Unreal Engine developer Epic Games is giving the Blender Foundation, the nonprofit organization responsible for the Blender open-source 3D content creation software suite, a $1.2 million cash grant. The money is earmarked to “further the success of Blender” in the industry.

The grant comes from Epic’s $100 million MegaGrants program aimed at supporting “outstanding work with Unreal Engine or … open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community. The grant for the Blender Foundation will be delivered over the course of the next three years and will be used to further the organization’s Professionalizing Blender Development initiative.

“Having Epic Games on board is a major milestone for Blender,” said Blender Foundation founder and chairman Ton Roosendaal in a prepared statement. “Thanks to the grant we will make a significant investment in our project organization to improve on-boarding, coordination and best practices for code quality. As a result, we expect more contributors from the industry to join our projects.”

Blender is meant to be a free and open-source 3D creation pipeline for individual artists and small teams. The Blender Institute employs a 15-member team that works on the Blender software.

“Open tools, libraries and platforms are critical to the future of the digital content ecosystem,” said Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney in a prepared statement. “Blender is an enduring resource within the artistic community, and we aim to ensure its advancement to the benefit of all creators.”

Blender Foundation: blender.org/foundation