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Open Material Repository


oml_preview.jpgThe Open Material Library is a new Blender material repository and even though it's still in beta (in good web 2.0 fashion), I think we may have a winner here!

At the moment of writing, the site contains 82 materials and it looks like it's growing rapidly. Browsing the site is a joy - each material is displayed with a preview image (a sphere, Suzanne or 'complex'), a clear description, a rating and room for user comments.

After registering you can add new materials to the library. You'll have to use the provided .blend file and render a few preview images. After the moderators are done with it, your material will be available to the rest of the community.

I have only one remark: they should add automatic rendering of the preview images. You can run Blender from the command-line just fine, so it should be easy to let the website's backend render those automatically (properly sandboxed for security, of course). Dropping the requirement to provide preview images will make it even easier to upload new material and I'm sure this would contribute in making this site a success!

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender – I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


  1. Very nice! I think this is a much better solution than the libraries available for download. Rating of a material really speads up the filtering process IMHO.

  2. OOOOOW this IS nice indeed. there are some material libraries floating around the web somewhere, these could all find a home here. Time to mess with materials soon.

  3. Très bonne idée que cette bibliothèque de textures.
    J'ai toujours du mal avec l'habillage des objets ; ce site va m'être très utile.

    Pour chaque texture, un fichier .blend est disponible et permet de mieux comprendre le paramétrage.



  4. Some very strong materials in there already.
    But I think it should have the Blender version specified
    automatically because I already see materials with SSS popping up.

  5. * Clean design
    * easy to use&upload (very clear instructions)
    * user-account is a must (helps a lot when tracking down bad entries)
    * perfect :)


  6. @Joseph Schrand: No there is not (you can even mark your blend files as texture-using), but it seems that the file-size limit is currently at around 2MB. That doesn't explain why there are none yet though :)


  7. It looks really great job so far, and it's at 92 now, almost the 100 mark specified for a new server etc they mention.

    There is ONE problem however... copyright! There's no mention on the site yet about it. Some nasty sites used to claim copyright on everything uploaded. Somebody could - theoretically - claim a copyright a particular material and upload it, possibly including a notice somewhere in the file, and then if people use it without paying, sue them.

    Textures especially have a great copyright danger. We don't need another fiasco like the BMR with people uploading copyrighted images used in textures.

    I hope they add something VERY soon about about respsecting copyright somewhere, such as "all these materials and the files containing them are distributed under XXXXXXX", whether it's public domain, GPL or Creative Commons.

    SOMETHING is needed, fast.

  8. Hey, at first: thanks for all the flowers :D

    Every uploader has to agree with our upload-rules (see them when you click on "Add Material", but I know what you mean...
    If anyone can help me with the copyright and maybe a disclaimer, that would be very helpful for me, because I can code webpages, but don't have a really clue about copyrights ^^


  9. Soylentgreen on


    I think Creative Commons is to restrictive here, because most of the materials should go into Public Domain. But it may be nice if you could choose between PD or Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

    But get real - would you really like to print on every picture "Material 1 by ...."

  10. Erik Möller on

    I strongly recommend a public domain dedication for these materials, as any license will encumber the use. All CC licenses require attribution, which is simply not practical as a _legal_ requirement when you use many different sources to compose your work (it can still be socially encouraged). This would also be in line with other "Open Libraries", i.e. the Open Clipart Library and the Open Font Library, both of which use the public domain (sites are down at the moment).

    The text for the upload form would be something like this:

    "By uploading materials to the repository, you agree to make them available as public domain resources that can be used by anyone for any purpose without permission or attribution. To the greatest extent possible under applicable law, you agree to confer all rights regarding these materials to the general public."

    Simple and explicit. In addition, I suggest using one of the little icons from to identify it as free content, e.g.:

  11. There happend to be a few problems regarding the commercial use of material licensed under public domain in the past (which actually ist pretty ridiculous) that made me choose the term "open content".

  12. Oops. my faulty reading - goal is 100 *users* and 200 materials. Er... where'd that comment go on the site?

    Agreed that Public Domain would be the easiest way for users, with Attribution as a polite option. By the way - the copyright status should be visible to *USERS* as well, not just contributors.

    The question is whether contributors are going to be okay with commercial distribution of the resulting collection. Full-out PD means that anyone could download the entire library, upload it elsewhere, even charge for it, or burn it to CD and charge for it -- and that is okay for PD. Unlike the scammers who sell Blender as their own, removing the Blender GPL notices, it would be perfectly legal to do anything with it.

    Frigi - what problems are there with PD & commercial usage? According to wikipeida, there's different kinds of "open content" including CC. PD particularly means commercial use IS allowed, does it not? Althought that could vary between countries.

    I'm having problems logging in. I registered, and then tried to log in but nothing changes, it sitll says to log in. IE7 problem? I'd like to check the contributor upload text you have already, but can't. Sigh.

    I'd suggest adding license information under Other, with Disclaimer etc.

  13. @DGEC: There've been trials because material distributed as pd was used for commercial purposes. I agree that this actually is not quite understandable but that's just what happened.
    I guess the current license agreement on the repository is not the final one and pd with some annotations might cause less confusion.

  14. I would personally recommend to let Uploaders choose between open licenses like
    GPL and CC are cool because, if somebody abuse the licence terms, there is support from GNU, CC or others associations and lawyers to help you. These guys will help you because it's important fo them the GPL and CC license are truly honored in law.

    GPL is also cool because you can then include few materials in a future Blender official package.

    More over, many content is nowadays in multiple licenses like the materials on my website: . I can't upload them under a public domain license on your website.

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