As we said in the article introducing 3D design software, Blender software is one of the most popular and widely used software in the field of 3D design. Two of the main reasons for the popularity of this software are:
- Being free
- Open source
A big part of Blender’s success comes from the community that developed it.
The open source nature of Blender encourages hobbyists and professionals to contribute their time and expertise by writing plugins to improve Blender. These extensions extend the Blender software and improve its capabilities.
Today, you can find a wide variety of Blender plugins on the Internet. Also, new plugins are added daily.
In this post, you will find a list of the best plugins for Blender.
Table of Contents
What is meant by Blender plugin?
Blender plugins are software that are made to improve the performance of Blender software. The purpose of Blender plugins is to simplify some processes or add a series of new features to the software.
Guide to installing Blender plugins
Blender plugins are made with Python programming language. So, a Blender plugin is a Python file with the extension py. It is together with a set of other files in a zip file.
Installing Blender plugins is very easy. Just do the following after downloading the plugin:
- Go to edit-> Preferences -> Add-ons section.
- Click on “install”.
- Download the zip or py file.
- Click on “install add-on format file” option.
- Activate the plugin.
Note: Before installing the plugin, make sure that the desired plugin is compatible with the Blender software version installed in the system. For this, it is enough to search on Google.
Introduction of popular Blender plugins
So far, we have learned what a plugin is in Blender and we have also learned how to install it. Now it’s time to introduce the most popular Blender plugins:
If you are a photographer and you like your renders to look like a real camera, this Blender plugin will give you that.
Real camera plugin is free and very easy to use. This plugin has many settings under the Camera tab and a wide range of cameras that you can choose from.
The Real Camera plugin changes the final image to look like it was taken with a real camera. You can choose from several camera models and change some settings like depth of field and blur just like a real camera.
Dynamat plugin includes a package with more than 30 ingredients for use in the blender.
These materials are applied to the surface of an object and act like a “coating” to make it look like a real material such as wood, glass or fabric. You can simply select the object you want to apply the material to. Then open the Dynamat plugin library and select the desired material.
This plugin adds some shortcuts to quickly perform Boolean operations. To use this plugin, first select the desired Boolean shape and then select the base shape by holding the shift key. Then the Boolean operation is performed by holding the ctrl key and pressing one of the basic math operations on the keyboard Numpad.
The F2 plugin improves the modeling workflow by adding several new functions to the F key. Using this plugin, you can create a desired level by clicking on a vertex and expand similar levels faster than usual.
lineworks is a blender plugin that allows you to add stripes or lines to characters. This plugin controls lines to follow based on where they are on the character surface.
This plugin is used to produce trees that look very realistic. This plugin also has settings with which you can define parameters such as tree life, tree size, tree state, etc. for your trees.
If your design requires the creation of complex scenes with many components, it is likely that the Asset Sketcher plugin will come to your aid.
Placing objects in complex scenes is a difficult and tedious task. You can easily drag objects directly to your scene using this plugin.
There are plenty of options to customize and randomize how these objects are placed, so you’ll have a lot of control over the process.
Objects can be automatically attached to the ground or moved to a network of other objects. You can even use simple physics calculations to arrange your objects.
Using this blender plugin, you can easily simulate complex surfaces such as fabric or liquid.
For example, the FLIP plugin can simulate a waterfall to create millions of water droplets and bubbles. You can use this method to naturalize designs and add more detail to any scene that includes oceans or lakes, etc.
The Sculpt Tools plugin is designed to aid in the visual and creative sculpting process.
If you are looking to make Blender more like other sculpting software, this plugin is for you.
What Sculpt Tools does is combine complex Boolean and modifier functions to make working with Blender easier and faster.
For example, artists with the Sculpt Tools can use the Grease pencil tool to quickly shape an object. This plugin saves time and simplifies the process of sculpting in Blender, which can otherwise be very tedious.
Gaffer is a Blender plugin you can use to improve the lighting of your design. Unfortunately, in its default mode, the Blender software does not have the possibility of advanced light settings. But if you take the time and work with the Gaffer, you can get detailed and access to professional lighting settings.
Blam is mainly used to enhance the 3D camera in Blender. This plugin can analyze features such as focal length and image orientation. After that, it combines the camera based on the data captured from the image. Blam can be used by media professionals such as VFX artists, animation designers and AR/VR creators. The Blam plugin is very easy to configure and can create designs such as architectural models based on a reference image.
This is a blender plugin for creating various neon signs, lamps and signs. What’s cool about Neoner is that you can quickly and easily turn any curve into a beautiful neon light.
Using this plugin, you can simulate the design of clothes and fabric. You can add clothes, wrinkle them, resize and many other things by drag and drop.
Pixar renderman is a very powerful and efficient rendering engine developed by Pixar Animation Studios. They use renderers to render their in-house 3D animations. This plugin is also available as a licensed commercial product to third parties. On the other hand, it is completely free for those who do not want to use it for commercial purposes.