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Blender Market is here to bring you tools that make you a better Blender artist. And while we stand behind all our plugins 100%, there are some which have found the way into our pipeline. So here is the inside scoop on the plugins we use on a daily basis - and why you should, too.
RetopoFlow: Retopology Tools for Blender
This shouldn't be surprising: developed in-house by a team led by Jonathan Williamson, RetopoFlow is Blender Market's #1 seller. Even if you don't do retopology often, RetopoFlow will be your best friend, helping you to stay focused on creating the best edge flow without worrying about anything else. The Deal: $71.25 for the professional-grade tool, including a contribution to Blender Development Fund.
Why we love it: "The fact that it works well solves a real pain point for most artists," says Jonathan Lampel. "It's easy and sometimes even downright fun to use which makes it the best add-on out there right now in my opinion."
UV squares: Even Out Messy UVs
Blender's UV unwrap is far from perfect and you may often end up with a distorted object shape that needs lengthy clean-up. UV Square takes the distortion out of the game by respecting your object's geometry, giving you a clean shape in one click.
The Deal: $15.95 (including a contribution to Blender Development Fund)
Why we love it: It makes UV unwrapping easier, is dead-simple to use and works every time.
Pro Tip: "The Snap to Axis buttons are especially useful for straightening edges quickly," says Jonathan Lampel. "It's nothing I couldn't do manually, but UV Unwrap does in a second what could otherwise take many minutes."
When you want great-looking lighting at the touch of a button, there is no better way than Pro Lighting Studio by Andrew Price. Just select the subject you want to light and then choose from 161 different lighting styles, plus backgrounds and reflections. This add-on quickly pays for itself.
The Deal: $127 for 68 character lighting styles, 48 car light setups, 45 object light setups, 286 background combinations, 64 floor combinations and 49 reflection maps.
Why we love it: It lets you flip through different setups quickly, letting you experiment with what works best for your scene. The addition of beautiful background images is a huge plus.
Pro Tip: The Blender Market team uses Pro Lighting Studio to review models and materials for the market to make sure that their quality holds up under different lighting scenarios; try it with your models to see them, literally, in a different light.
Code Autocomplete: Wake Up Blender's Text Editor
If Python coding seems a little intimidating, Code Autocomplete will help you create what you need through autocompletion and templates. It can save you hours searching for the right commands and syntax in your browser.
The Deal: $20 including all future updates and a contribution to Blender Development fund.
Why we love it: If you're not an advanced Python coder, you will appreciate Code Autocomplete's command suggestions, which will help you get the hang of the syntax (and makes the whole task of getting started seem less daunting).
Pro Tip: A great "side-effect" is that Code Autocomplete minimizes the NameError exception. The suggested names appear as you start typing, reducing the risk of misspelling.
IK Easing Action and IK-Text Effects
Created for motion designers, IK-Easing Action lets you visualize and edit your animation directly in Blender's viewport. IK-Text Effects is a specialized animation tool for text in Blender (no maths or keyframes!). Both tools allow for a combination of a variety of animation styles.
The Deal: $12 (IK-Easing Action) and $14.99 (IK-Text Effects) including free updates.
Why we love it: These add-ons are a godsend for any motion graphics work. They can both dramatically increase your workflow in Blender and allow you quick access to the controls you need.
Pro Tip: Use the bookmark feature in Easing Action, it can save you so much time on commonly used easing.