References help you to avoid inventing something that has already been created and instead focus on conveying the original ideas. Gamedev Punks has collected 115 resources filled with all kinds of references for artists and animators. We also divided them into categories for your convenience.
From rendering anatomy accurately, comprehending volumes, mastering color and shading, choosing appropriate costumes and character traits, deriving inspiration, setting project mood, or grasping unfamiliar details — our guide provides resources to help you with everything.
ArtStation: A premier platform for artists to display their portfolios. Almost all the pros exhibit their works here.
Pinterest: An invaluable website for exploring and storing references. Its algorithm recommends similar images based on your selections. You can create themed boards and subscribe to others for constant inspiration.
Huaban: The Chinese counterpart of Pinterest with a Chinese interface. It is a treasure trove of fascinating images a few people know about.
DeviantArt: The website still offers a huge repository of art, photographers, cosplayers, and naturists alike.
Character Design References: This site provides extensive concept art, design ideas, and artbooks from diverse artists. It also hosts challenges and interviews with artists.
PhotoBash: A large platform where you can purchase comprehensive packs of reference photos. Primarily meant for photobashing, these materials also serve as excellent regular references.
SketchFab: Similar to Artstation but with a focus on 3D. It allows you to view and rotate 3D models in the browser. Works are organized into categories like architecture, characters, vehicles, and others.
Indian Museum, Kolkata Virtual Exhibition: This is the oldest and one of the most significant museums in India. Their digital gallery provides access to various exhibits, including archeology, art, anthropology, and more.
National Museum of Korea Online Exhibition: This online showcase features photos of the museum's historical exhibits, including sculptures and pottery. An excellent resource for artists interested in Korean art and culture.
The Louvre Museum Online Tour: The world-renowned Louvre Museum in Paris offers a comprehensive online tour featuring some of its most iconic exhibits, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
The Metropolitan Museum Online Features: Based in New York City, the Met provides access to thousands of artworks in its online collection. This resource spans 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present.
The British Museum Online Collection: The British Museum in London offers an extensive digital collection covering over two million years of history and culture. The museum's vast collection includes the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.
Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad Digital Gallery: This is one of the three national museums in India. The online collection allows you to browse a range of exhibits, including sculptures, paintings, carvings, textiles, manuscripts, ceramics, metallic artifacts, carpets, and clocks.