Category Archives: Original Work

Blender Add-On: Window Generator

My latest add-on will create many windows at once on the faces of a mesh:

Years ago, I had a very hard time modelling window patterns onto models like this one:

ae4ab5b082274201b26b0e56a57634df

The user wanted more and more windows added to the 3D model, and each time I found myself painstakingly adding each one in a random pattern onto the faces.  This took up many hours and days of my time, far more than modelling the overall model itself. After this painful experience, I thought there surely must be a better way.  So when using Blender, I decided to create an add-on that would do the job for me.

The add-on has applications beyond just modelling spaceships, and would also apply when needing to quickly model many windows onto architectural buildings.

Features:

  • Select faces and then add a configurable pattern of windows, where the amount of coverage and randomness can be controlled.
  • Control how many windows are mapped across each face and how many are mapped down them.
  • The width and height of the windows can be changed.
  • Different window styles can be created by adding corner bevels, and outer bevels can be added to make the window edges smooth.
  • Option to disable top or bottom bevels to create different effects.
  • Ability to assign a material to the newly created windows by specifying a material slot id.
  • Also assign a lights-off material to give the impression that some window lights are switched off.
  • Introduce further variations by adding a random “jitter” to the width and height of each window.
  • Option to perform edge split operations to create a quicker clean look.
  • The process automatically creates uv seams to aid in uv mapping for textures.
  • Faces are mapped from the top-to-bottom of a face by default, but the orientation can be changed to either left-right or front-back.
  • Additional refinement options that will attempt to remove unwanted edges or vertices from the created window patterns.

If you have a new feature suggestion or feedback on the add-on feel free to contact me through this website or contact me on twitter @markkingsnorth.

Filed in Original Work, Plugins & Addons, Tutorials | Comment Now

Blender Add-On: Configurable Jet Mesh

DynamicJetFront_bnI have created a Blender add-on that will quickly create a configurable mesh in the form of a fighter jet or starfighter, available on the Blender Market.

In the past I have found it laborious and repetitive to model, mirror & subdivide the starting shape. This add-on does the job for you, first allowing you to dynamically configure the basic shape, then leaving you free to edit the base mesh by leaving the Mirror and Subdivision Surface modifiers intact.

For modellers who want to either generate different shapes for a jet or starfighter in their scenes, rapidly prototype plane concepts, or have a starting point to develop a more detailed mesh.

Features:

  • Add the Dynamic Jet mesh from the standard Add menu.
  • A range of configuration options allow you to quickly shape and concentrate on the overall design.
  • Once done, you can then move on to edit the underlying basic mesh as the modifiers are left intact.
  • Base mesh is based on quads which will help it to be quickly extended and used with other operators and add-ons.
  • The range of configurable options include: optional engines and tail wings, wing span & angle, cockpit size.
  • Also compatible with my Plating Generator add-on.

If you have a new feature suggestion or feedback on the add-on feel free to contact me through this website or through twitter @markkingsnorth.

I have also created a demo video:

Filed in Original Work, Plugins & Addons | Comment Now

Jupiter Approach and the ships that made it

 

jup_ship_small

After the Mars Picture, I have made more use of the modelling tools and compositing in Blender to create the above image.  Because you can’t see all of the models in detail though, here are some individual renders of them:

fighter1 fighter2 fighter3 fighter4For the fighter, I was able to quickly texture by using smart UV unwrapping combined with a layered brick-like texture to get the overall effect (the plane was originally intended only for the background and so didn’t need much detail).  However I was impressed with how it came out so I could do more close-up renders and perhaps re-use it later.

Here is the larger ship, slightly inspired by the Sulaco in Alien:

ship1

Note again in Blender I was able to very easily add some aft-boosters using the Emission material.

ship3 ship4Once more I am really enjoying Blender, mainly due to the wealth of tutorials out there, and after the initial learning curve it is incredible easy to model, texture, and composite all within the same application.  Admittedly, the final image had some final colour alterations and highlights added in photoshop, but overall everything was accomplished all in the same program.

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A Mars Odyssey in Blender

mars_odysseyFurthering my work in Blender, I came across some useful tutorials by Dan Brown including how to model panels on smooth surfaces.  I combined this by modelling a planet atmosphere in Blender (a little old, but can be still be done for the latest Blender version) to create a slightly 2001-inspired space scene.

I also recreated my Avalon Station in Blender, very roughly:

station_profile

I then learned a little more about UV mapping in Blender and to put together a space plane, following this tutorial to get the after burner effect:shuttle_profile1shuttle_profile3

shuttle_profile4


shuttle_profile2This was all done using Blender’s Cycles node based texturer and renderer, which I’m very impressed with…hope you think this is an improvement on my last effort!

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