What is DECALmachine?

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DECAlmachine 2.0 - introducing new export capabilities with Atlasing and deep Trim Sheet support

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. As such it represents an alternative approach to hard surface texturing.
In addition DECALmachine has deep Trim Sheet support, and supports Atlasing, as well as Baking to facilitate exporting to game engines like Unity, Unreal Engine etc.

Decals can be projected, sliced, created from grease pencil or edges. They can be material matched, and you can easily create your own.
Trims can be easily placed, cut, manipulated or removed - all directly in the 3D view.

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

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, floating mesh decals 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.

Support

Attention

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

Resources

Learn what's new here, or in the changelog for a condensed version.
For installation help, see the Installation page.
Have questions or problems? See the FAQ.
To discuss using DECALmachine, please use the Blender Artists and polycount threads.
For decal creation, jump to Decal Creation or Trim Sheet Creation.
To export, check out the Export Introduction.
To learn about all of DECALmachine's features and tools, you can either check out this playlist on youtube, or better - access those same videos, but in context and with additional information through the sidebar to the left.

Features

Overview

GifDecals

With DECALmachine you can avoid getting bogged down with technicalities and monotonous, laborious clean up work related to mesh topology when adding detail to your models.
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's Decal tool set is in essence object-based, UV-less texturing.
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, without committing to any decisions, making it a fantastic choice for 3d concept design workflows.

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

The beauty of decals is, your results are not limited by texture sizes - details remain sharp, even when seen from up-close, which can be especially important for game artists.
Game artists also require a way to get Decals out of Blender and into Unity, Unreal Engine etc, and DECALmachine offers 3 approaches to do so.

DeferredDecalProbe

These export approaches are Atlasing, Trim Sheets and Baking.

While a Decal Atlas would be used in a deferred render pipeline with Decal shaders, Trim Sheets and Baking can be used in forward rendering too.
Of the last two, Trim Sheets stand out, because they offer almost all the same benefits Decals offer, especially in terms of visual quality (over baked decals or textures in general).

TrimSheetGate

To work effortlesly with Trim Sheets, DECALmachine offers a suite of Trim UV tools, that can be used directly from the 3D view.

In addition to the various tools to simplify and automate working with mesh Decals and Trim Sheets, DECALmachine also supplies 109 Decals, 1 Trim Sheet with its 64 Trim Decals, and 2 Atlases - ready to be used.

You are of course in no way limited by what DECALmachine provides. You can create your own Decals and Trim Sheets directly in Blender.

The documentation also hosts a list of 3rd party Decal packs.