Mesh Align Plus, News/Announcements

(thomascheng) #21

To add to this. I would also like to see:

  1. option to center the faces after the edge alignment.
  2. Setup a temp Transform orientation to slide the object along the face of the plane. If I repeat this step, the temp transform orientation is replaced (using the same name and not adding more transform orientation to the list).

Thanks. This plugin has great potential.


(cloudsquall88) #22

Hello, and thanks for your work, it really is very impressive.
I think what your addon is missing is visual feedback. One of the things that always bugged me was for example this:


How can I align something to an imaginary axis protruding from an edge. I’m sure there is a way or another to do it with your addon, or with blender’s already present functionality, but we like user-friendliness, right? :smiley:

I think that for this addon to become really awesome, you should add imaginary lines and planes (or even grids), to and around which objects can snap or rotate. With the modular approach you have taken for the advanced tools, I believe this could happen.

So imagine an imaginary grid coming off of a face. You could then choose where the imaginary grid starts from, and you could snap on specified increments, on the points you choose, and the rotation you choose. If the grid stays on, this could also aid in modeling!

You want to move the cylinder by the length of the pyramid edge? With an imaginary axis, you could set the cylinder to only move along the axis, and then type in how far you want to move it (of course you could paste the value copied from measuring the pyramid). Even better, imagine being able to visually see this pyramid edge (tinted blue for example), move it around as you wish, use it as a measure anywhere, and also use it as shown in your video.

I hope you understand what i am saying. If not, please ask me, I believe I could provide really constructive feedback about making an awesome workflow with this. Generally, what i am saying is that you have created a small “programming language” within your addon. Using those functions you already have implemented, maybe it won’t be that hard to do all those.

Hope that was helpful, again nice job and thanks!


(0rAngE) #23

Installed, nice Addon!
I already have some align addons, but would be cool if there was an all in one, so I didn’t have the need for multiple align addons.

If you feel inclined to expand this further, here’s a few suggestions.

  • Align Object Axis to a selected face (or 3 selected verts)
  • Flip Object Axis (This would keep object static, but give options to rotating Object’s Axis by desired angle (+ and -) and desired axis)
  • Quick align of Objects. (Something like the Align Tools Addon, which is good in terms of how it works in simple scenarios. But something that is more robust and works under more complex parenting situations, where the “Align Tools Addon” breaks down)

BTW you should start a new thread (or request to move this thread) in Released Scripts and Themes


(egtwobits) #24

Visual feedback is something I’d like to do (ghosting the results into the viewport before you apply them, for instance). Showing presets before an operation is applied (like a ghost of the current axis for rotations) is also a possibility. And, I like your idea about showing a grid with selectable increments…

I’ll be thinking about these for a future update.

There are currently multiple ways to align things to an imaginary axis. I can’t see your attachment (it gives an error), so if you provide some more detail I can help you with your particular situation…

I can imagine some of the possibilities for better workflows with imaginary geometry using the visual feedback improvements you suggested. When I get there, I’ll ask you guys about it.

This shouldn’t be too hard. thomascheng’s suggestions about adding transform orientations are also possible, though there are some workflow/design considerations…

I’m trying to figure out where I would put this and how it would work with the current addon. Is it just a new transformation type (which would show up in the quicktools on its own below align lines, axis rotate, etc)?

Or, should this functionality be integrated into the current ‘Align Lines’ operator (since this could be seen as just a special case where the ‘Source Line’ is grabbed from the object orientation/object origin, and the destination is grabbed from the target plane’s normal).

Currently, everything is organized by operation type (are we aligning lines? or rotating around an axis?), so each operation has its own tool (both a quick and an advanced version).

But we could just as easily integrate all of the operations into one tool, and then have a list of presets that define a particular, customized operation (such as ‘Align Object to Face’, or ‘rotate mesh part around an axis’, etc)…sort of a ‘programmable operations’ workflow, which may be closer to what cloudsquall88 mentioned.

As long as we provide people with enough options for where they get things from, what can be measured etc, the sky is the limit for what you can do (this is sort of the underlying objective of the addon…to give you the tools to do what you want).

These are the big, high level questions about how to organize tools and workflows within the addon that I’m grappling with…

I appreciate all of the feedback/thoughts/praise (from everyone), it’s super helpful and keeps me motivated :> My plan is to use all of your feedback directly to develop the next version(s) of the addon. I will keep you guys updated once I figure out next steps. I’ll also look into making another thread, OrAngE.


(jimmy.b) #25

I just watched the youtube video- really interesting! It looks a little complicated-at least from the first impression-
CAn the Tool also create geometry/primitives? (Plane, Cube, Cylinder)…Like- Is it possible to create a new plane-object by using 3 selected verts.
Would be nice!


(egtwobits) #26

FYI I have a new version of the “Align Planes” operator up on github. It now aligns the leading edges of your source/destination planes together as requested, see the gif below.

(This is not a release, just an in-development version of the addon)

EDIT: SEE THE GITHUB LINK IN THE POST BELOW, it contains this feature (easy testing instructions are listed on that post too)…

If you have any thoughts/feedback, please post. I will probably be adding an option in the GUI to choose whether you want to align the leading or trailing edge of your plane to the destination. I will also be working on some improved/updated behaviors for some of the other operators as well coming up.


(egtwobits) #27

0rAngE, I’m working on a first version of one of the features you mentioned (it’s unfinished, so it doesn’t do everything you mentioned yet), GIF below.

INSTRUCTIONS (for easily testing temporary versions):
The easiest way is to visit the github link for this version (contains all the new features from this and the last post), then copy and paste the contents into the text editor in Blender and hit ‘run script’. (You can also do a save-as of the file onto your machine and copy and paste from there).

When you close Blender, the pasted (temporary) version will be gone. If you have a previous/older version of the addon enabled, you should probably disable that first.

(This is not a release, just an in-development version of the addon)

^ That link also includes new “Quick Scale Match Edge” behavior (seen below, the target edge stays fixed during the scaling op), and a new measurement option in the advanced tools, “Angle of Lines”, which gives you the rotational difference between two lines.

EDIT: Also, I added ordered vertex grabbing last night (see the link at the top of this post), which should make all of the operators behave more predictably, see the GIF below:

The plane operators, for instance, use 3 points (A, B and C), with pt. B being the ‘pivot’. So in the GIF above, you can see that the second vertex selected in sequence will be used for when the source plane is aligned to the destination.


(egtwobits) #28

New feature, new post (since the last one’s getting kind of long):

I’ve added a first version of custom transform orientations to the “Align Planes” operator (which thomascheng talked about above). See the GIF below, link here (same as above, includes all the previous additions).

Right now, a transform orientation (named “MAPlus”) is created once you apply the operator, aligned with the destination plane (so you can slide your target around on the destination face after you align it).

There’s also a new checkbox under “Align Planes” settings to auto-switch to the new orientation after the operator is applied (off by default).


(thomascheng) #29

Awesome. This is looking very helpful. Can’t wait for the release.


(draeath) #30

This doesn’t seem to show up when installed in 2.78 (just doesn’t show in addons at all, despite being placed automatically in the right place by the ‘install from file’ button)

Additionally, for some reason, you have issues on github disabled (so we can’t file issue reports anywhere else but here). As a frequent github user and occasional patcher, this is rather irritating.


(egtwobits) #31

You’re not trying to install from the repo zip, are you? Until it gets refactored into a full package, the entire addon is in the file (so you’ll need to drop that into the addons folder for Blender to see it currently). You can message me if you’re still having problems.

I need to enable issues (it’s on my todo list), so I’ll announce that when it’s open.


(Craig Jones) #32

This looks like a really good addon so far, I’ll try out what I can and give feedback if it will help any.


(egtwobits) #33

Thanks, and please do. I would recommend using this link (the latest version from the testing branch) to try out the newest features outlined above.


(draeath) #34

Yep, that was the issue and moving it up to the parent directory fixed it. Thanks for looking at the issues on github. It’s an easy fix, just pop into the repository, then settings tab. Should be on the first page that opens. Here’s one of mine, for example.


(Meta-Androcto) #35

hi, I’ve been looking at redesigning your menus, can you drop into irc for a chat?


(egtwobits) #36

Meta-Androcto, I have some work-related things going on in the next few days, but I’ll catch you on IRC sometime soon.

BTW, if anyone has difficult alignment problems to discuss, please see this thread about sample cases.


(egtwobits) #37

New feature, multi-object editing (use this link, same as above, to test it out):

This applies the operator to each selected object. The active object is used when ‘Auto Grab Source’ is checked (so it will yell at you if you try to auto grab source verts and there’s no active object). As always, please share any thoughts/feedback.


(pauljs75_) #38

Finally! Looks like Blender is getting some alignment or snapping tools that Wings3D had over 10 years ago!

(Now if only somebody can figure out how to make the MMB sticky for rotating the view, and allow to pause a mesh manipulation operation right in the middle in order to change the view to a better vantage point before continuing and completing it…)

But yeah, this looks very useful. Particularly when you’re trying to do stuff with fits that don’t lie along the usual global axes. I think I’ll have to mess around with it to see how well it works.


(jack1940) #39

How do two objects of different sizes overlap?


(obsurveyor) #40

One thing I’d like to suggest is some way to click to sample the plane normal you’d like to use instead of having to enter edit mode and picking a face or 3 vertices. The “Carver MT” addon now included in 2.78 samples the face the mouse hovering over when you’re using the Profile Brush so that may be somewhere to start looking if you don’t know how to do this.

Also, shouldn’t this thread be in the Released Scripts forum, not Latest News??