Silhouette

by jfmatheu in Scripts and Addons

Why Silhouettes?

Silhouettes are an effective principle and method in concept art and design. Using this method helps artists to design character, props or environments with interesting and appealing shapes that work well together.






(Artwork by Khang Le

As you can see, good shilouettes provide much information about the character itself.

They really talk by themselves.








So, my aim with this project was to recreate that in Blender but without needing to create more editors, wasting time configuring them and having to look away from your work continuously. In this way, everything is more integrated in the same scenario, where you have the control.

















This tool is mainly useful for:

- Modeling. [video]

- Sculpting. [video-1] [video-2]

- Animation. [video-1] [video-2 (pose mode)] [video-3 (pose-mode using proxy of a rig inside a linked collection)]























[NEW] Different Lock Modes

Each mode will help you to focus and lock your silhouette's views over a target.


  • Active: use active object as target. (Dynamic and automatic. Default one)
  • Target: manually select a mesh target to track.
  • Linked Collection: if you are using linked collections you may want to use this option:




Known Issues

About using it on Sculpt Mode:

- Don't use in HP meshes with a too low "Sculpt Refresh Time" (see image above at settings part). As this tool is mean for concepting and shaping more than refining is not a bug or performance issue as you won't appreciate those details in silhouettes. However, you won't need this "refresh time" thing if you are working in previous versions of Blender: 2.81, 2.80... as from 2.82 there's a limitation in Blender itself that only affects sculpt mode, so in that cases just set that value to 0 to disable. If you want to work in HP meshes no matter what, recommendations: set "sculpt refresh time" to 0 to disable and then create a dummy modifier as "mesh cache" to have it in real time or set the value to its maximum so the performance impact is less as possible.

- Limitation: doesn't work with multires modifier. So the target is working with remesh, dyntopo or just a subdivided mesh. Hopefully, for future this can be supported.

About Undo:

- Blender undo can mess up silhouettes. In order to prevent this from happening, once undo is done it tries to re-create the lost silhouettes (you will notice a little blink and a message in the info bar), however, this feature of auto-recovering implies you can't undo more steps starting from silhouette creation, so the recommendations are creating silhouettes before you make relevant and important changes in your scene.

- In a next update, there will be a toggle so in case you don't want this feature of auto-recovering, you will have an undo that works as expected (if you undo after creating silhouette, it will undo/remove your silhouette). So auto-recovering will remain as an experimental feature becuase if you force undo in this state, it will probably crash.










(See FAQ section to know how to update it correctly. Includes video.)

CHANGELOG:

Planned: (not all may come in same version)

  • Supports more colors than white when using transparent (background) option.
  • New opacity option.
  • Supports custom views.
  • Spacing between silhouettes as a property.
  • Move auto-recovering (caused by undo) to an experimental feature (toggle), instead let undo remove silhouettes (as expected by undo) and add a manual quick recovering button.


v.1.2.0 (current)

  • Added different lock modes. (you will see changes on the panel)
  • Supports pose mode.
  • Supports linked collection objects.
  • Supports locking views to an specific mesh object in a manual way.
  • Some minor bug fixes.


v.1.1.3

  • Hot bugfix. Mutate view feature didn't work.


v.1.1.2 (release)

  • Added 3/4 view presets.
  • Some refactoring to improve target tracking.


....