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I'm a new Blender user coming from Maya. One of my favorite things to do is use bridging to create wires. I love Blender's modeling tools except for this one and was hoping there is a solution/plugin to fix this.

Maya's bridging system is fantastic. From any angle at any depth it auto-connects and comes with a curve so I can tweak the bridge.

If two surfaces in Blender are not on the same plane, the mesh folds on itself. No amount of cuts or twisting or even angling the faces toward each other (as some tutorials say) save the day. Additionally, I have very little option in the way of tweaking the bridge's shape afterward.

Thanks for reading :)

Allen

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    $\begingroup$ What method are you using to bridge? Have you tried the Bridge command from the Loop Tools plugin? If that is the method you are using, it has some options in the Operator to adjust the bridge. $\endgroup$ – Drudge Apr 7 '15 at 9:35
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I don't think Blender's current Bridge Tool will give you quite the level of control you want.

In this case I would use a Curve object, but I realize that that's a bit of a change from the work-flow you have in Maya. A script can be written to prepare a curve object using the median and normal of two arbitrarily angled polygons, then all you do is tweak the width of the curve, the number of subdivisions ( or custom profile shape ), and convert to mesh, and join into the current mesh.

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In essence it would be doing this under the hood, when you use a Curve you can manipulate the handles and even scale the start or end point of the Curve so it tapers.

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here with tapering, each bezier_point has a radius property, this can be scripted or modified via the interface when you have a bezier_point selected

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Given this proposal I imagine the following parameters as part of an operator.

  • tightness begin / end ( how long the curve handle extends from the median of each polygon )
  • attempt to scale begin and end profile to the two polygons that we used as a starting point

This would be a first draft of such an addon, I imagine much could be improved, but I think curves are the answer and not the Bridge Tool.


Edit

currently the repository has

  • a simple raw_script.py which can be used if you select two polygons. This is the 'minimum viable implementation'.
  • also a folder called 'tubetool' which is some boilerplate around the initial script so it gets an operator class, and can be installed as an addon (if you know how to install addons..)

Tool and Addon development will happen on GitHub, any input appreciated. https://github.com/zeffii/TubeTool/issues/1

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    $\begingroup$ This could be a very useful addon! Keep us posted on progress over in chat please :D $\endgroup$ – VRM Apr 7 '15 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ for making curvy pipes and wires, nothing is faster than the bridge tool, especially in Maya. Unfortunately, making any sort of wire/pipe with a curve, especially in Blender where you can't draw the curve along verts, is incredibly slow by comparison. I could use a curve, but it takes a hundred times longer. Its obsolete. Bridging two surfaces and then manipulating the curve that comes with it, a modeler can potentially build a hundred unique curves of varying length and direction in ten minutes. A tool like this in Blender would really save the day. :D $\endgroup$ – allen Apr 7 '15 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ yes, this really depends on workflow, personally I prefer to convert to mesh at the very last moment (or not at all, if the project permits) $\endgroup$ – zeffii Apr 7 '15 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your response, it's a good one :) I look forward to your plugin, keep me in the loop! (pun) $\endgroup$ – allen Apr 7 '15 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ @allen, how about we migrate this to a github repository specifically for a Tube Tool. Blender.StackExchange isn't really the place for it. github.com/zeffii/TubeTool $\endgroup$ – zeffii Apr 8 '15 at 10:16

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