Revised mesh tension add-on

I did a bit of testing, and came across at least one error where the addon breaks when it tries to calculate tension for an object in an edit mode. I just posted a 1.3 update that suspends an object’s tension calculation when it’s not in object mode.

I’m not sure if this would necessarily account for your particular error causing it to go all white, but as a troubleshooting step, try restarting blender and see if tension works again - if it does, its likely another erroring out state that i need to catch.

Whenever i try use it this happens: nothing
Nothing shows up when you open the dropdown, what do I do?

you are in the scene properties tab. the checkbox there is a convenience feature to globally disable tension. there are no other options there.

go to the mesh tab properties to enable and configure tension on a mesh.

Oh. Haha, thanks!

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Whilst i can’t be completely sure if your recent update fixed something. I think the problem i was facing maybe was just the bias being too high without me realizing it. Can’t be completely sure though ofc.

Also this is unrelated. But i’d suggest adding, either a button or similar to add the tension shapekeys and vertexcolor. Or atleast just info that it’s missing, or should be added.

I don’t think there’s any way to tell without reading it from this thread here :wink:

hmm… they should be auto created by the addon if they don’t exist. if they’re not, any example file that you can share demonstrating the issue would be helpful in tracking down the issue!

Some of my findings while testing this add-on in a production environment:

  1. It only works in Blender 2.81+
  2. The tension map automatically updates each frame (as it’s supposed to), but only for a while. After playing around with it enough to get it to where you want it, it will sometimes just lock the vertex colors in place and won’t automatically adjust it every frame based on the deformations.
  3. The ability to ignore certain modifiers with “SKIPTENSION” is great. But it would be nice to have this for shapekeys as well. (In my case, I need the add-on to only supply tension maps for armature deformations, and only some (not all) of my shapekeys).
  4. For some reason, at render time, the add-on turns off all modifiers. This makes the add-on completely unusable.

I’m really excited for the prospects of tension maps in Blender for the future, but unfortunately, it’s not quite there yet.
Huge shoutout to Shteeve for even attempting to get something working. Great job so far! I’d love to see if you can push this thing even further.
Quite frankly though, you shouldn’t have to be doing this. This should be something built-in to Blender already, handled by the Blender devs.
Tension maps are a vital component to creating realistic VFX and it’s disheartening to not see it in Blender.
I have great faith in Blender and the Blender devs though, as we’ve come leaps and bounds from where we used to be. Blender’s growing more and more each day, so I have high hopes that we’ll get tension maps one day.

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  1. Is unfortunately a requirement for frame-update add-ons to work properly at render time.

  2. And 4. both sound like bugs. In the most recent version I’d addressed at least one case that can cause tension updates to freeze, so if you can provide an example that reproduces it I can try to fix that. Likewise with the modifiers getting turned off, it’s likely a result of something breaking the tension update before it can complete (which involves evaluating modifiers on and off). An example is always helpful in hunting down these bugs! :slight_smile:

  3. Is a logical feature I could look into!

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