Using open-source tools such as Blender means that anyone can contribute to the software’s features in the form of add-ons and extensions. Today I would like to share with you my favorite Blender add-ons that I use regularly.
Blender has many features, and since the introduction of version 2.8, it looks like, it is going to catch up with the industry standard software, such as Maya. Because 2.8 is still in beta, I collected these add-ons for the last stable version (Blender 2.79b).
1. Multi UV editor
I use this tool every time I want to create texture atlases for multiple separate meshes. It is quite simple to use, you just select all the meshes that should share UV space, then press the Multi-Object UV Editing button on the T shelf > Tools menu.
It is important to note that the UV changes don’t apply if you edit the mesh itself (like delete or add, or move vertices). In Blender 2.8, this feature is built-in already.
This one is a very feature-rich add-on and has many options that are missing from the default Blender tools. I want to name my most used features: Rectify, Align and Sort functions.
With this tool, you can straighten curved UV shells (such as beveled cylinder edge strips or pipes), align UV shells and pack them together in nice orderly rows or columns to maximize UV space usage.
TexTools is also capable of baking high-quality normal, ambient occlusion, etc. maps by using the Cycles engine. My personal opinion is that this one is a solid choice for every Blender user, let it be beginner or expert.
When modeling real-world scale objects, you have to be precise, sometimes up to 1-millimeter scale. With this tool, you can measure and display the length, area or arc in increments of your World settings.
4. Manuel Bastioni Lab
This add-on is a character creation tool. Possibly the best free solution… You can design original humanoid characters in various styles (humans by races, and cartoon or anime characters), with basic armature for animation.
I use this add-on for generating base meshes for characters, then customize and edit them to my needs. Great tool if you don’t have access to standalone character creation tools (such as iClone – Character Creator).
5. FBX Bundle
From the same author as TexTools, this add-on helps export mesh batches to game engines. You can set the file format to FBX for Unity or for Unreal, to glTF, or to Collada. It has batch modifier tools, such as LOD, collider, vertex AO and so on.
Worth trying it if you are dealing with a large amount of game-ready objects!
These were my favorite and frequently used add-ons for Blender 2.79. I hope you found it interesting and useful! Do you have another favorite Blender add-on? Share it in the comment section below!
These add-ons are free to download, but the production and maintenance take time and effort from the creators. Consider a donation to support their work!