Commercial plugins or scripts available for Blender?

I’ve seen many of the wonderful scripts, plugins, libraries and other goodies that are available for Blender on various resource sites but I was wondering if there are any commercial plugins, scripts or libraries floating around out there as well in case a person wanted to extend Blender’s functionality beyond what is already out there for free. I know there’s a “commercial” texture library available for a small fee but beyond that, I was’nt able to find anything when I did a quick search. I used to fiddle around with TrueSpace before I really started to take 3D modelling seriously and I know that Truespace has various plugins and such available on both a free and paid basis.

The other thing I was wondering is if it would be moral, ethical, reasonable, acceptable, etc for a person to create a plugin (or other “add-on”) for Blender and then ask a small, reasonable fee for it (or even a donation). I know it’s legal but I also know that requesting money for something designed to be used with or created by a GPL/OSS application can sometimes lead to resentment within the community because the person doing the selling can be seen as “greedy” or self-serving - especially if they take without giving anything back (can you blame them?). I for one, don’t think there’s anything wrong with a person asking for money providing they also give something back in return, provide a decent product and charge a reasonable price - or even a price based on a person’s ability to pay, a donation, etc. People have been using OSS for years in thier business either directly or indirectly. So what do you folks think?.

Just wondering and thank’s :slight_smile:

Commercial Plugins being adapted for use in Blender will be subject to their specific and individual release liscenses. (Plugins of that sort will then become known as modules in Blender as it already uses the term “Plugin” for a different kind of beast). Python and Blender have very much the same liscense philosophy which means if you’re developing code to be used in that environment it should be published in said environment. So, yes you can sell it as long as you make it available as opensorce too (you can’t write a python script and get it to work without using Python itself which was made available to you under certain conditions).



A client offers to pay you for modelling a scene to use as a splash for thier company web site. Obviously, they will want to be the only ones using it since it will be custom designed for them and specific to thier site. You agree to do the work and use Blender to create the splash.

QUESTION: Does the GPL apply to the extent that thier newly-created spash must be made available to anyone who wants it and if so, it seems to me that this would have the effect of souring the deal since most companies want thier logos, splashes, etc to be unique. It would be like contracting with a game company to create all of the characters for thier game but having to tell them “oh and by the way, once you finish paying me, I’m going to make the characters you just paid me for available for free to anyone who wants them”.

Bottom line, what right do I have to the images I create using Blender?. What right do I have to the .BLEND file?. While, I’m not planning to get rich or anything, it is entirely possible that at some point in the future I may want to put my hard-earned skills to use and even earn a little pocket change. If this is not permitted, then could someone please be kind enough to suggest a 3D modelling program where this would be possible (ie; I can own my own work created by me).


Anything you create with blender if your property, and able to be licensed as you feel appropriate. The GPL aspect extends to blenders source code, if you make a change to that you are required to release it, but as far as using blender to make something it is yours, assuming you make all of your own materials and such. (Then you are under any restrictions of incorporating said materials and such).

Thank’s to both of you for the replies. Yes, I make everything completely from scratch whenever I do any work - from designing my own materials to creating entire scenes so this should’nt be a problem (since everything is my own creation).

I must admit that in the very beginning, Blender was just a hobby tool for me but as time has gone on, I have begun to make a serious investment in learning it. I spend entire days just studying and experimenting and I see tremendous potential for using it as a commercial tool. I just wanted to make sure that I can get a return on my investment later if I choose to capitalize on my modelling skills.

I was a little reluctant to even mention the idea of making money using Blender initially because of the mindset these days. I mean, let’s face it, you mention the word “business” or “profit” and some people take offense (at least it seems that way sometimes). Anyway, thank’s again :slight_smile:

  • Regards

This is why open source software is so amazing.

Any art-work or 3d models or .blend file you create IS YOUR PROPERTY and you can copyright or sell as you see fit. Open source software is so awesome because MANY people (like me for example) started using blender for fun or a hobby, but have found opportunities to make a little money also. The blender community encourages this business model hoping some day the user base will make a little money and then be able to donate to the cause. I personally find it rewarding to donate a small percent of my profits back to the blender foundation so that blender will not stop development. After all, if blender stopped coming with updates, I would not be able to use the software any more to make a few dollars.

If you are just using the software for a hobby, then the community is just as excited to see you even if you do not make any profit.

Keep blending.

It is legally possible to create commercial, closed-source plugins (or “modules” as it appears they are called) through Blender’s Python integration. That is, one can create extensions/libraries for Python & use them to manipulate Blender data AS LONG as one doesn’t actually include Blender source code in code. That means that one has to “marshal” data across the Python layer. I was unaware of this ability until recently when I was informed by Ton about it.

As for the whole aversion to “commercial” & “closed-source” development - there is always a bot of that in a community around open-source projects. Some people are more “rabid” about it than others (hell, Stallman doesn’t even like the LGPL!) but there are always others that understand the need to pay for the bills. I simply take take it with a grain of salt & get on with things. You can never please everyone & those that are used to getting things for free are generally not going to be impressed with having to pay for something (even if you haven’t actually taken something away from them!!!).

Just wanted to point this out about the GPL, because I’ve seen this comment about the GPL before.

If you make changes to the source, you’re NOT required to release your code UNLESS you release your changed program. If you want to create your own custom blender for your own use (or your company’s internal use) you can keep all your changes to yourself. It’s only when you release your modifed Blender that you also need to make the source availlable under the GPL.

This is a common misconception that keeps a lot of companies away from GPL software. They’re afraid to use it for internal uses because they’re afraid they need to make all their code public. If they’re not re-releasing their software (instead using it internally) then there’s no GPL violation in keeping their changes to themselves.

I understand that, Agent85.5 - we stood by that very principle in my last job. However, I think (from the wording of the original request) this was being asked about in terms of plugins for public (paid) use.

Not all of us have the fortune of working for big animation/production studios. As such, most of our open-source development is done in our own time & at our own cost. Once we give this development to anyone (be it a studio or the public), they have the right to give it out to anyone. And I think that is the problem most have with the license. I might be only an intern at the company, but if I find the source code to a GPL plugin - I can legally distribute it on the web, BitTorrent, etc.

A similar thing happened with AOL & the WASTE application. The WASTE application was used for secure communication between Nullsoft & AOL and was released by a developer of Nullsoft. Although AOL quickly took down the website distributing the code and declared that the developer had no right to distribute the code; it is still available on Sourceforge for anyone to use. This is obviously something that most companies would not want to happen for GPL code they hired someone to write!

I’m all for open-source and have done commercial work on GPL projects before. I just think it’s best to get both perspectives (for & against open-source) before we attack either side as clueless idealists or heartless profit-mongers (funnnily enough - I have had both terms applied to me!)