Blender - Social Location
This is a very simple script, intended for use on text media (such as IRC or forums) when discussing a .blend.
The idea is that you and a buddy can be looking at the same .blend file, and you can go to the ‘n’ Properties Panel > 3D Cursor and hit a single button for Copy, then paste the “x, y, z” string to your friend, who can then copy it and click the corresponding Paste button inside his Blender.
Through this relatively painless set of steps, you precisely pointed out a spot that can be used for the remainder of the communication. This is most clearly useful when discussing the details of topology. You can say “The Edge Loop that is formed from Alt+RMBing on the point 1.234, 5.678, 9.1011”.
A handy tool to use with this is Ctrl+Numpad ‘.’, to center the 3D Viewport on the 3D Cursor – sometimes followed-on with some zooming.
With a little innovation, you could even make that location mean something more – for example, you could Shift+a > Mesh > Plane then Tab into Edit Mode, and do Alt+m,a to merge the verts at the center, thus leaving you with exactly one vert at that exact location.
You could even do an entire model this way, through placing points, placing the cursor at a different point, then filling an edge/face, if you had two people whose patience bordered on the infinite. =)
- Copy this into clipboard: 1.1, 0.43, 0.315
- Start Blender with a Default Scene.
- Delete the Default Cube (but don’t enjoy it – ever).
- Shift+a > Mesh > Monkey
- Tab into Edit Mode.
- Click ‘n’ Panel > 3D Cursor > Paste
- Maybe hit Ctrl+Numpad ‘.’
- How many verts does that face have?
- Ha! They should have used MeshLint!
There is nothing special about the values going into / out of the clipboard. You could manually make them (so even if only one user is running the Social Location Addon, all it means is the other has to manually paste the components rather than doing them in one shot. Also, this means that you can edit the string as you wish (see: Precision, below, for an example of circumstances where you may want to manually affect the values for aesthetics).
Best way is to:
git clone [email protected]:ryanjosephking/soc-loc.git That way, you can git pull later on and it will automatically refresh to the latest (theoretically-)good version.
But I realize that not everyone has git or an operating system capable of symlinking.
So, for those that can’t: You can simply download the soc-loc.py script directly. (And re-visit that URL for the newest version, later on.)
The super-awesome way is to directly symlink soc-loc.py into your Blender Addons Dir. The advantage is that the previous section’s git pull will download the newest version automatically. But not everyone can be expected to be superawesome all the time, so continue on:
Hit Ctrl+Alt+u to load up the User Preferences (I always use the keystroke for this because of the occasional time where you miss, using the File menu, and click Save User Settings. Click the Install Addon… button at the bottom, then navigate to your soc-loc.py script.
Next, and this is a tricky bit, if you’re not used to installing Addons: you have to follow up by checking this little box on the right of the Addon entry in the list. If, for some reason, you have a hard time finding it, you can search for Social Location or click on the Mesh button on the left. Hopefully, though, it comes right up when you do Install Addon…
If you want to keep Social Location available (and who wouldn’t?), follow the above steps on a fresh .blend (one you Ctrl+nd), then hit Ctrl+u at this point. The next time you run Blender you won’t have to repeat the above.
When installed, it will add to the existing ‘n’ Properties Panel > 3D Cursor Subpanel. All it is: a row with a 3D Cursor icon and Copy + Paste buttons.
If you are used to floating-point numbers and CPUs, you’ll know that 1.0 generally isn’t 1.0, but 1.000000000034, or something. In this case, it is no different. That means that sometimes you will place your cursor precisely at, way, 2.0, 3.0, 0.0, but it will paste to your buddy as something close to that. We thought about (and are still thinking about) the idea of rounding it, but we didn’t want to lose accuracy by rounding up or down, even if it would help “Snap” the cursor to prettier-seeming coordinates.
Basically, you can treat the components as a black box, and not worry about them - when you go to point out things in the 3D world, it will get you as close as we know how.
If you have a strong case for or against rounding, please let us know.
Bug reports / feature requests / brainstorm lightning bolts / broad criticisms are always welcome!