Blender is testing a store for free assets, I'm sold

 Blender Extensions; an abstract 3D render of a landscape.
Blender Extensions; an abstract 3D render of a landscape.

Blender Foundation has launched Blender Extensions, a new official asset store where everything is free. This has been launched in Alpha for testing ahead of the release of the new Blender 4.1, and will be compatible with Blender 4.2, which is also in Alpha testing.

Blender is the free, industry-standard 3D modelling, animation and rendering platform that has grown from a hobbyist set of CG tools into something pros love to use too. Read our Blender explainer for everything you need to know, or our Blender 4 review.

Fundamentally, Blender has remained resolutely free, so it's not really a surprise Blender Extensions will also offer free assets and open-source tools, add-ons and themes. The chance to explore, find and source add-ons and content for Blender in a way artists are used to on the Unreal Engine Marketplace, but for free, is a big step to encouraging more pro artists to take up Blender.

While Blender Foundation has made the Blender Extensions store accessible to use right now, it's also being clear it's in Alpha and not yet in a finished state. Some of the assets on the store at the moment, including add-ons and three themes could be deleted at any time. But Blender users are encouraged to upload and download assets to strength-test the store; just visit the Blender Extensions website and start trading.

A Blender rep on Twitter clarified the new Blender Extensions store won't be replacing current methods of using add-ons and themes, writing: "It's an additional way to handle add-ons and themes. You will always be able to install them from disk, as you do now, and use Blender offline. The Extensions Platform's goal is to provide an easy way for developers to update their add-ons/themes and users to find them."

The Blender Extensions Alpha comes ahead of the new Blender 4.1 update launching very soon, head over to the Blender website for more news, but this promises to improve the animation pipeline, enhancements to the Cycles rendering engine and upgrades to the modelling tools.

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