GroupPro, group instances made easy

Hi, I have spent some time recently, to develop add-on for working with group instances in easy way. It allows you to edit any group instance on scene, without need to search for source of dupli-group objects. This was not so easy task, but now we can use group-instances is similar way, the components work in sketchup. Addon allows you to nest groups inside of each other, so you can make group of sub-groups, of sub-groups…
Here is video demo of how addon works:

Link to the addon (zip file contains addon and manual):
Gumroad
With addon I inclued PivotPro addon, for easy managing position of pivot point/3dcursor. Or you can grab it from git:


I hope you like it.

QA
Q: Will blend file made with GroupPro work, on PC which does not have it installed (eg. on render farm)?
A: All the blend files made with GroupPro, will work on PC, that do not have GroupPro installed. So you can render it on render farm no problem. But other people wont be able to edit groups.

Q: Does GroupPro support editing external linked groups?
A: For now no, but I’m researching it

Q: How do I make one group unique (eg. one window unique)?
A: See new GroupPro version 1.02 - introduced ‘Make unique’ button.

2 Likes

I want to try that out however 55$ is a bit pricey! Even the motion tool wasnt that much. I’m just complaining however I do want to check that out.

I understand that, but I though about how much this plugin will speed up work on complex scenes, and imo you will be able to make bigger commercial projects more easily so it mean more money earned. With GroupPro, you should be able to reimburse the cost of purchase in one commercial job… The more complex the scene is, the more efficient you can work with GroupPro.
Anyway, I can give you discount if you are from less rich country. Just PM me. In Poland we earn 3x less compared to germany, france or UK so I offer discount for guys from Our country too.

I agree with masterxeon1001.
When I see so expensive addon i always some how bring in mid that for example silo3d on steam cost 40$ http://store.steampowered.com/app/100400/ .
Substance Painter when none sales (when is it - between 40$ and 60$) cost 100$ http://store.steampowered.com/app/273390/ . You do not think - I appreciate every work of programers but when the ratio - the price - and the resulting object - is blatant - I just do not know what to think.

upd:I have already used retopoflow and i think - it is not worth the money at all. If we compare how much, pluses give to artist the same Substance Painter for example, or even silo3d - it is generally a complete package for modeling. i very carefully take look you video, and i see where you script gain pluses and again in my head don’t converge price\gain.
Sorry for my complaining - good sales to you.

Man, this is absolutely awesome! I have been wanting this in blender for ages! I have few questions tho before I buy it :wink: :
Do you plan to sell it also on the blender market? I know it is only your bussines but I quite like the extra features of blendermarket such as you get notifications when updates are available, the downloads are there all the time - easily accesable from anywhere.
How is it with licencing? Is it a GPL licence? Can I use it on more then one computer after buying (laptop and pc)?
How do you plan your future support for this? I mean bugfixing and support for future versions of blender? Updates for free or paid?

Is there an easy way currently to make the instanced group unique (not instanced)? Like if I copy a window five times and I want to make the last window little bit smaller without affecting the four other windows.

Btw.: The price is quite high but it pays off quite quickly - this feature is absolutelly essential for handeling bigger scenes - I have no problem to pay the price even I am from Czech rep.

Ok, guys I dropped a price a bit. Maybe I should make it like SubstanceDesigner - if you earn less than 50k-100k, then you get cheaper indie version…
Btw. RetopoFlow is more expensive, but it is mostly useful in final stage of getting the low-poly mesh to engine. But GroupPro changes the way you work. You do not need to juggle with layers so much now, because everything is grouped in tree like structures Groups-can have subgroups, subgroups can be made of subgroups etc. And everything you group, can be selected with one mouse click, hidden with 1 mouse click etc.
And GroupPro it is great as replacement of mirror. You just create group, for everything what is on right side, and them mirror instance group to left. Now when you edit left/right side group, everything will be mirrored in real time, because this is how group instances works.
maraCZ -yep, updates, and bug fixes are free, because I will be using this script a lot now, so I will maintain it. I have not be using gumroad before, but they have option to send updates to clients.
License is GPL, I think every script made for blender has to be GPL. You may use it on as many PC, as you want.

About making single window unique. You can do everything you want.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/26878362/GroupPro/Wind3.gif

So the steps are:

  • make duplicates real - on one window
  • you will get all objects from that window, but you will need to delete empties that may be left from above operation (because groups are empties, and for now we don’t want them)
  • the window now is not gruped, but windows and frame are instanced - you if you want you can make any part unique (press ‘u’ - and choose, ‘object&data’).
  • in gif I made middle glass unique, so now I can edit it without affecting other.
  • finally just group new window to new group.

Btw. There is one limitation, GroupPro uses group-instances empties, and they cannot be baked to lowpoly mesh, because when you bake, blender see those groups as just empties. For now I recommend make all group real - by clicking - make-duplicates-real. I will report this to blender bugtracker, so maybe group-instances will be supported in baking.
For rendering group-instances works great.

We are super interested in buying this for our studio. The price is totally fine, something like this could be worth the money. I do want to second the option of having it on blendermarket as that’s where our other plugins are and something we want to support. Do you have any interest on selling it on that platform?

EDIT
Also, one more question, does this plugin have to be installed on any system that uses it? For example, if we send it off to a render farm, will it break if the farm doesn’t have this installed?

Thanks!

Jace
BlenderMarket takes 30% share vs gumroad 5%. I can put it on blenderMarket, but I would have to rise the price. I may try negotiate with BlenderMarket their share.
They offer returning money, if you do not like what you get, but this is actually the UE law. When you buy something online, you have 2 weeks to change your mind and return it.
And I will be updating the script, if something breaks just like on BlenderMarket.
But If you are willing to pay more, I can talk to BlenderMarket.

All the blend files made with GroupPro, will work on PC, that do not have GroupPro installed. So you can render it on render farm no problem. But they wont be able to edit groups.

When you edit a linked group, it appears to work, but on reload of the file, all the work is lost :frowning: !!!
Would it be possible to have options to save the changes in the original library blend file, or to create a copy of it with the modified version? Blender now allows to run another instance in the background, so it should be possible to make those changes.
An automatic menu when closing linked groups with “save changes to original file” or “save changes to a copy of original file” would be optimal and would really save the changes.

To understand you correctly, you link group to current file, then edit it , make all obj local and close?
Closing group = saving.
Thing is you cannot edit in blender, object linked from another file, and when you make obj local -> it creates copies of linked objects. So when you edit them, you do not modify original file. And since group is linked to another file, it is reverted on file reload. To solve it, you have to click make local -> all on imported group, but again, it is just creates local copy, and it won’t modify external file. But it will work on save.

Nice addon. It’s a much needed, at least to me, feature, and it seems to work great, but I have a question. I make heavy use of particles and groups in my scenes to create randomness while filling it up. The thing is that particles lets you choose a group and then picks random objects from that group and distributes them. Could I pick a meta-group and then blender would be able to pick and distribute the lower level groups just as well?
Thanks

kubo, soory but It won’t work. Subgroups picked randomly by particle system, are rendered just as empties. The groups in GroupPro are empties with dupli-group enabled, but particle system seems to ignore dupli-group.

:frowning: I was really excited after watching the video, anyway, nice addon, congrats, and I’ll keep an eye on it.

Hi, I finally bought the addon and I am really impressed how well it works. However, I found a small bug:
Select the group and switch to local view (by pressing “/” on numpad) and then press Edit group. You are now editing the group but none of the object is visible. You need to switch back from local view, add all the objects to selection and then switch to local view again.
It would be nice to have this process automated.

As a customer, I’m very pleased with the support. The addon like all other has some early age limitations, but the programmer behind it really cares to make he’s customers happy :slight_smile:

I think it would be a lot better for blender if small functionality scripts like this just went towards the main branch like they should. When you put pricetagz on blender plugz, they aren’t going to make it to the master and people won’t benefit from it unless they dig on the forums endlessly. Anyways, this group instancing / edit setup is how sketchup works - except you’ve made it more awkward. It should be double click to go into group, double click to get out - not press button , select, press button. Its like a folder in a file manager or something - ultimate intuitive . Also the make unique routine is ridiculous - just make a function for this. Sorry for bad crit, because youve made a great function (again already defined by sketchup) but your plugin is not polished and the whole pay thing just puts a bad taste on it.

Hi guys. I updated addon with some bug fixes, features. I also added link for free pivot pro addon, and forked meltdown addon. Forked Meltdown addon supports baking of GroupInstances, plus I added some bug fixes, features there too. My fork of Meltdown is obviously free but, I do not provide support for it. Same goes for PivotPro.

whitek - I will add easy way to decompose groups, in next version. Good idea. About custom hotkeys, you can setup it to your liking in blender preferences -> input. Most people here do no use sketchup, so I doubt they will be missing double click. But if you want you can setup it anyway you want. Just right click ‘edit group’ button -> add shorcut. After you done you should save user preferences.

Hi Jose,
Good news :slight_smile: Do you have a list of those new features and fixes?
Cheers

This works well but there are too many steps - it takes a minute to make a group unique and sometimes I make a mistake screwing things up. Could you possibly make a button that makes the group unique with a single click? For simplicity you could make unique object&data for all the object inside the group.

WOW! That was quick! A new version with many new features (including “make unique” button :yes:) is available :slight_smile: Thank you!