I’ve created a video showing how you can combine basic Blender 3D modelling techniques with the Plating Generator add-on to quickly create a Sci Fi looking helmet like the one you see here. Hope it’s useful to you!
The Plating Generator now comes with the ability to add materials to the plating patterns it generates on the mesh, an often requested feature. Jaroslaw Waskowiak tipped me over the edge with this specific request (among many great suggestions):
Material variations, randomizing UVs, assigning different maps to different “plates” at random
So I set to work:
You can assign different materials which will be applied to the grooves and randomly assigned to the plates. You can also vary the vertex colors of the plates so you can get different colored effects from the same material.
The add-on works by using the existing topology to cut out grooves for the plates in an interlocking pattern. Once those grooves are cut, the faces of the plates can be grouped and different materials automaticaly assigned.
Animation Nodes version
I’ve also included an Animation Nodes version if the add-on so you can play with dynamically changing the effect. The file is part of the samples.
Here are another couple of examples of the add-on at work:
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.
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:
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.