http://www.photobash.org/ is a group of digital artists and photographers who originally sold their stuff for reference and photobashing purposes via Gumroad individually, but are now doing it together. Their site provides free or really affordable photo sets – ranging from tech, to nature, to history and cities – for commercial use.
I’m already a happy buyer for many of their sets and am always looking forward to new releases.
Recently, the New York Public Library released more than 180.000 images for free downloads and unrestricted use to their digital collections site. The scans are high quality, the files have fairly hiRes versions (tiffs) and the collection is well sorted via tons of browsable key words.
The announcement: http://www.nypl.org/blog/2016/01/05/share-public-domain-collections
And here is how to get to them:
Use the search and make sure to filter for public domain only here:[LINK] If you don’t check that box, you might end up searching for copyrighted images, so please be thorough.
Marcus J. Ranum is a photographer – mainly nudes and pinups – who also has a specific deviant art account dedicated to providing high quality photo stock. It contains a lot of nudes and naughty outfits, but also some armor and other costumes.
The samples I selected to demonstrate his palette are mostly fully clothed, expect NSFW content after this link:
The stock is provided for free with a commercial license, since his stuff is basically soooooo popular that he can’t keep up with controlling and decided to just stop reviewing how people use his stuff and just put it all out there.
Check it out.
Some time ago I got myself this free set of 2400 images from NASA ISS expedition, tech and training. It contains tons and tons of images of space station interiors, devices, robots, space suits, underwater training, rocket launches and exterior shots of the actual ISS space station in space. A true gold mine for any sci-fi concept art or illustration project.
Check it out here: https://reidsouthen.selz.com/item/54a86fa6b79872193c1d63b3
Check out Hunter Rosenberg’s Gumroad page. He offers 3D stock and an insane amount of photographs for 3D artists and concept artist.
Before I bought the 2 DARPA robotic challenge packs, I personally checked back with him on facebook and asked if it’s cool to use the images for photobashing. He confirmed. You buy the pack, you use the images and done.
This is a godsend for an artists like me. I struggle with hard surface drawing – I’m just to impatient – but the two packs give me plenty of robotic limbs, joints, shells, electronics, hydraulics, sensors and whatnot to use for my designs and it could not be more helpful.
Check it out and also browse his other product here: https://gumroad.com/will_grello
I’d like to share with you an image resource I’m using for a couple of years now. Textures.com have a big library of textures, ranging from technology to architecture, landscapes, nature, fabrics to all sorts of stuff. They offer a free membership with a 15mb/day download limit and various packages for professionals and companies who need more.
I bought myself a cheap 100mb/day plan, which gets me through all my jobs and projects fairly comfortably.
Their images are pretty high resolution and especially photographed to work as neat as possible for texture artists (mostly flat angles and or scans). Many textures are already masked, so they can directly be placed into whatever you are cooking up.
Get an account and start browsing here: http://www.textures.com/
TEN24 is all about 3D scanning of people and providing 3D models and 3D viewers for reference and stock purposes. Their scans are quite fun, especially when they scan their models in motion, seeing all the muscle deformation in a 3D model is pretty wild.
They have been cool enough to dump a big bunch of free turnarounds based on scans onto their site for artists to use as reference. This is great for model sheets and turnaround design sketches.
You can get the stuff here: http://www.anatomy360.info/anatomy-scan-reference-dump/
They also sell model packs in their shop: http://www.3dscanstore.com/
Croquis Cafe is an online art resource with a focus on classic painting and drawing education. They have been kind enough to put hundreds of model photos online for free with a pretty generous license.
The photos are not that high resolution and can occasionally be quite grainy, but what makes this library stand out from many places is the variety of body types.
Please note that I redacted the explicit nudity of the samples above, while the actual photos in the gallery are unredacted.
You can get the stuff here: http://www.onairvideo.com/croquis-cafe-photos.html