- Written by Frederik Steinmetz
Very often, when I click the same thing again and again, I either think: hey, I'm using a computer, it is supposed to do repetetive tasks for me, shouldn't there be a button for this? And surprisingly often there is and I hadn't found it yet. However those other times I simply try to create the button myself. It's surprisingly easy and there are many tutorials that should get you started. In fact if you open the text editor and at the bottom click on Template and select Python -> UI Menu, you will load a python class with a very basic menu. You can fill that with as many buttons as you wish.
But to the actual content:
At some point I found myself using those scripts more and more often. Then friends asked me: "is there a button for that and if not: can you make one?". So I have collected the scripts I use the most and combined them in what I call the BlenderDiplom Box of Random Tools (BoRT) It is an addon, you have to download the file and in Blender on the top left select: File -> User Preferences (CRTL + ALT + U) in the panel that pops up go to the tab Add-ons and at the bottom choose Install Add-on from File. This will register the toolbox in the Tools (T) -Menu (left) of the 3D viewport. Depending on the mode you are in, there are three different panels with buttons to choose from.
A fair warning:
- These operators have been tested, but there is no guarantee that they will work under all circumstances, please report bugs and errors here.
- Save your files before using them. I have not caused a crash with them, but better safe than sorry and some features are very hard to restore later down the road if you accidentally changed more of your scene than you intended
- Please don't criticise my programming style (too much), I know it's far from perfect, but it gets the job done and no operator takes long enough to complain that there might be a more efficient way. They may be crude and sometimes hacky, but they get the job done.
This operator will copy the transforms of the active object to the selected ones. You can choose if you want to use rotation and/or location and/or scale.
Of course there already is an operator for this, but this one is supposed to be used with multi-user objects. You can choose to automatically make the active object a single user or to transfer the changes to all objects sharing the same data.
With this button you can select all the children of the active object. Since I did not find a way to do this recursively, you will have to select a depth to which it should search. This means a depth of 2 would look for children of children of the parent, but not further.
When you organize your scene, especially if you plan to export it, it is a good idea to store all connected objects under one parent. If your scene gets more and more complicated selecting these parent can be cumbersome, so with this button you would only select objects that have no parents of their own. I call them "master-parents".
Speed Up Tools
This button mutes all modifiers on the selected objects, except armatures. // TODO: make an option only to select generate modfiiers
Enable Modifiers (probably too hacky)
Enable all modifiers on the selected objects, unfortunately there is no option to store which ones were previously deactivated by the user.
If your scene just won't look like the one you see in the preview, press this button and check the system console. It prints out all settings that are different between preview and render. At the moment it does not take render layers into account.
Store Visible Layers
I was working on a scene where pretty much every object has its own layer. I want to be able to quickly hide hair and high resolution meshes. I also have layers with objects that aren't supposed to be seen in preview (in render you can quickly turn them off) or I know I will not be showing them in the near future. This means the show all layers button ` will not work for me. However if I want to render or preview my scene with all the relevant objects, I have to re-enable tons of layers. With this button you can store a layer layout and recall it easily when you are ready to render or preview your entire scene.
It feels a little hacky but it seemed the safest way to store these settings on an empty object. It will be created and hidden, you don't have to worry about it.
Recall Stored Layers
Recalls the layers stored with the button above.
This operator counts the polygons of your mesh and sorts them by number of vertices. It gives you the option to select faces based on their count. Since a lot of the times, you want quads only in your models, you can find out quickly if and where you may have created a non-quad face.
Set Bone Rotation Mode
I know I will trigger some people with this statement, but other than in game engines, Quaternion rotation is not very usefull. It is almost impossible to refine in the graph editor and if you don't know exactly what you are doing just plain confusing. But it is the standard setting for every bone you create. And yes, I know about gimbal lock but you can get rid of it easily in the graph editor. With this button you can change the rotation mode of all bones to the one you select from the dropdown. You have a couple of options to ignore certain bones, e.g. if they contain syllables, for example 'IK', are hidden or unselected.