[AddOn] bTrace 1.1 - updated 03-21-12

Hi Kkar,
Glad you like the script, tracing the special edges seems like a good idea. When I have a free moment I’ll see what I can do to implement that for the Object Trace tool. The Mesh Follow tool you can already have it trace the edges that are selected in edit mode, so you can just do a similar select for the edge type (crease, sharp, etc) and then run the that tool.

I’ll post an update here when I get a chance to add that.

I’m new to Blender but not new to 3D. Found this whilst looking for a tool to convert edges to curves. Downloaded, installed, and click around a bit. Pretty much exactly what I was looking for … and then some :slight_smile:
Watched the video all the way through which not only explain the tool very clearly but also showed me what Blender was capable of.
Much appreciated, thank you.

Glad that helped you out PhilC!

If you find any bugs while using it, please let me know.


I have downloaded the addon and installed in two different machines running Blender 2.68a r58536 (the one available at blender.org).
One machine is running Win7 64 bits and the other is an iMac running OS X Lion 10.7.5.
I was pretty much interested in the Color Blender feature. I followed the vimeo video but as soon as I clic Run! with a mesh object selected (iin fact the default cube), then it gives me this error in both different machines.

As usual, I asume that I might be making something wrong though I don’t think that’s the case.
As I’m not certain if this is a bug or not I chose to post it here for your convenience.

As far as the rest of features, they seem to work alright.

As a side note: would it be posible to use this Color blender feature in Cycles?

Many thanks for the hard work.

Hi trueog,
That was a bug, thanks for finding it! The color blender script broke on a update at some point, but I fixed that on the svn version. You can download the updated one here.

As for Color blender being compatible with Cycles, I haven’t looked at the code in a while, but should be able to add that pretty easy. I’ll check it out now and update here.

I was able to spend a little time and added support for cycles so now you can have it generate a basic cycles shader for the color schemes. Updated script is in the link in the post above.


Working on this I though of a lot of really cool things that could be done with materials and cycles. Then I realized before I worked on this much more, that it might be better pulling the Color Blender functionality out of bTrace and into it’s own plugin. Since bTrace is more for generating curves and not really animating colors.

I’m not really a seasoned coder and I don’t know “best practices”, but seems like extracting that particular function would make it easier to develop in the long run. Anyone’s advice on that is more than welcome!

As always, let me know if you find any bugs.

Hi Crazycourier.

You’ve been really fast. Thank you so much.
Downloading right now.
If i run into any problem I’ll let you know.

Regarding the convenience of separating tools, I really think so and I agree that it would be easy to develop each one by its own.

These are the kind of tools that I think Blender really needs right now.
The motion graphics scene in Blender depends too much on scripting and that’s beyond the scope of many users, me included.
As an After Effects user at work and given the current state, I find really hard to convince my employer to give Blender a chance against C4D.

But, well, maybe that’s the topic for another thread.

Thanks again.

I did discover the addon today. Crazy… Thanks lot for that!

I have this installed years ago. I just downloaded the two file and put them in a folder called btrace inside my blender 2.69 addon directory. I hope it works. I will let you know my results.

Thanks so much for this awesome tool! Forgive me if I’m overlooking something, but is there functionality to save color presets? (Aside from tweaking the script… which I tried, and failed at :P)

The script doesn’t currently have the ability to save presets, although that would help. I haven’t had time to do anything with this for awhile, but I’ll put that on the development wishlist.

Wicked! Being able to save collections of color swatches via your script would be extremely helpful. Aside from the obvious uses in the color blender, It could be used as a make-shift area to store harmonious collections of colors ( like these https://kuler.adobe.com/explore/most-used/?time=all) inside of Blender. Then they could easily be accessed for applying to materials etc… Thanks for adding this feature to the wishlist. :slight_smile:

I was wondering if this script allows me to spawn another object at vertices of a mesh? So when an edge traces up to a vert a small sphere or 2D object is generated?

No it does not, but dupliverts which is a feature of Blender already does that.

See here: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Modeling/Objects/Duplication/DupliVerts

Thankyou. Actually I hadn’t watched the tutorial all the way through and used the create linked curve(?) from selected objects. I really am loving the addon. It’s so easy and professional.

For some reason though I can’t cap or fill the ends of my generated curve as I prefer to animate the length of the curve myself instead of using the auto animate feature.

this is so cool! does Btrace use a traveling salesman problem algorithm to connect verts with a curve? How could I implement a 3D traveling salesman problem algorithm to connect all the verts ?

@hymie, it doesn’t use the TS. Each vert has an index number (0, 1,2,3,4,etc), you create a list of all the verts and their index number. Then you build a spline with each point in the spline referencing the coordinates of a vert in the list you created. Roughly that’s how it works.


Thank you so much for this addon, it has helped me in so many creative projects.

I love this addon, and I use bTrace with particles to make laser paths (Fig A), however if you look closer (Fig B) the particle path is not very accurate (Fig C). I make simple scene (Fig D) where each of three planes emitt one particle. Than particles reflect form mirrors which are boxes with collision modifier. I set 100 subframes in particle system but it doesn’t help. When I lower timestep in particle system than it works better but it takes hundred of frames to run through the setup. Any ideas? It is possible to take into account subframes in bTrace?

@Aleksander, You could try setting the step size lower. The step size is how many frames to stagger when taking a sample of the particle location and make a curve point.

Looking at your screen grabs, it seems a bit overkill to use bTrace though. I would just correct the curves by hand or draw them by hand since the lasers are not very complex paths. The example you show could be made with a curve that only has 4 points, whereas using btrace to do this would create hundreds of unneeded points.