Fast intermediate nodes view in compositing

Creating a node tree in the compositing window, sometimes it is necessary to see the intermediate result given by some parts of the node tree. For fast viewing click left mouse button on the desired node with the “ctrl” and “shift” keys pressed. Blender adds a new View node (or uses one of the existing) and connects the output of the selected node to it. The result is displayed on the backdrop (if the corresponding checkbox checked) or in the UV/Image Editor window in “Viewer Node” mode.

If the clicked node has several outputs, each subsequent click on that node switches the view to its next output.

Changing the modifier parameter for several objects at the same time

Modelling complex objects consisting of many separate parts, for each of which the Subdivision Surface modifier is added, it often needs to increase or decrease the number of modifier subdivisions at once for all of them. This can be done by selecting them and changing the modifier parameter value with the “alt” key pressed.

Testing my add-ons in Blender 2.79

I tested the functionality of my add-ons in new Blender 2.79.

  • BIS – Fully functional. The new Principled BSDF shader supported.
  • PartitionRender – Some code correction made. Add-on needs to reinstall. Fully function after reinstallation.
  • Wire – Fully functional.
  • Accurate Render Border – Fully functional.

Add-ons remains compatible with Blender 2.78.

Creating pop-up panels with user UI in Blender add-on

In addition to common panels (N/T/Properties) and their sub-panels, to display the user interface elements while developing Blender add-ons you can also use pop-up panels appearing on the screen when a user presses a certain key combination or perform any action. The simplest example of such panels is the panel that appears when the f6 key is pressed immediately after adding an object (shift+a) to the scene.

Blender API provides developers the ability to create such panels for their add-ons. Let’s consider the creating of a pop-up panel as an example of the “Message box” window.

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Modeling with curves: wires and pipes

Creating thin long objects like pipes and wires is the often task in the interior, scientific of fantastic scenes. One of the easiest and most convenient ways to create such objects is using curves.

The main curves advantage is the easiest control and editing: any time you can change the shape of the curve, move its points, add new and delete unnecessary ones. You do not have to work with a lot of mesh points, but only with several points of the curve, which is much more convenient. Preprocessing for rendering scene with curves is also performed faster than with meshes.

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Installing Blender on Linux Debian server

One of the amazing Blender features is that the graphical user interface GUI is not absolutely necessary for its work. You can install Blender on an operating system without a graphical shell and successfully render your scenes. Such types of a Blender installations are usually required to organize various render farms.

For example, consider Blender installation on the server Linux Debian operating system.

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BIS v.1.0.0 – Release

BIS (Blender Interplanety Storage) add-on release.

Finally, I finished it. It’s release now!

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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 scene:

  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) – the online material (shader) storage add-on for Blender 3D creation. With the BIS add-on, you can save materials (groups of nodes) to the online personal library and then convenient search and upload them. Saved materials are available from any computer through the add-on installed in Blender.

 

 

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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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