I’ve just updated the Nebula Generator‘s 2D and 3D versions in Blender to have an additional panoramic set up, available as separate files in the downloads.
This allows you to render a panoramic view of a nebula which can then be used to produce hdris for evironments such as game backgrounds.
The 2D version was fairly straightforward to set up by switching the camera type to Panoramic and the Panorama Type to Equirectangular. This is because the set up is linked to Blender’s Cycles environment:
The 3D version was a little more challenging as the EEVEE setup does not support the Equirectangular camera mode yet. I did however come across a really useful video tutorial by United Filmdom Ltd. that describes how to set up multiple cameras to render out the views and then re-assemble them in a cube map, using a Cycles camera to to the work. It’s a little trickier and doesn’t end up with perfect seams mainly due to EEVEE’s bloom filtering (which can be edited using something like the smudge tool in Photoshop).
From this I got some good examples of the 3D nebula as a background:
It’s been a long road getting from there to here, as they say – I decided to temporarily close this blog a few months ago due to the high level of neglect I’d been giving it, as I have been super busy creating add-ons on the Blender Market site.
Whilst I continue to do that, I think the time’s right to bring it back as I delve even deeper into the realms of Blender, Houdini, 3DS Max and renderers like Octane.
I thought I’d use this blog to share a more permanent record of my work and experiments in the world of CG (whilst still keeping up my Twitter and Youtube presence) along with my continuing development of add-ons and plugins.
I’d also like to get some feedback from you, dear reader – so if there’s anything you’d like me to write about, such as tips n tricks in the world of 3D, let me know.
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:
This 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:
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.
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:
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 (Vector, Aligned, Free)
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).
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.