Ten more amazing Blender add-ons

Introduction

Blender allows users to link secondary scripts, called ‘Add-ons’ that extend the functionality of Blender beyond its core offering. More often than not these add-ons actually speed up the workflow of existing tools and features and are particularly helpful for repetitive tasks that are best performed by a computer program! Use the Blender ‘Add-ons’ tab to manage all of these scripts. With this tab you can search, install, enable, and disable ‘Add-ons’.

MotionTool

This is a node-based Animation Framework developed by Cogumelo Softworks, and is designed for anyone that works with Animation, Motion Graphics, and FX. In essence, it provides a better solution to Blender animation, including procedural and node based animations. The add-on works out of the box and provides a full node based procedural solution to animation. So if you’re fed up of animating with a keyframe-based workflow why not give this add-on a try.

Price: $25

Motion Tool

Embrace node-based  procedural animations with this excellent add-on to Blender. © Cogumelo Softworks

Hard Ops

This add-on streamlines the hard surface workflow in Blender. The creators say “Hard Ops is intended to be a mesh concepting tool for Boolean-based mesh creation. It was created to assist in creating finer surfaces with less topological constraint overhead during creation.” The best thing about the tool is not only the time saved by using it, but also the flexibility that it provides when creating hard surfaces.

Price: $20

Hard Ops

If you spend any amount of time creating hard surfaces then do yourself a favour and check out this add-on. © TeamC

Mirage

Mirage gives you a stack of tools for creating landscapes and nature work. With easy to use tools for generating terrain and distributing trees you’ll find this add-on simple to work with. As should be the case for every add-on, but isn’t necessarily the case, there is full documentation enabling any user to pick up this tool and run with it. One great thing about the terrain generator is that you can quickly add in levels of detail for close up work, but then remove that detail for baking or for games.

Price: $24.99

Mirage

Create terrain and distribute trees to your heart's content with this handy little plug-in. © Diego Gangl

EasyFX

This free add-on enables you to carry out a post-production workflow right inside the image editor. From there EasyFX will create your composition node tree automatically. One of the advantages to this add-on is that it’s completely beginner friendly but also allows advanced users to work with the node tree that it generates. This will obviously be no match for any stand-alone post-production tool like Photoshop, but for ease of use and for quickly delivering results this could well be the solution you need.

Price: FREE

EasyFX

Add post-production effects to your images with this add-on directly inside of Blender. © Rymdnisse

fSpy

This is a really handy add-on that lets you match your camera to the camera that was used to capture an image. This is really useful for if you want to add virtual objects into a pre-created background. Once you’ve matched your camera and rendered your scene with transparency, simply overlay the render onto your image and hurrah! The compositing will be a bit more complex to really make your integration believable but you get the workflow.

Price: FREE

fSpy

Perfectly match your camera to a background image using this add-on. © fSpy

MagicUV

Magic UV provides UV tools of which Blender lacks. According to wikipedia “UV mapping is the 3D modeling process of projecting a 2D image to a 3D model's surface for texture mapping. The letters "U" and "V" denote the axes of the 2D texture because "X", "Y" and "Z" are already used to denote the axes of the 3D object in model space.” The UV tools that ship with Blender are pretty limited and minimal which can be quite frustrating. Thankfully this free add-on gives you much greater control over your UV workflow.

Price: FREE

MagicUV

Overcome the mapping limitations of Blender with this free plugin. © MagicUV

BakeTool

This add-on redesigns the way that Blender Bake works with a more coherent and easier workflow. The default workflow for baking in Blender is slow and complicated, especially when handling complex scenes. This tool makes the whole process faster and easier. If you invest in the add-on you can look forward to a wide array of features including multi-render, baking of select assets, as well as baking to low-poly models.

Price: $14.95

BakeTool

Baking your textures is a lot easier and safer with this add-on. It’s well worth every dollar.
© Cogumelo Softworks

Asset Sketcher

This lets you paint objects directly into your scene! The add-on is targeted at level designers or visualizers who want to add those finer details to their work. Not only can you randomize how assets are added to your scene but you can also pick and delete objects directly from the scene. This provides a beautiful level of customization that really lets you get the output you need. I also love the ability to place objects based on physics. Genius!

Price: $29.99

Asset Sketcher

Create the scenes you want to with quick and easy object placement using this excellent add-on.
© Asset Sketcher

Asset Flinger

This is a no-hassle time saver for visualizers who spend a lot of their time importing pre-made 3D objects from their libraries. So if you’re an interior designer for example and you’ve got loads of furniture models, you can now make use of this add-on to place those models quickly and easily into your scene. The graphical menu is simple.

Price: FREE

Asset Flinger

© Asset Flinger

Animation Nodes

This is a node-based visual scripting system designed for motion graphics in Blender. It allows for parametric animation compared to key-framed animation. This parametric system is driven by a network of nodes which define the coordinates of objects in space and time. The add-on gives you a new section in the node editor and its shelf contains more than 100 nodes enabling focused manipulation. You can animate any kind of object, vertices, polygons, and even material nodes.

Price: FREE

Animation Nodes

Leave keyframe animation behind and embrace parametric animation with this add-on. It’s feature rich, fun, and addictive. © Jacques Lucke

Only the tip of the iceberg

Hopefully this has given you a good starting point for the types of add-ons that are out there. A quick search on the internet will open your eyes up to the plethora of options out there. Please do let us know in the comments if you’ve got a favorite script that the 3dtotal readers should know about. Until next time, have fun exploring add-ons.

Check out the previous Blender add-ons article!