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Grid Modeler (blender addon)




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Grid Modeler

This addon helps you to create 3D model with precise scale and alignment, by drawing shapes on snapping grid lines. You can select face, then click on the grid lines to create shapes directly. It is very easy to use and fast.

This tool is designed for Speed Modeling, Concept art, Game art, Quick Static Objects, Hard Surface, Sci-fi, Building, and more!


Official website : https://www.kushirocg.com


You can use Grid Modeler to create model very fast : 

- Select faces then draw shape

- Shape tools : circles, copy & paste, array duplication, rotate, flip, move, etc

- Finish : Boolean Cut / Boolean Slice / Create new mesh, etc




Table of content

- Introduction

- Features

- Updates

- Known Issues and Limitation

- Usage guide

- Useful Tips

- Hardware support

- Contacts and Support


Introduction

Grid Modeler is a convenient tool to create 3D model easily.

Grid Modeler focus on the overall "shape" of the mesh, instead of n-gons problem or topology. This new workflow is proven to be efficient.

If you want to create :

- Quick static objects for game, background things, buildings

- Sword, shield, armor, when consistent scales and angles are needed

- Sci-fi, spaceship, robots, weapons, hard surface solid things


Also, if you used Google Sketchup, Fusion360 or other CAD software before, you may feel familiar. They have some similar concept and advantages.


Features

- Boolean Cut

- Create new faces

- Boolean Slicing

- Powerful Shape functions

- Advanced Grid System

- Construction Lines


Besides the above, Grid Modeler has many useful features. They are all well designed and very efficient.

I don't want to throw "anything" into this tool.  I am not interested to create a complicated "toolbox". Instead, I want to create a useful and sharp "knife". 

Therefore, I focus on making the current functions "well crafted", instead of adding many unrelated tools.


To view some actual actions, please visit my youtube for videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Cf40hbpyPE



Updates

Version 1.9.12:

- Fixed boolean performance problem for Blender 2.91

Got problem report about the new boolean solver, very slow performance and some strange results, so reverted to original boolean resolver in 2.90.  


Version 1.9.11:

- Fixed a critical Boolean Slicing bug : when you have some hidden mesh, the hidden mesh will become duplicated after slicing 


Version 1.9.10:

Fixed bug for Incorrect functions for ngon cut and triangles cut


Version 1.9.9:

Edge merge function for 1.9.8 is changed to optional (for better flexibility)


Version 1.9.8:

Minor update :

- Now you can flip normal for newly created face !

When you press key 3 to create new face, the Left-bottom menu has an option to flip normal. It is convenient for extruding face to inner direction.

- Now you can draw two shape with attaching edge to create sequence of new faces !

All new created faces will be merged for "overlapping-edge". So if you draw two shapes with same edge, they will share single edge!

Enjoy !!


Version 1.9.7:

This is a huge update !

- New function "Boolean Slice" is added ! Now you can draw shapes and press "5" key to Boolean-Slice the mesh. It is a boolean-way to slice cut the mesh, the resulting mesh is solid and break apart. 

- Bug fix for numpad-view stability.

Enjoy !!


Version 1.9.6:

- Now you can use "Split geometry" option for Construction Line Cut !!

When you cut mesh by Construction Line (key 0), you can choose to Knife cut the whole mesh, and also you can "split geometry" now. It will break apart them. (but the hole will not be filled by face)

- P key (Plane rotation) now work directly too !!  Works even without alignment edge !

Now you can press P key to rotate the plane anytime (just start the tool and press P).

Also, you can set an alignment edge and use it too.

- Now "Auto recalculate face normal" works for edge mode and vertex mode too !! Some bugs are fixed!

Enjoy !!


Version 1.9.5:

- Now you can use "Cut- through" option when using Construction Line Cut !

When you use Construction Line Cut, you can select the cut through option. The whole mesh will be knife-project cut !

- Now when you Ctrl + Click to set an alignment edge, it will be highlighted in blue color!

Enjoy !!


Version 1.9.4:

- Now you can change grid and shape colors !

- Improved graphic quality (line smooth)

- Now you can use 1,2,3,4 key to commit in Selection mode too!


Version 1.9.3:

This is a core update !!

- Now it has built-in snapping of edge and vertex ! So when you draw shapes near the borders, you can snap to edge and corner vertex easily.  Although I still recommend using alignment-edge (Ctrl Click) for many cases, but built-in edge snapping is convenient too!

- Now Boolean-Cut will auto fix mesh face normal (Recalculate Outside). 

When you use 3 Key and create new face + extrude, and then you want to boolean-cut on it, sometimes the normal is incorrect and blender's boolean fail. Now you don't have to Recalculate normal by yourself.  :)


Version 1.9.2:

- Now you can set the hint text's X-position on the screen (in addon's preference setting).

You can enter the offset value from the left of the screen.


- Now Vertex mode is supported !!

You can select a vertex to run the tool !  (Use the vertex's normal)

Also, you can select 2 vertices to run, it will align on the line between 2 vertices.

And you can select 3 vertices too, it will align on the virtual plane formed by 3 vertices.

Running grid plane on the vertex normal allow you to do some advanced cutting and face creation.



Version 1.9.1:

- Bug fix for 1.9.0


Version 1.9.0:

This is a huge update !! 

- New feature :  Construction Line Cut !!

Now you can draw Construction Lines (Y key) and split the mesh with those lines !

They are projection-knife cutting, so it works quite stable (compare to blender's boolean) and very useful !

1. Draw construction lines

2. Press Zero "0" key to cut it !!  (numpad key not work)


- Starting from this update, Grid Modeler has direct key access to all operation mode.

They are 1, 2, 3, 4 keys on the top of keyboard !!

There are :

Key 1 : cut and n-gon fill

Key 2 : cut and triangle fill

Key 3 : Create new face

Key 4 : Boolean cut

Key 0 : Construction line cut

The new operations will be added to the number keys in the future !!

Enjoy ! :)



Version 1.8.4:

- Fixed Construction Line bug (error on multiple faces)


Version 1.8.3:

- Bug fix (input status bug)


Version 1.8.2:

- Now the addon file (inside zip) is renamed to "gridmodeler" instead of "GridModeler" for better compatibility. If you have problem installing this update, please remove the old version (delete it completely in blender) and reinstall it.

- Added the built-in functionality for showing key-press on screen !!

You can turn on showing-key function in addon's preference setting. Just go to preference setting screen and turn it on.


Version 1.8.1

Minor UI update:

- Added all keys in the hint text.

- Selection mode has yellow highlighted header !


Version 1.8.0

This is a Huge Update !  :)

- Now you can rotate your grid plane by 90 degree !!

1. Set the alignment edge (Please refer to usage manual for details). You can set any edge as alignment edge, or you can draw a construction line(Y key), then set it as alignment edge

2. Then you can press P key to rotate plane !!  You can rotate it back by P again !

3. Then you can enlarge to plane for your need (Alt + mouse scroll)

4. Using rotated plane, you can draw objects that is on top of the face freely !

Enjoy !!



Version 1.7.5

- Now you can hold Shift key and click to select multiple shapes !

Just hold Shift key when you select shapes, it will add selected shape to selection!

- Now you can press H key to view full key reference on screen ! 

Press H key (works in both normal mode or selection mode)

You can scroll up and down to read, or you can press Arrow Up/Down key !

Enjoy ! :)


Version 1.7.4

Minor key change :

- For better compatibility to Mac (some keyboard), now you can use [ and ] key to act as all mouse wheel scrolling. Before this update, it was + and - key.

So the key combination is : 

- change grid size : Ctrl + Mouse wheel ,  or Ctrl + [ or  ]

- enlarge grid plane : Alt + Mouse wheel,  or  Alt + [ or  ]

- bevel increase cut : Mouse wheel , or  [ or ] key when you bevel !


Version 1.7.3

-Now you can shift your grid plane to any vertex !

When you Ctrl + Click an edge to set it as alignment edge, sometimes you want to shift the plane along the alignment edge to match its end point.

You have two ways to do this :

1. Switch to Relative Size mode. Since when you use Relative Size mode, it always divide the alignment edge, so two end points must be on the grid lines.

2. Use the new method in this update !


Now you can Shift key + Click on a vertex, it will shift the grid plane to match the vertex position, so that vertex will be on grid line!

Enjoy! :)


Version 1.7.1, 1.7.2

Fixed bug. (edge grid plane)


Version 1.7.0

This is a huge update! Add some great features :)

- Now you can use Construction Lines !!!

- Press Y key to turn on, press again to turn off

They are some red lines, draw on the plane, but they will not become faces or cut. They are used for following purpose:

1. You can Ctrl + Click them and set them as alignment edge, then use Relative Size mode to divide them, use the divided point for more complex shape

2. You can intersect construction lines, the cursor will snap to their intersection points !

3. Circle tools (square, circle, triangle, pentagon, etc) can become construction lines too!

4. Construction lines can be selected, and can be move/rotate/copy paste !!

You can create complex shapes with great measurement using construction lines :)


- Now you can use Grid Modeler on edge ! Just select an edge, then run the tool. The grid plane will be on edge normal !

Enjoy ! :)


Version 1.6.5

- Added Free-hand drawing ! Now when you press U key to turn off snapping, you can hold down mouse Left button, to draw free-hand line ! Just hold down Left button and draw. (only in snapping off mode)

- Blender's boolean is limited, and it does not handle very well for shapes with such large number of vertices.... so free-hand drawn shape always fail for boolean cut. Please use create-face mode.


Version 1.6.4

- Bug fix for last update (duplicated face)

Version 1.6.3

- Magic has come !!  New Array tool !!

Now you can use Array tool in Selection mode !!

Just Right Click to enter Selection mode, select shapes, then press "D" key to start array.

You can move cursor to control the array, scroll your mouse wheel to increase array count !

- When you are using Array tool, you can press "C" key to start Circular Array !!

Just press C in Array tool, it will change to circular form. The center of circle will be your shape center. You may want to use Change Center tool ("X" key) before using the Circular Array.

Version 1.6.1 + 1.6.2

- Now Rotation has mouse support !!  Just press R key and move the mouse, click to confirm,  that's it!

(you can still text input the degree too, just backspace to erase the degree, and type your degree, eg: 35, then press R to confirm.)

- Now you can scale shape !  Just select shape and press S key, move the mouse to scale, click to confirm.

- You can turn off grid snapping by pressing U key now !  (press again to turn on)

- Fixed bug for rotation (1.6.2)


Version 1.6.0

This is a huge update ! 

- View Plane Projection : Now you can draw on floating plane, and cut from any angle, from any view!  Just switch to the view you want (eg: top view), or any free view, then do not select any faces and run the tool, it will become Projection Mode.

In Projection Mode, you can draw on a floating plane as usual. After all, you can Boolean cut the mesh or create faces !

You can use Number Pad View key to change view, and use any angle to activate this mode.

Please note that :

1. The boolean cut depth has to be increased in order to cut the mesh, because there is some distance between the plane and mesh.

2. Ortho View is recommended, it is more accurate for cutting and you can draw more precise.

- This this update, a new function "Change shape pivot" is added !

Now when you select a shape, it will show its pivot point as blue cross. It affect the rotation / move / flip and many operations. you can change pivot point by pressing "X" key.

After pressing X key, you can select a new pivot for that shape!

- Now Rotation can be any angle !!  

When you press R key, you will enter Rotation Input mode, you can enter numbers (degree), and then press R again or Left Click to confirm.

The original Rotate-90 degree is moved to "T" key now.

Enjoy !!  :)


Version 1.5.6

Copy and Paste will respect the Alignment edge orientation now. Now when you copy, change Alignment edge, and then paste it, it will be rotated to new orientation.

Version 1.5.5

Now you can set Alignment to your only drawn lines !!

- You can Ctrl + Click on the lines you drawn, to set it as the Alignment Edge for grid plane.

- Now Relative Size mode respect the total length of Alignment Edge, so after you set the Alignment Edge, you can switch to Relative Size mode for better alignment (grids will automatically fit to the length of that edge, see the above gif)


Version 1.5.4

Now Ctrl + Click will center the grid lines to the edge!

- When you Ctrl + Click an edge (set as alignment edge), now it will shift the grid lines to match the middle point of the edge, so you can conveniently draw symmetric shapes without problems, it will keep centered when you zoom too.


Version 1.5.3

Greatly improved the grid accuracy and alignment.

- Now when you Ctrl + Click to align grids to an edge, it will adjust the grids to 100% match the grid-lines to the edge

- Now you can use Alt + Wheel Scroll to extend the grid plane size !  So it is more convenient to work with borders :)



Version 1.5.2

Fixed bug for moving/pasting beveled shape (snapping).

Version 1.5.1

- Now you can Bevel the shapes !!

When you are in Selection Mode (Right click once to enter selection mode) , just select the shapes, then press "B" key to Bevel. Drag far to bevel large, scroll mouse wheel to increase or decrease number of cuts.

- Now you can single Left-Click to select shape (in selection mode). Before this update, you have to drag a yellow rect to select shapes. Now you can just left click to select.


Version 1.4.8

Key and control improvement :

- Undo (Ctrl + Z) works better now!  It can undo points (remove last clicked point), and if you keep pressing Ctrl Z, it will delete last created shape too.

- You can switch to Circle tool (C key) anytime now. If you are drawing shape, pressing C will reset the state and switch to circle tool immediately.

- Now 'Esc' key can stop some pending status. For example, if you pressed Ctrl V and you want to stop pasting, pressing Esc can stop it and return normal. Also, if you are drawing Circle and you want to stop, pressing Esc key will stop it and back to line tool.



Known Issues and Limitation

1.This addon is a direct modeling tool, without modifiers. Boolean operation is destructive and apply directly. The resulting mesh is filled by blender's n-gon.

2. Overlapping shapes will cause strange geometry. However, you can overlap the shapes if you use "new face" mode, it will still create all shapes without problem.

3. This addon uses Blender's dissolve API, it is a bit unstable and it does not fill the faces correctly sometimes. (for n-gon and triangle fill modes)



Usage guide

This is a simple usage guideline of Grid Modeler.

Grid Modeler has many in-depth functions and advanced usage, please refer to documentation ( https://www.kushirocg.com/gridmodeler )


Simple guideline :

1. Select a face, or multiple faces (co-planar), run the tool by right click menu. (you may add it to Q menu for quick access).


2. You will see the grid lines. Your mouse cursor will auto snap to grid lines.


3. Ctrl + mouse wheel to adjust the grid size. 

- You may choose between two size modes (A key), relative mode and absolute mode :

Relative mode :

 Measure your mesh edge length to set the size. 

Absolute mode :

 Use Blender's system measurement. If you want to keep your objects same size, you may use absolute mode.


- You can use Alt + mouse wheel scroll to enlarge the grid plane. The grid plane can be larger than the face. When you want to add new mesh on top of selected face, you always want to Alt-scroll to enlarge the plane before drawing.


4. You can change the grid alignment. Ctrl + Left click an edge, it will align whole grid plane to the edge.

By default, the tool measure the face and orient the plane using longest edge of your face. You can override this by above method.


5. Now you can draw on the grids. During drawing, you can change the grid scale anytime (Ctrl + Scroll wheel), and you can change the alignment too.


6. On the left bottom of the screen, there are some hints for your convenience. 


7. If you want to Copy / Paste / Delete your shape, you may enter "Selection mode". You can switch to selection mode by Right Click mouse button once. (right click again to back to normal mode)


In Selection mode, you can drag and draw a yellow rectangle to select shapes. You can select multiple shapes.

You can delete them by pressing Delete key. 

You can duplicate the shape by select it, then press D key.

Also you can press Ctrl + C to copy, and then Ctrl V to paste, Ctrl X to cut. You can paste it many times. 

When you have selected shapes, you can press G key to move it, R key to rotate it, and press M or N key to flip it.

You can press B key to bevel the shape. Select shapes and press B, then move your mouse cursor to adjust. Scrolling the mouse wheel to increase bevel cut.


8. After all, you can Right Click again to leave selection mode, and go back to normal mode. You can continue and draw again.


9. When you finish, you can commit operation by pressing 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 key on the top of keyboard. 

They represent different operations : 

1 : Cut the face and fill by n-gon

2 : Cut the face and fill by triangles

3 : Create a new face from shape

4 : Boolean subtract cut

5 : Boolean slice


You can still change the operation after commit. (by the blender's menu, left bottom of the screen)


10. When you draw, you can use Circle tool to draw Circle / Triangle / Square / Pentagon / Hexagon, or any edge-shape.

Press C key to activate, press C again to deactivate.

Shift + Mouse Wheel to change the number of circle edges. (turn to 3 edges will become a triangle)



Useful Tips

1. Absolute size mode is very useful and recommended. It keep the same grid size, across any face, any objects. It can make whole scene very cool and clean.

2. Boolean Cut mode, work well on the borders, and it is fun and great. If it does not cut correctly, you may try to align the grid to that border edge (Ctrl + Click)

If the Boolean fail (it does not cut anything), you should adjust the "offset" parameter, to make the faces of the geometry not overlapping. (blender's boolean limitation)

Also, if the face's normal is flipped (incorrect normal), you may need to fix the mesh normals first.

3. You may select multiple faces (with same normal, co-planar) and use this tool. You can draw across multiple n-gons, it works great.



Hardware Support

- Only standard mouse and keyboard are supported.

I only tested with standard mouse and keyboard. This addon does not officially support other device (eg: wacom tablet, 3d-mouse, vr glove, etc) yet.

Therefore, it may not work with your special hardware. I didn't test them.
Please reconsider before buying it, thank you. 


Download and Install

After purchase, you can download the zip file.

I uploaded two versions of Grid Modeler (one is latest, one is older), please install the latest file. The older file is for emergency only (if the latest one has critical bug).

Open Blender's Edit > Preference > Add-ons, then click install on the top of dialog.

Select the zip file to install. (Do not unzip it, the zip file has to be installed as a whole)

Update : 

When I release new update, I will announce it on Twitter. 

Please come back here and download it. Before update please uninstall the old one in blender and remove it completely. Then install the new zip file again. If there is any problem, you may contact me by email or Twitter.



Contacts and Support

Thank you for visiting! Hope you enjoy it.

If you like this product, please buy it to support my development.

I am interested in making different kinds of blender's addon, I enjoy it so much :)


If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact me on twitter ! 

https://twitter.com/kushirosea

Email : kushirocg@gmail.com


For more information and documentation, please visit my website:

https://www.kushirocg.com


My youtube channel  (contains videos of Grid Modeler)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKxXI-jD_xf5_kBo2xHNQow

 

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