Cycles Object Color

by Tim Zoet in Scripts and Addons

Cycles Object Color

Although the Cycles render engine is infinitely better than the good old Blender Internal renderer, it does miss some functionality.
One of these functions was the possibility to use one material for multiple objects, but give all of these objects a different color. This could be done by simply checking a box on the material and setting the object color. There was no need to mess around with vertex colors, textures or duplicating the material for every single object.

The Cycles Object Color add-on enables you to use the pass index of each object to assign a mesh- and material-independent color to that object. The pass index allows 32768 (2 to the power of 15) different values, meaning you can create that many different colors, shades of grey or transparency values. You can even animate the colors.

This add-on can be combined with the Particle Instantiator add-on to add (random) colors to particles.

Color Modes

There are 8 color modes available, depending on your needs. They use the available range as efficiently as possible. They combine color, greyscale and transparency using a different number of bits for each channel.

  1. RGB 5|5|5: Color only. 32 different colors per channel. Most precise when you need opaque colors.
  2. RGBA 5|5|4|1: Color and on/off transparency. Because the blue channel uses 4 bits, rounding can result in dark grey becoming colored.
  3. RGBA 4|4|4|3: 16 colors per channel, 8 transparency values. Best option for transparent colors.
  4. Greyscale: 32768 different black to white values. Can also be used as transparency only.
  5. Greyscale 14|1: Greyscale and on/off transparency.
  6. Greyscale 10|5: 1024 greyscale values, 32 transparency values.
  7. Greyscale 8|7: 256 greyscale values, 128 transparency values.
  8. Greyscale 7|8: 128 greyscale values, 256 transparency values.

Nodes

Each color mode comes with a node group. These node groups can be added to a material and convert an objects pass index to colors, greyscale values and transparency.

Product Updates

Version 1.1

  • Added support for animated colors.
  • The Cycles Object Color add-on is now fully compatible with the Particle Instantiator add-on.

 

Included in the package is a PDF containing instructions on how to install and use the add-on, as well as a demo .blend file.

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