Plating Generator And Greebles

by Mark Kingsnorth in Scripts and Addons

Version now ready for Blender 2.8 beta!

Quickly create unique hull plating patterns using existing mesh topology.

One of the most time consuming things I've found is how to create an interlocking plating pattern on meshes such as spaceship hulls.  The most effective method is to manually extrude edge loops over and over, which can be very time consuming. The more detailed you want the mesh to be, the longer it will take.

With a background in software engineering I have created a plugin that greatly speeds up the process, allowing you to quickly create a selection in a plating pattern and and extrude the edges accordingly.

Features:

  • Quickly generate a plating pattern from a random seed. The pattern is an interlocking effect designed to be more advanced than the standard random face selection in Blender.
  • The pattern can be generated on a whole quad based mesh or on a sub selection of quad faces.
  • Control the amount of grooves cut between the plates.
  • Control the depth of the grooves.
  • Control the thickness of the grooves.
  • Option to split the edges on a smooth mesh to ensure the edges are cleanly defined.
  • Option to completely remove the grooves and leave the plates intact.
  • No hidden geometry created, actions are performed directly on the mesh.


New Releases

Version 1.10.0: Blender 2.8 beta

I have now upgraded the add-on for 2.8 beta and put it ready for download alongside the 2.7 version. You will be able to tell the 2.8 zip file version because it ends in 2.8!  I'll be updating the documentation once 2.8 becomes the main Blender release.

Also, the both 2.7 and 2.8 version supports presets, so you can load and save your own settings, or reset to default!

Blender 2.8 is still in beta, so if you have any problems with the add-on let me know.

Version 1.8.0

By request I have added an option to disable updates whilst you are working at high values, which will slow down Blender whilst you change them. Hope this helps people!

Version 1.7.0 - Greebles!

A significant update to the add-on (now add-ons) - Greebles.  See the demo video below:

You can choose to add Greebles to the Plating Generator add-on, or choose to add them as a completely seperate options.  You can also add up to 20 of your own Greeble objects.

Other new features include a completely updated interface with collapsible panels.  See the documentation for mor information:

Do contact me if you have any questions or issues via the 'Contact the Creator' section.

Version 1.6.0

Thanks to the help of my testers, I have now released the Plating Generator 1.6.0 into the wild.  This version includes:

  • Variable Plate Heights: The ability to randomise plate heights starts to create more interesting effects, like city scapes and varied detailing:
  • Tapers to the plates:  This also allows for a wider variety of effects on plates:
  • Performance Improvements: I have also worked to make some of the code more efficient when creating the plating effect, and to pass over the mesh data as few times as possible.  More will come in the next release.

I have used these options combined with the Shape Generator to quickly create sci-fi spaceship models like this.  I plan on putting a video tutorial together on the subject so watch this space:

Version 1.5.0

Several updates in this version:

  • Rivets: by request, you can now optionally add rivets to the plates  
  • You can now bevel the grooves as well as the plates
  • You can now control major and minor corners on all plates

Version 1.4.0

Minor update to the corners feature whilst I work on other features - I've amended the code to handle a better effect in some cases:

This was bugging me so I've updated it! 

Version 1.3.0

A host of new features this time.  If you already have the existing add-on, remove it under Blender User Preferences and download the new file from the same place on this website.  It is now in a zip file.

A video covering the updates is available here:




New Features:

  • A newly designed user interface with more options (see updated documentation):   
  • Ability to create groove patterns based on your own edge selection:

  • Add a bevel to the main corners of your selected faces to create a finished effect:
  • Improved edge splits, that also split the corners of the edges.
  • Option to mark UV seams around the edges of the plates for texture mapping purposes.
  • Better segmentation between side plates and bevels - now less likely to overlap.

  • All existing features remain the same.

  • The add-on is now in a zip file to allow easier porting between versions of Blender.

Next time: Rivets. I promise.

Any questions, let me know :)

Version 1.2.0


Based on requests, I have made some additions to the plating generator which are free to all current users:

  • Define the number of segments on the sides of the plates and within the grooves.
  • An additional option of selecting the faces for the plates as well as the grooves.
  • Add a bevel to the edges of the plates, and define the number of segments.
  • This plugin is also tested on the upcoming Blender 2.79.


A short demo video of the new features is here:




Note that when installing the new plating_1_2_0.py file, remove the existing plugin via the Blender User Preferences window beforehand:

Any questions, do get in touch!