Blender 3D

Stock artist scheduler / calendar

Stock artist scheduler is a service that can be useful for artists who draw images or model 3D for sale on stock sites such as Shutterstock and others.

It’s not secret that the sale of a content dedicated to some famous event or celebration significantly increases shortly before the event date. Which is quite understandable – designers require more new content corresponding to the upcoming event than other times. Therefore creating Christmas toys for selling on stock sites is much more profitable shortly before the New Year holiday, and spacecraft – shortly before the Astronautics Day.

The Stock artist schedule is a list of holidays, significant events, and dates, shown in a convenient order for the preparation of content for stock sites.

Binding to timeline frames

Sometimes when creating an animation it is necessary to perform some actions according to the timeline or, the same, to the current animation frame number. Binding animation to timeline frames in Blender is possible using the built-in Python API.

As an example, let’s make a simple animation which turns one of the letters of any text from lowercase to uppercase in series.

Fighting with gradient aliasing when saving image as JPG

Background with simple gradient can greatly improve the final image. For example, a heart with gradient background looks like significantly better than the same heart with white background.

However, if you need to save such image as JPG, the gradient becomes aliased that fails the impression of the image. That problem is named “banding”. Is it possible to defeat the gradient aliasing?

How to copy a single modifier to multiple objects

Sometimes it is necessary to add a single modifier to each part of some complex object. The easiest way is to cycle part by part through all the object and add the desired modifier to each its part manually. But if the object consists of many parts, it will take a lot of time.

There are some ways to greatly facilitate this work:

Combining color and clay renders

For an effective portfolio demonstration, there is a good practice to show together with the color render the clay render to emphasize scene volume, lighting, models topology, as well as, in the case of photo-realistic rendering, showing scene “3D-essence”. The overlaying of these two renders in the same image could be an even more spectacular trick.

Overlayed render

PartitionRender add-on

Blender add-on allowing to interrupt the rendering process and resume it from the interrupted place. For those who are not able to have the powered-on computer for render for a long time.

For example, the whole image render takes 12 hours. And there is no way to have the computer powered on all the time, but it is possible to power it on for 5 hours with breaks. If you interrupt the standard rendering process to turn off the computer – the next time render starts from the beginning, and all progress is lost. PartitionRender add-on allows dividing the image into several blocks – partitions, each of them is rendered separately. Choosing division by X and Y in 2 parts, the image is divided into 4 blocks. Each of them will be rendered about 3 hours that fit in the time to work. Each partition after rendering saves to file. The next time (after rebooting the computer) PartitionRender automatically continues with the partition on which the break occurred. After finishing all partition renders, partitions automatically compile to the whole image in compositing.

Add-on is free and open-source. If you want to support it – you can buy the add-on for a convenient price, or set the price to 0 to download it for free.

Deleting nodes from compositing via script

To clear compositing window (completely remove all nodes from it), run the following code:

 

Blender add-ons development code reuse with symbolic links

In the development of add-ons, their modules should be abstracted as much as possible. For a very simple reason – functional, created for a current add-on, will likely need in the next add-on, and possibly not even in one. In the add-on release, the problem of accessing to such common functionality modules is easily solved – all the necessary modules are included in a single package and distributed together. However, during the add-ons development, such modules are much easier to store separately, in one instance, without associating them with any particular package, and import if necessary the desired modules to the desired add-on.

Using symbolic links in the add-ons development
Using symbolic links in the add-ons development

In accordance with the packages import rules, Python allows to refer modules in the following ways:

Creating multifile add-on for Blender

In the development of complex add-ons with large code volume storing all the code in a single file is inappropriate. When a single file contains logically unrelated classes, functions, and datasets, it is difficult to read, debug, find the necessary code pieces, reuse code. Such code layout is considered as very bad programming tone.

Blender Python supports modular system that allows subdividing logical code parts of the add-on into different files, and then connect them to use. Even if you have never thought about modules, creating scripts or add-ons, you have already used them – any code stored in the *.py file is a separate independent module. Just your addon consists of only one module. Complex add-ons may consist of several tens of modules.

Multifile add-on
Multifile add-on

How to check errors if Blender closes together with system console window

Sometimes when debugging scripts or add-ons, errors not only interrupt the code execution but also causes the complete closure of Blender together with its system console. This case its impossible to check errors and view errors messages.

To find a failure, Blender can be started from the command line interpreter cmd. In this case, Blender output log is redirected to the cmd window which, when the program falls due to errors, not closed. If Blender closes all error messages stay available to check in the cmd window.

Running Blender from command line interpreter cmd
Running Blender from command line interpreter cmd

To start Blender from a command line interpreter:

  1. Start the interpreter ( “Start” – Run – cmd)
  2. In the cmd window type the full path to the installed Blender. For example: C:\”Program Files”\blender-2.78a-windows64\blender.exe

Part of the way contains spaces must be enclosed in double quotes – like “Programm Files” in this example.

Accurate Render Border add-on

Blender add-on allows setting accurate coordinates for render border.

After add-on installation in T-bar additional “ARB” tab appears. On this tab, it’s possible to set accurate values for left-top and right-bottom render border corners coordinates in pixels. Coordinates establish relative to the render size (Properties — Render — Dimensions — Resolution). After pressing the “Set Accurate Render Border” button render border determines in accordance with the entered values.

Add-on is free and open-source. If you want to support it – you can buy the add-on for a convenient price, or set the price to 0 to download it for free.