Useful_Tools 1.0.1

8 ratings
I want this!

Useful_Tools 1.0.1

8 ratings

I recommend version 2.0.2:


Which is a more improved version of this version.


For some tools to work, it is necessary to activate the following addons:

Sun Position; Bool Tool; tinyCAD Mesh tools; Extra Objects and Snap Utilities Line".

This is an update to the Useful Tools Addon. Watch this video: https://youtu.be/neIpqOJUEyQ

The first Playlist on YouTube shows some functions of the first version. However, during use I realized that some tools could be accessed easily, without the need to add them to the panel. I improved tool layouts and code readability, and added new functions.

Among them, the highlight goes to the Snap tools, which is one of the most used things, especially with regard to architectural modeling. During testing, I found combinations that make Blender Snap extremely easy, fast and accurate, using only native functions. I added in the same panel, the Snapping and Transform Pivot Point options, exposed all the time, because these functions determine the efficiency of the Snap. The objective of this Addon is to bring together the best combinations, so that it is more practical, faster and more intuitive than the standard mode. Altogether, there are twenty possible combinations between Transform Pivot Point and Snap Target, from the Snapping panel. In my personal use, I find that two combinations of each tool are the most used and ideal for architectural modelling. In SketchUp, Snap is offered in all its options automatically. In Blender, Snap settings are exposed for the user to choose which ones he wants to use. At first glance, this doesn't make sense, especially for SketchUp users. The documentation is rather vague on the subject, with no detailed examples. The old Blender also had these functions, but they don't compare with the new version. Blender's new Snap achieves the same objective as SketchUp's, and in some cases even more accurately, but without the same practicality, of course. However, this is no longer an issue.

The secret of Snap is in the cursor as the pivot and in the origin of the object as the Snap point, this for the object mode. For edit mode, the only difference is that the origin is replaced by an active selection, a vertex for example.

In Edit Mode, the first selection is the asset, in Object Mode, the last selection is the asset.

The buttons enable the Move, Rotate, and Scale tool gizmos, but you can use their shortcuts normally.

Below, a complete list of what will be shown in the video, with a description of the functions:

1) Move Tool – Object Mode:

I combined it into two buttons for the Move tool: Snap Target Closest with Pivot Point Median Point, and Snap Target Center with Pivot Point Cursor. This last one I consider the most efficient, because, using the cursor, you take the object where you want and Snap where you want. With the ideal snapping tools all in one place, you can move the origin where you want it, and quickly reposition it.

2) Move Tool – Edit Mode:

Exactly like Object Mode, just replacing the origin with an active selection.

3) Rotate Tool – Object Mode:

Use the cursor as the rotation pivot and the origin as the Snap point.

4) Rotate Tool – Edit Mode:

Use the cursor as the rotation pivot and an active selection as the Snap point.

5) Scale Tool – Object Mode – Example A:

Blender's Scale tool proved to be more accurate than SketchUp's Scale tool. In this example, the object to be transformed needs to be aligned with the ends of the reference object, so that the origin can be moved to the other end of the object to be transformed, aligned with the cursor at the other end of the same object, as pivot point. It's great for scaling objects with reference to other objects.

6) Scale Tool – Edit Mode – Example A:

As always, replace the source with an active selection.

7) Scale Tool – Object Mode – Example B:

The first two Snap attempts in this example failed on purpose, to show situations that happen frequently. Here's how to fix these glitches. This is not a rule, as it depends on the shape of the objects involved, but the important thing is that you get the idea of how the Snap works in various situations.

8) Scale Tool – Object Mode – Example C:

See in this example, how simple it is to make precise and complex movements, fast and easy.

9) Scale Tool – Object Mode – Example D:

This example shows how to resize identical objects with different sizes.

10) Scale Tool – Object Mode – Example E:

This example shows how to scale between volumetric objects with completely different shapes.

11) Scale Tool – Object Mode – Example F:

This example shows how to resize a floor plan that is not to scale correctly, using a reference measurement. Although you can use the same scale calculation in Blender as you use in SketchUp for this procedure – divide the measurement you want by the measurement you are currently in, and type the result in the measurement field – using the Scale tool is easier. is fast.

12) Array to Cursor tool:

This tool was already in the first version of the Addon, it is an example script that is in the Blender manual:

Add-on Tutorial — Blender Manual

I modified part of the code to add it to a popup button. It's equivalent to a function in SketchUp that duplicates objects within a range. In Blender there is the Array Modifier, which does this the same as SketchUp in a specific case, however, in a second case it does not work. This modifier does not fix a reference object for the array object, between which the objects will be duplicated. Rather, it moves the last objects as they are duplicated.

This tool solves this problem, executing copies exactly like in SketchUp, with the advantage of controlling the number of copies in real time. Ideal for positioning stair steps, for example, or balustrades.

13) Array to Curve tool:

While recording this tutorial, a new idea for the Array tool occurred to me. This tool does not create circular copies, as is done in SketchUp with the Rotate tool. The Array Modifier also makes circular copies, but with the same problem mentioned above. So I used a trick to reproduce something similar to SketchUp. By default, you create any type of curve, circle, etc.. select the object and the curve, make a Parent Vertex, go to the object's properties and, in Instancing, click on Vertices. The object will be duplicated according to the number of vertices in the curve. If you delete the parent object, the child objects will also be deleted, unless you go to Object= Applay= Makes Instances Real. Only then can you delete the parent object without deleting the child objects. With the button I created, I gathered all the commands of the tools that perform these steps in a single click, then just delete the parent object manually, and you will have all the duplicated objects as instances – the equivalent of a component in SketchUp -. You can choose between two buttons:

One with the objects aligned and the other without alignment. In some cases it may be necessary to make some adjustments, but nothing that gets in the way.

14) 2D Curve & Align tool:

This tool adds a 2D curve with Set Handle Type in Vector. If you use the Align To option in View, which is in the preferences panel by default, you can outline the shape of any 3D object with 2D contours. Similar to a function I saw in 3DS Max Studio.

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