AssemblMe – LEGO Animation Made Easy!

by Bricks Brought to Life in Scripts and Addons

Iterative object assembly animations made simple

AssemblMe is an add-on for Blender that makes layer-by-layer animation efficient and non-destructive. Blender offers excellent physics and particle simulation tools, but when you've got a final resting place for your objects, you'll find yourself keyframing each object individually. AssemblMe provides an intuitive and efficient workflow for creating (and adjusting) assembly and disassembly animations in seconds.

AssemblMe for LEGO Structures


So you've got a LEGO (or Minecraft!) model in Blender, and you'd like to animate the bricks building themselves. That's great! That's exactly the problem this add-on was designed to solve. Select your model, hit 'Create Build Animation', and you're done! That's right, it's as easy as that! There are plenty of parameters for you to play around with, so you can tweak the animation to look just like you envisioned it. Works great with the Bricker add on!

AssemblMe for Motion Graphics

Motion graphics and logo design with multiple objects in Blender is also a breeze with AssemblMe. Simply add all of the objects to a group, adjust the parameters to your liking, and create the animation for a beautiful assembly motion graphic in seconds! NOTE: Animation is currently limited to straight lines from the starting position to the final resting position (though the starting/resting positions are very customizable).


Intuitive UI

We worked closely with artists to develop a simple and intuitive UI, complete with in-viewport animation guides, customizable and relevant status updates, and a wide range of intuitive animation parameters for complete customization. Our goal was to develop an add-on so intuitive that you'll never find yourself asking "what does this do?" or "how do I get this to do what I want?". If you're new to Blender, this add-on is for you.


Features

  • Customizable layer size and orientation, build speed, velocity, and more.
  • Bricks/Objects can be assembled or disassembled from any orientation.
  • Initial location and rotation of brick/object can be customized and/or randomized.
  • Create and manage multiple build animations in the same scene.
  • Try out the default presets (Standard Build, Rain, Explode) or create your own!
  • Convenient 'Start Over' button to clear generated animation.
  • The sky is the (performance) limit! 'Create Build Animation' operation took just 1 second to run with over 2,000 objects on a standard laptop.


Future Improvements

Our last major release (v1.1) added many features that you had been requesting. We hope to add functionality for animating objects along a curve in a future release (free to update), so keep your eye out for that!


Change Log

Version 1.2.0 - 10/18/18

  • New default preset 'Fly-In'!
  • UI Improvements (Advanced options now included in settings and stored with presets)
  • Custom presets now persist through version updates
  • Dozens of bug fixes and improvements


Version 1.1.6

  • Updated Addon Updater to v1.0.5
  • Fixed issue preventing multiple animations in the same scene


Version 1.1.5

  • Improved explosion preset to handle large models
  • Increased maximum values for many inputs


Version 1.1.4

  • Fixed addon installation issue


Version 1.1.3

  • Added 'Use Global Location' advanced option for child objects
  • Improved code organization and efficiency
  • Dozens of bug fixes


Version 1.1.2

  • Auto-updater added for convenient updating within blender's interface!


Version 1.1.1

  • Increased max parameter values and reworked 'Velocity' parameter to be more intuitive and flexible (Velocity values set with previous versions of AssemblMe will be updated automatically)
  • New preset: "Step-by-Step" for slowly stepping through each layer
  • You can now delete (and restore deleted) default presets
  • Fixed a few minor issues


Version 1.1.0

  • Added functionality for creating and managing multiple build animations in the same scene
  • Added preset manager for creating and removing custom presets
  • Visualizer now auto-updates!
  • Massive file size reduction (over 400x smaller)
  • Fixed a few other misc issues


Version 1.0.1

  • Performance improvements for visualizer and object animation
  • Added the ability to close 'Report Error' button
  • Various misc fixes and typos


Version 1.0.0 - initial release

Instructions:

  • Open up the AssemblMe tool panel from the 3D viewport by pressing the 'T' key and selecting the 'AssemblMe' tab on the far left.
  • Choose the object group you wish to animate in the 'Animations' dropdown, or create a new group by selecting target objects and clicking 'From Selection'.
  • Adjust the animation by selecting a preset or customizing your own parameters in the 'Settings' dropdown.
  • Click 'Create Build Animation'
  • To edit your animation, simply adjust the settings and click 'Update Build Animation'
  • To start from scratch, click 'Start Over' (this will clear ALL animation data from objects affected by the 'Create Build Animation' button)
  • Manage your own custom presets in the 'Preset Manager' dropdown menu.


Settings:

  • Preset Choose a preset to adjust all settings automatically for a specific look
  • Start First frame of the (dis)assembly animation
  • Step Number of frames to skip forward between each object selection
  • Velocity – Speed of individual object layers
    • 2 ^ (10 - Velocity) = duration of the animation (in frames) for each object selection layer
  • Location X/Y/Z – Offset object locations by these X, Y, and Z values during the animation
  • Location Interpolation Mode – Interpolation mode for the object location animation
  • Location Random – Randomize the object location offset
  • Rotation X/Y/Z – Offset object rotations by these X, Y, and Z values during the animation
  • Rotation Interpolation Mode – Interpolation mode for the object rotation animation
  • Rotation Random – Strength of speckle effect in material's reflection (controls amount of noise in reflection map)
  • Layer Orientation X/Y – Orientation of the bounding box that selects objects for each layer in the animation
    • Click the grey "eye" button to visualize the object selection layer as you tweak the settings.
  • Layer Orientation Random – Randomize the orientation of the bounding box that selects objects for each frame
  • Layer Height – Height of the bounding box that selects objects for each layer in the animation
  • Build Type – Choose whether to assemble or disassemble the objects (reverses the animation)
  • Assemble from other direction – Invert the animation so the objects start (dis)assembling from the other side (top to bottom vs. bottom to top, left to right vs. right to left)


Advanced Settings:

  • Skip Empty Selections Skip frames where no objects were included in the current frame's bounding box
  • Use Global Orientation Use global orientation for creating animation (local orientation if disabled)
  • Ignore Non-Mesh Objects – Non-mesh objects will be excluded from the animation
  • Visualizer Scale – Scale of layer orientation visualizer
  • Visualizer Resolution – Resolution of layer orientation visualizer


Preset Manager:

  • Create New Preset If you've made an animation with settings you want to save for later, you have the option to create a custom preset by typing the name of the preset here, and clicking "Create".
  • Remove Preset If you want to remove a preset from AssemblMe, you have the option to select it in the dropdown menu and press "Remove".
  • Restoring Removed Preset Follow these steps to restore a removed preset:
    • Navigate to the AssemblMe presets folder in your Blender scripts directory (e.g. ~/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.78c/scripts/presets/assemblme)
    • From this directory, navigate to the 'backups' folder
    • Select and copy the preset files you would like to restore
    • Paste the copied preset files into the parent directory '...scripts/presets/assemblme'


Installation (credit: CG Cookie):

  • You can download AssemblMe from your account dashboard on the Blender Market, assuming you’ve already purchased it.
  • The easiest way to install AssemblMe is to do so directly from Blender. You can do this by going to File > User Preferences > Add-ons > Install from File. This will open a File Browser in Blender, allowing to you navigate to and select the .zip file you downloaded. Press Install from file.
  • If your browser auto-extracted the downloaded .zip file then you will need to re-compress the AssemblMe folder before installing.
  • Once installed, Blender should automatically filter the addons list to show only AssemblMe. You can then enable the add-on by clicking the checkbox on the upper right of the add-on panel.
How can I reach the developer for support?

Please, don't hesitate to send an email ([email protected]) or private message from your inbox (https://blendermarket.com/inbox) if you've encountered an issue, need help using the add-on, wish to submit a feature request, or for any other reason. We'll get back to you within 24 hours!

Does Bricker support OSX and Linux?

Absolutely! AssemblMe works like a charm on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux alike.

Is AssemblMe compatible with Blender 2.8?

AssemblMe is not yet compatible with Blender 2.8, but we will work on it when the beta version is released by the Blender development team!

Will there be free updates?

All updates are free! AssemblMe is frequently updated with additional colors and other features, so keep your eye out!

How do I get the newest version of AssemblMe?

The easiest way is to Log In to the BlenderMarket, go to your Account, then under the Orders tab you should see AssemblMe in the list, which should have a link on the right-hand side to download the newest version. If you are on a PC or Linux system, you can also update via the addon preferences for Bricker within Blender (Addon updater coming to Mac OS in Blender 2.8).

Why are the objects moving in a seemingly random order?

Animation order is based on the location of the object origins. If you are getting unexpected results, you may need to set the object origins to 'Center of Mass' with 'Shift-Ctrl-Alt-C' before creating or updating your animation.

Why is the LEGO model I made with the 'Bricker' addon moving as one object?

Before animating a LEGO model created with Bricker, you'll need to split the bricks into separate objects. You can do this by clicking 'Model Settings -> Split Model' in the Bricker tool panel before Brickifying the model.

Will this plugin work for Minecraft animations?

Absolutely! This plugin is perfect for creating awesome Minecraft animations.

Item Rating

This item has an average rating of 5 from 7 ratings by the community.

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  • Christian Simpson about 1 month ago

    Christopher could not have been more helpful and revised the addon to better suit my particular use case. Highly recommended addon and developer.

    • Christopher Gearhart about 1 month ago

      Thanks for the review Christian!

  • Marco 3 months ago

    Amazing!!!!
    It's unbelievable that an addon such powerful is so inexpensive! It's very simple and easy to use, but you can create stunning animations in seconds (literally!) that you couldn't make without it, at least without spending hours in animation nodes...
    it's very easy to modify as well, because the animation settings stay always in the AseemblMe tab, so it's quite easy to tweak each animation after that the rest of the video is done.
    I used it for a Lego video, but i will certainly use it again, expecially when creating 3d graphic demo reels and breakdowns.
    As far as the support goes, when i had a problem with the addon Christopher replied me after 2/3 hours only and fixed it immediately (with a great amount of patience and friendliness given my lack of experience). It's amazing how this 10 dollars addon has far more support than som much more expensive ones...
    Another small things that i really liked is that you can update the addon directly from blender, and even plan an automatic update check, which is something that not every plugin has.

    To sum up:

    HURRY UP AND BUY THIS ADDON BEFORE THE CREATOR FINDS OUT THAT THIS ADDON SHOULD ACTUALLY COST 10 TIMES MORE!!!!!

    ( ;-) )

    • Christopher Gearhart 3 months ago

      That's very encouraging Marco! Thanks for the great review!

  • Markal 4 months ago

    Excellent add-on that sorts a problem I have been having for making things explode. Chris went to great pains to ensure it worked correctly with the Mecabricks plug in. Thank you Chris. Highly recommended for all you brick film makers.

    • Christopher Gearhart 4 months ago

      Happy to help Markal – Thanks for the review!

  • Keith Gibb 5 months ago

    Love it. Works perfectly and so simple to use. Might buy the brickify add on now :)

    • Christopher Gearhart 5 months ago

      Thanks for the review Keith, I believe you'll really enjoy Bricker!

  • Jaan Talvet 6 months ago

    Easy to use and fun. It's a well made add-on. Only criticism is that other than the FAQ's, documentation is lacking and even the documentation button in the add-on links to a broken page. There is a mention of support via a forum on the author's github....but which forum?

    I look forward to making some fun animations with this!

    • Christopher Gearhart 5 months ago

      Thanks for the review! The broken link has been fixed, as per our discussion on the Blender Market inbox. I'm always happy to provide support for any issues via the inbox or via email (the address can be found on my website). I'm excited to see what you can create!

  • lakeviewp1 about 1 year ago

    THIS ADDON IS SO FUN!! It makes me look like a genius. Very intuitive to use, and makes logo animation a breeze.

    • Christopher Gearhart 12 months ago

      Glad you like it lakeviewp1!

  • David about 1 year ago

    This is a very clever and fun add-on, I can see it being used in much more than lego animation, most specifically in motion graphics. I personally intend to use it in a lot of upcoming projects.

    Good job!

    • Christopher Gearhart 12 months ago

      Thanks for the feedback!

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