Back in issue 107, we got some of our favourite Blender pros to answer your questions from Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. We’ll be posting their answers to your queries over the course of the next two weeks!
Blender trainer and freelance 3D artist Zacharias Reinhardt will be kicking us off with this:
What are some free add-ons for a faster workflow?
Zacharias Reinhardt: The number of addons that are available for Blender are enormous. It is nearly impossible to name all addons related to modeling. Here is a small selections of modeling addons I use a lot. Some of them are shipped with Blender (enable under User Preferences / Add-ons). For more addons and in-depth information take a look at wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.6/Py/Scripts or http://blenderaddonlist.blogspot.de
“Internal” = shipped with Blender
“External” = download from external source
All of the following addons needs to be enabled first.
UI Pie Menu Official (Internal)
A quick way to switch between all modes, like Edit Mode, Sculpt Mode, Object Mode etc. with a circle shaped menu. Press Tab to enter it.
Loop Tools (Internal – Edit Mode / Tool Shelf / Tools)
Offers a bunch of new editing tools like Flatten, Bridge and Relax. The option to make a circle out of the selected vertices is especially great.
Bool Tools (Internal – Object Mode / Too Shelf / Bool Tools)
A quick and efficient way to use boolean operations in a destructive or non-destructive way. Great for combining a huge amount of objects with boolean operations. It is useful for quickly creating hard surface objects.
Carve MT (Internal – Object Mode)
Select an object and press CTRL + SHIFT + X to enable this addon. Now you can easily cut rectangular, circular or polygonal shapes into your objects. This is great for hard surface modeling.
F2 (Internal – Edit Mode)
Adds a new face after selecting only one vertex in the v-shaped corner and pressing “F”. This is especially useful for retopology.
Sculpt Tools UI (External – Object or Sculpt Mode / Tool Shelf / Sculpt)
Offers many great option in one place to work with sculpting meshes. Options like boolean operations, remeshing, mirroring or applying all modifiers of the selected objects are a great addition for sculpting with dynamic topology.
Modifier Tools (Internal – Properties Editor / Modifiers)
Adds options to quickly adjust all modifiers, like changing visibility, applying all (also from all selected objects) or delete them all.
Bsurfaces (Internal – Tool Shelf / Tools)
Allows you to create a surface using Grease Pencil strokes. First switch the “Data Source” under Tool Shelf / Grease Pencil to “Object”. Now draw a bunch of Greace Pencil strokes side by side, by press and hold D (draw with LMB). Now use the add-on to create a mesh out of the strokes position. If you select an edge first, the new mesh will automatically connected to this edge. This addon is also great for retpology too.
Also, there are a bunches of addons that adds or generates objects, so you don’t have to model them on your own, e.g. “IvyGen” for creating Ivy, “Sapling Tree Gen” for creating trees or “BoltFactory” for creating nus and bolts or the comprehensive “Archimesh” addon which allows you to create rooms, doors, windows etc.
If you want to troubleshoot some more of your queries, then don’t miss 3D Artist’s first event Vertex! We’ll be getting expert artists to advise on your your technique woes live in London, 13 March 2018. Sign up to our newsletter for all of our experts and speaker announcements!