How to protect .blend for 3D Level accuracy/expertising

Hi everyone.

I’m in the process to sell a 3D model to some game developpers for them to finish developement and make it a fully functionnal object in the game.

They want me to send the .blend to an intermediate people, a 3D expert, to judge the quality of the model and say if my price proposal is worthing or not…

According to him, the .blend will only be opened one time to assess the quality, then will be deleted and never sent to my customer… Of course I have only his good saying to trust, but I would like to know what real mediums do you use to protect your work in such circumstances…

Something like a locked .blend with both object and edit modes but the inability to move any vertices. Or a countdown at which the .blend will self destroy ? Or even cutting the object alobg a random plane for non re-use as a solid blueprints to reverse engineer it very quickly ?

Also, what kinds of texts or licenses could I send them to sign so that if they decide to steal it they are illegal and I’m in my right to sue them ?

Thank you very much for your input !


this isnt really for the paid forum
but if this wasn’t agreed upon in the contract i would recommend not doing it and demanding payment for the product or sending lots of screenshots.
there is no real way to protect your model other then sending a small sample of it. or you could upload it to sketch-fab and let them check its quality on there.

Well, you don’t send them the blend file under any circumstances, especially if you don’t even trust them. The common way for people to gauge the quality of a model is to look at images of wireframes (as many angles as is necessary).

The way I usually deal with those customers is:

  1. Send them a video of the model from all angles including a wireframe version.
  2. Get paid and then send the model.


  1. Get paid in advance.
  2. Make the model and send it to the client.
  3. Do any adjustments the client asks for and send the final version.

In any case, the client never gets the model before paying. If your client insists on checking out the model before he pays, offer him a Skype Screensharing Session where he can check the model on your PC.

As others have said, ask for a portion of the pay beforehand or only send screenshots. There isn’t any easy way to protect a blend file. Maybe you could upload the 3D model to if they have an option to keep models private but shareable (and I don’t know if they offer this).

Maybe thiscan help?

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SEND YOUR PROJECT FILE BEFORE GETTING PAID! As others have said upload to Sketchfab or use Marmoset Toolbag viewer to show them the model. They will be able to see topology and textures on the model without having direct access to the source. Look up Mike Monteiro -“Fuck you, pay me” on YouTube. It has a lot of excellent advice everyone should consider.

Are people really sending blends ? I generally only have to deliver renders since I do primarily archviz work … but it seems like sending an obj/fbx would be the general final product, no ?

In any case, sending any final product beforehand is a big mistake… even if you did trust them … which you don’t

LOL! Don’t be a fool… Make a turntable animation in OpenGL with wire frames and such, and send it. Never send the .blend file… The client is playing you… lol
If they don’t agree, the job wasn’t legit, not worth messing with.

depends on value, expertise & trust from both sides

if afraid & in doubt, get them to sign NDA, then send diminished work (ie. checker deselect&delete every second poly from few parts) but leave most valuable parts intact, where your skills can be observed

already a confidence & an ingenuity you communicate are part of the professionalism valued on the market, in business…
going both ways,
always in flux

and rather donate occasionally

This is really a general topic thread. Not a Job thread. Moderation will likely move it. Until then…

Sounds like they are buying a model that was already made? Yes?

In any case there are a lot of ways to expose the technical aspects of the model. For a game certain things would need to be known such as polycount, clean and efficient modeling with no overlapped parts that will waste UV space and so on. It sounds like they will be taking this model and doing final preps to make it game ready. UV mapping and textures perhaps.

Whatever the case may be the solution would be a direct one on one communication with the third party to discuss in details what they need. Or directly with the client. At any rate a list of specs should be gotten and it worked out how those specs can be exposed, with screen grabs or videos etc.

Once that has been established, of course money up front and delivery.

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I’m assuming this is a model you have already made, not commissioned-for work:

You can’t “protect” .blend files. If it’s for a videogame, your work isn’t that valuable anyway. If they look like credible people, just send them the .blend, if they rip you off, what difference does it make? If you don’t send it, it will be a lost sale. If you do send it, it might be a lost sale. You’re losing valuable time by debating whether or not to do it. If it really ends up in a videogame and you don’t get paid, or if they illegally re-sell it, you may consider legal action (thought that’s probably a waste of time as well).

Contrary to what some people here write, it’s not enough to post a wireframe to judge if a model is suitable for a particular game project. It may need to be modifiable. I wouldn’t want to purchase a .blend file where some joker applied all the modifiers, for instance. Also, creating the wireframe rendering itself takes time that you should not be wasting.

The situation is different for commissioned (and not yet paid-for) work. Asking for source files is a red flag. Even then you should have intermediate payment modalities worked out beforehand. Otherwise, if they intended to rip you off all along, they’re not gonna pay either way, your time has been wasted. At best, you can make them have wasted their time as well, by not delivering. In this case, successfully pursuing legal action is more difficult.

I usually send the model with marmoset viewer.

Hi all,

Thank you very much for all your replies :wink: !

Well, I was fine nosed, and so you were… It smelt very bad, especially when I announced them I won’t ever send the source file over the web, they reacted violently, not in a professional manner at all …

Ahah, they obviously thoughts as a newbie in the business I was open to be screwed and shut myself. Wrong assumption.

Thanks, and good business to all !