Poly Haven

Learn more about Poly Haven, a fantastic source of free assets to use in your animation.

In several of my classes I demonstrate how to light your animation using the HDRI images which ship with Blender. This is a great way to get fast, realistic, lighting in your scenes but the eight HDRI’s available can be somewhat limiting.

Whilst making your own HDRI’s is certainly an option, the process is both technical and time consuming.

Finding high quality HDRI’s for your animation used to be both difficult and expensive but there is a website called Poly Haven which changes all of that.

Poly Haven

Greg Zaal, one of the founders of Poly Haven, actually created all of the HDRI’s that ship with Blender and provides hundreds of others on Poly Haven.

What makes Poly Haven unique is that all of their high quality assets, which also include textures and 3D models, are free to use by anyone.

The assets are all released under the Creative Commons CC0 licence which means they are effectively free of copyright and can be used by anyone, for any purpose, without needing to give credit.

All of this is made possible through a somewhat unique business model inspired, in part, by Blender.

Poly Haven is supported by a mix of Patreon members, advertising revenue, and corporate sponsors. They also sell a Blender Add-on which gives easy access to their full library from within the software.

Whilst supporting them through Patreon, or by purchasing their Add-on, is an option, it is not required to get access to any of the assets, which are all free to download from the website without even needing an account.

Greg Zaal gave an interesting talk about the creation of Poly Haven and their business model at the Blender Conference last year. If you’re interested to know more, I’ve linked the video below:

If you want to present your animation nicely, having high quality lighting can make all the difference. Whilst using HDRI’s is not the only way to achieve this, it is a quick and easy solution which is more than good enough in most cases.

Equally, if you are working on your own animated film, having a source of ready made, high quality, assets can really cut down your production time.

In either case, I’d suggest giving Poly Haven a look.

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