Thursday, March 22, 2007

Blender Library Tips

Some tips to get the most for your collection of items.

Blender Library tips and tricks.

Enter you personal info in the preferences popup. Then you can use the FILL button to auto enter your info in each item you add. If you are adding an item you did not created, please use "Unkown" or the original artist name if available. I´ll try to add options to preserve creator info in each item.

To remove Favourites or Categories just press and hold CTRL while clicking on its name. To rename and item of its description you can CTRL-Click in the info menu.

To save space in the hard-disk you can use the Open [item] .blend, in the manage menu, to open the .blend file wich holds the item and then choose Compress File from the file menu and then Save. This is not necessary when exporting items since the .TAR packages are compressed.
Camera Library

You can save animated cameras. If the camera has an IPO it will be saved too and retrieved along with the camera later. So you can store cool travelings and such.

If saved camera is tracking and empty named CameraName.Track (ie: "Main Camera.Track"), it will load tracking that empty, thou if the tracked object if something else, it will be missing, but the camera will still track the spot it was originally tracking.

The above can be combined (a camera with a track object and and IPO)
Object Library

You can store several objects as one item, this include Meshes, Curves and Armatures; so you can store a full character with props if you want to. Just have them all selected on the 3dView before pressing the ADD OBJECT TO LIBRARY button.

If you store curves wich use "bevel objects" please also select the bevel object or it won´t be saved along. This also applies for "curve deform" curves.

Frame the objects the way you like to show in the preview thumb with the active camera before adding. The preview will also use the current scene lights.
Material Library

If your are using Blender 2.41 or below, pack your image textures before adding if you plan to share your materials (this also applies for the texture, object and particle libraries wich also store image textures). You can always use the "open material .blend" option to manually pack the images on an already added item.

Material Ipos atached to materials are also saved along with the material.
Texture Library

Textures of type Blend can be used to store colorbands as a base for new texture developing (ie: load a Blend texture with colorband and then change it´s type to the desired one, the colorband will stay there ready to use)
World Library

You can save animated worlds (see Laser Beam World in my world pack), the IPOs attached to the world's textures with be saved along with the world.
Particle Library

This library is experimental. Python access to particles is limited so it uses a trick to load particles into an existing object (swapping object data). If something goes wrong you can try to load the particles with its original object and then manually copy the settings and materials to your object.

You can store static and animated particle systems.

Version 1.1 Download


Blender Library

Blender Library is a Python script for Blender intended to provide an easy way to store, manage and retrieve frecuently used items; such as materials, textures, objects, etc.

It also has built in import and export options to help share your items with the rest of the user comunity.

Since the script is merely and interface built on top of the current Blender appending system (SHIFT F1) it will be most likely compatible with all future enhancements in upcoming Blender releases. As an example the material library was coded before the new Material Nodes and without changes in the script it can now store materials with nodes.

To install, just place the script and the image in your Blender scripts folder. It register itself in the Object Scripts menu. The best way to run it is to split a Space side by side, switch it to Scripts and choose Blender Library from SCRIPTS -> OBJECT in the space header.

The first time you run it, it will ask you to choose a folder to store library content. Choose a folder and the library directory will be created there. If you choose C:\ for example, library will be C:\BlenderLib\
If you loose your settings or want to reuse an existing library in other blender installation, just choose the existing library folder in the previous step and the script will recognize it, gainning you access to all your previous items.

There are separated libraries for each type of items you can store. Currently there are libraries for:
Actions, Armatures, Cameras, IPOs, Lamps, Lattices, Logic Bricks, Materials, Objects,
Particle Settings, Paths, Poses, Scenes, Textures, Worlds.

Lamp library and Object library can store several lamps or objects in the same library item. This mean you can store lamps sets to properly light a scene or to store a full character made of diferent meshes and curves with its corresponding armature. The rest of the libraries can only store a single Blender datablock.

Despite this, when you add an item to the library it will also add all the stuff is related to it. If you add a object, its materials, textures, ipos, etc are also added. If you add a material, the textures it uses are also added.

Version 1.3.4 Download


Monday, March 19, 2007

Lamp Widgets

This script displays information about Lamps right on the 3dView.
Several lamps with their colors displayed on 3dView

Dot color is Lamp's color.
Dot size is Lamp's energy.
Square on the floor shows Lamp's distance.
Black triangle on top shows up if the lamp cast shadows.

Just place the script in your Blender scripts folder. It registers itself in the OBJECT menu.
Run the script from the object scripts menu and it will load in the current .blend. Since it´s a SpaceHandler script you have to enable for each 3dView you want it to be active.

Version 1.1 Download


Autoname Textures

This little script will help you to get your .blend files a bit more tidy ;)
After creating a new materil I usually forgot to name the textures (Yeah I´m lazy, but I´ve seen lots of materials with this issue).
The script does this for you. Notice the change in the picture below. After running the script all textures have a name made of the first six letters of the material name, plus a dot, plus the texture type.

Just place the script in your Blender scripts folder. It registers itself in the Material scripts menu.

When run, the script will prompt you to choose a material. Choose one and if the material have textures they will be renamed MATERIALNAME.TEXTURETYPE, using the first six letters of the material name; you can tweak these names now if you want to.

I coded this mainly for my Blender Library script. It will be more polite to properly name stuff before sharing with others..

Version 1.1 Download


Blend Information

A panel with information about the currently opened .blend. It shows detailed info about the current scene plus info on the amount of datablocks the .blend contains.

It´s usefull when openning .blends you get from other people or to quickly have a glimpse of whats on and old .blend.
Just place the script in your Blender scripts folder. It registers itself in the HELP menu, for quick access.

Version 1.0 Download