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There's an Add-on for That

5 Must-Have Blender Add-ons & Plugins

Picture of Jaime Rios Velasco
by Jaime Rios Velasco
Mar 31, 2019
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After some time using Blender you might start to realize that maybe there are some things missing or you would like to have. Well, here we will make a list of some Blender add-ons which you won't want to miss!

Blender Add-ons What Is an Add-on?

Blender add-on Bake Helper showing the different elements.
Blender add-on Bake Helper showing the different elements. Source: MeshLogic

An Add-on is an extension you can add to a piece of software, in this case Blender, which will add more options and resources for you to use.

Add-ons can be manually downloaded from the internet or enabled through the software itself. In this case, add-ons and plugins can be accessed through Blender’s Add-on Tool in the Settings menu.

Some add-ons may not be compatible with all Blender versions, so make sure the add-on you want to download is compatible with the version of Blender you are currently using.

Most add-ons can be downloaded for free, others, usually more professional ones, will need to be bought.

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Blender Add-ons Blender Add-On #1: Easy FX (Free)

Screenshot of an image being tweaked using the Easy FX add-on.
Screenshot of an image being tweaked using the Easy FX add-on. Source: YouTube / Remington Graphics

Easy FX is an add-on that enables you to tweak your final render image in a super easy way.

It is built for beginners and packs many aspects from the nodes editor into an easy, simple-to-use interface in order to make post-processing a little easier.

It is available in the “UV editor” interface. Select the add-on in the left-hand bar and you will have all the settings that this add-on allows you to use to tweak your final image.

Easy FX is free and a no-brainer add-on to have if you want to do some post-processing on your final render without having to use another piece of software to do the job.

DownloadEasy FX

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Blender Add-ons Blender Add-On #2: Real Camera (Free)

Screenshot of a dinosaur skull being tweaked in Blender.
Screenshot of a dinosaur skull being tweaked in Blender. Source: YouTube / Remington Graphics

If you are a photographer and would like your renders to look like they were taken with a real camera, this Blender add-on allows you to do just so.

It’s also free and super easy to use. It has many settings under the camera tab and a large range of cameras from which to choose from.

Developed by Marco Pavanello, Real Camera will tweak the final render to look as if it were taken with a real-life camera. You can choose from multiple camera models and change some settings, like the depth of field and motion blur, as if it were a real camera.

This add-on will add a small realistic touch to your renders.

DownloadReal Camera

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Blender Add-ons Blender Add-On #3: Pro Lighting Skies

Screenshot showing a house on a lake designed in Blender.
Screenshot showing a house on a lake designed in Blender. Source: Blender Market

Pro Lighting Skies is a relatively small yet very useful add-on for Blender made by Blender Guru.

It gives you a small pack of HDR skies for you to use in your project, which look like real skies in the final render.

There isn’t much to talk about this add-on as after all it’s just a pack of skies. But there is one thing to take in mind and it’s that it’s not free. There are two options: $100 for the base pack with 30 skies and $200 for the ultimate pack containing 80 skies.

Therefore, this add-on would be more useful for those who would want to have a pack of high-quality HDR skies to use on their renders, which are also more optimized than normal HDRs.

PurchasePro Lighting Skies

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Blender Add-ons Blender Add-On #4: Archimesh (Free)

Screenshot of Blender running with the Archimesh add-on.
Screenshot of Blender running with the Archimesh add-on. Source: Blender Nation

Archimesh is a free Blender add-on made by Antonio Vazquez which already comes loaded in Blender’s Add-on Menu.

To access it, first make sure that on the add-on menu, under “Supported level” you have “Community” selected, otherwise it won’t appear. Then just click “File” -> “User Preferences” -> “Add-ons” and in the search bar search for “Archimesh”.

What Archimesh does is allow you to create rooms for your 3D scene in a very simple way. Just add a new mesh, select Archimesh, and you will have an easy-to-use menu where you can change all the settings for the room you want to make.

These include the number of walls, their length, if you want, for example, a floor or ceiling. But it doesn’t end there. With Archimesh you can also add windows and furniture to use in the room you are designing, making this one of the best add-ons to create room-based scenes in Blender.

Install: In Blender -> “File” -> “User Preferences” -> “Add-ons” -> “Archimesh”

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Blender Add-ons Blender Add-On #5: Dynamat (Free)

An object using a Dynamat material.
An object using a Dynamat material. Source: YouTube / Pratik solanki

Dynamat is an add-on that includes a material pack with over 30 materials to use in Blender.

These materials will apply to an object’s surface, acting like a “skin” to make it look like a real material, such as wood, glass, or fabric.

It’s as simple as selecting the object you want to apply the material to, opening the Dynamat library, choosing the material you want, and clicking apply.

This makes shading much easier without having to tweak the nodes from the materials yourself in order to make it look good. To top it off? It’s free.

DownloadDynamat

Feature image source: Jaime Rios / All3DP

License: The text of "5 Must-Have Blender Add-ons & Plugins" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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