TexTools for Blender

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greentooth
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renderhjs greentooth
About 8 years ago I created TexTools for 3dsMax. A lot of stuff hapennend in that time and just last year I started seriously learning Blender. Eventually I decided to create another TexTools for blender as UV & Texturing is a passion mine and seriously sucks in most 3D packages.

Download & Documentation
http://renderhjs.net/textools/blender/



Some of the Features

Size tools
• Set UV/texture/baking size & padding

• Crop selection to UV bounds

• Resize or extend UV canvas
 
• swap and change UV channels
 


UV Layout tools
• Align Verts / Islands
• Align Island to edge
• Rotate 90 degree to bounds
• Align and UV shells by size, 
• Iron Faces: unwraps selected faces to UV Island


Selection Tools
• Select similar UV islands
• Select overlapping UV islands
• Select Island Bounds in 3D view


Texel Density tools
• Assign checker maps with non square, square in any sizes
• Get texel density from objects or selected mesh faces
• Set texel density to selected objects or selected mesh faces
• Scale texel density by individual UV islands or as a combined group


Texture Baking
• Bake: Select object and press bake: That easy!
• Anti Aliasing for all bake types

• Bake to single texture or multiple
• 6 bake types: AO, ID map, normal, cavity, worn, gradient Z. And more to come.

• Automatically group objects by matching names.
• Supports lowpoly, highpoly to lowpoly, with or without cage and or floating objects
• Explode: Explode bake pairs

• Organize: Auto match bake object names by location and bounding box matching



In depth features and documentation can be found on the official website


Why Blender
What I  like about Blender that its a tool I can take with me anywhere with no licensing restrictions. This makes investing time and tools attractive to me as it's something that will always be available to me even when changing work environments. With other subscription software it's harder to obtain older versions when API's and compatiblity change a lot.

If you haven't had a serious look at Blender check out Hard Ops and Decal Machine or the upcomming Blender 2.8 Eevee viewport. Just Blender out of the box is a very serious modeler and in many ways seriously faster than 3dsMax. Since it's free you might as well give it try.

Replies

  • PatJS
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    PatJS polycounter lvl 8
    Oh man, can't tell you how excited about this I am! I switched to Blender from Max a couple of years back, and while I regret nothing about that decision I've definitely missed TexTools :)
  • frmdbl
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    frmdbl polycounter lvl 5
    @renderhjs

    Great that people like you start using Blender, it's amazing how much it's developed over the last 
    couple of years and to see great addons being made.

    I remember vividly back in 2011, there were no ngons, no UV stitching, no custom vertex normals etc.
    There's still a few things that could be improved, but hopefully with a growing userbase we should get there.

  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    I've been watching the development progress of your TexTools for Blender for a quite a while, and all I have to say that this absolutely fantastic work. I've been using Blender since December 2012, and this is unbelievable that this is happening. Thank you so much for considering Blender as equally importat 3D modeling package as any other.

    It probably takes quite some time before the developers of Blender release the version 2.80, so in the meanwhile, you have plenty of time to add features, polish things and probably get your tools built-in in the next release, because your tools are SO robust already! AND you're so fast and efficient with your programming skills, just wow.
  • Optimus
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    Optimus vertex
    have never heard of textools before, will ought to give it a try. It's been a bit hard UV unwrapping my objects in blender, perhaps this will help. thank you for sharing.
  • Ryusaki
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    Ryusaki polycounter lvl 2
    Awesome, thanks a lot. Exactly what i need.
    The UI design looks great.

  • Jakro
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    Jakro polycounter lvl 2
    @renderhjs
    Loving the addon so far! Awesome work. Wondering how I can increase the AO Bake Intensity? Or the AO spread distance? I don't normally bake anything in blender but might incorporate it into my workflow :) Would also be nice if bake still worked if you 'view local' the lowpoly
  • Ragnarok
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    Ragnarok vertex
    I used this addon before, really liked it. Respect the author!
  • X-One
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    X-One polycounter lvl 13
    This sounds amazing. After trying to learn Blender last year, I personally felt like its UV tools were heavily lacking. I can't wait to give this a whirl, as I'm looking for every reason to move away from MAX.
  • vemadesign
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    vemadesign polycounter lvl 8
    Great addition to Blender! Thanks! I've been using Blender in game production for years and cant go back to anything else. This just makes it even better!
  • bounchfx
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
  • badmouse
  • NightDrake3D
    This is awesome! Thank you for this. :)
  • wannabe
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    wannabe polycounter lvl 12
    I keep forgetting my blenderartists login... So i'll just say it here. Amazing work! Can't wait to try it on a fullblown project! Keep it up, i'll be watching the progress for sure. It's a blast :)
  • C86G
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    C86G polycounter lvl 6
    The first thing I tell new guys at our company is to GET TEXTOOLS. We got some interns and they use Blender. When I read this today I went to their place and said "Everybody listen! Now there´s Textools for Blender. Get it now!"

    : D
  • Fizzly
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    Fizzly polycounter lvl 7
    I used TexTools back in the day when it first came out for 3dsmax. It sped up my UV workflow a lot, thank you for the initial release, very inspiring! I've been looking at Blender the past couple of years too and decided to make the switch to blender last year. Seeing your effort creating TexTools deserves a very big thumbs up, thank you for doing this!

    The 'Peel Edge' also seems to have some kind of 'Rectify' functionality; Is 'Rectify' also coming for TexTools in Blender?

    P.S.
    I checked out the TexTools git repository and started playing around with some of the python scripts, would you be open for collaborative development? Thinking of some tools which I might want to open a PR for :)!
  • SnowInChina
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    SnowInChina polycounter lvl 8
    @renderhjs
    the new peel tool looks awesome. man, you're killing it
    i mean, blenders uv tools aren't terrible, you get the job done after some fiddling around, but its just getting better and better from here on out. the peel tool will save tons of time. no more fiddling with non quad geometrys

  • Mant1k0re
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    Mant1k0re polycounter lvl 3
    I still use Textools in Max to this days for some specific things, it's great to see it coming to Blender. What are the chances to see "smooth by UV shells" (I think it's what it's called) coming to the Blender version?  There are probably other ways to do this in Max but I've been using Textools to do this for years now :)
  • SUPAVISI
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    SUPAVISI polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks so much for this plugin, I've been using Textools for years in Max but switched to Blender about 4 months ago. Just like Mant1kore, I used the "smooth by UV shells" constantly. Any chance to bring this feature to Blender, if it is at all possible?
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs greentooth
    Danke schön. It would be awesome to get some more Blender exposure from professional environemnts. Feel free to share feedback or techiques for TexTools in Blender.


    Thanks,
    ..The 'Peel Edge' also seems to have some kind of 'Rectify' functionality; Is 'Rectify' also coming for TexTools in Blender?
    There is UV Squares alreay out there, I used to have a 'rectify' tool  in TexTools for 3dsMax, but UV squares is a lot better than what I had back then. At the moment I am looking at GPL Licenses and what the best way is to incorporate bigger parts of UV squares into TexTools - as it is something I would like to have out of the box in TexTools as well.
    I checked out the TexTools git repository and started playing around with some of the python scripts, would you be open for collaborative development? Thinking of some tools which I might want to open a PR for :)!
    For sure, do you have a bitbucket account? PM me your account name and I'll add you. Currently it's read only for anyone else. Feel also free to add to this thread with code snippets or experiments we could turn into a tool.


    Regarding "smooth by UV shells": I thought I give it a shot at lunchbreak and actually just finished another tool. Initially I already had the 'Select Island bounds'  which is a part of how the smooth by UV shells would work. So I combined the existing tool 'Island Bounds' and and used it to mark sharp edges and finally and add a 'Edge Split' modifier to split the normals (similar to smoothing groups in 3dsMax)

    So here is a preview of another new too 'Smooth by UV', not sure yet about the name but it will be part of the next release.



  • Fizzly
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    Fizzly polycounter lvl 7
    @renderhjs
    Thank you. I'll post here first once I have something worthy to show :) The 'smooth by UV shells' was the first one I wanted to address actually haha!

    Personally I'm not a big fan defining 'hard edges' or 'smoothing groups' in Blender using the edge split modifier. It makes editing the mesh after the split a bit of a pain since it splits more than only the normals. My suggestion would be to mark the edges as 'sharp' and set the mesh's normals to 'Auto Smooth' with an angle of 180 degrees instead of using the edge split modifier.



    I found this method to be the easiest and non-destructive compared to the edge split modifier. It is a personal preference though :)
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs greentooth
    Fizzly Thanks for the feedback, done just that now, no more modifiers involved, still 1 click solution. Someone else on Twitter actually suggested the same, to skip the modifier.

    Meanwhile been working on an icon for the 'Smooth by UV' tool


    Other icons got some more unified color language as well (active, move, modify,...)

  • mospheric
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    mospheric polycounter lvl 7
    @renderhjs

    Thank you so much for creating these tools. I've been slowly learning Blender in my spare time to see what it can do. These type of tools makes the transition easier :)

    Do you have any suggestions for add ons that relate to modeling? i'll be checking out Hard Ops eventually!
  • Gazu
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    Gazu polycounter lvl 6
    @renderhjs
    Hey Renderhjs!
    Will there maybe be a 3DSMAX Update? The last Version is stable and good, but maybe you have some funky new Ideas for a cool 3DSMAX Version? I use it all the time for my LowPolys, especially before i bake i use Smoothing Groups From UV Shells, always always always always! :-)

    Thank you for TexTools, i love it!
  • Slipstream
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    Slipstream polycounter lvl 13
    I just switched to Blender last week, and I can't express how amazing this is to have. Thank you!
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs greentooth
    @mospheric i do keep a spreadsheet where i catalog every addon or change i make to blender. This helps me better understand why i use some addons or changed settings, especially with 2-4 computers i use blender with. I'll pm you with some personal suggestions.

    @Gazu: No update anytime soon for 3dsmax. Should i have to work in an environment with a newer max version then maybe, but currently i do enjoy Blenders modeling far more + the eco system: I get to keep what i create, not with max: have to keep paying or you are out.

    @Slipstream: that's great, if you are keen on more advanced stuff to learn in blender tgen i highly recommend penfinity's youtube videos https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgEWZe5DyLJGBk6qUC96NCg


    I have started on a new panel in TexTools called " Color ID". The idea is to have a few tools for blocking out models and the materials or face sets.
    Usually this technique in max or blender is manually where you create sub-materials and assign them to objects or faces.

    in my current progress i can assign a color to objects or in edit mode to selected faces. Colors can be tweaked in real-time and the usual blender shortcuts work great like copy pasting colors. 
    I will add a few color templates and buttons to selected by color as well.

    For the future i plan to have tools to convert to a texture Atlas or from a texture Atlas back to material ID's. And of course you will be able to bake this.
  • MrOneTwo
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    MrOneTwo polycounter lvl 6
    I always liked using TexTools in 3dsMax. Really happy there is Blender version now :)

    Unfortunately I stumbled on an error. Lets say I bake normal map, I save it to a file, bake AO, save it to a file then I try to bake normal again and I get this error. Any idea?



    Also how to I go about baking 2 highpolies into 1 lowpoly?

    edit1: Oh and I can't succesfully bake 2 sets into 1 texture, with Single checked. It bakes only one set. The uv space of the second set is just blank. If I bake without Single one of the texture renders blank too.   <---   ok solved this one. One of the LP had an additional material. Removing it and leaving only TT_bake_node made it render properly.
    edit2: Also even though I have 2 sets with hp and lp suffix (and they are properly identified by TexTools), clicking Organize changes hp into high.
  • oraeles77
    this looks amazing!
  • Ruka
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    Ruka polycounter lvl 5
    This is such a great add-on. Once I get some funds in my Paypal, I'll to donate a bit.
    Thank you very much!

    The color ID tool looks really useful too. 

    One question/ request. Would it be possible to apply the Color Grid texture, rather than the UV Grid Texture under the "Texels" panel?
    Maybe an option to choose between the two?

    I personally prefer the color grid texture because it contains alpha numerics, which makes it easy to identify the orientation of the UV shell in the viewport. 
  • mospheric
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    mospheric polycounter lvl 7
    @renderhjs Cheers! Much appreciated!
  • Udjani
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    Udjani vertex
    i was about to start learning about unwrap and baking, i guess i got lucky.

    It is possible to assign a hotkey for some of the actions? like the iron face for instance

    Thank you for the addon!
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs greentooth
    Thank you. I fixed the bug when you save an image after a bake and continue baking. This was related to a path I was still setting in code but that didn't exist. It unlikned your image and as a result Blender reported issues with the image when accessing it afterwards.

    Also how to I go about baking 2 highpolies into 1 lowpoly?
    Currently merging the high poly's. For the future I plan on detecting groups in blender as multiple entries or some refinements for the name pair detection allow sub members. 
    At the core I alraedy planned for this as you can see with the number counters for each sub type

    But it is not yet all in it's final place. Baking code is currently my priority before releasing Version 1.0.0


    One question/ request. Would it be possible to apply the Color Grid texture, rather than the UV Grid Texture under the "Texels" panel?
    Initially the plan was to make them behave like TexTools for 3dsMax, 1 click activates the first checker map, a second click switches between 2 styles of checker maps. I'll try to put that back so you can cycle between the 2 checker maps with just a double click.


    Thanks!


    Yes you can bind shortcuts to any operator (button) in Blender. Just right click on the button

    And then bind the shortcut you want. You can manage double entries or other related TexTools shorcuts from the user preferences under input. Just search for TexTools and it will list existing mappings.

    My example has some double entries as you can see so I would remove the ones I don't want and finally save my user preferences so they are restored next time.


    Updates
    I have been mostly working on documentation the other day for upcoming features.

    The ID colors can now have a maximum of 15 colors. I also added a few color themes to quickly cycle through


    There will be a new rectify tool as well which is currently based on UVSquares. But I don't like the code as it is very chaotic and hard read or understand. I might implement my own version in the future with a leaner code footprint.

  • Grimwolf
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    Grimwolf polycounter lvl 3
    Thank YOUUUUUUUU! UV Mapping has always been a massive hole in Blender's workflow. The default tools were bad, and no one was making a solid plugin to improve it. I've been waiting so long for something like this.
  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Oh hell yeah, the UVSquares. I've used that quite some time, it's been a must have feature for me... but lol, I had no idea that the structure of the code on that is messy and hard to understand, even though it's perfectly functional. :joy: It's just that I'm only an artist and I have no programming skills, and now I just got skeptical about what those other addons I use have eaten, even though they work as they're supposed to, haha.

    But if you're planning to fuse this kind feature to your addon as that cool "Rectify" version of yours, that's just perfect. Super awesome! Looking at your work, I get the feeling you're so organized and pedantic with your coding skills from your extensive past experience, and I appreciate that highly.

    Keep up with the great work, and I know you will. ;)
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs greentooth
    @Grimwolf thanks

    @FourtyNights
    It works really well  but i think the code has evolved over a long time and by different people.


    I have been playing yesterday with the color ids on a test model. Its almost a modeling and texturing process in one.

  • Udjani
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    Udjani vertex
    How to create a new image after saving one baking? I baked a normal map of a cube, saved it, and then i couldn't bake again with different settings, i did manually created a new one in ''create new image'' but didn't work as well, i am probably missing something?

  • Ruka
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    Ruka polycounter lvl 5
    renderhjs said:
    Initially the plan was to make them behave like TexTools for 3dsMax, 1 click activates the first checker map, a second click switches between 2 styles of checker maps. I'll try to put that back so you can cycle between the 2 checker maps with just a double click.

    That would be awesome!
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs greentooth
    @dchani this issue has been fixed and will be in the next release. New bake modes will be available as well.

    @Ruka deal!
  • keket
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    keket polycounter lvl 2
    It's great to see more tools coming to blender, I was actually looking for tools like this a few weeks back!
    Thank you for your contributions.
  • Jakro
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    Jakro polycounter lvl 2
    @renderhjs
    The color id stuff looks great! Wondering though how someone uses this feature if they need more than 5 different id's? Also I'm not sure if you saw my previous post but I've had some issues getting a good AO bake using TexTools. Would be great if the user could enable/disable 'normalized'(or have this be enabled by default to avoid extra ui stuff) and be able to adjust falloff. Without these settings the user has little to no control over the bake result. 
  • kreativbloc
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    kreativbloc triangle
    This is seriously amazing. Im looking to move to a blender-zbrush-painter-UE4 workflow and this fits perfectly.  Thanks so much for doing this. Looking forward to using this a lot. 
  • Fizzly
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    Fizzly polycounter lvl 7
    @renderhjs During lunch at work I had a go at the feature requested by @Ruka, switching the checker maps :)



    Let me know if you want me to open a PR for it, I can send you my BitBucket details through a PM.
  • rafastrip
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    rafastrip polycounter lvl 3
    I am really pasionated guy with this addon, I think this addon is an epic tool , one of the most powerful for devs , it  has a lot of options , I am really need patience to learn all these options , however I am really happy to save times in my exploding meshes , specially for Hard surfaces. thx,  where I can find the "pdf"? or the manual of this ? just to know where I should to update it...well ,perphaps I need just to suscribe to this mega-thread. 
  • Mant1k0re
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    Mant1k0re polycounter lvl 3
    The website you download it from has quite a bit of info on the features I think.
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs greentooth
    Thank you

    There was always more than 5 colors to choose from. It's just that most color templates that I include only use 4-5 colors. It's like with copic markers when drawing: uusually you don't need that many.
    But you have the option now to choose between 2 and 20 colors

    Would be great if the user could enable/disable 'normalized
    I am not sure if I understand, where is that setting you describe in blender?

    Thanks, looking forward to people like you using it

    Yes I am dutch, though been living a long time in Germany and now Australia. Thanks so much for your pull request. I did not end up using exactly your code but it was good for me to see how you did it.
    As I mentioned you already on bitbucket, I ended up implementing it differently. I now have the option to assign checker map styles independently to objects.

    This GIF shows that nicely, it compltes a type of checker map if few of them are different. Otherwise it will cycle. There have also been some improvements on the clean up on unsued checker map textures.

    Thanks. There is no PDF instead there is a very detailed website with all of the tools explained in detail and with screenshots / animated GIF's. For todays release the website has been updated once again. Check it out here:

    Yes pretty much. Documentation is just as important and the tool development itself.


    Update Version 0.9.5

    Download & Documentation
    http://renderhjs.net/textools/blender/



    What's new in 0.9.5

    Color ID tools
    Assign colors to objects, face selections and even bake them in the new diffuse bake mode.


    UV normal Smoothing
    Creates smoothing normals based on hard edges for the UV island borders


    Peel Edge unwrapping
    A new tool to quickly unwrap pipes


    Rectify
    Based on the UVSquares addon this rectifies your UV selection to rectangular faces


    Bake mode: Diffuse


    Bake mode: object normals
    This was missing in previous releases but is back as its own bake mode


    2x Checker map styles
    Ability to swap different checker map styles with a click


    7x Color ID templates
    Various color templates for the Color IDs.

    Color Elements
    A tool to apply Color ID's to elements of a mesh automatically


    Export & Import Color IDs
    Ability to export the current Color ID colors to clipboard as hexadecimal text. This makes it easier to share or copy colors across.

    Some text editors come with color highlight plugins

  • Jakro
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    Jakro polycounter lvl 2
    @renderjhs Really awesome stuff! Glad that there's more than 5 mat colors.

    As for the normalize, I just realised you're using cycles and I'm used to using Blender Render. When using blender render there is an option to normalize which makes sure the AO bake will use the full 0-1 range. More here
    _imagesrender_blender-render_bake_ambient-occlusionpng


    As a side note I did this test bake to compare. Both took about the same amount of time and have the same(ish) sample count. See how the one baked out using textools/cycles is washed out and doesn't utilise full 0-1. Also there is some seam issues, this is something else entirely. I've attached blendfile with the mesh and bake settings. Hopefully that will help you debug. Perhaps an option to switch between cycles and blender render would be best?
  • MrOneTwo
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    MrOneTwo polycounter lvl 6
    Is it possible to bake Cavity or Dust with low poly only? Can't seem to make it work. Comes out black every time.
  • ZombieWells
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    ZombieWells polycounter lvl 8
    Your one of the most wonderful people I don't personally know, but in my head your a god like being in the form of an ocelot. Keep up the fantastic work!!!
  • renderhjs
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    renderhjs greentooth
    Thanks I will have a look into that. My only hesitation with Blender Render or Blender Game engine is that it is legacy and will be likely discarded in 2.8 of blender - so I am not sure how much I want to implement older render engines only to patch them out in the future. But the results look a lot better.

    Yes it should work, could it be that there are to few polygons to begin with? It uses the vertex color's 'dirty colors' and the pointiness node in cycles renderers which only do gradient transitions between geometry not surface. Try it on the Suzanne Monkey it should be visible there.

    Thanks

    I have been working today on a new tool for the Color ID panel. The tool 'Create Atlas' generates a mini texture where each color is a tile of an atlas. Each face of the model is unwrapped to match the correct color in the texture. 

    Since it uses just 1 draw call and no sub materials this is great for realtime graphics. The goal is to have another tool that does the reverse: Read color ID's from a diffuse texture.
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