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My understanding is these 2 features are impossible to install as add-ons. I have the current build of Blender 2.78c with the fracture add-on built in, and the beta 2.785 version of Blender that has the new principled shader. Is there any way to use these 2 features together? I've heard about making your own Blender builds, but I'm not sure how to do it.

Thanks!

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No, both of the features you mention are part of blender's core source code and can't be combined without some work.

The principled shader is part of the current blender development that will be included in the next release which is planned to be released soon.

The built in fracture modifier is a separate development project that is being done parallel to blender's main development with plans to have it merged into a blender release at a later time. The developer working on this merges the main blender development into the work being done on occasions. Unless you know some C/C++ coding and want to help, I would suggest waiting until the next merge from master is done. You can find instructions for building your own versions of blender on the blender wiki.

The developer has a website dedicated to the fracture modifier project where you can find links to a blenderartist thread and a facebook page, so you can try contacting the developer and asking if they have any plans to merge soon, a donation to the project may help persuade them.

As you seem to have a copy of blender with the fracture modifier, you can setup a pbr shader that will give similar results to the new principled shader that you can use until the update happens. Blender guru has a tutorial on pbr shaders and you can find some pre-built shaders to download at BlenderBrit.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah thanks very comprehensive answer! I've contacted Dennis to see if they have plans (and yes a donation was made :)). Also thanks for the link to Blender Guru's stuff and the pre-built shaders. I love Blender Guru's tutorials. $\endgroup$ – lakerice Jul 15 '17 at 15:03

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