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2D Game Assets from 3D Models

Updated: Apr 23

Have you ever thought of trying to create some 2D Game Assets for a video game you are making, but only have 3D models of content that you have created? Although 2D game assets might not be as complicated in some instances, they are still time consuming to create.

You may need to the same model in different angles, colors, textures or even different sizes of the same model. The time really adds up when needing to make these, but there are ways to save time making 2D game assets.

If you happen to already have a 3D model of something you would like to turn into a 2D asset, you can do that with multiple options.

  1. Paint 3D (FREE)

This is a very simple but fun 3D modeling tool if you want to learn to make very simple objects for video games. You have a library of assets to use for personal content, tools to make models yourself, as well as paint and texture your models.

Apart from exporting out your 3D model, you can save out a 2D image of your model with transparent backgrounds.

With Paint 3D, you just need to rotate your model in the direction you want it to face and setup your background size and transparency settings. After that you just need to save as a PNG image.

Paint 3D is very basic, but if all you are looking to do is export out a 2D image and do some simple 3D models, then it will do just fine.

2. PowerPoint

Some of the newer version of PowerPoint (2019 or later) has the same functionality as Paint 3D. You can load in a 3D model, position and rotate it, then export it out as a transparent 2D Image.

PowerPoint isn't as straight forward as Paint 3D when it comes to pixel size. You will need to work through some trial and error on your size inside PowerPoint with what the final 2D Image will look like.

PowerPoint isn't free, but if you are already paying for a Microsoft Office account then it is something in your set of tools to take a 3D model and Save as Picture with transparent backgrounds.

3. Blender (Free)

Blender has the ability to export out an image file with your camera and render settings. These images can look and be set at a higher detail than the other programs, and if you are already using Blender as your 3D modeling, rigging and animation software then you are already familiar with the tools.

Go to your Render settings on the Render tab and check the Transparent toggle. This will activate a transparent background on your image when you export it out.

Each version is a little different, but it is handy having the ability to turn your 3D models into 2D game assets. Even more so if you are selling your 3D assets. You can build out the 3D models and create a 3D package to sell, then go and create 2D assets out of the exact same models to expand your assets you are able to sell.

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