Saturday, June 4, 2011

List of Free for Commercial Assets & Tools

For the programmers who are just too busy coding to find art folks and too busy eating baked beans to pay them; I present this list. Through much personal research and relentless trolling of Reddit I've found many free assets, tools, and everything in-betwixt. Make sure you carefully check the licensing terms yourself; I may have incorrectly read the license or it may have changed since I last checked.

MakeHuman - Generate human models with skeletal animation data. Like "The Sims" character editor, but can output Wavefront OBJ. They aim for movie grade, but also have low-poly models too.
BlendSwap - Blender Scene sharing site, most restrictive license permitted is CC-BY-SA, my quick survey indicated most are CC-BY only.
Blender Materials - Materials for use in Blender, good inspiration for writing your own real-time stuff, or use them in cutscenes.
Carnegie Melon University Mocap Data - Poke around some people have cleaned the data up
Ohio State University Mocap - They just restructured their website, but the data is still there
FatBOX Software 3D models [Facebook login required] - Free models, mostly mobile phone resolution
Arbaro - Generate movie grade trees (700k polys)
ngPlant - Generate real-time grade plants/trees with real-time preview
tree[d] [win32 only]- Generate real-time Trees
cgTextures - High res textures, many are tileable
Mayang Textures - Huge amount of textures, none are tileable but easy enough to make tileable with Resynth.
Backyard Ninja Free Stuff - 2D tileset assets.. really nice pixel painted tiles for a platformer.
The FreeSound Project - Huge amount of sound effects, licensed by CC-Sampling Plus
ccMixter - CC licensed music
HasGraphics - CC licensed artwork listing, mostly 2D tiled.
Lost Garden - Webpage of the 2D guy behind Tyrian, lots of free top quality 2D artwork.

2D Image

MyPaint - this one's aimed at Artists, as opposed to The Gimp which is squarely aimed at programmers.
The Gimp - The Swiss-Army-Chainsaw of free 2d image editing
Gimp-Texturizer - One click make an image tileable (didn't work for me on windows)
Resynthesizer - The original "context aware fill", although it does much more than that. Load an image, in gimp click "Filters->Map->Resynthesize" and it will make most images brilliantly tileable.
AutoStitch [win32] - Joins several photos together, fixing scale, colour and exposure to make one homogeneous image.
Paint.NET [win32] - A lightweight and fast paint app that's great for quick work.
Inkscape - Vector graphics editor
GrafX2 - PixelArt oriented program, pining for the days of the Amiga 500 and Deluxe Paint
Tiled - Map editor for making Orthogonal and Isometric tile-based maps.
The Compressionator [DirectX] - Tool from AMD for generating compressed textures and mipmaps.
SSBump Generator [win32] - Generates bump maps from height maps. Can also generate height maps from regular images.
NeoTextureEdit - a LGPL3 procedural texture editor

3D Image

Blender - 3d modelling tool, great for cleaning up mocap data & making models
MeshMixer - From their site.. "meshmixer is a free tool for making crazy-ass 3D stuff without too much hassle. Or boring stuff too. You decide.". Basically drag and drop bits of things onto other things, and it makes the meshes fit. I think it will be great for baking clothes and stuff onto existing models.
Aqsis - Renderman compatible render, good for your cutscenes and as a replacement for Blenders built in renderer.
Normal Mapper [win32] - Can generate normal maps from a high poly model and a low poly model.
RenderMonkey [win32] - Tool for prototyping shaders, with real time preview.


LMMS - MIDI Tracking tool (making music), the best free one I've seen by miles. Looks like it would happily compete with the commercial options.
Open ModPlug Tracker - A Mod tracker, very primitive looking interface, but don't let that fool you, it's very capable.
Ardour [Unix, OSX] - Non-Linear-Editing for Audio. Also capable of real-time mixing. It's an industrial grade tool.
Audacity - Audio tool, great for cleaning up samples and the like.


Lightworks Public Beta [win32] - Industrial grade Non-Linear Video editing suite.


Aviary [Web-based] - Looks like it does everything in this list except 3D modelling.


  1. If you're still looking to add stuff, I'd like to suggest MyPaint.

    It's more or less an unlimited in size digital canvas for digital painting. I prefer it when I'm drawing or sketching up ideas. I know it works great on Linux, Windows (probably just as well, but I'm not sure), and there's an experimental build for Mac.

  2. So this is one way of simplifying this and putting it in a manner that is very easy to comprehend. Nice job here.

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