Nebula Generator goes Panoramic

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 2D Nebula setup in Cycles

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:

A sample HDRI is here and here.

I’ve incorporated this set up as an additional set of files on the Nebula Generator available on Blender Market. If there are any questions about it do get in touch.

Re-lifeing the Blog

The storefront on Blender Market

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.

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.

Nebula Generator now on Blender Market

Features:

  • Fast render times at high resolutions.
  • A range of configuration options allow you to change the colour and shape of the nebula.
  • Optional star effects that can be swapped out for your own.
  • By animating the parameters, the clouds can be made to appear as if they are moving.
  • Great for game backgrounds, animations, or concept art backdrops.
  • By default the effect is projected onto the background of the blender scene but can also be used as a texture on other objects.

Earlier versions of the node setup (version 1.2.0) will remain free on my website, however by getting this version here you will:

  • Have a priority on new feature requests.
  • Be able to take advantage of new updates.
  • Allow me to invest the time in developing the effects further.

Future roadmap:

  • Potential migration to python code if efficiencies in usability and performance can be seen.
  • Increasing ease of use of the different parameters on offer.
  • Experimentation with more 3D like effects.

Blender Add-on: Bevelled Extrude

Add-on Link: https://blendermarket.com/products/bevelled-extrude

My latest add-on will create extrusion effects that have configurable bevel effects on the base, corners and tops. Good for creating smooth recesses or protrusions:

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.

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: