How To Use Add-ons in Blender

We’ll continue exploring the settings and preferences on this one. We know you’re as anxious as we are to begin working with Blender but, lastly, we also need to talk about how to use Add-ons in Blender.

They’re plugins that are designed to extend Blender’s functionality. Blender comes with a handful of them installed into the program but not all of them are enabled by default.

You can find the Add-ons by hitting the Edit tab, then Preferences, and lastly clicking on the Add-ons section [Edit > Preferences > Add-ons]. All these Add-ons you're watching, come by default with Blender. To enable them, just click the check-box and to disable them, unclick it.

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As you will notice, there’s a handful that come already enabled, so we recommend you to not turn those off, since it could affect some basic functions if you do. However, there are also many that come disabled, some of which we recommend you to turn on, since they will come in handy in this course. Look for these Add-ons and check their boxes:

-          Mesh: Loop Tools

-          Node: Node Wrangler

-          UV: TexTools

As you can notice, that last one doesn’t come with Blender so we must download it (Yes, this will be a “How to install external plugins” mini tutorial).

Being an open-source program, anyone can write plugins for Blender. There are a lot of really great plugins available online that extend Blender’s capabilities in some pretty substantial ways. That being said, please keep in mind that, being totally open, if you have an issue with any of these plugins, you won’t be receiving real support of any kind, nor will you find a “Help Desk”. As always, be careful with what you download and always make sure the source is legit.

To get UV: TexTools, just go to this website: www.github.com/Savmartin/TexTools-Blender and hit Releases. Select the most recent version, scroll down the page, and when you reach the Assets folder, click the TexTools zip to download it.

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Once it’s downloaded, open the file location. Now, it is up to you if you want to keep the plugin in your Downloads folder, but we recommend you to save your Blender plugins in a specific location, just in case you have to re-install the software, so you can easily re-link them.

Back to Blender, in your Add-ons window, right at the top, locate and hit the Install button. Navigate through the file browser, and go to where the plugin is. 

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Select the plugin .zip and click Install. After you get a success message, you can scroll down through your Add-ons to check that it appears on the list, and to make sure that is enabled.

Great! You have set all your preferences and also, you know how to install plugins into Blender. Get ready because now we’re ready to go!

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