Hair tool – Blender addon ($)

I developed Hair Tool addon for blender to simplify creation process of low/medium poly hair models
This addon will help you generate hair mesh ribbons with uv’s from bezier/nurbs curves. It is how most current games are doing hairs for characters.

Blender Hair Tool addon
Hair Tool workflow

Features:

  • generating curve ribbons from mesh surfaces
  • convenient way of switching back and forth between curve ribbons and  mesh ribbons  hair state, while preserving mesh uv’s
  • ability to adjust ribbons radius profile over strand length to taper the ribbons shape
  • ability to convert Grease Pencil strokes to Particle Hair
  • ability to convert Curves to Particle Hair
  • ability to generate Curves/Ribbons from Particle Hair
  • Randomizing ribbons UV (you can draw multiple uv boxes, that will be randomly picked for each ribbon strand).
  • Powerful Curve Resampling – increase, decrease curve/ribbon points amount, while preserving it’s tilt and radius.
  • Generating vertex color and weights gradients for ribbons.
  • And More!

Video tutorial mostly about generating curves from mesh surface, with some tips and tricks, problem solving and stuff: https://youtu.be/WE0aBe8SNls
Newer video showing new features: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLHbzCXOijg
Video about hair shader: https://vimeo.com/229043427
Video about creating texture: https://vimeo.com/228873075

Basic workflow for generating curves from mesh surface:

First step is to generate base shape of hair. For that use grid mesh, created only of quads. Mark one border of this mesh with sharp edges – those will become roots of hair splines:
Press ‘Curves from surface‘ button located in left Tool Shelf -> Tools, to generate curves from selected object. Generated curve settings can be modified using ‘F6‘ hotkey. You can adjust stuff like hair amount, length, add some noise etc. Or you can do some manual tweaking here going into curve ‘Edit mode’.
To add ribbons to generated curves, press ‘Generate Ribbons’ button. There are some settings to play with under ‘F6’ hotkey. Usually manual work here is needed to adjust curve tilt (select curve and press Ctrl+T – to change curve tilt).
To preview how the hair will look, convert them to mesh with ‘Curves to Ribbons’ button. You can now quickly uv this mesh by going into ‘UV Editor’ and searching for ‘Hair UV’ operator under spacebar. Left click and draw rectangular shape, in uv Editor, to define the uv bounds for hair strands. That is it, hair are ready to render.
If you don’t like the result you can go back to curve by pressing ‘Ribbons to curve’ button (warning – any changes to mesh topology will be lost!). This kind of workflow lets you tweak the hair in curve mode, convert it to mesh and preview If you don’t like it – go back to curve mode and tweak it again. UV’s defined previously will be restored.

Curve Ribbon operations:

Curve Simplify
Curve Simplify- Allows to reduce point count. Good for reducing polycount on hairs .
Resample Curve
Resample Curve. Allows to increase/decrease number of points each curve is made of. It keeps the original strand radius and tilt.
Smooth Curve
Smooth Curve – smooth strand points (eg. to reduce noise)
Smooth Tilt
Smooth Tilt
Taper Curve
Taper Curve – change strands radius over length
Align Curve tilt
Align Curve tilt – lets you align cure tilt to target object surface.
Randomize Curve Tilt
Randomize Curve Tilt – change curve tilt over its length
Select Tips/Roots
Select Tips/Roots – lets you select first/last points on curves. There is randomize option under F6 properties.

Mesh Ribbon operations:

Add Ribbon Vertex Color
Add Ribbon Vertex Color – create black and white color gradient from strand root to tip
Add Ribbon Weights
Add Ribbon Weights – create vertex weight gradient from strand root to tip
UV hair operator
UV hair operator (found under spacebar) – Left click and draw multiple rectangular shapes, in uv Editor, to define the uv bounds for hair strands. Press enter to confirm.

Convert operations – let you convert Particle Hair to (ribbon curves), curves to Particle hair, Grease Pencil to Curves etc.:

Ribbon to Curves
Ribbon to Curves/ Curves to Ribbon – allow for switching between ribbon curve and ribbon mesh state. Usually you will want to do hair modeling in curve state, and then do UV in ribbon mesh state.
Particle Hairs to Curve – generate curve ribbons from Particle hair.  Align their tilt to head with ‘Align Tilt’ checkbox, and embed hair roots deeper into the scull using ‘Embed Roots’ parameter.
Particle Hair from Curves (this can be used to convert zbrush fibermesh to blender Particle Hair system). Select curves and target mesh (that will receive Particle Hair) and use ‘Particle Hair from Curves‘ to convert curves object to blenders Hair system.
Ribbons from particle hair with children‘ – gives more evenly distributed result compared to build-in child particles . Great for short Hair.
Particle Hair From Grease Pencil‘ strokes painted with grease pencil, can be converted to particle hair (with some options available under f6). Checkbox next to this button, describes if you want to use Scene GPencil data (when enabled), or Object GP data (when disabled).
  • ‘Flip UV’ option in preferences – if enabled random strands will have uv’s flipped in X-axis.

Hair Tool examples:

 

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Whats new in Batchtool Baker 1.11

Quite some time passed since I described what is new in Batchtools 1.03 version. Right now Batchtool Baker is in version 1.11, so wanted to describe new features.

  • baking presets – lets your save your most used setups for baking:
    Batchtool presets
  • quick texture preview (in blender internal glsl mode – TODO: add Cycles support) – assign all baked maps to material of lowpoly object:
    Batchtools texture preview
  • Added Helper icon – ‘Duplicate passes’ – duplicates current bake job, with all render passes setting – saves time when creating new bake job.
  • added support for Substance Batchtools 6 series this includes (you need to go to addon preferences and select Substance batchtools version 6 in menu):
    • ability to bake non square maps
    • ability to bake 8k textures

PivotPro Blender addon, some art too.

Hi I just finished making new blender addon  – baking tool for substance designer users. It will allow you quicly bake ao, normal, ID etc. in allegorithmic BatchTools software. Baking times will be no longer problem ;). Bad new is it will cost $ but not much (5-15$ I think). I have to test it bit more, but it should be out in 1-2 weeks.

Also PivotPro addon (free) is now available on github. PivotPro will allow you to create temporary pivot point, that can be easily moved, snapped and used for pivot point for rotation, scaling, snapping point reference.

Blender PivotPro addon
PivotPro in action

If you like it you can support me by giving any sum through gumroad.
And here is part of manual for this addon (full manual is provided with gumroad link above):
Now you can press rotate, scale, move selected objects around red pivot point. To do this use:

  • shift + R to rotate box around red pivot
  • shift + S to scale box around red pivot
  • shift + G – by default behaves like ordinary grab. But if you enable snapping, box will be snapped to desired vertex/edge/face by red pivot location. Also when nothing is selected, you can use shift+G to translate red pivot to new location, eg. below I used shift+G, then ‘Z’, to move red pivot 1BlenderUnit up in Z axis.

Example of snapping with pivotPro:

PivotPro snapping example animation

Example with grid snapping:

PivotPro snapping to grid

And some stuff  I made in past months:

GroupPro

Yamato battleship

GroupPro was made because default blender group instances are powerful, but it is not user friendly to work with. With GroupPro I managed to get rid of all annoying features of group instances:

  • you can edit any instances on scene, not just the ‘source’ one
  • you can work in recursive way – group instances, can be made of other subgroups, which can be made of subgroups etc. At any stage subgroup can be edited and saved, with all instances updated in realtime
  • easy mirroring of selected groups, that fixes group instance mirror
  • adjusting origin of group, without destroying positions of other instances placed in scene, or in another groups
  • nice UI, that makes group instances easy to work with

This makes working with huge scenes with lots of objects easy and gives all the pros of group instances:

  •  less memory memory usage
  •  easy selection of multiple objects with one click

Here is video tutorial/demo how to use addon (for version 1.0):
https://vimeo.com/139789313

Update 1.01:

  • preventing ability to edit linked library groups – editing linked library objects it is not supported by GroupPro,
  •  ‘flip’ options correctly stores groups assigned to mirrored objects,
  •  bounding box for edited group is now displayed only for visible objects and bbox is displayed now in xray mode to make it easily visible).

Update 1.02:

  • Delete Group – deletes group with subgroups and objects that this group is made of permanently from blender file
  • Make unique – Makes selected Group separate instance.

    GroupPro – MakeUnique command
  • Convert to geometry – It splits Grouped object into separate, individual mesh objects.
  • Initialize Groups – Helps to cleanup garbage objs. after pasting group from another file

Update 1.03

  • Added pop-up menu with GroupPro commands under ‘Ctrl+X’ hotkey

Update 1.04

  • fixed problems with displaying instances of group that was being edited
  • fixed problems with ‘Set origin’ command
  • added ‘Cleanup’ command – deletes unused groups with content.  Unused groups = groups that are currently not being linked to scene). More info with example in manual.

Update 1.05

  • refactored code for editing and closing groups (simpler, more speed)
  • added ‘MaxDepth’ parameter for ‘MakingUnique’ groups- Maximum depth for which unique groups will be created. 0-inifinite depth, default=1 (use F6 panel to change maxDepth)

    MakeUnique – maxDepth demo
  • bug fixes

And here is Yamato battleship  I made to stress test new addon:

Yamato battleship Yamato battleship Yamato battleship Yamato battleship Yamato battleship Yamato battleship

Lots of sculpts

Mostly having fun in 3d coat. Dynamic tessellation is way better that zremesh. No need to remesh and loosing detail like in zbrush. Pros compared to zbrush:

  • instances!!! (eg, sculpt one finger, and have all other updated in realtime)
  • ability to group objects in tree structure (child – parent). This allow of transformation of whole group of objects at once. I zbrush you can move only one tool at time (unless going with zpose)
  • easy way of posing multiple objects at once (no need to merge). Same goes for move brush.
  • easy gradient masking – awesome to pose hipoly sculpt. In zbrush you have to make lowpoly version of sculpt first to get smooth masking with transpose tool – bit time consuming.
  • painting with layers and blending modes.
  • Cool and fast booleans – especially in voxel mode. Great for hardsurface stuff

Bad things:

  • exporter for blender dosen’t seems to work. Too zbrush too 😦
  • I didn’t managed to export vertex color from blender back to 3d coat recently. It was pain in the .. in my last project (yellow girl),
  • some stuff is buggy, or not functional at but recent 4.1 release fixed lots of stuff.
  • bad default navigation imo, but you will be able to customize it
  • default brushes are not good but Artman Preset is awesome. Use custom presets

 

Mitsuba exporter 1.0

Update3: Works with Mitsuba 4.1, most of sun options are supported). Thin dielectric added. But dipole is still broken.
Update4: Should fix some camera bugs, increased some allowed max parameters values .
Here is updated blender exporter that works with Blender 2.64 and Mitsuba 4.1

Supported engine integrators are (all except AO – who uses it today anyway):

  • Energy redistribution PT
  • Path Space MLT
  • Primary Sample Space MLT
  • Photon mapper
  • Adjoint Particle Tracer
  • Bidirectional path tracer
  • Volumetric path tracer (Extended)
  • Volumetric path tracer (Simple)
  • Path tracer
  • Direct Illumination

Supported integrators are (basically all):

  • Sobol QMC sampler
  • Hammersley QMC sampler
  • Halton QMC sampler
  • Low discrepancy
  • Stratified
  • Independent

Render settings form mistuba exporter

Other features included:
support for blend bsdf (see gold statue that uses gold and diffuse, with smooth dielectric coating)
Modifiers are finally supported (thanks to updated collada exporter that has this feature now)
HDR environment maps – through hemi light.
instances
Thind dielectric – Architectural glass support
Multiple materials per object support

Broken features:
-sunsky, sky, sun (I think there is problem with transforming sunsky coordinates – I reported but to mitsuba creator Wenzel Jakob
no support for dof – no time to implement it now Should work now in update 3.
– dipose sss – It is fixed in newest Mitsuba release, should be out soon. I know lots of blender guys are waiting for it – sorry for make you waiting :/ (if you really want you can copy manually dipole xml code inside scene to tag and it should work)

And some screens. Car is from blender swap made by user tom120934. I had to remake all materials for mitsuba. Render time was 6minutes with Photon Mapping. Thanks for great car tom120934: