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Getting Started

What is 3DN BIP?

3DN BIP or 3D Ninjas Blender Image Preview is a library, which allows blazingly fast preview image loads in Blender. Furthermore, it can load preview images of arbitrary size. It operates as an bpy.utils.previews drop-in replacement and does all the heavy lifting for you.

Our library enables the following major use cases:

  1. Load preview images shipped as BIP images blazingly fast. We recommend this approach in case you can generate the images beforehand. In this case, your users don't need to take any action to enjoy the speed boost.
  2. Load regular JPEG or PNG preview images blazingly fast. Recommended in case you need to load images provided by the user or by external software tools. For that, we need Pillow on the user's system. It would be best if you use our prepared InstallPillow operator so that your users can enjoy the speed boost with a simple click.


  1. Our library will always fall back to bpy.utils.previews if unsupported formats are to be loaded. For this reason, there is absolutely no disadvantage in using this library. In the worst case, we will apply the standard mechanism of Blender.
  2. .bip is a highly optimized image format, which can be transferred to Blender's internal data structures immediately. It is always blazingly fast, whether Pillow is installed or not.


Download the following sample addons. You can easily install the ZIP files in Blender via the addon preferences tab.


The latest release of the library can be downloaded here:

Just extract the zip file and copy the folder into your addon. Take a closer look at the examples given above to learn how to use the library.

In case you want to install the library via PyPI, you can use the following command:

python -m pip install t3dn-bip


The converter is provided via PyPI. Use the following command for the installation:

python -m pip install t3dn-bip-converter

Use the following command to convert images of various formats into the BIP format:

python -m t3dn_bip_converter source_file.png destination_file.bip

Who is using 3DN BIP?

3DN BIP is a new library and is currently being integrated into various addons. The following addons have already been released with 3DN BIP.