Top 3D Art Outsourcing Companies

A good idea is one of the most important things at the beginning stage of game development. But without quality visual components, even the incredibly outstanding idea will fail. They have such significance because interesting plot or gameplay mechanics always should work in synergy with graphics. Only this approach will lead to success. 

So, it is always better to trust the visual part of the game to game art outsourcing companies. They already have qualified specialists with the necessary skills and a high level of experience, and of course, it will make all other game-developing processes (marketing, promotion, etc.) much easier. Today, we will talk about this in detail and tell you, why 3d outsourcing companies are so significant nowadays in the gaming world.

3D Pixel characters in various costumes, top game art outsourcing companies, RetroStyle Games art development

What is 3D Art Outsourcing in Gaming Niche?

3D art outsourcing is the hiring of external individuals or companies to create 2D or 3D assets and content for video games in the gaming niche. Game development studios often use such a strategy by employing 3D game art studios to efficiently and cost-effectively produce high-quality 3D art assets for their games.

In general, 3D art outsourcing is the best idea for everyone who wants to access specialized artistic talent, save costs, and streamline the production of high-quality 3D assets for their video games. Effective management due to the correct distribution of time is a pleasant essential bonus that leads to a successful outcome in the game-developing process.

Stylized 3D illustration of a character standing on a digital tablet, Advantages of Game Art Outsourcing

Benefits of Outsourcing 3D Art for Games

Some people may think that it’s irresponsible to trust their ideas and concepts to the game art companies but it’s not true at all. Such collaboration always has a lot of benefits for game companies.

Wide Experience

It’s difficult to hire a big team of professional game developers no matter what anyone says. In return, video game outsourcing companies already have people with all the skills that may be important for any video game. Also, such companies are always ready to show their previous gaming results and provide feedback from the clients. 

Time Management

The managers of video game companies may not fully understand how costly and time-consuming is the process of creating stunning graphics. Mostly, it is the main reason for the need to sacrifice a good promotion campaign or divide the game giving up interesting ideas. 3D outsourcing companies easily deal with these problems. For instance, there is no need to think about choosing between a 3D artist and a 3D modeler anymore because both of them are already a part of the team; in return, managers of the video game company can focus on the other game development processes. As a result, all goes well and everyone stays pleasant.  

Huge Variety of Possibilities

Sometimes 3D art outsourcing companies can create new innovative ideas and bring the game to a new level. It’s because they specialize in many different fields from 3D character modeling services to 3D environment design. Due to this aspect, game developers can view the game from all sides and suggest to video game companies new concepts and thoughts.

Minimalistic 3D artwork of a cartoon man trying to choose which door to open

Selecting the Right 3D Art Outsourcing Studio

Selecting the right animation outsourcing company is a critical decision for game development studios. The choice of outsourcing partner can significantly impact the quality, efficiency, and success of a video game project. We prepared a 5-step guide on how to choose the best 3D outsourcing company

Step 1: Review the Portfolio and Expertise

Reviewing the studio’s portfolio is significant for assessing the quality and variety of their previous work. You should be sure that examples of the studio align with the company’s game’s art style, preferences, and requirements. Also ensure that the studio has experience in creating the specific types of 3D assets the game needs, such as characters, environments, or props.

Step 2: Seek Out Reviews and Testimonials

Game development outsourcing companies should have at least one or two finished projects and reviews by their clients. This is the main aspect that allows a potential partner to be interested in collaboration. It doesn’t matter is a testimonial about using qualitative 3D game engines for Android or developing various environments development for PC games. You just need to be sure that the company is professional, reliable, responsible, and open to any projects and ideas. 

Step 3: Inquire about the Skills

Check the skills and expertise of the artists who will be assigned to your project. Don’t be afraid to ask questions directly: for instance, if it is important for the game studio to work with 3D art outsourcing companies that use Blender, don’t hide your preferences and expectations. And of course, ensure they are proficient in the relevant 3D modeling and design software and aware of modern trends.

Step 4: Match the Communication Style and Expectations

Make sure that the studio’s communication practices are comfortable for you. Maybe, they would like to give reviews once a week, but the clients want to hear about the updates and progress every evening. Effective and transparent communication is crucial for successful collaboration. Also, it’s significant to ensure that there are clear work borders during the production process. For instance, the client may not even think about how long it takes to model a 3D character assuming that it’s a fast process, so it is necessary to discuss all these moments before the beginning of collaboration. 

Step 5: Request Cost Estimates

It’s important to check with which budgets the game outsourcing companies work. So, before discussing all details, a client should request detailed cost estimates and compare them with budget constraints to avoid misunderstandings and difficulties. Also, all game companies should be wary of studios that offer significantly lower prices, as this could indicate potential quality or reliability issues.

3d game art by retrostyle games, simple character in Pixar style

Top 3D Art Outsourcing Companies

The landscape of 3D art outsourcing is constantly evolving, and new companies gain prominence every year. But there are 10 outstanding game art outsourcing companies we would like to talk about. 

RetroStyle Games: In-Depth Profile

Different styles of game art, top 10 Game Art Outsourcing Companies in 2023

RetroStyle Games is a game outsourcing company that always strives to combine trending tech with the warm feel of classic games. It was founded in 2010, and for 13 years the team of professional specialists has been conquering the peaks of the gaming world. One of the main achievements is that the company crossed the 80 million downloads mark with their mobile games.

Talking about 3D art services, RetroStyle Games offers 2D concept art, 3D modeling and animation, complex asset creation, Unity integration, and level building for mobile, casual, social, and console games. And they are always ready for new projects and challenges. 

The company has more than one hundred successful projects. Among them are a collaboration with Haiku Games and the creation of  6 fully-packed 2D art Mobile games, an awesomely engaging learn-to-code CodeCombat Browser game, and tons of Isometric art content for Kobojo’s Facebook City Builders.

Clients’ testimonials are an additional approval of RetroStyle Game’s proficiency. “RetroStyles consistently surpassed our expectations, adapting to changes and delivering on promises. Without a doubt, this company is our top choice for future projects, earning first place in our ventures with their professionalism and dedication”, – shared Hojung Kim, the art director of Playdog

Seda Kesgin, the game producer of Gamegos agrees with Hojung Kim: “It has been a great experience working with RetroStyle. They always give daily updates on their work, and overall communication has been very strong. They are also very responsive to our feedback. Furthermore, we’re pleased with the quality of their work and they always respect the deadlines. Highly recommend them if you are looking for an outsource art service”.

3D-Ace

3D-Ace is a game art company that has over 10 years of experience. Their team is comprised of 40+ talented 2D and 3D artists who specialize in creating detailed 3D character models for video games and animations, including both human and non-human characters, designing and modeling 3D environments, landscapes, and levels for video games, simulations, and virtual experiences, developing 3D assets, objects, and props that populate game worlds, adding realism and interactivity. Of course, it’s not even half of the company’s potential but it’s an impressive list. 

Thunder Cloud Studio

Thunder Cloud Studio is a famous video game outsourcing company that is well-known for its excellent 3D game art services: the development of 3D characters, 3D environments, 3D animation trailers, and concepts. 

What makes them so unique is that they are partners of such giants of gaming as Genshin Impact, Subverse, Fast & Furious Spy Racers, School of Dragons, and Farm Fable. It is a huge approval of their experience, isn’t it?

Pixune Studios

Specializing only in 3D animation, game art, and NFT art services, Pixune Studios is an outstanding 3D outsourcing company from Poland. Their main position is keeping a deep focus on the client and their needs. This approach made them connect with more than 40 different video game companies and hundreds of successful projects during 12 years of hard work in the gaming industry. 

Moonmana

Moonmana stands out from other 3D art outsourcing companies because of its full-cycle game development services. They’re truly experts in this field creating and publishing IPs, ranging from pre-production to certification, and releasing live-ops across all platforms. 15+ years and such projects as Haddie’s Pizzeria and Pirates of Overseas are two extra reasons explaining their huge success. Wide experience, proven expertise, innovative solutions, and new complex projects every year also played their role.  

Argentics

Argentics is one of the leaders among game outsourcing companies due to their focus on all platforms at the same time (Mobile, Desktop, and Console). They suggest a wide variety of services beginning with 3D character modeling software and ending with AR & VR development. Their projects are filled with passion, and Argentics’ clients like it a lot, especially such popular video game companies as Playrix or Riot Games. The company offers end-to-end game development and game art creation services following best practices and the top game industry trends. 

Exigent

Exigent was founded 17 years ago ruled by the ambition of providing a level of artwork and creativity and trying to match the best in the video game industry. Such an approach is also very noticeable nowadays. “What we do, we do the best” is a core value of the Exigent, and their clients also share these thoughts. The company has more than 130 clients and 14K assets which is a big result for them.

Juego Studios

Listed in Forbes India Marquee Entrepreneur Special, Juego Studios is one of the most popular 3D art outsourcing companies nowadays. Their team develops stunning games for a wide variety of platforms, and the Juego Studios games already reached the point of 100+ million downloads. They also have a large pool of experienced game artists. Whether 2D or 3D, their multi-disciplinary game art team shows by the results what skills everyone needs to be a 3D modeler

ArtHouseLabs

ArtHouseLabs in every interaction shows their love and passion for their job and projects. From concepts up to engine integration goes with a high level of responsibility and creativity giving their clients the best possible result. Their main idea lies in the desire to help video game companies by providing cost-effective project management and creative art solutions at each stage of game production. And results tell more than words: ArtHouseLabs has just 5 years in the gaming industry and already has more than 200 successful projects. 

N-iX

N-iX specializes in many different game development fields such as full-cycle, Unity, art direction, VR & Metaverse, which makes them a breathtaking 3D outsourcing company. In their arsenal are wonderful and engaging games: Dark Pictures Switchback, Victoria 3, The Devil in Me, and many others. Currently, their studio has over 240 passionate game development professionals, as a part of a 1700+ people company, and is focused on providing high-quality services to their clients. 

Our Approach or Why you should Choose RetroStyle Games as outsourcing game art studio

Successful 3D Art Outsourcing with RetroStyle Games

One of our successful projects is Cyberpunk Skater Girl which is a punk-stylized real-time 3D game character with a unique design and rebellious temper. Also, she is a perfect explanation of the difference between CGI and animation. RetroStyle Games company is a huge fan of challenges so the creation of this character was like a small adventure for us, trying to make her stylized and matching our level and vision. 

Inspired by Valorant, Overwatch, and Ruiner, we decided to create a unique location with specific bright details that will perfectly match the mood and concept of the unusual character. 

The main difference is that we wanted to show the chosen style – CyberPunk – as something bright and cheerful, not dark and cold, and it was one of the main challenges that we successfully dealt with. The location was the main inspiration for the CyberPunk girl. In the earliest concepts, she also had a gun and robot assistant, but we eventually realized that it didn’t fit into the atmosphere of the environment and our character. 

While working on the full-cycle modeling for the game approach and texturing each object, we were thinking about adding some unique moments and aspects to the small gaming world. Our team came up with graffiti stains on the buildings and streets, signs on the cafe, and advertisements on the holographic screens. All of them looked even better because of the new Unreal Engine 5 and its wide possibilities. As a result, we got high-quality content with a great look. 

When we were finishing the project, we realized that we found a new challenge and won this small battle! Our team did a semi-automatic transfer of location, light, and shaders from Unreal to Unity, sometimes struggling with problems, but always finding a solution for them (thanks to our team of Unreal Game Engine developers).
The client was happy with the result, and our portfolio was expanded with one more challenging but awesome project.

FAQ

Woman with a puzzled expression, thinking about what is the best way to learn 3D game art

What is 3D game art outsourcing, and why is it important?

3D game art outsourcing is a practice within the video game industry where game development studios or companies hire external individuals or specialized art studios to create 3D art assets for their video games. These art assets can include characters, creatures, environments, props, textures, animations, and visual effects, among others. The primary goal of 3D game art outsourcing is to leverage the expertise and resources of external artists to efficiently and cost-effectively produce high-quality art assets for video game development.

How can outsourcing 3D art benefit my game?

Outsourcing 3D art can bring several significant benefits to your game development project. Among them are cost efficiency, specialized expertise, faster development, scalability, access to diverse styles, focus on core competencies, global talent pool, risk mitigation, efficient asset management, and quality control. 

What trends are emerging in the 3D game art outsourcing industry?

The 3D game art outsourcing industry is continually evolving, with several notable trends emerging in recent years. These trends reflect the changing demands and expectations of the gaming industry and the opportunities presented by advancements in technology. Among them are:

  • Realistic and high-fidelity graphics;
  • Virtual reality and augmented reality;
  • Procedural and generative art;
  • Artificial intelligence;
  • Cross-platform compatibility;
  • Diversity and inclusivity;
  • Blockchain and NFTs.