I often I like to set myself little challenges to improve or test out new skill sets. Having just purchased the inexpensive Hard Surface addons for Blender 3D from masterXeon1001, I thought I would set myself one of these challenges.
In order to not only learn but also assess the efficiency savings of these new add-ons, I gave myself a strict 1 hour timeslot to improvise a hard surface object using these tools, alongside the existing Blender 3D modeling functions.
This was the first time I had used the add-ons and the images below represent exactly 1 hours worth of work, from a blank slate and with no concept images or sketches to follow. This hour also included the initial testing of their functionality and idiosyncrasies.
My findings were quite striking. Shapes and cuts that I would normally avoid are now easy to implement: circular cuts via hand drawn boolean operations; real-time adjustments of boolean cuts and shapes; realtime and dynamic adjustments to sharpening, smoothing and bevelling; and, intelligent automation of UV unwrapping.
What is hopefully clear, is that this set of add-ons greatly improves the speed of fleshing out silhouettes and overall large and medium level detail when modelling. Sharpening and bevelling is automated as you model and can be refined at anytime. The mesh is also UV unwrapped via an automated process.
Please let me make it clear that I have no affiliation to these addons; their production; or, their production team. I also stand to make no profit from advocating their existence. What I am keen to do though is share tools that work. If – like me – you often avoid improvisation when modelling due to the time intensive nature of doing so, then I greatly suggest that you look at these powerful and fairly inexpensive tools. Also, a quick tip is to get only one of the add-ons first – HardOps – install it in Blender, then press on the link to Box Cutter from the addon, and you will get a 50% reduction in price.