Surface Follow from 2016 Blender Conference

At the 2016 Blender Conference I showed a script that lets you bind an object to the surface of another object. It’s great for attaching accessories to already-rigged characters or any other situation where you want an object to deform with the surface of another object.

I’ve made the script available as an addon along with two others at

The second script let’s you create a flattened version of your mesh similar to UV unwrapping. It works great with the surface follow script for placing or deforming objects along the surface of a complex shape.

The third script lets you transform textures right in the viewport by clicking and dragging. It let’s you move, rotate, and scale with custom origins.

I created a demo and a tutorial here:


Wow, this looks awesome! :smiley:

Can’t wait to test it!

Wow! Now we can make some Simple cloth simulations and after that “put” new 3d pattern on simulated surfaces! Amazing! Thanks so much:)

Indeed, this is a much appreciated christmas gift :slight_smile:

Crazy crazy stuff going on! Thanks for sharing.

It is nice to use with the cloth modifier but I’ve used it mostly for a modeling tool. For example if you wanted to place a bunch of wires on the surface of a complicated shape, create a flattened version with the UV shape key tool place your wires on the flat version then use the surface follow to deform them back to the original surface shape.

interesting. it seems to me that your scripts are similar, at least in part, to the new wrap tool in miratools (right in this section of the forum).

It looks like the mira tools wold work really well with the surface follow tool. You could place all kinds of detail on an animated character for example then bind it to the surface.

This looks very useful, sadly I can’t succeed to install it, neither from the file nor manually, no errors reported, it simply doesn’t appear in the addon list. I tried on both 2.75a and 2.78a.

Thank you,

Edit: SOLVED! (I was trying to store the three scripts on the same folder):no:
Thank you Richcolburn!

Blender has needed this tool forever. It’s now possible to run cloth sins on a Delaunay subdivided mesh (for better cloth accuracy), then bind the quad production mesh for final rendering in one step. Very awesome.

Thanks to CodyWinch for giving me the solution to the frame lagging with armature animations. It’s fixed now. I also fixed a compatibility issue with older versions of Blender.

Thank you Richcolburn, the latest revision installs and works also in blender 2.75a, very appreciated!


Luca Rood is working on creating a new “surface deform modifier” for source that will do exactly what the surface follow script does as part of his improvements to the cloth engine. He’s already made some progress and he’s improving on some of the features I have.
Can’t wait to try it.

That project makes me all warm and fuzzy inside:)

Hey, glad you started sharing your code Rich :slight_smile:

Actually I already finished the SDef modifier more than a month ago (at least the functionality that is also provided by Rich’s script). The SDef modifier actually already goes a bit further than this script, because it can handle faces of any number of sides, giving smooth results and not needing triangulation. What I am in fact working on, is the implementation of an interpolation algorithm, which will make the transitions between proxy faces nice and smooth.

Also, just wanted to note that my cloth proposal is comprised both of improvements to the cloth engine itself, and improvements to the related workflow. So despite the SDef modifier being part of my cloth proposal, it is not part of the cloth engine. Just clarifying, so that people don’t think that this is limited or directly related to cloth…

Unfortunately, my things are not totally ready for master yet (though things should start getting merged soonish), and I don’t have builds available online. But you can find links to my branches (SDef modifier and also cloth improvements) in my cloth development page, so for now you can build Blender yourself to test my features/improvements. In that page you can also find a link to my vimeo collection will all the demos related to my developments.

Anyway, I don’t want to hijack this thread, so let’s keep discussions about my developments in my cloth thread, and keep this one relevant to Rich’s scripts :slight_smile:

So, on that matter… The texture hack script looks quite handy! But the one I like the most is the flattening script, that one is really useful for some of the stuff I do. You can really imagine a lot of uses for that. Congrats Rich :slight_smile:

How is this working in 2.75? I tried using TextureHack in 2.76 and it gives a bunch of errors.

I haven’t tested the texture hack script in older versions. That script needs a lot of work. I’m hoping someone else will find it useful and pick up on it’s development.
It’s only the surface follow that’s been tested in older versions.


Oh this can be used for so much more than just cloth… :slight_smile:
(if it is what I think it is.)

It’s exactly what I thought it was
This tool is literally indispensable for a hard surface modeller
Skin warp is finally in blender!

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