How to attribute free assets used in your freelance 3d projects?

I work on architectural visualisation projects in blender, where i need to download assets like sofas, chairs, tables, and textures and materials. I do not use paid materials, but totally free assets like ones found on Blenderkit and Sketchfab, etc. Blenderkit does not require attribution, but most other websites, provide free assets on the CC BY lisence ie. one must attribute (provide name and link of creator of asset) the creator.

When you are submitting a final render to your client for a freelance 3d project, how do you provide him the attributes of the assets you have used? And how will he be able to attribute, when the render will be used in various places.

If the render was being used on my own website, or in a tutorial I am creating, I would have provided the links below my image. But in the case of a freelance project, how does it work? (Do i give the client a document with links of free assets used?) Because generally architectural renders will be used on hoardings on the highway, advertisements, and circulated among different people. It would not make sense to provide the document with attributes everywhere the image will be printed, circulated, etc.

I have never seen renders with attribution on websites posting these renders, like pinterest, etc. Many must be using free assets like models and textures.

Hope someone can enlighten me on this topic.

Thank you, Kris

If you use Creative Commons Attribution assets in your projects, then it’s on your client to provide that credit. Most clients won’t agree to this, so you shouldn’t use such assets and instead either use CC0 (public domain) content, or purchase ‘royalty free’ models at CG marketplaces.

Yeah that’s because either:

a) many people don’t read and understand the license, or
b) people chose to ignore it as the chance of getting caught it slim.

In both cases, they’re not playing fair in the Open culture: people are providing you the results of their work free of charge, and you ‘pay’ by crediting them.


Thanks, thats helpful.


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Just out of curiosity, if someone uses an asset with something like a CC-BY asset without attribution in a non-commercial project, can the original creator sue them? I know this would be morally incorrect and would cause embarrassment to the artist if caught, but what would be the actual legal implications?



Onus is on you to contact the creator of the asset and work out a custom licensing of the asset to be free of the attribution requirement.


Exactly., and I can’t stress enough for creators of CC content to include contact possebillities (like a readme) in their assets, and for users using them to keep track of their source as much as possible


Just in general, never go by “what other people do”. It should never ever raise a question. Go by the advice of a lawyer, the intent of the creator as well as the letter of the law in combination with case law.

Don’t only read the license agreement. Often they can be misleading, unclear and ambiguous. And even if they seem clear, they are subject to adjudication in court and where the rubber hits the road it is how these issues are judged on. Not the strict letter of the agreements which in fact can be illegal or violate the intent of the law.

EULA do not satisfy the far reaching and variety of use cases which - at the end wind up in courts - and are fought by lawyers and presided over by judges who understand this very specific area of law. This area is called “Case Law”. And this is why a) lawyers specialize and b) why it takes so long to become a licensed lawyer. It is not the only study of the letter of the law that makes you a lawyer it is the study of case law as well.

Your course of action should be as follows:

Read any agreement you have. If you don’t understand it or have questions.

a) Contact the entity who licensed the product to ask for clarification and explain your use case if there is anything not clear, or if you feel there might be an exception and why.
b) Failing this, seek out lawyer forums who deal with this specific area of law, and read the many free articles they write to explain things - in hopes of good will to then attract clients. Tons of information that will much more likely be more factual than not asking a lawyer directly.
c)Failing that even, contact a lawyer directly
d) bonus points for doing a little research yourself on not only the law but actual case law which is what dictates how the law is interpreted and enforced.

And at the end of the day you might just apply a,b, and d. Then on your own, decide you are well within your rights and do what you think is correct.

But never be dismissive and consider you won’t get caught for something you have researched and found is not correct.