Calling functions by pressing buttons in Blender custom UI

Button click in basically connected with the operator calling in Blender user interface. However, some times actions, that need to be performed when a button is pressed, are quite simple and do not require a separate operator for them. And it makes no sense to fill a registered operators stack with a multitude of specific operators designed to perform one highly specialized function. It would be much more convenient to associate a button press with a separate function call but the Blender API allows to associate buttons only with an operator call.

To solve the problem of creating a separate operator for each button we can use the fact that the operator can be called with the input parameters.

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How to get a list with all possible values of an EnumProperty

To correctly set values to an EnumProperty type we need to know all its possible entries.

If we try to set a value to an EnumProperty that is out of its available variants, Blender will throw an error:

TypeError: bpy_struct: item.attr = val: enum “xxx” not found in (‘value_001′, value_002’, …)

where:

xxx – the value we tried to set to an EnumProperty

value_001, value_002, … – possible EnumProperty values

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How to move cursor to vertex

To translate cursor to the desired mesh vertex execute the following code:

Attention to the multiplication order – world matrix should be left.

How to link a new object to a scene in Blender 2.80 Python API

In Blender 2.79 Python API we can add a new object to a scene with:

If we try to do this in Blender 2.80, it throws an error:

‘bpy_prop_collection’ object has no attribute ‘link’

In Blender 2.80 API new objects mast be linked not to the scene, but to the scene collections:

To link a new object to the active scene collection:

To link a new object to the collection by its name:

 

How to move the cursor to the active strip start/end position in Blender VSE

To move the cursor to the start position of the active strip in Blender VSE:

To move the cursor to the end position of the active strip:

 

Transfer selection from the UV-map to mesh

The UV-map is directly linked to the mesh through meshloops. We can use that to transfer the selection from the UV-map to the mesh.

To transfer the selection from the UV-map to the mesh, we need to cycle through the mesh polygons, check which meshloops are selected and select the corresponding vertices on the mesh itself.

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How to get vertices from Vertex Group by its name

To get a list of vertices from the vertex group by its name we can use the following code:

 

Creating points on a Bezier curve

Bezier curves are drawing by four points: two main points (p0, p1) and two handle points (p0_hr, ​​p1_hl).

To add an additional point p2 to a curve at a moment t, with t changes from 0 to 1 and represents the ratio of the p2 point location to the total length of the curve, we need to do the following:

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Fake-bpy-module

Code autocomplete greatly simplifies writing scripts or developing add-ons for Blender. One of the best autocomplete modules for today is developed by Nutti. Last updated 20190718.

The project is hosted on the author’s GitHub: https://github.com/nutti/fake-bpy-module

The modules are distributed via pip or as a pre-generated-modules. Author also provides a module generator with which you can assemble autocomplete modules yourself.

Decorators for node tree updation delay

When we create a field on the add-on interface panel, the value of which changes something in the node tree, each time the user changes the field value the node tree recompiles. If the user changes the value in that field by holding and moving the mouse, too frequent node tree recompilation will cause Blender to hangs.

This problem can be solved using decorators for deferred updating of the node tree.

Code by Skarn.

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Class for creating nodes by type

Class for quick node creation by their type.

Code by Skarn.

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How to protect your add-on from downloading through aggregators

With the Blender popularity growing, the number of add-ons created for it by third-party developers is growing too. A lot of high-quality professional add-ons are written for Blender now. Over time, the number of add-ons is becoming more and more. And on this wave aggregators appeared – programs and services independently searching for add-ons and allowing Blender users to install add-ons quickly, many at once, and bypassing add-on distribution channels selected by their authors. What caused a negative reaction of add-on developers.

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How to detect if Local View is on in 3D View window

The following command returns the 3D View areas list with enabled Local View mode:

 

Changing objects visibility in the viewport and while rendering

The easiest way to hide and show rendering objects is to assign animation keys to them. To do this, move the cursor over the eye icon (visibility in the viewport) or camera (visibility when rendering) in the Outliner window, press the “i” key and then manage the created condition in the Graph Editor like the ordinary animation keys.

But this method is not always available. For example, we cannot assign visibility animation keys for collections, Blender will generate errors like:

“hide_viewport” property cannot be animated

or

“hide_render” property can not be animated

However, using the Blender Python API, we can control the visibility of such objects.

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Blender autocomplete modules

Nutti, the author of the “fake-bpy-modules” project, has made the installation of the Blender Python API autocomplete modules through the pip platform. Pip installation is faster and easier, but sometimes we just need to copy the autocomplete modules to our project but now they are not included in the Nutti’s GitHub.

Copies of the autocomplete modules for Blender versions 2.79 and 2.80 can be downloaded directly from here: https://github.com/Korchy/blender_autocomplete

 

How to get global vertex coordinates

To get the vertex coordinates in the scene global coordinate system when the object’s scale was not applied, we need to multiply the local vertex coordinates by the object world transformation matrix:

Class naming conventions in Blender 2.8 Python API

In Blender 2.8 API the requirements for the class and their identifiers naming are becoming tougher. The class name must match the following convention:

Where the {SEPARATOR} is two letters denoting the class belonging to a certain type (from which type the class is inherited):

  • HT – Header
  • MT – Menu
  • OT – Operator
  • PT – Panel
  • UL – UI list

The class identifier “bl_idname” mast match the class name.

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Changes in add-ons registration through the API in Blender 2.8

Add-on registration and removing were made with the “Window manager” (wm) in Blender 2.7 Python API:

In Blender 2.8 API add-on operators moved to the “preferences”:

 

3D Cursor location in Blender 2.8 Python API

3D-cursor location property

in Blender 2.8 API moved to “cursor” object

When trying to get the cursor location through the “context.scene.cursor_location” Blender throws an error:

‘Scene’ object has no attribute ‘cursor_location’

Add-on preferences panel

When developing add-ons it is often necessary to give an ability to set a number of parameters that affect the whole add-on work to the user. For example, the user can specify a directory for saving/loading files, set some default variables or switch between add-on modes. Of course, the interface for setting such parameters can be placed in the add-on panel, but it is better to place it in a separate add-on preferences panel, which is located in the “Preferences” window under the add-on installation panel.

The main advantage of the add-on preferences is that they don’t reset when Blender restarts. The user does not need to configure the add-on preferences each time, it’s enough to set the necessary parameters once, personalizing the add-on for convenient work.

Let’s create an add-on and define a parameter, placing it in the add-on preferences panel.

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Matrix, vector and quaternion multiplication in Blender 2.8 Python API

In Blender 2.7 the “*” (star) operator is used in the matrix, vector, and quaternion multiplication. In Blender 2.8 it is replaced with the “@” (at) operator.

If the “*” operator is used in vector, matrix or quaternion multiplication in Blender 2.8 it throws an error:

Element-wise multiplication: not supported between ‘Matrix’ and ‘Matrix’ types

Proper use of the “@” operator:

 

Snapping elements property in Blender 2.8 Python API

The snapping elements property from Blender 2.7

changed in Blender 2.8 API to

 

Accessing the pivot point type in Blender 2.8 Python API

The “pivot_point” property from Blender 2.7

in Blender 2.8 API moved to: