233 Posts
Beveling allows you to create rounded corners/edges on geometry; in real life, edges are pretty much never perfectly sharp, but ever so slightly rounded, which means that these edges will catch incoming light, whereas perfectly sharp edges won't, meaning that sharp edges will lack the feel of realism.

Ticking the bevel checkbox will bevel each and every part in your scene, which will add that extra step of realism while increasing memory consumption and render time based on how many (especially individual) parts you have in your scene to some extent.

Though I'm personally not sure how beveling will work out with newly converted parts, since those have their own normal map that include (fake) shader-based beveling. You gotta ask @Scrubs for that, I guess.
10 May 2020, 12:34
13 Posts
Perfect, thank you
10 May 2020, 13:41
3404 Posts
By default, shaders fake bevels so unless you are very close you won't see the difference with real bevels.

Real bevels function is not perfect and sometimes it is clamping so much due to the geometry that it is almost not visible, not mentioning that it takes a lot of extra memory.

My advice, unless you do a close up shot, don't use it.
10 May 2020, 19:46
13 Posts
Alright I will bear that in mind
11 May 2020, 10:30
7 Posts
@scrubs, thanks for your previous answers! Apologies if this next one has been covered, but I couldn't find anything about it in the forum.

I bought the Advanced import plug-in and it's awesome. I now have one master scene and a few files with objects. All of them are based on the template and contain imported LEGO objects. I have included the objects in the master scene using the Link command.

Question in this situation is: does the Mecabricks material settings on the master scene control the fingerprints, etc. on the linked objects? Or do I need to go into each linked file and adjust those settings there?

In my testing here, it seems that *nothing* I do in either the master scene or in the linked files will change the fingerprints and dirt on those linked objects, even though if I make changes to the objects themselves those do show up on the master scene. Trying to figure out what I'm missing with how the Mecabricks settings work with linked files.


** Edit
After messing around with the model and camera angles I can seem to get it to mostly go away, but for a while there I was seeing fingerprints even though they were set to 0%. Hmm..
13 May 2020, 23:54
Edited 14 May 2020, 02:37
3404 Posts
@dre_pkp I actually don't know how it behaves with linked models. I never tried. The add-on parses the material names to look for mecabricks shaders. I don't know how materials from linked models are handled. I shall try at some stage.
14 May 2020, 03:27
Edited 14 May 2020, 03:27
1 Post
Pls help me

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:Users_AppDataRoamingBlender FoundationBlender2.82scriptsaddonsmecabricks lite__init__.py", line 143, in execute
return import_mecabricks(self, context, self.filepath, settings)
File "D:SteamsteamappscommonBlender2.82scriptsmodulesbpy_types.py", line 711, in __getattribute__
return getattr(properties, attr)
UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf-8' codec can't decode byte 0xc4 in position 25: invalid continuation byte

location: <unknown location>:-1
17 May 2020, 20:52
3404 Posts
@wilkinice you use the lite addon. Please use the appropriate thread.
That is not a none error. Please provide more information.
17 May 2020, 20:59
3 Posts

I'm new to Blender and the Mecabricks Advanced add-on, but I'm slowly getting the hang of things. I'm working on trying to get the most photo-realistic looks possible, and I've had some hits and misses.
I've been doing a lot of experimenting and tweaking, and I've gotten to a point where I'd like to start over from scratch, resetting everything to their default settings.

Is there a guide posted somewhere with the recommended render settings that I can consult?
There doesn't seem to be a search function for this forum, unless I somehow missed it somewhere...

26 May 2020, 21:24
3404 Posts
@dangottesman Use the .blend template file provided with the add-on. That is a good starting point for default settings.
Render settings depend on your scene. There isn't a one solution fits all, otherwise it would be too easy. I would also highly recommend learning about lighting and post-processing. Rendering is only one part of the workflow.
27 May 2020, 06:39
Edited 27 May 2020, 06:39
3 Posts
Thanks, @scrubs. That makes sense.

I've been comparing various Lego renderers, and the one that seems to be the most photo-realistic to me is Stud.io's EyeSight , so far. I'd love to be able to get that kind of look out of Blender - which I'd imagine is totally possible, with the right settings.

I wonder - could the fact that everything comes into Blender so "large" be a factor when setting up the camera and renderer?
28 May 2020, 21:32
3404 Posts
EyeSight is just Cycles and Studio developed their average settings based partially on my work...
If you set up you scene properly, you will get much much better result than with Studio! Developers have no idea what they are doing in terms of rendering

If you check my flickr or others like Zanna or Carlierti, you can see the possibilities. It just takes a bit of learning but it is really worth it.


28 May 2020, 21:42
Edited 28 May 2020, 21:58
3 Posts
Yes, I can see what you're talking about.
Again, I'm new to this whole thing, so I'm still finding my way around..

Here's a link to something I did in Studio, for reference (I'd love to be able to get this kind of sharpness in Blender):

PS - this forum software seems super-minimal - no editing tools or search... am I missing something?
28 May 2020, 22:07
3404 Posts
You have an "Edit" button at the bottom of your posts.
That is a custom forum designed years ago when there wasn't that many users. It certainly needs a refresh but my time is currently better spend at making mecabricks more awesome
28 May 2020, 22:21
1 Post
Excuse me, when i'm trying to use the template.blend and rendered it the backdrop seems not white and it's pink.
Does anyone know how to fix it?
3 Jun 2020, 12:33
3404 Posts
You shall select an HDR file.
3 Jun 2020, 12:46
1 Post
Hey! I just recently bought the advanced shader, but I've run in to a few problems. Maybe there is a solution someone knows of?

.zmbx files always load the model insanely large. I'm not a fan of this because it makes everything harder to work with. So I switched to exporting a collada file out of the workshop instead. They load at proper lego scale, and sets the blender scale to 0.001 on all pieces. It works great for scale, but my attempts to apply the shader to the collada pieces have failed, no scratches, reflectivity values, or anything seems to show up except for them. The way I transferred the shader was to group the nodes into a single shader, then append that to my new file and add it to materials as needed. That didn't seem to work for some reason.

I also noticed that the collada pieces weren't as detailed as the .zmbx pieces, so next I tried to scale down the .zmbx file to 0.001. While I was happy with the scaling and the higher detail of the pieces, this seemed to break the shader somehow. Every piece showed up strangely translucent and weird in the final render (Cycles). I figured this must be something to do with the scale breaking the shader and I saw two options: find a way to manually go through or automate the process of changing every pieces material scale to 0.001 (and I'm working with a model with a high piece count so there are a lot of materials), or reset the scale to 1 without changing the size. I have not attempted to fix the scale of each material, it seems too tedious and there must be simpler solution. I know scale can be reset without changing size by doing ctrl+A and selecting scale, but that gives me an error message for each brick: "Cannot apply to a multi user: Object "Part.001", Mesh "1.001", aborting"

Has anyone attempted something similar to me? Encountered similar issues? Is there a way to load .zmbx files at an accurate size with a scale of 1 so as to not break the shader? Or is there a way to apply the shader correctly to a collada file? Any help in answering these questions would be appreciated. I've only been working with blender for a few months now, so I apologize for any misused lingo.
15 Jun 2020, 08:45
3404 Posts
@RC The reason why I created this .mbx format is to be able to control the whole pipeline to get highly optimized materials and meshes in Blender. If you use the Collada format, which doesn't support much of these features by design, you loose all the advantages and the add-ons I developed are of no use.

MBX format unit is mm. So simply set Blender units to reflect that. This is what I have done in the ready to use Blender template available in the add-on package.
15 Jun 2020, 10:12
6 Posts
Edited: Seems to be an issue with a template. I loaded up a default and the problem went away. Odd as works fine on my laptop.

Anyone tried to use advanced script (2.1.6) with Blender 2.83.3 LTS? Getting an error when I import that it can't find the material file:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/Users/steven/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.83/scripts/addons/mecabricks advanced/__init__.py", line 323, in execute
return import_mecabricks(self, context, self.filepath, settings)
File "/Users/steven/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.83/scripts/addons/mecabricks advanced/__init__.py", line 80, in import_mecabricks
scene = loader.load(filepath, collection)
File "/Users/steven/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.83/scripts/addons/mecabricks advanced/loaders/SceneLoader.py", line 84, in load
File "/Users/steven/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.83/scripts/addons/mecabricks advanced/loaders/SceneLoader.py", line 204, in load_configurations
self.library['configurations'][version][name] = loader.load(version, name, configuration)
File "/Users/steven/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.83/scripts/addons/mecabricks advanced/loaders/parts/ConfigurationLoader.py", line 33, in load
material = material_builder.build(version, data)
File "/Users/steven/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.83/scripts/addons/mecabricks advanced/loaders/parts/MaterialBuilder.py", line 73, in build
eevee_normal_group = self.make_normal(eevee, data['normals'], False)
File "/Users/steven/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.83/scripts/addons/mecabricks advanced/loaders/parts/MaterialBuilder.py", line 346, in make_normal
texture.node_tree = bpy.data.node_groups['mb_normal_texture'].copy()
KeyError: 'bpy_prop_collection[key]: key "mb_normal_texture" not found'

location: <unknown location>:-1
2 Aug 2020, 03:04
Edited 2 Aug 2020, 03:41
3404 Posts
Looks like you had a name conflict. Some old node groups may have been loaded with your file and the addon has been mistaken.
2 Aug 2020, 03:53
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