Configurable Dynamic Jet

by Mark Kingsnorth in Models

Quickly create a configurable mesh in the form of a fighter jet or starfighter.  

In the past I have found it laborious and repetitive to model, mirror & subdivide the starting shape. This add-on does the job for you, first allowing you to dynamically configure the basic shape, then leaving you free to edit the base mesh by leaving the Mirror and Subdivision Surface modifiers intact.

For modellers who want to either generate different shapes for a jet or starfighter in their scenes, rapidly prototype plane concepts, or have a starting point to develop a more detailed mesh. 


Features:

  • Add the Dynamic Jet mesh from the standard Add menu.
  • A range of configuration options allow you to quickly shape and concentrate on the overall design.
  • Once done, you can then move on to edit the underlying basic mesh as the modifiers are left intact.
  • Base mesh is based on quads which will help it to be quickly extended and used with other operators and addons.
  • The range of configurable options include: optional engines and tail wings, wing span & angle, cockpit size.


If you have a new feature suggestion or feedback on the addon feel free to contact me through this website, visit www.markkingsnorth.com, or contact me through twitter @markkingsnorth.

Installation

  1. Go to File -> User Preferences.
  2. Select the Add-ons tab at the top.
  3. Select the Install from File... button along the bottom.
  4. A file dialogue will pop up. Navigate to the file location where you downloaded the add_jet .py file and double click it.
  5. Search for the add-on by typing "jet" in the search box. Make sure the checkbox next to the Add-on (Add Mesh: Dynamic Jet Primitive) is ticked.
  6. Click the Save User Settings button to make sure the add-on is installed next time you open Blender.
  7. Close the User Preferences dialog box and enjoy!

Creation

You can create a Dynamic Jet object from the standard add menu, which is accessible either:

  • Under Add -> Mesh -> Dynamic Jet in the 3D view, or 
  • By pressing shift + A in the 3D view and selecting Mesh -> Dynamic Jet in the menu that appears.

Use

The object is created relative to the 3D cursor.


Once added to the scene, a menu will appear in the Toolbar panel.  This appears on the left hand side of the Default Blender view, but if it is not there try pressing CTRL-T for it to appear.

The shape of the plane is controlled by adjusting the parameters summarised in the diagram above. To start, a set of default parameters are used to create the basic shape shown.  A close-up of all the parameters are as follows and described below:

Nose

  • Width: the end width of the nose.
  • Height: the end height of the nose.
  • Length: the length of the nose from the mid section of the object.

Cockpit

  • Width: the width of the top of the cockpit.
  • Height: the height of the cockpit.
  • Length: the length to the top of the cockpit.
  • Position: the position of the cockpit, relative to the nose.

Mid Section

  • Width: the width of the mid section.
  • Height: the height of the mid section.
  • Length: the length between the mid section and the rear of the plane.

Sides

  • Width: the width of the sides of the main section.

Rear

  • Width: the width of the rear of the main body.
  • Height: the height of the main body.

Main Wing

  • Span: the length of the wing.
  • Angle: the up/down angle of the wing.
  • Thickness: the thickness of the wing.
  • Base Length: the length at the base of the wing, relative to the length of the mid section.
  • Tip Height: the height, or thickness, of the tip.
  • Tip Length: the length of the tip relative to the base length.
  • Tip Bevel: how bevelled, or smooth, the end shape of the wing tip is.
  • Tip Position: the forward position of the wing.
  • Tip Rotation: the rotation of the tip around the z axis.

Tail Wing

  • Number: the number of tail wings, currently between 0-2.
  • Base Width: the width of the base of a tail wing relative to the mid section width.
  • Base Length: the length of the base of a tail wing relative to the mid section length.
  • Base Position: the position of the base of a tail wing relative to the mid section.
  • Height: the height of a tail wing.
  • Tip Width: the tip width relative to the base.
  • Tip Length: the tip length relative to the base.
  • Tip Bevel: how bevelled, or smooth, the shape of the tip is.
  • Tip Position: the forward position of the tip relative to the base.

Engines

  • Number: number of rear engine shapes, currently between 0-2.
  • Width: the width of the rear engine hole, relative to the mid section shape.
  • Height: the height of the rear engine hole, relative to the mid section shape.
  • Depth: how deep the engine hole goes into the body.

Subdivision

  • Levels: the number of levels of the sub-division modifier that is added.

Transform

  • Align to View: align the jet object created relative to the view.
  • Location: the location of the jet relative to the 3D cursor.
  • Rotation: the rotation of the jet.

Next steps

Once you are happy with the overall shape, you may choose to press tab to enter object edit mode.  This will allow you to edit the underlying base mesh, which has had Mirror and Subdivision Surface modifiers added to give the overall shape:

You can now continue customising the shape for your needs, adding more detail, and applying modifiers to complete your object to your satisfaction.

This is completely compatible with my Plating Generator.

I want to return to the default value of a parameter. How do I do that?

You can hover the mouse over the parameter box and press the delete key to return the the default value, which is a useful feature throughout Blender.

Sometimes the rear engine holes appear thin. How do I fix this?

The shape of the engine holes are relative to the width and height of the mid section or the sides depending on how many engines are selected.  Sometimes, this can cause the engines to look thin. You can resolve this by increasing the width and height of the engines, the sides, or the mid-section.

I have a new feature suggestion or issue with the addon. Who do I contact?

You can contact me through this website, visit www.markkingsnorth.com, or contact me through twitter @markkingsnorth.

There are a lot of parameters, is that necessary?

Although there are a lot of parameters, I decided to keep the mesh as parameterised as possible to give the most flexibility...please see the video to see some of the main parameters I use the most as well as referring to the documentation.

When I press tab to enter edit mode, or click away from the mesh, I lose my parameters...

...this is how Blender works unfortunately, which is understandable: Once you take any of those actions, Blender won't be able to keep track of changes.  The same behaviour can be seen when adding other primitives.

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  • Large

    bodenarr 16 days ago

    great !!!

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