Distribute Objects Addon - Another Array Addon

Distribute Objects addon is Blender addon that allows dispersing existing objects in your scene so they don’t overlap, in an orthogonal grid-like arrangement with configurable spacing .

Useful mainly in three situations:

  • Dealing with overlapping objects
  • When linking/appending multiple assets from an external file at the same time.
  • Distributing different objects regularly over a scene like an array.

If you link Collection Instances into a scene they will often be placed at scene origin or 3D Cursor position all overlapping. You can’t easily tell them apart or selected them independently.

With Distribute Objects addon separating and moving them is two mouse clicks away, easily moving the selected objects incrementally so they no longer overlap.

This may also be useful when populating a scene with different assets like distributing objects over a shelf, a table or along a street or wall.

Disclaimers:

This is not one of those array addons that duplicate objects, or creates new ones to fill a grid. This is meant to array different already existing objects through your scene.

This addon does not take into account object size, it is not possible to distribute objects with equal spacing between them. Spacing is measured relative to object centers only, if the selected object sizes vary widely, or their centers are misaligned, they may end up overlapping in some situations or appear to be spaced unevenly.

If your objects are already roughly in a grid array but are slightly misaligned, have eye balled positions or imprecise locations that need fixing or cleanup, check out Transform Quantizer Addon.

Features

Distribute Objects

Distribute Objects allows placing already existing objects around your scene, arranging in an orthogonal grid with configurable spacing.

After selecting a set of objects you can specify a length and the objects will be spaced along one axis by the specified distance with origin on a definable starting point like the 3D cursor, or active objects.

Links

In the spirit of free and open source I’m publishing it here for free in hopes it may be useful to anyone else.

  • Latest 2.1 Version 2023 12 10
    Addon_DPFR_DistributeObjects_2_10.py (11.3 KB)

  • If you wish to support me, or help support the Blender Development Fund through commissions, you can also purchase it at Blender Market for 10$

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Nice add-on concept, Duarte! :+1:

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Indeed. Interesting concept.

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Very useful, thanks for sharing.

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Thanks guys, glad you like it.
It’s a recurring task in my line of work, one that is time consuming and that I’d like to optimize.
Decided to make use of these troubling quarantine times and make an incursion into scripting territory, learn a few new things.

Hope it is useful to you guys too. Enjoy

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Duarte, this is really nice! Thank you sir. The only thing left for me was the “Distance Sort” and “Path Sort” feature in optional but free “BsMax” add-on, and the “Align Tools” bundled add-on. BsMax adds a feature in Object>Transform>Distance Sort. It evenly distributes objects between the two farthest objects selected, and it can also distribute them along a bezier curve (Object>Transform>Path Sort). It’s pretty basic at moment. For example, it does NOT respect the order of objects selected when distributing along a path.

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Hi Coby, glad you like it. Thanks for the feedback.
Those sound like interesting ideas particularly distance sort, I might consider them later at some point, but not at the moment.
Right now I am focusing on trying to integrate radial arrays into this addon, not sure if I will succeed.

Fantastic. Was looking for something since the only other addon with distribution of objects in it (Oscurart) was yanked from Blender. Thanks.
Here’s a vid I did on it:

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Hey, nice video.
Thanks for covering my addon in this tutorial.
Great work, glad you found it helpful!

Thank you. God Bless your work!

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WOW~! this is amazing, its something like, spacing tools or space array like tool in 3DS MAX, can I ask if this tool can do along path (curve) and selected object functionality as well.
Thanks.

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Hi Khurram, glad you fount it useful

No, not at the moment. That is something I’d eventually like to add to the addon, along with other improvements I have in mind, but have been unable to dedicate additional time to this addon since then.

Not sure if my bare coding skills will suffice, but I’ll consider it when I ever get to work on it again.

3 Likes

This is a life saver.
Obrigada Duarte

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Is this the kind of thing you’re looking for? Duplicate Along Curve with/without Deformation ( 2.83 - 2.93 )

Is it possible to have a tab in the N panel for this ?

Hi.

I can place a tab in the 3D View properties sidebar with a button for the operator, but it won’t show all the buttons for the operator properties you get when you run it though.

Not sure if this is what you expect. Test this

Addon_DPFR_DistributeObjects_1_30_Panel.py (8.2 KB)

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Here is an updated addon version with the tab in the sidebar panel, that fixes a few warnings in the console. No other changes were made.

Addon_DPFR_DistributeObjects_1_31_Panel.py (7.7 KB)

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Thank a lot for this and if my game have any success i have just put you on my list of people to reward!

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Appreciate it, but no need for rewards, this is open source, use as you please to your hearts content.
Wish you all the success with your game. Hope it turns out great.

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Well i made a list of everyone who contribute to my project even in the smallest way and they are all going to be in the credits and if i am successful i will personally reward every single one of them.

1 Like