[$] Ortho, a mesh manipulation tool

I am happy to announce a new add-on that is designed to make your life as an arch-viz or hard surface modeler a little bit easier.

(the video is a small tutorial showing some of the applications)

Ortho offers a collection of tools that allows you to move, rotate, scale, snap and align selections of a mesh relative to a user defined reference plane.
Working relative to a reference plane can greatly simplify the positioning of mesh parts and can help clean up distorted meshes. Blender already offers several tools to transform and snap mesh parts but they work in the context of predefined coordinates, which is makes it difficult to position or align mesh parts in meshes that are transformed with respect to their local coordinates or in situations where orthogonal coordinates are not sufficient, for example when positioning a window inside a slanted roof.

Ortho offers a simple and interactive way to define a plane that fits a selection of vertices in a mesh and offers a set of tools that operate with respect to this reference plane. You can for example align and snap a selection to the reference plane or move this selection along its normal or its surface. Scaling is also an option, offering ways to rectify slightly distorted meshes even in situations where such a distorted plane is not aligned with any axis and scaling along individual normals with Alt-S gives strange results.

Ortho is available from my Blender Market store.

Doesn’t it more consistent extend existing Snapping Tool with something like “Align in Active Normal” feature?
So you just select faces you need align, make one active and selected will be align to this normal.
(Current “Snap Target” > “Active” deforms rest of the selected.)

Other “Move”, “Rotate” can be done with pivot “Active Element”, right?

There are many differences with built-in snapping tools, in fact my frustration with the limitations was my motivation to create the tool. First, you can create a reference plane that is persistent, i.e. you can reuse it for many operations, even if the original geometry changes, second, you don’t need a single face, nor some vertices: any geometry you can fit a plane through can be used even a broken up collection of edge loops, third, when moving geometry relative to the reference plane you are not limited to selected geometry and not limited to any snap face: you can move as far or as little as you like in the reference plane or along its normal. So basically all limitations inherent in snapping are gone.

Added functionality to work with multiple reference planes in a scene.

Short video with a demo of the new features is available too: