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Our favorite free 3D modeling software gets free AI add-on

Free 3D modeling software Blender now supports AI art generator Stable Diffusion, courtesy of an equally free Stability AI add-on. 

Dubbed Stability for Blender, the text-to-image generator lets users “add AI post-processing effects to renders,” Stability AI has revealed. Working inside the 3D software, they can experiment on scenes without endless remodeling, generating textures, animations, and images through text prompts and the tool’s style presets. 

By integrating Stable Diffusion within Blender, the firm hopes to streamline the design process, and make the tools more accessible without investing in dedicated hardware like high-end GPUs and graphic design laptops

But the AI tool may also offer an unexpected bonus for creatives. Artists, animators, and modelers who download the addon will be able to use the platform’s image editor to create textures and images. 

According to the company, users can go further, keyframing all properties and creating animations that “use Blender’s built-in animation system to automate properties in Stable Diffusion.” By entering a text prompt, the tool creates an image using the artist’s existing render. 

3D model made in Blender

(Image credit: Stability AI / Blender)

In doing so, Stability for Blender could potentially swerve one of the biggest challenges facing content creators, content distributors, and AI developers: copyright infringement.

With everyone from artists to Getty Images suing AI platforms for illegal use of copyrighted materials, employing rendered frames as a starting point for the diffusion process may yet prove a (somewhat) definitive answer to the question “Who owns AI art?” 

The launch comes just months after rival AI platform OpenAI revealed its own 3D model builder. Its POINT-E solution “produces 3D models in only 1-2 minutes on a single GPU”, the developer said, while admitting it currently “falls short of the state-of-the-art in terms of sample quality”. 

Users with a Stability AI API key can get the Blender add-on by clicking here.  

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