Rabbit Hole of Free Add-ons

Last week or so I went into the rabbit hole of forgotten Blender add-ons. On GitHub, Gumroad and Blender websites, I’ve discovered surprisingly useful addons that only have a couple of downloads, some of them have been submitted to be added in default Blender in community addons but they’re not there. So I’m sharing these add-ons to spread the word and help you discover them too. All of them are free, of course, and tested by me on 3.4

General:

Interface:

  • ReView (somewhat better version of Saved Views included blender addon. Cleaner, less bugs and more functionality)
  • Show Weights (in Edit Mode → Sidebar → Edit you can see vertex groups and weights for selected vertices)
  • QuickRef (shows fully visible image inside View3D, size and position can be controlled)
  • Selection Sets (save & load object selections in 3D viewport)

Modeling:

  • Select Sim (more advanced select similar faces tool than default Blenders)

Animation:

  • Onion Skinning (Animation Extras has best onion skinning imo. GPU based, doesn’t create meshes or materials in the .blend file)
  • Wiggle (geometry nodes-based substitute for adding noise modifier on loc/rot/scale axis to get wiggle effect. Controlled from sidebar and includes pulse option)
  • Frame Ranger (fit frame range to keys, exportable frame range sets and markers and many more)
  • Retime (better scaling tool for graph editor and dope sheet)
  • Timeline Scrub.py (standalone version of timeline scrub feature from Grease Pencil tools addon. Tweaked by me to support 3.4 and higher)
  • Claymation (similar to Keymesh, but quickly manipulates shape keys (instead of mesh data) to create stop motion animations)

Rigging:

Sculpt:

Nodes:

  • Node Presets (advanced version of node presets addon included in blender)
  • Node Sharer (lets you copy & paste materials as text strings. Useful for copying nodes between .blend files)

Camera:

  • Lattice Magic (has incredible feature camera lattice. Hard to describe, check out yourself)
  • Overscan (adds overscan feature in Output properties. Scroll down for the latest version)

Render:

  • Render Animatic (lets you render only keyframed or marked frames. Regular or viewport render. Lots of other options too)
  • Dupe Render (skips rendering identical frames and instead uses one image twice)
  • Render Auto Save (automatically saves images in computer after rendering. Can be turned on or off, has more settings. in Output properties)
  • DuBlast (easy playblast feature with clean UI and top-notch customization)
  • Image Sequence to Video (can generate video from rendered png’s in output panel. Can render it out as video, gif, or add it into the sequencer as strip)

Import-Export:

  • Super IO (this is more known add-on, but in case you don’t know - copy and paste objects into the blender and more)

Scripting:

  • Class Viewer (in Text Editor context menu you have list of definitions, classes and comments you can use to jump ahead easily)
  • UI Classes (in Text Editor sidepanel you have the option to display every UI class in your blender in a separate text file)
  • Indent Guides.py (sadly I forgot where I downloaded this from. It adds indent guides, whitespace, and more to the text editor. Visibility can be controlled and switched off.)
  • Node to Python (generates python script of shader or geometry nodes)

Sequencer:

  • Shot Detection (automatically detects shots/cuts in the video and cuts them accordingly)
  • Multicam (shows multiple cameras in sequencer preview)
  • VSE Quick Functions (adds parenting & tags to strips, change playback speed, quick cuts, quick markers and many more)
  • Push to Talk (record audio directly inside the sequencer and add it as strip)

Image:

Text Editor:

  • Screenwriter (lets you create .fountain files and automatically translates your writing into proper screenplay format)

Misc:

  • Align to Annotation (align object, edge, vertex, or faces to annotation)
  • Font Selector (preview and select fonts from local libraries without manually loading them in .blend file)

I’ll update this topic every time I see something new, so watch it if you want. And please share similar addons if you have/use them, or made them, and think will be useful for others.

17 Likes

Is this thread open for recommendations from other people? If so, maybe we could try to use Category + Name (as link to repo) + Short description.

If @nickberckley wants, we can make the initial post a wiki- any user with high enough trust level can edit it, and @nickberckley can rollback edits if desired. Up to you :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Sure, lets do it

1 Like

I’ve updated Extra Image List add-on, which was updated by schroef, who also updated it from MeshLogic.

This version 3.0 implements image picker into existing Image panel in sidebar instead of creating duplicate one. Simplified the UI and moved remove image options in the topbar for easier access.

Download from the post

2 Likes

Added New Addons:

  • Shape Key Keeper
  • Quickref
  • Selection Sets
  • DuBlast
  • Onion Skinning (Animation Extras)
  • Wiggle
  • Frame Ranger
  • Retime
  • Pressure Simulation
  • Node to Python
1 Like

New Addons:

  • Node Presets
  • Screenwriter
  • Select Sim
  • VSE Quick Functions
  • Claymation Addon
  • Tesselate Texture Plane
  • Align to Annotation
  • Reference to Image Plane
  • Armature Layer Presets
  • Node Sharer
  • Font Selector
  • Image Sequence to Video
  • Push to Talk

Also Timeline Scrub, which is part of the Grease Pencil Tools default addon in Blender, but separate version wasn’t working on 3.4, so I updated it and also added the feature to select different color for keyframes