What is DECALmachine?

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cover image: Strikebreaker - designed and built by Alexander Lortkipanidze - Artstation, Twitter

DECALmachine is a blender addon, which through mesh Decals, allows for surface detailing in a very non-committal, non-destructive, UV-less way. And as such, it represents an alternative approach to hard surface texturing.

Decals can be projected, sliced, material matched, and of course easily created.

Read on below for an overview of DECALmachine's tools and ideas.

Keep in mind

The focus of DECALmachine is speed and flexibility in terms of Design and Detailing. Depending on how far you intend to take your designs, and especially if you, intend to use complex shader node setups or do complex texturing such as weathering, this might not be the best workflow, unless you are targeting a deferred rendering solution with mesh decal support, which allows for selective channel blending, instead of just alpha blending as in Blender's Eeevee and Cycles.

Resources

Attention

If you need to get in touch with me to report an error, report tool misbehavior or have another problem READ THIS FIRST.

For installation help, see the Installation page.
For questions you have or problems you may run into, see the FAQ.
To discuss using DECALmachine, please use the Blender Artists and polycount threads.
For decal creation, jump to Decal Creation.
To learn about all of DECALmachine's features and tools, you can either check out this playlist on youtube, or better - access the same videos through the sidebar to the left.

Features

  • quick and precise raycast-based Decal insertion
  • automatic material matching, parenting, normal transfer and collection creation
  • unlimited decal libraries + flexiblie asset loader layout
  • instant decal creation of all types
  • quickly adjust height, decal mesh or UV rotation and much more using the convenient modal adjust tool
  • enforce default settings scene-wide and change them quickly using the panel
  • use decals on flat surfaces and project them on curved surfaces
  • slice decal panel lines boolean-style
  • create panel decals from Grease Pencil strokes
  • parallax adds convincing depth to normal mapped decals, now in real time utilizing Blender's Eevee
  • retain sharp details at all scales, independent of texture resolution, via UV-less object based detailing
  • take advantage of decals being objects, by using modifiers like mirror
  • add Decals while editing groups in GroupPro
  • hide decal materials (incl. in Batch Ops and Hard Ops) and textures
  • 108 Decals included
  • best documentation in the business

Overview

GifDecals

With DECALmachine you can avoid getting bogged down with technicalities and monotonous, laborious clean up work related to mesh topology.
Instead you can just place your details, re-arrange them at any time, project them on curved surfaces or explore paneling, graphics, logos etc.

DECALmachine - in essence - is object-based, UV-less texturing, or rather detailing.
Learn more about what a decal actually is and how it works.

Box

This hard surface detailing workflow is incredibly fast and versatile, very easy to handle and manipulate.
And the beauty is, it's not bound by texture size limitations - details remain sharp, even when seen from up-close.

Mecha

DECALmachine can be used on its own, or to complement other hard surface workflows, such as a bevel and boolean based approach used by HardOps and BoxCutter or the classic subdivision surface approach.
It all works, it will even work on models exported from Solids/NURBS/CAD based tools such as MoI3D or Fusion 360!

SMG

In addition to the tools to simplify and automate working with mesh Decals, DECALmachine supplies 108 Decals, ready to be used, as well as decal creation tools, to make your own - directly in Blender without the need for ANY outside tools.