Plating Generator And Greebles

by Mark Kingsnorth in Scripts and Addons

Installation

(Blender 2.8 users: use the plating_generator_greebles.2.8.zip file for the instructions below)

  1. Go to File -> User Preferences.
  2. Select the Add-ons tab at the top.
  3. Select the Install Add-on from File... button along the bottom.
  4. A file dialogue will pop up. Navigate to the file location where you downloaded the plating_generator_greebles.zip file and double click it.
  5. Search for the add-on by typing "Generate" in the search box if it does not already appear. Make sure the checkbox next to the Add-on (Mesh: Generate Plates with Greebles) is ticked.
  6. Click the Save User Settings button to make sure the add-on is installed next time you open Blender.
  7. Close the User Preferences dialog box and enjoy!

Using the Plating Generator

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.

Generate Plates Parameters

A set of expandable panels appear in the Toolbar window (press 't'):

This allows you to add plates and/or greebles.  Here are the top  sections expanded:

Plates Section

The first section describes how to generate the plates effect:

This has the following sections:

Plating Pattern

Configure how the plating pattern is created.

  • Mode - Choose between:
    • Generated - Automatically generate a hull plating pattern. In Generated mode, the following options apply:
      • Amount - the amount of plate cuts generated.
      • Random Seed - generate a different selection based on the whole number given here.
    • Selected Edges - Use the edges that have been already selected.

Plates

Configure how the plates are created.


Plate Taper

  • Amount: This will shrink the tops of the plates.  By increasing the amount, the plates should become smaller.  You can also use negative amounts to make the plate tops larger.

Plate Heights

These options will vary the heights of each plate at random, which should allow you to create more varied effects:

  • Min Height: The minimum height of plates*
  • Max Height: The maximum height of the plates*
  • Random Seed: This will vary the random pattern that the heights are set at, without changing the plating pattern.

* note that the Min Height can be higher than the Max Height!

Plate Bevel

Add a bevel effect around the plates:

  • Amount - How bevelled are the top of the plates.
  • Segments - How many segments the plate bevel has.
  • Plate Bevel Type - The type of Bevel to apply. See the bevel documentation.

Grooves

This section controls the grooves between the plates.

  • Clamp Groove Width - prevent the grooves from overlapping geometry.
  • Width - the width of the grooves between the plates.
  • Depth - The depth of the grooves between the plates.
  • Groove Segments - Number of segments inside the grooves.
  • Side Segments - Number of segments on the side of the plates.

Groove Bevel

Add a bevel effect around the grooves:

  • Amount - How bevelled are the groove edges between the plates.
  • Segments - How many segments the groove bevel has.
  • Groove Bevel Type - The type of Bevel to apply. See the bevel documentation.

Corners

For each corner of the plates, you can also add a curved bevel to give a more finished effect.

Major Corners

Major corners are the surrounding corners of the original face selection:

  • Amount - bevel width of the corners.
  • Segments - the number of segments in the bevel.
  • Major Corner Bevel Type - The type of Bevel to apply. See the bevel documentation.

Minor Corners

Control the opposite to major corners:

  • Amount - bevel width of the corners.
  • Segments - the number of segments in the bevel.
  • Minor Corner Bevel Type - The type of Bevel to apply. See the bevel documentation.

Rivets

You can add spherical rivets to the corners of the plates.  The shapes are standard ico spheres.

  • Use Rivets - whether to add rivets or not.
  • Distance from Corner - this will determine the distance of the rivets from the corners.
  • Diameter - diameter of the spherical rivets.
  • Subdivisions - level of detail for the rivets.
  • Material Index - the index of the material slot to use for the rivets.  -1 will not automatically assign a material.

Selection

  • Select Groove Geometry - select the created groove faces.
  • Select Plate Geometry - select the created faces for the plates.

Other Options


  • Mark UV Seams - mark UV Seams around the plates for texture mapping purposes.
  • 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 modifier.
  • Edge Selection Only - only select the edges, without the mesh being edited.  Useful if you want to perform custom operations on the selection.

Greebles Section

The Greeble objects are aligned randomly onto quad faces. The overall shape of each greeble is deformed to follow the face it is being placed on.

The add-on has the following sections:

General Parameters

  • Greeble Amount: The number of objects to be put onto the selected faces.
  • Random Seed: Changing the number changes the pattern of the objects on the surface.
  • Min Width: The minimum width of a greeble object relative to the face it is on.
  • Max Width: The maximum width of a greeble object relative to the face it is on.
  • Min Length: The minimum length of a greeble object relative to the face it is on.
  • Max Length: The maximum length of a greeble object relative to the face it is on.
  • Min Height: The minimum height of a greeble object relative to the face it is on.
  • Max Height: The maximum height of a greeble object relative to the face it is on.

Default Greeble Objects

There are several basic objects supplied as default to create Greeble effects from.  You can choose to add squares in different patterns, L shapes, T shapes, or cylinders.  

The Coverage parameter allows you to adjust the relative amount each object has on the total number of greeble objects.  For instance, if you have 50% L shapes and 100% T shapes, the effect will roughly have half as many L shapes as T shapes.

Custom Greeble Objects

The add-on allows you to add your own custom greebles from objects (up to 20).  

By clicking on an empty box you should be able to select from other objects you have created in your scene.  Once selected, the objects will be added as Greebles.  You can adjust the Coverage of these objects as before. 

The objects will be added to a face relative to the same direction as the z-axis of the original object.

Apply Updates Section

This section has an option to disable the updates to the mesh whilst you change parameters.  This is particularly useful when changing large parameters which may slow down Blender:

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, clarifications, or issues, do get in touch with me via the 'Contact the Creator' option on Blender Market.