We are going to talk about 11 of the best Blender Addons For Animation that animators can use to save time and take their work to the next level if used properly.
Why do we recommend using Blender addons for animation?
You can use some of these tools for quick and simple tasks. And others are really going to change the way you animate in Blender, we are going to start the count with :
11 – Text FX
Text Effects allows you to build complex font animation without math or keyframes. Actually this add-on is simple both in concept and in its use. All you need is to apply the effect that you see appropriate for the situation to the text. Which can be combined in a variety of styles and settings to get the animation done.
There are different types of animation you can apply like converting selected text or paragraph (with multiple lines) to an animation. Transformations such as rotation and scaling, also Random transformations like Wiggle effect. To clarify, the addon is also considered as a motion graphics tool in addition to appearing in the list of Blender addons for animation. If you want to know more about the topic, we posted a detailed article that you can check here.
10 – Skin Selection
Skin Selection is a Blender addon to select bones controllers intuitively, by clicking on the mesh surface. And this addon can be generally speaking compatible with any rig/armature.
9 – Blender Muscle Tools
Another entry to the list of Blender addons for animation must be the Muscle Tools Addon. It gives you the ability to create muscles in Blender for creating more realistic animations and renderings. This add-on can be used to convert every Mesh into a muscle and bind it to the character. There some additional Jiggle options and Shape changes as well.
Muscles play an important role in the world of rigging and character animation. They are used to hold volume in certain and perhaps critical areas of the character and simulate bulges when these muscle systems are applied in Blender.
With this addon when we look at the rigged characters, we can see that there is something different about how the animation looks. Which feels more organic and natural. This is because of the muscles. The addon helps to visualize these skin deformations and volume holdings.
8 – AssemblMe
AssemblMe is an add-on for Blender that makes layer-by-layer animation efficient and non-destructive. Blender offers excellent physics and particle simulation tools. However, when you’ve got a final resting place for the objects, it is usually done by keyframing each object individually.
AssemblMe provides an intuitive and efficient workflow for creating (and adjusting) assembly and disassembly animations in a short period of time.
Motion graphics and logo design with multiple objects in Blender is also possible to do with AssemblMe. Simply add all of the objects to a group, adjust the parameters and create the animation for an assembly motion graphics in a short period of time.
But the Animation is currently limited to straight lines from the starting position to the final resting position. With that being said, it’s certainly worthy of its spot on the Blender addons for animation list.
7 – Spacing Sculptor
What this add-on tries to achieve is to remove all the time wasted on making a bone to behave in specific ways. Animators have to control 3 curves at once when dealing with location, Euler rotation and scale, and 4 other curves. Similarly, to the other Blender addons for animation, it can definitely be a massive time saver.
This is a relatively new add-on for Blender, it offers a set of tools that will try to make this process as easy as possible and minimises the use of the graph editor so you can work directly in the 3D View.
6 – Breakdowner
Breakdowner is a new blender ‘Onion Skinning’ addon that was designed to help animators do their work easier and faster. It is especially good for reducing the mental burden of trying to remember what key poses look like on multiple different frames. And an add-on like this comes to play to let animators focus on the important work.
Breakdowner will not generate guides on interpolated frames in between the key-frames. This keeps the view-port clean and clutter-free, which allows animators to focus on the breakdown pose. When performing a breakdown, this addon will only show the most previous and future frame. This differs from other onion skinning tools, which usually generate many snapshots of the character all throughout the timeline, or on interpolated frames.
Onion skinning, in general, is a fantastic way to visualize the overall motion of an animation, but it can easily just become ‘visual noise’. Breakdowner takes a different approach to this subject by working in a more ‘localized’ way. This is what makes it one of the best Blender addons for animation, and one of the most neat ones.
5 – Lineworks
Lineworks is a Blender addon that gives the ability to quickly add rigged line strips and grease pencil lines to characters. The lines will follow the surface of the character based on where they are placed and come with a rig that gives control over how the lines look.
This is one of the newest Blender addons for animation because this is the first release which means it had certain limitations. For example, it cannot add lines that follow parts of a mesh that are generated by modifiers. If your character has a mirror modifier you will need to apply it in order to get lines on the other half of the character.
You cannot delete any of the geometry of the characters model after you create lineworks. If you do this will break the rig.
In the same vein, there is a bug currently that can cause the mask modifier to prevent lineworks from functioning properly. And there are more limitations that the developer will probably fix in the next releases in addition to new features as well.
4 – Animax
ANIMAX is a procedural animation system for Blender. Useful for animating multiple objects. It allows you to create complex animations that are hard to achieve using Blender’s built-in animation tools.
There are Tools for splitting/shattering a mesh object into pieces. Convert the procedural animation to keyframes. The animation is procedural, but it’s possible to keyframe a lot of parameters for more complex animations.
Using this addon you can create some interesting animation effects like making objects dissolve, explode or transition from one object to another. Which I think is great for certain types of animation work, probably the first application for Animax that comes to mind is motion graphics work.
If you are a motion graphics artist, then ANIMAX will help to a certain extent. Because it is a nice addition since it can do these types of effects fast.
The workflow is straightforward. Just choose an effect (or make your own), play with the parameters and the timing, and you will have the animation ready. Therefore, it’s safe to say that ANIMAX earned its place among the best Blender addons for animation.
3 – “X-Muscle System”
X-Muscle System is an add-on designed for a rapid muscular system, tissue, and other organic object creation, in addition to their physical simulations. Its main purpose is to help visualize better skin surface deformations according to volume preservation of the body muscles, fat and even skeletal bones.
With X-Muscle System, an artist is free to focus on the artwork and use effectively his or her time to create even more realistic, complex shapes and animations of characters and creatures. With its simplicity and integration with Blender’s native tools, X-Muscle System is powerful and easy to use to make character animation more believable. In other words, it carved its path to the best Blender addons for animation with ease.
2 – Ghostool
Ghostool is an addon for creating Ghosts or Onion skins in the viewport to help animators do their job faster and easier.
This technique is actually used in creating animated cartoons and Japanese animated series to see several frames at once. This way, the animator or editor can make decisions on how to create or change the next position of the character based on the previous position in the sequence.
This type of add-on is great for a better workflow, timing and spacing. With Ghostool it is possible to Visualize the action of the animation instantly without even moving the timeline cursor. Which is great because animators usually move the timeline a lot to see the transition of the character in time.
Some of the benefits that animators can get are to Generate onion skinning for any mesh-able objects, even entire multiple-object characters or creatures. Making informed posing decisions and the ability to Compare poses on previous and later frames side by side while posing the character or creature rig on the current frame.
And i believe that the best thing this addon can do is letting you focus on being a creative animator. Instead of wasting a ton of time guessing the positions of the character and going back and forth in the timeline.
1 – “X-Pose Picker”
X-Pose Picker is designed as a platform tool for riggers and animators. It is a way to select and control characters inside of Blender. Using X-Pose Picker, it is possible to create layouts and control characters easier and faster.
The purpose of the X-Pose Picker is to provide a set of tools allowing to create picking layouts, interfaces for selection and controlling characters and 3d objects with efficiency.
X-pose picker was designed as a multi-platform program, equipped a simplified python script editor and easy to implement host server. Which gives possibility in the future to use it in 3D Software like Maya, Unreal Engine or Unity by writing extensions.
It seems like the developers of this addon were trying to make it as flexible as possible. Especially in pipelines inside studios
There are Easy to share *.xpix file format that a team might need to improve their production pipeline. From rigging to animating their CG characters.