The Blender Market sale: Get 25% off all my add-ons and many more

Between 27th to 30th November the Blender Market Black Friday Sale is on – all my add-ons will be 25% off!

By supporting these add-ons you also support their continual improvement, so it is a mega help – you also help out the Blender Foundation too as a percentage of each of the add-ons go to them as well.

My current add-ons are:

  • The Plating Generator – Quickly create a configurable mesh in the form of a fighter jet or starfighter. 
  • Shape Generator – Quickly create and configure countless random shapes for a wide variety of purposes
  • Hull Texture – A versatile, reusable base texture for creating irregular plating effects.
  • Curves To Mesh – Create and configure mesh surfaces from bezier curves.
  • Mesh Materializer – Map objects onto another object using its active UV coordinates.
  • Window Generator – Model many windows at once on the faces of a mesh
  • Bevelled Extrude – Create extrusion effects that have configurable bevel effects on the base, corners and tops
  • Twisted Extrude – Extrude Faces with an Extra Twist
  • Fit Lattice – Quickly fit a lattice deformation cage around a mesh or set of meshes.
  • Configurable Dynamic Jet – Create a configurable mesh in the form of a fighter jet or starfighter.  

You can find out a lot more about each add-ons here.

What have I been up to lately…? KIT OPS SYNTH

Original vision for SYNTH (Credit: Chipp Walters)

I was approached a few months ago by Chipp Walters and Masterxeon101, famous for some of the most leading tools in 3D modelling such as KIT OPS and HARD OPS.

KIT OPS is able to apply a wide range of 3D objects (called INSERTs) that can be used to instantly cut and add to existing objects or create standalone ones with the goal of rapidly creating and exploring new designs. Read more about it here.

They had been interested in my generative modelling work in the Plating Generator and Shape Generator, and had a vision for an extension to KIT OPS called KIT OPS SYNTH.

The original requirement for SYNTH was to simply overlay these INSERTs in a grid like fashion on top of 3D surfaces, but with Chipp’s design patterns thinking and background in NASA we are taking it a lot further….

KIT OPs SYNTH early results, being applied with the new KIT OPS BEVEL (Credit: Chipp Walters)

Emerging features include:

  • A range of layouts can be used: Arrange INSERTs in rows, columns, grids, randomly, and around edges and borders.
  • User ‘layers’ of INSERTs to manage and apply groups of INSERTs in one go.
  • Control the frequency and placement of INSERTS with a variety of parameters: apply padding to the INSERTs, scale them individually, add random rotations.
  • Use Blender 2.91’s new Booleans feature for more accurate cutting.
  • Load and save your configurations to share with others or apply later.

This has already given rise to a variety of promising results you can achieve very quickly with SYNTH. Here is a short video of the random layout being applied using a set of INSERT cutters, by just changing the random seed value:

A short video showing SYNTH’s random layout…and this isn’t even the most powerful layout!
Results achieved in just as few seconds.

There’s still plenty of work to do and a good round of testing to be done before the first release, but I thought it would be good to show the progress so far. In the future, Chipp is looking forward to taking SYNTH to the next level with Machine Learning…but that is definitely a blog for another time.

Greebles comes to the Plating Generator

I have just released a big update to the Plating Generator for Blender which includes a new collapsible interface and, most importantly, Greebles!  Thank you to all my testers who really helped me get this ready for release:

Screen Shot 2018-04-28 at 08.03.40 Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 13.56.49 Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 23.11.10 Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 23.00.38

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 21.27.32 copyThis will allow Blender users to quickly add random detail to models.  A demonstration video is here where I show you how to simply create a Death Star like trench:

Features:

  • Vary the amount, size and height of the Greeble objects.
  • Choose from a range of built-in Greeble objects (Cubes, Cylinders, L-Shapes, T- Shapes)
  • Customise your Greebles by adding your own objects to the effect.
  • Choose from a selection of Blender operators: Just Plating, Just Greebles, or a specialised Plating+Greebles operator.

For this and other add-ons visit the online store.

New Add-On: Convert Bezier Curves to Meshes

My latest Blender Add-On allows you to quickly create and configure mesh surfaces from bezier curves. I think it will be ideal for creating accurate machine parts or for more organic modelling.

Here is a demo video on how it works:

Features

  • Choose to create meshes from 1, 2 or 4 curves with a customisable number of cuts in each direction that are evenly distributed by default.  Meshes can be created from curves with multiple bezier points.
  • Works on curves with multiple bezier points.
  • Useful when you need to create accurate pieces of a mesh, like an aircraft, or for more organic shapes.
  • Faces can be set to smooth or have their normals flipped during the creation process.
  • Works on a variety of bezier handle types (VectorAlignedFree)
  • A network of curves could be built up to create more complex objects.
  • Can be used as a complement to more traditional modelling techniques.
  • By default the edges will be distributed evenly, but this effect can be reduced (see instructions).
  • Compatible with my other add-ons such as the Plating GeneratorBevelled Extrude and Window Generator.

If you have any questions do get in touch – it is best to contact me via Blender Market or via Twitter as I can sometimes miss the comments here.

New Add-On: The Shape Generator

Available at https://www.blendermarket.com/products/shape-generator – a new year, a new add-on!

Quickly create and configure countless random shapes for a wide variety of purposes:

  • Generate ideas and abstract concepts for inspiration.
  • Create base meshes for further editing such as spaceships, game assets, and objects I haven’t even thought of.
  • Create shapes for background assets or to add peripheral details.

The shapes are created by specifying a random number and then changing a range of length, scale and rotation parameters of the resulting extrusions. By default, the add-on will work to ensure that the faces of the shape won’t overlap.

A demo video is here:

A more detailed list of features is available at https://www.blendermarket.com/products/shape-generator.

If you have a new feature request or any questions, either contact me via this website, the Blender Market or you can reach me on Twitter.

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:

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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.

Updates to the Plating Generator

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 20.50.14

The Blender Add-On has proved very popular and based on requests, I have made some additions to the plating generator which are free to all current users:

  • Define the number of segments on the sides of the plates and within the grooves.
  • An additional option of selecting the faces for the plates as well as the grooves.
  • Add a bevel to the edges of the plates, and define the number of segments.
  • This plugin is also tested on the upcoming Blender 2.79.

A short demo video of the new features is here:

You can get the Plating Generator from here.

 

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:

Blender Add-on: Plating Generator & Tutorial

testingAnimGifCap3plate_gen_front

I have created a Blender Add-on that can quickly create hull plating patterns on an existing mesh. One of the most time consuming things I’ve found is how to create an interlocking plating pattern on top of meshes such as spaceship hulls.  The most effective method is to manually extrude edge loops over and over, which can be very time consuming. The more detailed you want the mesh to be, the longer it will take.

You can view a tutorial on how to use the add-on here:

Features:

  • Quickly generate a plating pattern from a random seed.
  • The pattern can be generated on a whole quad based mesh or on a sub selection of quad faces.
  • Control the amount of grooves cut.
  • Control the depth of the grooves between the plates.
  • Control the thickness of the grooves between the plates.
  • Option to split the edges on a smooth mesh to ensure the edges are cleanly defined.
  • Option to completely remove the grooves and leave the plates intact.
  • No hidden geometry created, actions are performed directly on the mesh.

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The add-on is available for commercial download at BlenderMarket.

Any comments or queries feel free to message me via this page or on my Twitter account.