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The Caliper is Underway


Dolf Veenvliet's crowdfunding campaign for the new caliper script has reached its first threshold. He reports on the progress.

Dolf writes:

I started work on the Caliper addon for Blender last week. You can find the current state of the code here.

Feel free to test the script out, but be aware that it’s very much a work in progress and there are several big hurdles yet to be taken.

What is happening now

Currently the script creates an empty with two child empties. These two child empties are the start and end points of the measurement. There is also a mesh object and a text object for visualisation. At this point the empties have to be moved manually, but I will make it so you can “set them” through the interface and they will become invisible.

The biggest hurdle to take now is the automated updating. I hacked it now so that the interface is redrawn 1x extra when you move an empty. But this is a very bad hack. I have to see if we can update the scene somehow without creating a loop.

Day after tomorrow I’m off for a short bit of summer holiday. Work will continue right after!



About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender – I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


  1. I think it would be nicer to have the readout in a menu in a sidebar or a small overlay on the 3D viewport (much like the 3d manipulator widget). It won't clutter up the 3D view with extra baggage and you could even use a relationship line to draw between the two empties. It's a wonderful idea, and one that I've been looking for a while, but I think this method is a bit less-than-well implemented.

  2. I agree with italic, this is a nessecary idea, but indeed it would be handier if this would be visible in some sidebar, it is very strange that this is not standard in blender yet.

  3. For the units I also use the transform bar . It serves well ,But I think Caliper is pretty sexy and sure enough can be written so much better , with options etc .

  4. Brendon Murphy on

    I think the general idea of this is to have renderable visual elements, which is different to just printing measurements on the screen.
    having userd this addon in the past, it's very good & worth the effort.

  5. Wouldn't need either sooo badly if one could adjust the units and the grid to match any systeme international, for anal french and english people, and/or feets and inches for normal people. And If I change to Imperial system, the read out is in yards and ft with decimal inches. In the imperial system people don't say 'shes a yard two and two' they say she's five foot two. Don't lump the foot measurements into yards and rods and furlongs, For Architectural thats ridiculous. Give me an easy Feet and Inch entry and read out, say like in AutoCAD, or KeyCAD, or TurboCAD etc.

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