of courage, betrayal and love!

3D art: Fatzilla
Forget Godzilla - Fatzilla is here!

In this inspiring example of 3D art, motion designer Yaroslav Primachenko used ZBrush to model this cool character, 3ds Max for preparing the rest of the scene and retopology, V-Ray for rendering and Photoshop for the scene's post-production effects.

08. Level 10

3D art: Level 10
A combination of 3ds Max, ZBrush, V-Ray and Photoshop helped to create this cool 3D image. Image © Toni Bratincevic

Toni Bratincevic is the senior environment modeller for a major videogame company, but has experience in all aspects of 3D, from rigging and animation to final compositing. This particular piece of 3D art took him around four to five weeks, working, on average, two to three hours a day on it.

09. Sunny Sunday Morning

3D art: Sunday morning
This relaxing-looking room was created by CEO and co-founder of Arch-Factory Tiago Alexandrino

Tiago Alexandrino is the CEO and founder of Arch-Factory, a collective specialising in creating architectural visualisations for private clients. Taking just five or six days, he created this perfect, relaxing Sunday 3D art scene using 3ds Max and V-Ray.

10. Ebola Virus

3D art: Ebola Virus
Alexey Kashpersky’s Ebola Virus is as beautiful as it is malignant

Medical artist Alexey Kashpersky has won international competitions in scientific visualisation, and his beautiful 3D art rendering of the Ebola virus is a fine example of his skills. "I wanted to transform Ebola into something fantastic and something that had its own unique character," he explains. The image took him three months to complete, with everything modelled by hand.

11. Exodus from Delta B-56

Exodus: 3D art
This vibrant 3D image took artist Jonathan Ball approximately three to four weeks to complete

Freelance illustrator and graphic designer Jonathan Ball spent three to four weeks working on this image in his spare time. With a passion for 3D modelling, Ball created the vibrant scene with Blender using the Cycles engine, before completing the composition in Photoshop.

12. Southern ground hornbill

3D art: Hornbill
This ultrarealistic Southern Ground Hornbill was created using tolls for multiple 3D software packages

No, we haven't included a rouge photograph to trick you, this is really 3D art. The stunning Southern Ground Hornbill image was crafted entirely in 3D by artist Léandre Hounnake. The realistic render was achieved using a combination of Sculptris, 3ds Max, Mudbox, V-Ray, MultiScatter and Hair and Fur.

13. Legacy

Legacy: 3D art
Legacy too 3D artist Tamás Török just over two weeks to complete.

This breathtaking piece of 3D art was created by Tamás Török using open source 3D software Blender and Gimp for texture painting. Using a leopard model he'd developed previously, this Legacy image took Török, unbelievably, about two and a half weeks to complete.

14. Rebuild

3D art: Rebuild
Freelance 3D and concept artist Neil Maccormack created this cool character using Lightwave and Photoshop

Neil Maccormack is a freelance 3D and concept artist based in Geneva, Switzerland. His online portfolio is full of awe-inspiring 3D art, but his most recent, and our favourite, is this cool robot character, which he created using Lightwave and Photoshop.

15. Teacher's Nightmare

3D art: Teacher's Nightmare
We love the attention to detail in this scene, the target on the teacher's back a favourite addition of ours

This pair of mischevious looking characters were created by modeller Omer Messler and 3D generalist Adi Cohen. The entire scene was created using 3ds Max and Mental Ray renderer. Working together was a new experience for the duo, but as two minds are greater than one, they managed to complete the detailed piece of 3D art in just two months.

16. A New Dawn

3D art: A New Dawn
Fabricio Moraes spent a month – spread over two years – on this image

Brazilian artist Fabricio Moraes started work on 3D art piece A New Dawn as a modelling study in the middle of 2013, but didn't finish it until July 2015; however he estimates that the total time spent on it was about a month. A partner at Gingerpic studio, Fabricio developed his career by working on games like Batman Arkham Origins and Max Payne 3, and his games background shows through in this bold fantasy illustration.

17. NAGA

3D art: NAGA
3D designer Nitin Khosa used Maya and Photoshop to create this awesome Naga sports car

Freelance 2D and 3D designer Nitin Khosa's inspiration for this brilliant illustration came from Naga, which is the Sanskrit/Hindi word for king cobra and also the name of this slightly retro, open-top two-seater concept sports car. Created using a combination of Maya and Photoshop, the striking 3D art took approximately four weeks, from sketching ideas to the final render.

18. One Small Step

3D art: one small step
It was one small step for Neil Armstrong and one giant leap for 3D artist Tomas Kral

It may have been one small step for Neil Armstrong, but recreating it in 3D was an epic project for senior 3D artist Tomas Kral. This epic space scene took Kral three weeks to complete, with most of the geometry created in sculpting software ZBrush and some textures taken from CG Textures.

19. Malaysian Dream

3D art: Malaysian Dream
3D artist Ani Atanasova created this idyllic scene after a trip to Borneo

Ani Atanasova is studio director and lead artist at Pixelhunters, with over 14 years experience in creating 3D art. The artist was inspired to create this idyllic scene after visiting Borneo in Malaysia. The initial 2D design was created by Iliya Atanasov before Ani spent a week bringing it to life using Maya, terrain generation software Vue and compositing program Fusion.

20. Back to the Great City

3D art: Back to the Great City
Talented artist Bastien Grivet creates this brilliant sci-fi inspired scene using Cinema 4D and Photoshop

This show-stopping piece of 3D art was created by concept artist and matte painter Bastien Grivet. Unbelievably, this image began as five simple 3D cubes of different sizes and shapes, which the talented artist then manipulated using Cinema 4D and Photoshop. 

21. GT40 in Monte Carlo

3D art: GT40 in Monte Carlo
This detailed 3D model isn't just a shell. Digital artist Luis Nieves built the entire car in just nine months

As Ford no longer produces the GT40, digital artist Luis Nieves decided to build his own, only in 3D. The talented designer spent nine months building the classic model from scratch in his spare time. And Maya, Mental Ray renderer, Photoshop, and After Effects CS6 were the tools that enabled him to do it. 

22. Far Far Away

3D art: Far Far Away
Peter Nowacki used 3ds Max, V-Ray and Marvelous Designer to create this image

Two years in the making, Far Far Away is a celebration of children's imaginations created by Warsaw-based artist Peter Nowacki. "It’s the first part of a three-part project," he explains. "Children are now focusing on video games instead of playing outside and I wanted to showcase a time when their imaginations were all they had."

23. Robin Hood

3D art: Robin Hood
3D artist LrZo was inspired by French comic book Robin Hood when developing this scene

3D character artist LrZo is a huge fan of comic books and animation and so based this brilliant design on French comic book Robin Hood by Brremaud and Simon Loche. To give some of his favourite characters that added dimension, LrZo used Maya and sculpting program ZBrush. 

24. Hornbach

3D art: Hornbach
Creative agency Taylor James produced this CGI shot for DIY store Horbach

This impressive 3D art was created entirely by creative production studio Taylor James for Heimet Berlin and their client DIY store Hornbach. The team created CGI hands and integrated them seamlessly with photography shot in the company studio to give the impression of a man pulling a tree from the ground.  

25. Chameleon

3D art: Chameleon
This intricate 3D chameleon model was carefully crafted by freelance animator Aram Vardazaryan

Freelance animator and creative designer Aram Vardazaryan is the man behind this brilliantly detailed 3D model of a chameleon. Working in VFX and specialising in modelling, the 3D art project took Vardazaryan about a week to complete. Yes, you read that right, just a week!

26. Wolverine

3D art: Wolverine
That's a whole lot of 3D muscle!

Whoa! We certainly wouldn't mess with this guy! This awesome 3D art of Wolverine was created by 3D artist Aamir, who specialises in character modelling and animation. Aamir crafted this guy's bulging muscles and razor claws using a combination of Maya, 3D sculpting program ZBrush, and Photoshop CS6

27. Rocket and Groot

3D art: Rocket and Groot
Rocket and Groot is inspired by the work of Javier Burgos from Rovio

Antone Magdy works as a 3D character artist at Snappers in Egypt, and he started work on Rocket and Groot to improve his professional skills. "I think the key to personal growth is to have some sort of plan when practising and creating personal art," he explains. The striking wooden sculpt is inspired by the work of another games artist, Javier Burgos from Rovio.

28. Stan 'The Man'

3D art: Stan the Man
Talented 3D artist Andrew Hakim Lie created this ultra realistic portrait of comic book legend Stan Lee

From a comic book character to a comic book legend, this amazing 3D art portrait of Stan Lee was created by Andrew Hakim Lie. The talented 3D artist produced this image using 3ds Max, ZBrush, V-Ray renderer, and Photoshop, for the final part of an intensive CG course. 

29. Abstract surrealism interior

3D art: Abstract surrealism interior
Igor Kulkov's interior 3D scene features some Picasso pictures, the rest was formed purely from his imagination

The concept for this 3D scene came about after artist Igor Kulkov saw some pictures in a surreal style and wanted to use the idea to form an interior. With just over two years' experience of working in CG, it's hard to believe this brilliant image took Kulkov just 10 days to complete using 3ds Max and V-Ray renderer. 

30. Shroom

3D art: Shroom
Things are not looking good for that poor unsuspecting fairy in this brilliant 3D scene by Laurent Pierlot

Always fascinated by the ability that some creatures have the ability to blend into their environment, 3D artist Laurent Pierlot decided to put his own spin on things in this awesome CG scene. Pierlot crafted this cute but creepy image using 3ds Max, V-Ray renderer, ZBrush, and Photoshop.

Liked this? Read these!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kerrie Hughes is associate editor at Creative Bloq. Her employment at Future Publishing began in January 2010 as staff writer for 3D World magazine. Since then, she's written regularly for other publications, including ImagineFX and Computer Arts magazines.