BIS add-on v.0.0.3

BIS (Blender Interplanety Storage) add-on intermediate update to v.0.0.3

The addon is almost in the prerelease state.

  • All Cycles nodes are supported, including script and nested groups.
  • Also added the ability to save scripts/texts from the Text Editor.

To make a release, it was left to clean up a bit the server (site) side – increase the previews size, add tags and node names editing, make a separate list for saved texts. And also test the add-on with complex materials.

Active objects access

How to access the active (selected) objects through the Blender Python API from scripts/add-ons:

  1. The active window (in which current action occurs):

  1. The active (selected) mesh:

  1. The active (selected) material node (in the NODE_EDITOR window):

  1. The current text in TEXT_EDITOR window:

BIS development. Is it necessary?

Blender Interplanety Storage (BIS) add-on is still under development, but I decided to open early access to it.

This add-on is the first, which I planned to do at least somehow commercially justified. Is it really possible to write a commercial add-on for Blender? In any case, it is necessary to have at least some support for the add-on, because it is not local and without any justification, it makes no sense to keep the web server for it. The first idea of commercialization was about the monthly subscription. I was going to do it after finally finish the addon development (full support of all kinds of nodes and solvation of the most of emerging issues). Only after the completion of all this work I was going to open the add-on for users.

The reason of the early access was the discussion in Blender’s VK group. It was suggested that add-on with a commercial basis is not needed with the presence of Blender Cloud or VX Matlib add-on. Users will not pay for anything that can be obtained another way for free.

So the first, and most important, question – are users need such add-on? In the subscripted version or only for free? Or maybe most of the existing solutions are enough?

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BIS – Online Blender material storage

Blender Interplanety Storage (BIS) – online material storage add-on for Blender 3D.

Now the addon is at the beta testing stage!

Not all kinds of nodes are supported!

With the BIS add-on, you can save materials (groups of nodes) in the online library. Saved materials are available from any computer through installed add-on.

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Working with MySQL database from Blender

Storing data in a remote database has become common practice in the development of software products. Blender is no exception. Writing scripts and add-ons, the developer may need to access the database to retrieve from it or write to it the necessary information. MySQL today is one of the most common and widely available databases and is well suited for working with Blender.

The interaction between Blender and MySQL database through the Blender Python API is not difficult, but it needs some preparation before stating:

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How to render object with shadows on a transparent background

Sometimes it is necessary to create a render of an object with shadows on a transparent background. This occurs when you need to realistically embed a 3D into the photo or when creating an image to use it as a sprite in a computer game.

There is no special shader in Blender, like “Shadow catcher” in 3D Studio Max, which remains transparent display shadows. However, it is possible to achieve the desired result.

Let’s consider how we can get a shadow render on a transparent background using Blender:

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Stock artist scheduler / calendar

Stock artist scheduler is a service that can be useful for artists who draw images or model 3D for sale on stock sites such as Shutterstock and others.

It’s not secret that the sale of a content dedicated to some famous event or celebration significantly increases shortly before the event date. Which is quite understandable – designers require more new content corresponding to the upcoming event than other times. Therefore creating Christmas toys for selling on stock sites is much more profitable shortly before the New Year holiday, and spacecraft – shortly before the Astronautics Day.

The Stock artist schedule is a list of holidays, significant events, and dates, shown in a convenient order for the preparation of content for stock sites.

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Binding to timeline frames

Sometimes when creating an animation it is necessary to perform some actions according to the timeline or, the same, to the current animation frame number. Binding animation to timeline frames in Blender is possible using the built-in Python API.

As an example, let’s make a simple animation which turns one of the letters of any text from lowercase to uppercase in series.

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Fighting with gradient aliasing when saving image as JPG

Background with simple gradient can greatly improve the final image. For example, a heart with gradient background looks like significantly better than the same heart with white background.

However, if you need to save such image as JPG, the gradient becomes aliased that fails the impression of the image. That problem is named “banding”. Is it possible to defeat the gradient aliasing?

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How to copy a single modifier to multiple objects

Sometimes it is necessary to add a single modifier to each part of some complex object. The easiest way is to cycle part by part through all the object and add the desired modifier to each its part manually. But if the object consists of many parts, it will take a lot of time.

There are some ways to greatly facilitate this work:

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Are you still starting with the default cube?

Think for a moment – how many real scenes you created really with using that default cube?

Removing the default cube

Not much, right? But all the same, each time starting a clear scene, you press: x – delete. Again. And again. Let’s put on white magician gloves and once for all escape this nonsensical action:

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Combining color and clay renders

For an effective portfolio demonstration, there is a good practice to show together with the color render the clay render to emphasize scene volume, lighting, models topology, as well as, in the case of photo-realistic rendering, showing scene “3D-essence”. The overlaying of these two renders in the same image could be an even more spectacular trick.

Overlayed render

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PartitionRender add-on

Blender add-on for those who are not able to have the powered-on computer for render for a long time.

PartitonRender v.0.05

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For example, the whole image render takes 12 hours. And there is no way to have the computer powered on all the time, but it is possible to power it on for 5 hours with breaks. If you interrupt the standard rendering process to turn off the computer – next time render starts from the beginning, and all progress is lost. PartitionRender add-on allows dividing the image into several blocks – partitions, each of them is rendered separately. Choosing division by X and Y in 2 parts, the image is divided into 4 blocks. Each of them will be rendered about 3 hours that fit in the time to work. Each partition after rendering saves to file. The next time (after rebooting the computer) PartitionRender automatically continues with the partition on which the break occurred. After finishing all partitions renders, partitions automatically compile to the whole image in compositing.

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