There are so many sources for materials and textures available for Blender artists that it is starting to become ridiculous. The problem is no longer to find materials, but to find the best ones. Here I list the top 10 sites that gladly provide you with materials. Most of them even for free.
There are also a couple of honorable mentions at the end of the article.
Those are the sites I use whenever I need a material. I am greatly surprised on the rare occasion I don't find the material I was looking for from any of these sources.
If you want a more accessible way of adding materials into Blender, I suggest that you check out the Extreme PBR Evo add-on. It features many materials from these sites but with a quick way of accessing and adding them into your Blender scenes.
External content: Blendermarket, Extreme PBR Evo 1100+ materials
Let's check out the list. You can find links to each site below.
Website: cc0textures.com, formerly cc0textures.com
This was the first site I learned about that provided free cc0 licensed PBR textures and it had about 250 different materials at that time. That number has now grown to over 1000 materials and it is still growing both in size and in quality.
Some earlier materials are a bit dated and you can tell that the texture artist has become better and better as the library has grown.
You can find anything from bricks, wood and fabric to decals, foliage and even some backdrops. The site is easy to navigate and you download the asset by choosing the size you want for the texture set. You get all the files neatly packaged into a ZIP file.
Cc0textures is a solid place to start looking if you need high quality PBR materials for your Blender project. The library is free and kept alive using Patreon and if you contribute you get some extra perks, like access to a Google Drive folder with all materials.
Blenderkit is a bit special because it is an add-on that comes with Blender. You can just enable it in your user preferences.
The idea behind Blenderkit is that any artist can upload their assets and make them available in Blenderkit.
I find the add-on to be pretty good. It has nice preview thumbnails with good information but can sometimes be a bit buggy. For instance the thumbnails tend to sometimes stick and the interface is a bit cluttered.
However, there are almost 1300 materials in the library at the moment. Many of them are free but some are also premium assets that you pay a very affordable subscription fee for.
If you want to learn how to manage add-ons and find more awesome ones, you can check out this article.
Related content: 30 Blender add-ons Install, manage paid and free
This is another collection of cc0 textures. CGBookcase also have a large library. The website is very easy to navigate with good search and filter features.
Personally I think the highlights are probably the leaves' category together with the more recently added fabrics that has excellent quality. There is also a nice collection of road textures in this library just to name a few.
Some categories though needs some more love. For instance, I almost never use the wood textures from this library. But hey, it is free, right.
CGBookcase is financed with Patreon and if you subscribe there are different levels that gives you different perks and you also help to make sure the site stays alive.
Poliigon is really at the front of material creation and is often first with a lot of new ideas and types of assets. For instance, they were very early if not the first site that featured a large collection of imperfection overlays to add things like fingerprints, dust and scratches to your scenes.
Lately they also started with 3D models and what they call material generators.
There are some free assets on the site allowing you to explore the library. Poliigon also have an add-on to easily bring in the materials into Blender with the shader nodes already setup.
Website: Polyhaven.com, formerly texturehaven.com
This site uses only photo scanning to create the materials. Compared to the rest of this list it is a very small library but it has great quality. It focuses on medieval, nature and has its own unique style. Something that can be hard to find in other places.
The website is easy to navigate but the search feature isn't that great. It is also a bit hidden. However, the library isn't that large making it easy to browse instead.
The assets are given away with the cc0 license and it is literally an absolute steal.
It also has its sister sites, HDRIhaven and 3Dmodelhaven with their respective cc0 licensed asset category. HDRIHaven is well known in the Blender community and the only place you need to get HDR images to light your scenes.
Texturehaven and its sister sites are all financed by its Patrons that gets additional perks for supporting the sites.
Sharetextures takes an in-between approach. Profiling themselves as a texture site with cc0 textures. But the high resolution variations are only available for patrons. So if you don't pay you only get access to 1k textures and in most cases 1k is not enough.
I would say that the quality of the materials are about average. They are not great but not bad either. Sometimes it is here I find exactly what I am looking for, so I tend to keep this site in mind. Well worth to be a patron for.
I am fairly sure the website is built on the same framework as Texturehaven. The framework was originally released by Greg Zaal who created HDRIHaven and the sites structure looks very similar and the search feature is about as bad as it is on the haven sites. However, browsing the library is a good experience.
The download is through Google Drive, and I am not a big fan. It gives the user a different experience depending on if you are logged into Google or not and if you want to download a set of textures as a ZIP package, the process is pretty slow.
This site takes a similar approach to sharetextures. The textures are licensed under the cc0 license, which is great. But if we don't sign up as a patron we only have access to 1k resolution textures.
They have, in my opinion, nice quality assets. But the website could be better. The contrast ins't great and the text is fairly small making it slightly difficult to get a good overview at a glance.
The search feature does not show any preview images in the results and many of the previews that are there are fairly low resolution and doesn't do the materials justice. Downloads are also server with Google Drive.
But if you become a patron it is well worth it and you get access to high quality materials that you can use in your Blender projects without much hassle.
Textures.com is one of the oldest texture sites around. Formely cgtextures.com. THey have everything from regular texturest o PBR materials, scans, models, HDRIs and brushes to name a few categories.
You can get a free account that gives you 15 credits per day but it only allows you to download a handful of low resolution textures. Some assets can cost several hundred credits making this site very expensive in comparison. But they have such a vast library that sometimes it is the only source you will be able to find certain assets.
I personally use this site less and less but on occasion I find myself browsing their library and downloading some assets.
A couple of examples are their 3D scanned alpha masked atlas sheets and decals.
It is pretty hard to put substance source by itself since it is part of the substance subscription. Substance is an entire package including multiple applications such as Substance painter, Substance Designer and Alchemist to create textures for 3D procedurally.
The library itself is large with a bit over 3500 assets. On top of that you have the substance suite to create your own assets for a very competitive price.
If you are on the hunt for plain old textures this is a great site to look at. It has a library with around 5000 image textures that you can use under the CC0 license.
Some images are also great for reference when modeling certain objects or details.
Website: 3DAssets.one, formerly Textures.one
Textures.one is not a library. Instead, it is a search engine that searches through these texture sites that are mentioned above among with some smaller contributors.
It is a great place to start when you are looking for materials for use in Blender or your favorite 3D package for that matter.
A couple of honorable mentions are Duion and Opengameart.org.
Duion is a site with around 5000 cc0 licensed images that you can browse for and download. The library is dated and many photos are shot in pretty poor lighting conditions. But the size of the library surely makes it worthy of an honorable mention.
By the way, if you enjoy this article, I suggest that you look at my E-Book. It has helped many people learn Blender faster and deepen their knowledge in this fantastic software.
Suggested content: Artisticrender's E-Book
Opengameart.org is more of a community site for game assets. As the name suggest, they focus on game art and it is not only 3D related. There are many contributors and varying quality. But if you are willing to spend some time looking around the library you can find a few gems here and there.
The site has a nice search function that allow you to drill down to exactly what you need.
Those are the places where I go when looking for textures. Perhaps you know of another great library that I missed? Maybe you prefer one over the other. Give your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for your time.