My favorite place to get 3D material textures is Poliigon.com, a site founded by the Blender Guru himself, Andrew Price. I’ve used other sites but the quality, selection, price and ease of use with Poliigon assets always brings me back. I’m going to cover what’s available on Poliigon, what I like about it (plus one thing I don’t), the costs and a few other things that might help you decide whether or not to give it a try.
Disclaimer: I’m not paid by Poliigon to write this article. I’ve been using Poliigon for several years but only recently enrolled in their affiliate program. As an affiliate, when you use any of the Poliigon links in this post and make a purchase, I get a small commission…which costs you nothing and really helps out my site.
For the YouTube video on my review, click here.
What Can You Get on Poliigon.com?
Poliigon.com has a large and growing library of 3D assets. The most valuable thing I’ve found has been their texture library. Their textures are high quality and affordable. But they also have 3D models, HDRI’s, background images, brushes and a handful of other gems (like these sci fi computer panels). Most of the textures have options for resolutions ranging from 1k up to 8k.
Almost all textures come with maps for color, gloss, reflection, normal, bump and displacement. There are options for “specular” or “metallic” workflows on most. These can be used with any 3D software program. And when you choose to purchase a texture, you get all of these maps and resolution sizes. You don’t need to decide if you want the 3K or the 4K file, or which maps you need or don’t. You can download any and all of them with a single purchase. If you ever need to re-download them or download sizes or maps you skipped, it’s easy and there’s no cost.
The texture files download as a .zip file and are named so they are recognized by software programs and plugins automatically. This means you can use tools like Node Wrangler to automatically set up your material nodes (just don’t rename the files).
One of my favorite categories on Poliigon is the surface imperfections. These are texture maps to add scratches, stains, grunge and other imperfections to any material you use. Almost every scene can benefit from using these.
The 3D models on the site are mostly things you’d use for interior archviz scenes (potted plants, books, food, etc) but they’ve been expanding their library and recently added a collection of high-quality rocks which are great!
Another newer feature is you can download generators for certain material types. Instead of buying a whole bunch of different wood materials, you can buy a wood floor generator for 100 credits (we’ll cover credit prices next) and make hundreds of variations of wood floors with it. If you’re using Blender, you have to download substance viewer (free) to use the generator files but other programs have plug-ins to use them directly.
The HDR images on Polligon.com are good and I have used them, but there are other free sites like HDRIHaven that have good ones too. Poliigon also has a selection of alpha masked brushes. When you explore the textures, you find some other helpful things like street signs, leaf textures and more.
I’ve found Poliigon’s pricing plans to be pretty reasonable. Everything is paid for with credits, which you can either purchase in packs or in one of their three subscription tiers. There are a number of free items you can download for personal use simply by creating an account. The following prices are as of April 2021:
For some reference on pricing, most textures cost 10 credits and 3D models on the site generally cost between 10-25 credits.
Subscriptions are the most economical way to buy credits. They renew monthly but you can save 25% if you pay for a yearly subscription. It’s important to know on the “Hobby” plan, you are not allowed to use purchased assets for commercial use and the credits only roll over for one month. On the Freelance and Production plans, credits roll over for three months. You can cancel a subscription plan at any time.
Credit Pack Pricing
Credits can also be purchased in one-time pack purchases. There are three credit pack options. There’s no recurring subscription but it’s significantly more expensive per credit this way. All assets purchased with credits from a pack can be used commercially. Pack credits expire after 12 months so use them up!
I’ve put together the following chart to consolidate the per-credit cost for each monthly subscription plan, annual plan and credit pack option.
I love the quality of assets on Poliigon.com. I love the selection and they’re regularly adding good stuff to their library. The only area I think Poliigon.com could improve on is cleaning up their pricing plans a little. I don’t like how items purchased on the hobby plan can’t be used commercially. I love that there’s an affordable option. I just don’t know how a user is supposed to keep track of which items they bought on one plan and which items they bought on another if they chose to upgrade. Also, there’s not a huge per-credit incentive to go for the Production Plan.
For this reason, I would avoid using the hobby plan. You might as well build an asset library that you can use for any purpose down the road. I think the best bet for most people would be to use the Freelance subscription and cancel when you don’t need it any more.
I also have no idea why paid credits would expire. So again, make sure you use your credits before they do!
Other than that, I love the site. Please check it out and if this article was helpful at all, please remember that by using the links I’ve provided, I receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you make a purchase and that really helps. Thank you and stay creative!