Great Blender Addons

Chalice Yao

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Promptly inspired by the Blender News thread, I've figured it might be a good idea to collect a showcase of great and neat Blender Addons, no matter if free or for purchase. Additions to the thread welcome!

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Avastar
2.7*: Yes
2.8: In Development
Free: No ( 11000 $L or ~40 Dollars)

Most SL Content Creators probably heard of Avastar :p
It is a Blender Addon that is specifically tailored for SL Content creation, namely: Rigged meshes, Avatars, and SL Poses + Animations.
It fixes several bugs/quirks with the DAE Import from Blender into SL, has a ton of special SL-related rigging and posing tools (including SL appearance sliders for the Avastar rig), includes extended Bento rigs, and all in all is almost a must have convenience tool if you plan to do anything SL-Avatar related in Blender.
A version for Blender 2.8 is in the works, but sadly not available yet.



Retopoflow
2.7*: Yes
2.8: In Development
Free: Yes! (Though you can aid the development by buying it here for a high price. Free link is in the title above.)

Retopoflow is an awesome Addon for dreaded retopology work in Blender - i.e. the conversion of a high poly mesh into a low poly variant to make things Game/SL-ready.
The way it works is, Retopoflow lets you paint stripes of quads over an existing high-poly model, creating a low poly model using this neat method. It has many features, from symmetry settings, to quick-stroke tools that allow you to quickly retopo around a shape, to many fine tuning and control tools. I highly recommend watching this Youtube video to see it in action - it's impressive:

If you are an SL content creator, and have a really high poly mesh for SL...please, work it through something like Retopoflow first >:|



Y.A.V.N.E
2.7*: Yes
2.8: ?
Free: Yes!

Or "Yet Another Vertex Normal Editor", Y.A.V.N.E is a tool to quickly smoothen and fix the normals of a mesh surface; You can best see the results of the tool by checking the title link, but if you've ever wondered how to fix a seemingly uneven surface (lighting-wise) despite the geometry being perfectly smooth? This is the tool for you. And it's free!
...Alright, so here's an image:
Great little tool, but not available for 2.8. (Yet?)



UV Packmaster 2
2.7*: Yes
2.8: Yes
Free: No (20$ bucks on Gumroad)

THIS. ADDON. IS. AWESOME.
I want to shove this Addon down the throats of many SL Content Creators. Seriously.
Essentially what this Addon does is, using heuristic and fancy calculation tricks, it densly turns/scales/packs your unwrapped Blender UV into an arrangement that makes the most of the available texture space. It's really worth watching the Youtube video:
If more people paid attention to making efficient UV layouts, we'd need smaller texture sizes for the everything. This tool helps a LOT with the annoying work! Spread the word.




.
 
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Chalice Yao

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One more Addon regarding making UVs much easier:

TexTools
2.7*: Yes
2.8: In development
Free: Yes!

TexTools is another UV-related (among things) addon that gives you a TON of features: Straightening edges in UVs, selecting UV islands and making them fill the texture space, changing the UV area without distorting/changing the size of the UV geometry itself, appliable checkermaps to see UV distorts in the viewport, aligning UV islands to each other..more exotic things like temporarily 'exploding' an object in the viewport into its individual parts..
The feature list is huge!. Just scroll down the website to see it all.
Available for 2.79*, 2.8 seems to be in the works.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

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One more Addon regarding making UVs much easier:

TexTools
2.7*: Yes
2.8: In development
Free: Yes!

TexTools is another UV-related (among things) addon that gives you a TON of features: Straightening edges in UVs, selecting UV islands and making them fill the texture space, changing the UV area without distorting/changing the size of the UV geometry itself, appliable checkermaps to see UV distorts in the viewport, aligning UV islands to each other..more exotic things like temporarily 'exploding' an object in the viewport into its individual parts..
The feature list is huge!. Just scroll down the website to see it all.
Available for 2.79*, 2.8 seems to be in the works.
I -love- TexTools! It's one of those ones I just can't wait for a 2.8 version to come out.

I never had Avastar; I've been thinking about possibly making some SL avatar stuff (a friend is trying to convince) me and I MIGHT get Avastar in order to do it, but I dunno. Definitely not until there's a 2.8 version, if I do.
 
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Chalice Yao

The Purple
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Sadly it seems the last commit on the TexTools Bitbucket is from August 2018. RenderHJS is busy with RL and another project, but he still wants to port TexTools to 2.8 soonish.

Meanwhile, there is an inofficial 2.8 port here: SavMartin/TexTools-Blender
It has a bug or two until renderhjs properly does things.
 
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Chalice Yao

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To add...

I never had Avastar; I've been thinking about possibly making some SL avatar stuff (a friend is trying to convince) me and I MIGHT get Avastar in order to do it, but I dunno. Definitely not until there's a 2.8 version, if I do.
I would *definitely* get it if you do. It has a ton of features for making the SL avatar-related creations easier, and also includes non-rigging-related features like exporting animations in the SL internal .anim format instead instead of .bvh, allowing for stuff like bone transations and priorities per bone.

Also, there is news regarding the 2.8 version: Blender 2.8 news | Avastar 2
It seems like the Machinimatrix team managed to get some of the DAE SL export fixes integrated into Blender 2.8, in order to make their work on Avastar 2.8 easier. Neat!
 
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Seven

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These are all really neat!

I would highly recommend Bake Tool 2.0

BakeTool 2.0
2.7*: Yes
2.8: Yes
Price: $14.95

It's a super convenient way to bake textures onto large groups of objects or entire scenes. It's really quick and easy to use, you just select you objects and add them to your bake list. There's options for different passes , render samples, images sizes, formats, and so on. Not free but it's more than worth it for the amount of time it saves. I've used it non-stop for almost every SL related Blender project I've done for years!
 
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Eunoli

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Well, I was going to plug Snap Utilities, because I am addicted to it and it has made my life much easier - until I went to Blender Market to grab the video and found this:



Now....not sure what to think....:unsure:
 

Eunoli

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On a brighter note (I hope), I just bought Fluent after seeing this amazing video. I haven't learned it yet, but it seems like it will be awesome for building facades. $20, but I think it will be worth it if it saves me as much time as I suspect it will. Hardest part will be learning curve.