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How can I make unique rocks in Blender without having to model them by hand? I've tried making them by hand, but often they don't look as realistic as I'd like.

Plus, sometimes I'd like to have LOTS of them but don't want to spend the time modeling them all. Is there an easy solution?

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1 Answer 1

Add Rocks

The Add Rocks addon allows you to quickly add randomly generated mesh rocks, thus making it much quicker to add detail & realism to your outdoor settings. Here you can read about this addon.

Here are some examples of the presets and some variations:

enter image description here

To enable this addon:

  1. Download it from here.

  2. Now open User Preferences:
    Info header → FileUser Preferences

    enter image description here

  3. Click on Addons at the top of the Preferences window, and then click on the Install from File button at the bottom of the window:

    enter image description here

  4. Next:

    • Find the addon file and select it. (NOTE: The file can be a .zip file -- you don't have to unzip it first.)

    • Click the Install from File button

    • Then enable the addon by clicking on it's checkbox on the far right

    • If you want this addon to be enabled by default in the future, click on the Save User Settings button:

    enter image description here

  5. To add a rock to your scene:
    SHIFTA -> Mesh -> Rock Generator

    enter image description here

  6. Adjust all the settings:

    enter image description here

    One very neat feature is that you can make as many rocks as you want all at once, each one unique, by setting the Number of Rocks at the top -- here I'm making 500 all at once:

    enter image description here

    Notice at the very bottom, there are some presets:

    enter image description here

    NOTE: You MUST set all the settings the way you want them to be before you do ANYTHING else, otherwise they cannot be changed through the same settings panel. After you click away from the rocks, you can only modify their parameters via the modifiers that are on them:
    Object Properties panel -> Modifiers tab

Apply All Modifiers BEFORE Rendering

One thing to be careful of is that each rock created has many modifiers on it and these DRAMATICALLY slow down rendering speed! So, to get around this, you really need to Apply all modifiers BEFORE attempting to render your scene. To do this you can do either of the following:

  1. Manually Apply Modifiers: This is an easy method, but it can take a lot of time if you have more than 1 rock:
    Select rock -> Object Properties panel -> Modifiers tab -> click the Apply button on the modifier

    enter image description here

  2. Convert All Rocks to Mesh: This is the best and quickest method if you don't want to sit around clicking "Apply" for a long time:
    Select ALL the rocks at once -> ALTC -> Convert to Mesh

    This will very easily Apply ALL the modifiers without you having to do anything else and you can now render quickly and easily:

    enter image description here

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What version of blender and the addon are you using? I could not get it to work on 2.7 and a few 2.6x versions I tried. –  David May 15 at 17:57
    
It works fine for me in 2.69 and 2.70a. What problems are you encountering? –  Thom Blair III May 15 at 18:16
    
@David I just updated my answer to clarify how to install the addon & made it much easier to install. See if that helps. :) –  Thom Blair III May 15 at 22:22
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