Hi, I’m the person that wrote the free paper model design e-book for Blender.
I tried the script and I liked it. Some observations from my part (this is my mini review of the script so far):
Some good points:
• The fact that it separates the edge lines, the folding lines and the tab lines (they appear as different objects in Inkscape) is good cause it is easy to change the properties of those later on like for example when you want to give the folding lines a custom pattern in an illustration program.
• The fact that it generates the tabs automatically is a plus. The other unfolding script writers have talked about this but they have not been able to implement this yet so you were first. I’m not saying that their scripts are bad cause they are good scripts anyway but you did that first and that is to your credit.
• It is the first unfolding script that works with the new Blender 2.5, another plus.
• It works pretty fast like the B-Paperizer script.
• You don’t have to scale everything to 1 before unfolding like with the other scripts which was kind of annoying.
Some not so good ones:
• You cannot preview the unfolded patterns in Blender like with the other two unfolding scripts. I feel that this is necessary, at least it would be a big plus.
• It would be much better if it generated the tabs as separated filled shapes instead of rendering them as continuous lines cause for editing and rearranging them it would be way easier. Some people like to rearrange them and color them one way or the other including me. Also that would be much better in situations in which you have to compromise and fix the shape of a tab due to it being close to part that overlaps it due to to a small, sharp angle cause it would make it easier to edit the tab shape.
• You have to click on the Make Unfoldable button first and then rearrange the seams to your liking afterward. It would be better if you could mark the seams first and then click the button and that the program accepted your marked seams as the correct pattern and if you marked them wrongly or incompletely perhaps the script giving you a warning about that. Now all this is very secondary compared to the other issues so don’t worry too much about it.
• I couldn’t find a way to adjust the size of the gluing tabs. It would be nice to have a slider (with numeric input too for precise control when you want it) that allowed you to adjust their size (how wide they are).
Some additional thoughts:
I haven’t tested the other 4 settings yet. Later on I will. I suppose that the first two have to do with the script deciding which lines to write and which ones not depending on the angles of adjacent faces to each other similar to what the B-Paperizer script does and then the other two settings which I haven’t checked yet.
I did assemble a test cube in which I pulled one of the vertexes away from the flat plane of the quad to test how the script handles the invisible quad folds and it didn’t mark the fold but when I assembled the cube I had to fold that edge. I think that this has to do with those two first sliders of the concave and convex folds but like I said I haven’t had the time to test more for now. When I test those things more I’ll give you further input.
You are doing a great job with this script. It already works and it does so with the new Blender. I hope that the other unfolding scripts are adapted to the new Blender too but at least we already have one that does. Please keep up the good work, I hope that you keep evolving your script and making it better and better but it is pretty good already and that is definitely going in the right direction.
I understand that there is a lot of work in doing this and that this is a first version of the script and for a first version it already does a lot so it is very promising. The paper modeling community will appreciate your efforts for sure.
PS: For those users of other illustration programs like CorelDraw and Illustrator, and this is a tip from my book that could be useful for those that haven’t read it yet:
CorelDraw and Illustrator import the SVG patterns generated by these three unfolding scripts (Unfold, B-Paperizer for Blender 2.49b and Export Paper Model for Blender 2.5) but when you import the patterns in these programs the dashed pattern of the fold lines that the Unfold and Export Paper Model scripts create in the SVG file are lost. An exception to this was the pattern generated by the Export Paper Model script with Illustrator CS4 (haven’t tested it in CS5 yet) but not in CorelDraw. In illustrator CS4 the dashed lines of the Export Paper Model SVG file were preserved.
To preserve these lines with many software that have this problem you open the patterns in Inkscape (which is open source and free and preserves the dashed lines just fine) and save them as PDF from there and when you open the PDF in many other vector illustration programs they will be preserved.
There is a little bit more info about that last thing in my book in chapter 2 in the section entitled:
The Confusion Between UV Texture Unfolders And Paper Modeling/Other Unfolders
Just in case the links for downloading my free e-book are these: