Rate these plugin ideas!


(Evgeniy Skvortsov) #1

Hey there! Long story short: I’m thinking about writing some plugins to speed up my work now that 2.8 is in beta.
I was writing down ideas since 2.79.
The list got quite big, so I decided to ask for opinions before starting out.
I’m looking for you opinions on:

  • would this plugin be interesting to you?
  • have you seen anything similar(or exact same) on the market?
  • is there already an easy way of doing that in blender without plugins?
  • would you buy it?

Anyways, my list so far:

  1. Non-destructive primitives
  • Basically it adds a pie menu that creates primitives from curves and edges via modifiers[like screw], hence gives much better control in terms of changing them afterwards and easily generating some neat shapes.
    One example of usage would be a non-destructive cylinder, where you can easily and at any time change the amount of sides/radius or any other primitive parameter without any problems at all.
  1. Array-Helper
  • Allows you to create arrays with (auto-created) empty objects to easily create turning arrays and stuff
    Right now arrays in blender seem harder to setup than neccessary. And plugins that have something like this(SpeedFlow/hardOps) in certain situations are not that helpful.
  1. Flatten
  • Allows you to easily put all the vertices selected in line with the first and last one selected
  • Allows you to easily flatten selected polygons along the normal of the last one selected
  1. LocalToGlobal
  • Allows you to select an object, press a combination of buttons that moves and rotates everything to make the grid’s center align with object’s pivot with the correct rotation.
    Some usage cases would be: you want to easily create primitives in the local space of some object; you want to easily measure/change rotation differences between objects.
  1. Polygroups
    Basically a port of ZBrush’s functionality: different colors on parts of one object, ability to easily isolate and mask certain parts; bake ID map from polygroups, etc.

  2. Smooth Groups
    A port of 3ds Max functionality: smooth-shade between grouped polys while flat-shade between non-grouped and different groups.

  3. Origin extension

  • lets you select a face and move the object’s origin to that face.
  • move origin to face and rotate origin according to one of the edges(ability to flip/change edge via contextual buttons)
  • It also lets you choose several objects and via a hotkey it lets you change the origin of all the objects to the active one(it optionally can delete the object it changes the origin to if you’d like to create an emоpty or a plane to serve as a substitute of an origin).
  • it also allows you to create a an empty aligned with origin of the selected object to serve as a proxy for changing the origin of the object
  1. Modifier-Helper
    Basically it’s SpeedFlow my way(which might be better or worse, depending on the person).
    It allows you to track and change your modifier stack in a much more fluent way: add/remove/reposition/apply/etc modifiers with only contextual ui (so you can work in fullscreen 3d view).
    Speedflow has some great ideas, but I found myself confused over ui a lot and there’s no support of 2.8(as of yet), so I thought it might be a good time to create some competition and strive for a better product.

Next are free plugins that are easy to make. I wonder, if anyone else have a need for them.

  1. AutoAlign
    Lets you [via a one button shortcut] align(scale to 0) vertices and stuff via axises(like s-x-x, s-shift+x shortcuts and stuff)
    Right now to do this, you have make sure that transformation pivo is set to active selection, and then scale-axis-0.

  2. PolyCount
    Allows you (via button combination) to view the stats on your selection only: poly/tris/verts count.
    Default blender stats show count of everything non-hidden.

Thanks for you opinions!

(Ben H) #2

Just go ahead and write what you need and are interested in, and then share the results. There are plenty of good ideas in there, some of which would be more work to create than others, but if you find it useful then it’s more likely someone else will too.

#1 is likely to be much more difficult than you would expect. There’s plenty of demand for non-destructive editing tools, but there’s a reason there aren’t more of them.

(Evgeniy Skvortsov) #3

Thank you for your comment, Ben.
I’ve decided to do it starting from the top (#1).
I already have a basic working implementation of it and by the end of the week I intend to present the first rough draft.

The difficult part is not the non-destructive itself, as much as the usability of it.
So far I see at least two ways of achieving the non-destructive prims:

  1. non-destructive workaround that pitiwazou has talked about:
    At first I was thinking about doing that (all packed into a nice automated menu), but, while building infrastructure of the add-on and thinking about non-destructive cubes, I came up with a very different solution that so far seems superior in terms of how intuitive its usage is.
    With that said, first solution has some very neat modeling usages, so I intend to make it possible to convert my primitives(that are actual primitives: no modifiers required) into pitiwazou’s version of it.

  2. I better show it in a video once first version of the plugin is out.

(Evgeniy Skvortsov) #4

aaaand… it already exists)))

(Michael Knubben) #5

Yeah, Wonder Mesh is great. Any chance you could work on that instead? The owner hasn’t updated it in a while!

(donnydarko) #6

I would like to see Polygroups functionality :slight_smile:

(Evgeniy Skvortsov) #7

Michael, wondermesh is not free and not on github, so there’s no way for me to do that.
The good news are that I sticked with it and the NDP(non-destructive primitives) for 2.8 is very close to beta release.
Also it’ll be free and open-source on github, so I might even be able to add it as an official add-on to blender releases.
And other people (if they find it interesting) may participate in the development.

As for the functionality, the NDP at this point supports all the standart blender shapes except for toruses and the monkey. All with some neat and intuitive controls.
It requires a bit more polishing and we’re off to beta.

Stay tuned for more news and videos on that.

(Evgeniy Skvortsov) #8

Donny, thank you for your opinion. I appreciate it.

(Michael Knubben) #9

Thankfully, it is! https://github.com/WiresoulStudio/Wonder_Mesh
The owner also responds to bug reports fairly quickly, so I imagine getting in touch would be easy.

If you’re confident that your version is a good implementation, ofcourse I’d love to see you stick with it. Curious to see it!