Plating Generator

by Mark Kingsnorth in Scripts and Addons

Quickly create unique hull plating patterns using existing mesh topology.

One of the most time consuming things I've found is how to create an interlocking plating pattern on meshes such as spaceship hulls.  The most effective method is to manually extrude edge loops over and over, which can be very time consuming. The more detailed you want the mesh to be, the longer it will take.

With a background in software engineering I have created a plugin that greatly speeds up the process, allowing you to quickly create a selection in a plating pattern and and extrude the edges accordingly.

Features:

  • Quickly generate a plating pattern from a random seed. The pattern is an interlocking effect designed to be more advanced than the standard random face selection in Blender.
  • The pattern can be generated on a whole quad based mesh or on a sub selection of quad faces.
  • Control the amount of grooves cut between the plates.
  • Control the depth of the grooves.
  • Control the thickness of the grooves.
  • Option to split the edges on a smooth mesh to ensure the edges are cleanly defined.
  • Option to completely remove the grooves and leave the plates intact.
  • No hidden geometry created, actions are performed directly on the mesh.



Installation

  1. Go to File -> User Preferences.
  2. Select the Add-ons tab at the top.
  3. Select the Install from File... button along the bottom.
  4. A file dialogue will popup. Navigate to the file location where you downloaded the plating.py file to and double click it.
  5. Search for the addon by typing "plating" in the search box. Make sure the checkbox next to the Addon (Mesh: Generate Plates) is ticked.
  6. Close the User Preferences dialog box and enjoy!

Creating Plating

In Object Mode

With the object selected, either:

  • Navigate to Object -> Generate Plates in the Object menu of the 3D viewport.
  • Press the Space key and start typing "Generate Plates" in the pop-up menu that appears.

In Edit Mode

With a set of faces selected, either:

  • Navigate to Mesh -> Generate Plates in the Object menu of the 3D viewport.
  • Press the Space key and start typing "Generate Plates" in the pop-up menu that appears.

Parameters

  • Random Seed - generate a different selection based on the whole number given here.
  • Amount - the amount of plate cuts generated.
  • Groove Width - the width of the grooves between the plates.
  • Clamp Groove Width - prevent the grooves from overlapping geometry.
  • Groove Depth - The depth of the grooves between the plates.
  • Edge Split - this will split the groove edges to make sure the outer plates remain smooth.
  • Remove Grooves - completely remove the grooves and just leave the plates. Useful with Solidify modifer.
  • Edge Selection Only - only select the edges, without the mesh being edited.  Useful if you want to perform custom operations on the selection.
What sorts of meshes does the addon work best with?

The addon works best on meshes containing quad faces - that is, faces with 4 edges each. This doesn't mean your whole mesh has to be made of quads, as you can operate the addon on a sub-selection of faces.  Other mesh topologies may work but are untested.

What sorts of meshes does the addon work best with?

The addon works best on meshes containing quad faces - that is, faces with 4 edges each. This doesn't mean your whole mesh has to be made of quads, as you can operate the addon on a sub-selection of faces.  Other mesh topologies may work but are untested.

I have a new feature suggestion or issue with the addon. Who do I contact?

You can either contact me through the website, or visit www.markkingsnorth.com, or contact me through twitter @markkingsnorth.

What sorts of meshes does the addon work best with?

The addon works best on meshes containing quad faces - that is, faces with 4 edges each. This doesn't mean your whole mesh has to be made of quads, as you can operate the addon on a sub-selection of faces.  Other mesh topologies may work but are untested.

I have a new feature suggestion or issue with the addon. Who do I contact?

You can either contact me through this website, or visit www.markkingsnorth.com, or contact me through twitter @markkingsnorth.

What sorts of meshes does the addon work best with?

The addon works best on meshes containing quad faces - that is, faces with 4 edges each. This doesn't mean your whole mesh has to be made of quads, as you can operate the addon on a sub-selection of faces.  Other mesh topologies may work but are untested.

I have a new feature suggestion or issue with the addon. Who do I contact?

You can either contact me through this website, or visit www.markkingsnorth.com, or contact me through twitter @markkingsnorth.

Item Rating

This item has an average rating of 5 from 1 ratings by the community.

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  • Ee136630f13f3cc117b6c5133f8884e0

    Predrag 3 days ago

    So, I just wanted to comment on this great product, first for me on the Market. It really makes these kind of things simpler, even with the occasional hiccup (not always perfect result complex meshes, but not a big issue). I wanted to ask if it would be possible to add the edge loop option, to choose how many edges you'd like to fit inside the chosen depth of the grooves? Similar to how you can choose when doing a bevel? Just a thought, it would make further customization way easier.

    Either way, thanks for making this addon, I hope you'll continue with making it even better.

    Sincerely, Predrag

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