Hidden Alley: A Community Project

Work with us to create a library of free and open 3D assets!

The results are in…

Our second community project has yielded really great results!
We received 51 asset submissions from 35 amazing artists.

We want to thank everyone who took the time to vote and to everyone who was involved in any way, no matter how small. Thank you to everyone who participated.
Even if you did not win, we are humbled by your support and dedication!

A HUGE thank you to all of the Prize Providers who have provided such an amazing pool of resources for the winners to choose from and consequently helping us give back to the participants.
The Prize Providers sponsored so many resources in fact that, Every single winner will be receiving at least one prize with some winning more!

Congratulations to all the winners!
I am sure many of you have been waiting in anticipation of these results…. and so… Here they are…

Top 10

#1Aircon Unit by Monsta3D
#2Concrete Road Barrier by Amal Kumar
#3Roller Shutters by MP
#4Monkey Wrench by Will Evarts
#5Security Camera 02 by Garrison Gager
#6Modular Airduct Circular by Riley Queen
#7Street Rat by Sean Buckley
#8Modular Street Seating by Stuart Attenborrow
#9Modular Fire Escape by Juniix
#10Medieval Door by Tina

In no particular order here are the rest of the winners.

What happens now?

All the winners will receive emails with relevant information on how to receive their prizes and their assets will be uploaded to the Poly Haven Library over the coming weeks.

Creation of the Hidden Alley scene will also continue to take place. If anyone still wants to make asset contributions for the environment you are more than welcome to do so though our contribute page here: Contribute your asset

Archive of original post below:

Hidden Alley: A Community Project

Our previous community project, The Shed, was a major success! Special thanks to all the fantastic artists who took part and helped stock the Shed full of amazing high quality props.

Check out the final Shed scene here

So then, lets do another one!

Introducing: The Hidden Alley

We want to work together as a community once again and this time to create an Alleyway environment, filled with high quality props created by dozens of different artists (like you!)

We want you to make props that would fit the alleyway theme. We’ll create an environment for these props to go in, and share all the assets openly on polyhaven.com, along with the final scene itself.

Though we have over $2000 worth of prizes to reward to the best artists, this project is at it’s core about building a library of free content for everyone.


What is the Hidden Alley?
Tucked between towering buildings, hiding in plain sight, lies a dark and narrow alleyway. It’s easily missed by the hurried crowds and noisy traffic that rushes on by. The ground is littered with discarded items and debris. However, despite its unkempt appearance, it has a certain charm that attracts those brave enough to explore its depths.

Whatever might fit a scene like this, we’ll find a place for it.


Create as many assets as you like, however only your top 3 will be eligible for prizes. Just remember that quality matters more than quantity.

There are a few requirements to assets we can accept:

  • They have to be your own original creation.
  • They have to be able to be published as CC0 (more on this further down).
  • They have to be consistent with the standards and quality of the models currently on the site.


A Very Special thanks to all the prize providers helping us give back to you.


High-quality nature assets to bring life into your virtual worlds.

Three one month subscriptions

Value: $10 each

CG Boost

You pick from any of the courses currently offered

6 copies avaliable

Value: $60 Each

Flip Fluids

Powerful liquid simulation in Blender

3 copies available

Value: $76 each

UVPackmaster 3

An efficient and fully-featured UV packing engine for Blender

3 copies available

Value: $44 each

Blender Secrets

Tips and mini-tutorials to improve your Blender workflow

4 copies available

Value: $40 each

Creative Shrimp

You pick from any of the courses currently offered

5 copies available

Value: $49 each

Upcoming CG Masterclass course

Learn how to build high quality 3d environments in Blender

3 copies available

Value: $49 each


Next generation render farm for Blender & Modo

Two one month subscriptions (Full options)

Value: $420 each

Hard Ops / Boxcutter

Non-destructive hard surface suite for Blender

4 copies available

Value: $38 each


Lighting & HDRI manager for Blender

3 copies available

Value: $19 each

Fox Renderfarm

Powerful Render Farm Service

3 coupons available

Value: $100 each

That’s 39 prizes with a total value of $2,760!

The project will conclude on the 22nd of May. After that, the artists whose assets are accepted will vote alongside our patrons for the top creations and winners will get to choose from the pool of available prizes.

The artist in first place will get first pick from the prize pool; after that, second place will then pick from the remaining prizes; third place will pick after that; then fourth… until there are no prizes left.

As a participation prize, all artists whose props were accepted (including those who didn’t win any prizes) will be given our Poly Haven Asset Browser Add-On for Blender, or alternatively access to Poly Haven’s Nextcloud server which contains all our assets, as well as a special role on our Discord server.

How to enter

We have a public Trello board where you can share the progress of your asset, ask for feedback and Submit your asset (more on this further down). This is meant to serve as the central hub of the project where we can track the progress of each others work and help each other with feedback and constructive criticism.

  1. Read the rules and requirements below.
  2. Pick an idea for a prop that would fit in an Alleyway environment.
  3. Create this prop in a photorealistic style.
  4. Don’t use any resources that would mean your prop could not be published as CC0 (more info below).
  5. Make sure your creation is fit to be used by other people (e.g. good UVs, topology, baked texture maps, etc).
  6. Share your work in progress on the Trello Board and gather feedback from other artists to make your work better.
  7. When you’re done, Move your card over to the “Submit your asset” list and follow the provided checklist.
  8. Fill in the Submission Form.

Work together

There is no reason to work in isolation. We have a special section on our Discord where during the course of the project we’ll be hanging out in a voice chat while working on our own assets and the scene.

We highly recommend sharing your progress on forums or other Discord communities. This way you can get feedback from outside of our little community too, and help spread the word about the project.

Don’t know what to make?

Don’t worry! We have created a list of ideas which can be found on the Trello board.

Having too many of the same kind of prop may not be as useful as having lots of different things, but don’t let that discourage you from making whatever it is you feel like making 🙂

Here’s a simple prop workflow that you can check out as an example of the kind of thing we’re looking for.


It is of utmost importance that your assets can legally be published as CC0. This means submissions that include any copyrighted content of any kind will be rejected. See more in the FAQ below.

  • All entries must be original works.
  • In order to help us verify your work we will need you to provide a list of all the sources or information regarding any resources you had used that you did not make yourself. This includes which texture resources you used on your 3D model.
  • We encourage you to favor quality over quantity, though there is no limit to how many assets you can submit. Each prop should be a separate submission.
  • Any software can be used as long as the work that is produced allows it to be released as CC0.
  • 3D scanned assets will be allowed as long as the asset does not include any copyrighted or trademarked material and meets the requirements below.

Asset requirements 

Ultimately Poly Haven is striving for quality over quantity so we have to be quite specific about the technical requirements and level of quality that we publish.

  • Assets should be photorealistic, suitable for next-gen game engines and visual effects. Please get feedback and critique from other artists before submitting your work.
  • Assets should be in real-world scale, with rotation and scale applied.
  • Fully UV unwrapped and textured with standard PBR maps. Minimum 4k resolution textures.
  • Any procedural shaders should be baked down to a simple set of PBR Maps/images so as to be compatible with any 3D software.
  • If you have used Substance to texture your asset, you are encouraged to include the Substance file in the submission as this helps us with processing the asset.
  • Use only custom original textures painted specifically for your asset, or textures that are already CC0/public domain compatible. There is a list of resources like this on the Trello board.
    • This means content from popular sites like textures.com or Poliigon cannot be used.
    • Working with built-in tools and procedural textures (e.g. in Substance) is fine, as long as they are baked to the UVs of your model and not shared on their own.
    • If in doubt, read the terms of use or license agreement of the resource you’re using, or ask on our Discord.
    • You will be required to share a list of links to the resources you used so we can validate this.
  • 3D scanned assets should be reasonably retoplogized and include a full set of PBR maps (diffuse/albedo, roughness, AO, normal, displacement and metalness if applicable).
  • Assets must be provided in “.blend” format. If Blender is not your software of choice, check some tutorials on how to import your asset into Blender and make sure it looks the way you want it.

If you’d like to make our lives easier, take a look at our Technical Standards document for more details on what we we’ll need before we publish it on polyhaven.com.


Can I submit multiple assets?

Please do! Create as many assets as you like, however only your top 3 will be eligible for prizes. This is to ensure that quality is favored over quantity.

If you submit multiple assets that are very similar (e.g. Small geometry tweaks or minor texture changes ) we might consider them as a single asset.

Can I use images from Pixabay/Unsplash?

These two websites do not actually use the CC0 license, but their licenses are similar enough to CC0 that for most images (except for those depicting a recognizable person or trademark) you may incorporate them in your assets. Just read their license terms carefully to ensure you’re abiding by them, and then in our submission form provide a link to the image(s) you used so that we can verify your source and credit the author (which is not technically required, but is nice to do and builds trust with our users).

For other similar sites, make sure their license is similarly lenient – if you’re not sure just ask in the comments below or on Discord and we’ll check it out.

Note that textures from popular sites like textures.com and Poliigon are not compatible with the CC0 license and cannot be used. For any other sites, read their licenses very carefully.

Can I use public domain resources in my assets?

Yes. Although CC0 is not exactly the same as public domain and it’s not possible to apply the CC0 license to existing public domain content outright (re-licensing it), it is possible to use that content as part of a greater design and release that new work (a derivative) under a new license. Just make sure the image in question is actually in the public domain, and not simply “free”.

You will still need to provide a list of sources for any included public domain works.

What happens if I use copyrighted resources as part of my asset?

If you tell us about it, then we will unfortunately have to reject your submission. If you don’t tell us, that would be plagiarism. If you don’t include any sources, we assume that your asset is completely your own original work, and will publish it as CC0 on Poly Haven. Despite us publishing your creation, you are the one licensing your creation as CC0 and remain legally responsible for it. If it’s later discovered that your design is plagiarized, we will immediately remove it and provide your contact information to the party raising the dispute.

Info and Links

6 thoughts on “Hidden Alley: A Community Project”

    1. Hey Levi!
      Currently we don’t support decals on the site however if the decals were significant enough and could be supplied under our model selection we might allow it.

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