Solving the problem of the discrepancy between the size of the track section and the profile applied to it

By Andrew M.

“Many letters about the simple”

I need a frame. No, two frames: one larger, the other smaller, but made from one profile. I drew a rectangle, set the desired dimensions, duplicated, set other sizes. I drew a separate profile. For a section to both rectangles I applied this profile. … why did I get different frames? And none matches the size of the profile? Ah, I forgot to apply the scale. Applied. The dimensions of the cross-section changed, became different, but again not equal to the profile. How to make them equal – read below!

Solving the problem of the discrepancy between the size of the track section and the profile applied to it

This problem occurs when the path for profiling is constructed in any way but then scaled to the desired size. In this case, it does not matter if its scale is 1 or not. If we apply the profile we need to it, then it will be different in size from the set … Why? We will see now.

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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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Fluid simulation in Blender 2.80

By Pavel_Blend

What is this article about?

In this article, I will talk about the fluid simulator in Blender 2.80. This simulator was first added to the blender at the end of 2005, in version 2.40. Since then, it has not changed significantly (the changes were mainly in the beginning, after the introduction of the blender). The simulator code was written by a third-party developer Nils Thuerey. He wrote a fluid simulation library and named it El’Beem. The engine is voxel-based on the method of lattice Boltzmann equations. It is best suited for creating water, but it has the ability to create viscous liquids (honey, chocolate …) that are not very well implemented. Soon, a new Mantaflow simulator will be introduced into the blender (by the way, Nils Thuerey is taking part in its development).

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EEVEE Shadow Catcher

There is a convenient opportunity in the Cycles render engine to render an object with shadows on a transparent background using material with the “shadow catcher” option. There is no such material in EEVEE render engine, however, in EEVEE we can make our own “shadow catcher” based only on nodes.

Completed “EEVEE Shadow Catcher” material you can get from the BIS library.

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How to make a pattern from the single element of the BIS library

A single procedural element from the BIS library can be easily transformed into a repeating pattern.

Let’s get a single circular elemetn from the library and place it in the center of the plane.

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Texture pixelization

The simplest way to pixelate texture, procedural or not – get the color from the single pixel and fill the region with required width and height (resolution) with this color.

Here is the gradient texture with red – green – blue colors:

To pixelate it with the first step of resolution we can make some vectors manipulations.

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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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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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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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Porting add-on from Blender 2.7 to Blender 2.8

In the latest version 2.8 of Blender developers have made many changes in API, so all the scripts and add-ons written for earlier Blender versions (2.7 and below) have stopped working. To run your add-ons in the new Blender 2.8, you need to port them – correct their code to work properly with the new Blender API.

To enable your add-on in Blender 2.80 you have to make the following changes in code:

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Using Microsoft Visual Studio Code as external IDE for writing Blender scripts/add-ons

Blender has its own built-in text editor for writing scripts and add-ons, but it’s much convenient to develop them in external IDEs that provide the user with more features such as autocomplete, syntax highlighting, integration with version control systems and other tools that make development faster and easier.

One of these IDEs is Visual Studio Code from Microsoft. This is a free universal environment that supports development with various programming languages, including the Blender API language – Python.

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Tiling procedural textures in Blender

Creating separate elements of procedural textures in Blender is quite simply – find the desired formula, rebuilt it using mathematical nodes, and as a result, get the desired shape. However, textures created this way have one feature – no tiling. Tiling – a cyclic texture duplication, most time is considered harmful, and professional 3D artists try to avoid texture tiling. But sometimes tiling is necessary, for example, when creating patterns or ornaments.

The procedural texture element is always created in a single instance. This is because all the mathematics that forms the actual procedural image is based on the initial data – coordinates that start from 0, spread out to infinity and not repeat. However, the same mathematics helps us to solve this problem.

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Creating procedural textures in Blender

All procedural textures in Blender are based on math. Even such irregular structures as “Voronoi” and “Noise” are actually generated according to the mathematical formulas. An exact mathematical algorithm is sewed up into each base material node to obtain the desired image as a result.

We can not specify such algorithms in Blender in the usual mathematical format. However, among other nodes, Blender provides us the “Math” nodes – the wrap over simple mathematical operations. Using these nodes we can build complex mathematical algorithms yourself, generating interesting textures.

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Learning loops

In general, the “loop” is usually a sequential selection of several points, edges or polygons of a mesh.

However, there is an element in the mesh structure, which is also called a “loop”. It is a combination of one vertex with one edge of the mesh. Let’s try to learn what these “loops” are for.

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How to pass command line arguments to a Blender python script or add-on

When starting Blender from the console it processes all parameters passed through the command line. However, some scripts and add-ons for proper work may require specifying their unique command line arguments. If you specify such additional parameters in the command line, Blender will also try to process them, which is likely to result in an error. Blender provides a special way to exclude such arguments from own processing.

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How to render an object with reflections on a white background

The single object visualization most often is performed on a clear white background. It is difficult to achieve this through the common configuring the scene – increasing the illumination of the scene “lights up” the object, decreasing – the background becomes gray instead of white. If the object itself can be simply rendered on a transparent background and then imposed on white, but what about its reflections?

Let’s consider the way how we can render the object and its reflection on a white background.

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Debugging multifile Blender add-on by quick reinstall

It is convenient to use the following system for debugging developing multi-file Blender add-ons. But it has one drawback: modules imported in __init__.py file becomes available only after the file running (after the execution of the register() function). This means that any access to the imported modules before they are registered will cause an error. This is not critical in most cases, but it will cause a problem if, for example, in one imported module is used inheritance from the class, described in the other imported module, because the classes descriptions are processed before the add-on registration.

To get more freedom working with imported modules, we can use another way to debug the add-on – do not run the add-on directly from the development directory, but install it in Blender and check its “live” work. However, manual add-on reinstallation requires a set of routine actions, which complicates such sort of debugging. This issue can be solved by reinstalling the add-on in automatic mode.

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Working with UV-Maps through the Blender API

Active (selected) UV-Map:

Access to the active UV-Map by its name:

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