bhPolyTools


These polyTools help me box-model faster, by having all the necessary tools within reach and adding some nifty features that don`t ship with Maya.

The top portion of the window is filled with quick-buttons for creating primitives and the most essential modeling operations (subdivide/smooth, interactive split tool, insert edge loop, append polygon and extrude). Also quick buttons for averaging vertices and GoZ.

Up next are tools to easily model branches and branch like structures. Just select a couple of faces and hit "Make nub" to extrude the selection, flatten it and make it circular. From here you have the perfect starting point to spline extrude the faces to create a branch. A number of locators (ctrls) are placed along the length of the branch so you can easily adjust the shape. Scale the tip to make the branch taper, or scale the other locators for even more controll over the thickness. The tip locator also hold attributes for twisting and number of subdivisions. All this with MEL, so no compiled plugins required.
Since the "Make nub" operation does a lot of interesting things at once, I decided to also have those available as separate operations, "flatten" and "round". Both work on the active-faces selection.



I started making these tools before I had aquired zbrush, so at the time I was using sculptris. This is still a super-awesome application. Easy to learn and a pleasure use. The "OBJ to/from Sculpt" exports the selected mesh to a designated folder as .obj or replaces the selected mesh in the scene with the .obj with the same name. While the .obj is in that folder you are free to do whatever you want to it, like sculpt it in Sculptris. This effectively is a makeshift bridge to Sculptris.
The clean mesh button deletes the history of the mesh. If "children" is checked, all children will also be deleted. This is convenient, because the spline extrude places the curve and locators as children of the mesh.

Some basic UV tools are convenient to have. Like a quick button to export a UV snapshot of the object, or multiple objects. Only setting needed is the output resolution. With the next set of buttons you can also store and retrieve actual UV data. Because the UVs can be externalised, this allows the model to go on to skinning and the UVs to be applied to that afterward. This way rigging and animation don`t have to wait for UV-ing to be finished.