Blazingly fast preview loads. Images of arbitrary size. bpy.utils.previews drop-in replacement

Hey all,

We created a new Python library for Blender called 3DN BIP or 3D Ninjas Blender Image Preview. It allows blazingly fast preview loads in Blender. Furthermore, it can load preview images of arbitrary size. It operates as an bpy.utils.previews drop-in replacement and does all the heavy lifting for you.

Give it a spin:

We are looking forward to your feedback, proposals and improvements.



If I understand well, this is a solution that will allow to speed up the generation of thumbnails for an example in various types of addons that use this type of functionality?

When you load multiple preview images in the Blender UI, it can sometimes take several seconds for them to load completely. With our library, preview images are loaded in milliseconds. Developers can use the library for their addons. The library is especially appealing if you offer a selection of assets and show preview images for them.


Does it work also for regular previews in the File browser window? I mean, if I enable the addon will it help when opening a folder full of images (jpg, exr, png, tif, etc) in the file browser, say to choose a texture for a shader?

Interesting idea. I don’t know if that is possible w/o modifying Blender itself. But we will have a look at it.

Currently, 3DN BIP is an embeddable library for add-on developers. They can copy the folder into their add-on and use the library instead of bpy.utils.previews.

Ok thanks.
I took a look and figure out what this library does. Nice. Fast browser previews would be nice too since when you open a crowded folder the lag is annoiyng, and the previews somtimes are useless because they’re too small

in that case why dont you directly write a patch and apply? so blender uses your superiour library by default.

Stuff like this is really amazing. Great work guys !


KIT OPS is using 3DN BIP now. See for yourself!

(credits to @bonjorno7 for the 3DN BIP code and @thefauxrogue for the documentation and testing)


Brush Manager is using 3DN BIP now. See for yourself!

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Graswald is using 3DN BIP and our new Asset Browser now. See for yourself!


So cool! The thumbnails always loaded slow and I thought it was my PC thanks for creating this library I am sure it will improve a lot of addons!


Cool! :slight_smile: We would be delighted if as many addon developers as possible were made aware of the library. Please help us to spread the word! :slight_smile:


Thanks for developing this! I also with you would write a patch for Blender to use this natively. I have big libraries of textures and it would be amazing if the images were generated as fast as with your library. Great work!

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I just learned from @franMarz that is using BIP as well! Awesome! :heart: (not released yet, but you can grab it from the master branch).