is a new Blender add-on focused on the mesh based decals
worflow popularized by Star Citizen. It allows to quickly and easily place and project decals who simulate details. It works in a non-destructive, easy to modifiy and keeps clean and optimized geometry.
It also comes with a bunch of ready-to-use decals assets.
DECAL Machine has been developed by MACHINE3
- use decals on flat surfaces and project them on curved surfaces
- 'cut' decal panel lines in a boolean-like manner
- parallax adds convincing depth to normal mapped decals
- retain sharp details at all scales, independent of texture resolution
- decal and panel UV creation is automatic and base meshes don't need UVs
- change panel decal width and panel type after a panel has been 'cut'
- change the panel decal shape and direction after it has been 'cut'
- retrieve the original un-pojected decal sources at any time
- retrieve the cutters of panel decals at any time
- material cutting and material decals
- separate decal subset materials
- separate panel materials for each side side and panel flipping to switch those sides
- match decals to target materials
- panel unwrapping for custom drawn or modified panel decals
- quickly rotate decals in 45 degree steps without leaving face snapping
- ~100 decal assets supplied
Blender 2.77a and above, Cycles renderer for preview. For a better exerience, it's recommanded to also use add-ons such as :
The add-on can be downloaded on Gumroad : https://gumroad.com/l/DECALmachine#
"Export to Unity/Unreal incl decal atlas generation is coming!"
but Blender k h m
Now if someone would make this for modo....
Great work! Wish this were for Modo as well. Just another reason to get back into Blender at some point.
I think, I'm gonna hijack this thread and post future updates here
Yes, just to confirm, working on this right now!
I'd like to get input on this, on this general feasibility of baking normal mapped decals, that can be arbitrarily rotated, down to a normal map. Obviously, you can't just bake them as color maps. I don't want to say it's impossible, but it seems pretty hard. Maybe I'm over thinking it? I need to research this, but would really appreciate some input on it.
Blender made me switch from Modo, after 10 years around 15 months ago, haven't looked back.
With some python, which is easy to pick up(I started with it January last year,), you can then really unlock Blender. It will supercharge your experience and allow to to deal with problems easily, that are a pain to do by hand(everywhere, not just in Blender).
Oh, I just wanted to mention https://decal.machin3.io which is essentially the documentation(it's gonna hold all DM blog posts). It's quite in depth.
I want to try this out as soon as I finished my current project.
With BI you can actually bake decal normals to the normal of the underlying mesh in tangent space, I did that, though at that time I wasn't really sure if such a function has any actual usage.
I wanted to make a small environment using the decals technique in UE4 for a long time, hope I'll be able to export this stuff relatively easily.
edit: seeing as there might be some support for UE4, I'll wait for it.
Though I'm quite used to doing strange stuff to export my meshes from Blender to game engines.
If you used CryBlend you might know what I'm talking about.
I noticed there's a preview of HardOps support on your Youtube channel. Is that coming anytime soon?
I bought the addon and basic projection works, but I can't get a whole lot out of it without the Asset Management.
Waywo - We would gobble up a well constructed maya script that mimicked this!
[Edited to be more constructive]
One thing that would make it way more useful in a variety of projects would be to have only the normal map and parralax effect (without the metallic material and color). That way you could 'cut' into any object and it would blend with the target's material. I very much would like to use this tool on a variety of hard surface models that have varying degrees of wear and tear. Some hard surface models are a dull plastic or painted metal with little-to-no glossiness. It would really rock if the color were removed from cutters. :P
I hope this becomes a possiblity! Other than that, I love everything about this addon.
So lets start to learn Blender, cause its freee!
can you post an tutorial or somethign like that
i would love something like that in maya
I made a quick doodle with this addon, I have to say this workflow is pretty cool.
You don't necessarily need any of those addons. You can just have the decal objects in the scene and snap them onto a surface and project using the DECAL Machine addon.
You can create custom decals too, if you have a good knowledge of Blender and Cycles it shouldn't be a problem.
If you don't have a good knowledge of Blender I predict you won't have an easy time using this addon or HardOps.
Just bake down the decals the same way as you would bake a high to low poly.
Please do ^^ Congrats for your work ! Did you change the behavior of the face snapping ? Like to match the orientation of the face? I remember having some difficulties with that with Blender.
And as a general question how does the overlapping of multiple decals react?
Well Blender is free and take ~~10 min to download/install , a bit more to learn it though...
Anyways plugins like this really show the value of Blender, not necessarily Blender itself. Its a good sign seeing more of this.
there are now some resources on decal creation available:
The decal creation process will be drastically simplified with the next release, likely in a week or so. Basically it will just be: put your bakes in a folder, and the script will do everything for you, all masks, the channel packing, thumb creation and blend saving.
Definitely get the latest v1.2. if you are still using Blender 2.77 you should dl 1.2a if you intend to do your own decals. If you've already downloaded 1.2 and are running on Blender 2.78, don't bother.
Also, in addition to Gumroad, DECAlmachine is now available on Blender Market as well.
Also, it's gonna be ridiculously simple in the next version, you'll love it.
Thanks!,Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't UE4 already support working with deferred decals? I haven't really dug into UE4 yet, but I plan to very soon.
Blender is love
Indeed it is. Hope to share mare on this in a week or two. I'm gonna push out streamlined, automated version of the decal creation process first, seems to be even more important. Who wants to keep using my supplied decals after all
Come to the bright side, leave Modo in the dust, like I did. Or keep hoping for Luxology, err the Foundry to give game artists the attention they deserve, hehe.
Thanks man, appreciated.
A few people have commented on how cheap that seems, but at the end of the day, it's only automating things you can do with vanilla Blender. No magic happening here. Also, the 10-15 range seems to be a sweet spot, that people are willing to shell out in gumroad. More than that and it's quickly becoming a non-trivial expense, especially if you are considering non-professionals.
I did this for myself in preparation for future assets and not to become rich of it. Making a few sales is a nice and unexpected bonus.
As a former Modonaut, I can't praise Blender enough, especially if you are into customization and workflow optimization. I just love it. A very nice intro is Blending away the Pain, by the Hard Ops developer. You can get it on gumroad for free. It's fun and got me up to speed quickly.
Modo Schmodo, come to Blender
Apparently it is using xNormal. I did not expect this or even consider the addon potentially useful for the baking workflow. Currently it's a bit tedious as you have to do your own decal atlas and ajust the decal UVs accordinly. But I'm going to add atlas creation for the export feature and so, it seems that this would then also open up the route to baking decal normals down.
Do it. Blender is free, Blender is love. Blender is a powerhouse.
It's a good suggestion, easy to do, thanks. But based on my tests, normals generated from height maps(in Substance Designer) are sub-par with baked normals unfortunately.
Sure thing, I was about to post here myself, but not until I had the export feature in, ha.
Can you let me know, what is BI is, please? Is it a tool you created?
I hope to put out a video covering my workflow, as it's been requested a few times now.
Have you seen the crate demo? It basically shows me working in fullscreen most of the time.
Working in fullscreen is made possible though:
Have fun with it. Any question, suggestions > [email protected]
Documentation is at decal.machin3.io
Thanks for showing it around, appreciated. You guys should give Blender a shot, haha. I agree,that the deferred decal workflow is likely to become more common. Exciting times.
Thanks! Having the decals only contribute normals and parallax, without their own color and roughness, is not possible in Blender/Cycles. You need a deferred renderer for this. To comensate for this, there are the match material and set material tools, which I'm going ti improve on to support a wider range of shaders, not just the glossy shader as it is now. I will also make the material matching automatic I think.
As long as you stay in Blender, combining complex texturing like wear and weathering with decals is limited.
I've experimented with dirt/dust decals and it's working pretty good for what it is. Will post more about them soon.
I think there might be a bit of a steady shift happening over the next years, where Blender use among professionals will grow. How far this will go is uncertain of course and changing pipeline is always tricky.
Thanks, I guess
So cool man With, the 1.2 release you no longer need Asset Management to bring in the decals. I still recommend it as a general purpose tool to bring it all kinds of assets, from kitback parts to light setups and materials, but for decals, you can insert them using the addon's own pie menu now.
As for decal creation, there's a guide about it on decal.machin3.io. It's also on youtube.
with 1.2 there's still some manual processing of your bakes needed. I've already completely automated this by now(but not shipped). 1.3 will allow you to throw bakes for multiple decals in a single folder, which you can then batch create decals from with a single button press. It's cool stuff, can't wait to get it out.
Very cool man. Standard with some personal modifications is the way to go. I like switching the L and R mousebuttons, so I select with L instead of R. I also like mapping the f6 menu on the thumb button of my mouse.
Did you know you can hide the gizmo/manipulater? How wants to click small arrows anyway? Just use the shortcuts, g, s and r together with the axis constraints, x, xx, y, yy and z, zz.
v1.2 now properly sets the snapping settings, if you use the built in asset loader. It sets snapping to face, sets the target to median instead of closest and aligns the rotation with the target. I haven't used Blender before 2.77a so I don't know much about how things worked before that, but the snapping tools now are pretty straight forward and very powerful. Hold down ctrl to activate them temporarily of course.
Overlapping of decals works great, you can see it in the Lift Decal Up video. You can also do with normal mapped decals. Keep in mind however, that if the bottom decal is parallax mapped and the area you are placing the other decal on is a none-0-height part of the decal, than you will have a 'swimming' effect, depending from where you look at it.
Thanks once again Thomas! And thanks for posting your examples. So cool to see other people use the addon..
Yes, Unreal supports deferred decals, but in a very basic way (only supports color, normal and roughness; so you cannot make decals with heigh, AO, or even set the metallic parameter, as unreal considers all decals non-metallic). So you can only make pretty boring, plain, basic decals. Not saying it isn't enough, but it isn't enough. And UE devs don't plan on improving it for now.
However, there is a way to do "decals", which is through 2 UVs: 1st UV map for the underlying base material, 2nd UV map for the decal sheet, and then blending the channels one on top of the other. Im currently doing a model using these, so by next week I could make a video, or share my shaders, so you can understand better how decals work in unreal. Not sure if this approach would work with floating decals, though.
So, the only thing needed for this plugin to work with unreal (and to become the greatest thing that happened to me ever xD) is, to generate those 2 UVs:
1st: UV projected to the underlying mesh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nBA90lWQeI; possible in 3dsmax, not sure if possible in blender (if possible, I haven't found how).
2nd: to the decal.