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Visual Studio Code extension for Blender development.
TypeScript Python
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Latest commit da8d140 Jul 12, 2019

README.md

Blender Development in VS Code

The only key combination you have to remember is ctrl+shift+P. All commands of this extension can be found by searching for Blender.

Installation

The extension is installed like any other extension in Visual Studio Code.

Addon Tools

How do I create a new addon?

Execute the Blender: New Addon operator and use the setup wizard. You will be asked for the following information:

  • Which addon template should be used?
  • Where should the addon be created? This should be an empty folder, preferably without spaces or special characters in the name.
  • What is the name of the addon?
  • What is you name?

How can I use the extension with my existing addon?

The extension only supports addons that have a folder structure. If your addon is a single .py file, you have to convert it first. To do this, move the file into a new empty folder and rename it to __init__.py.

To use the extension with your addon, just load the addon folder into Visual Studio Code. Then execute the Blender: Start command. This will ask you for a path to a Blender executable. Only Blender 2.8 is supported.

After you choose a path, Blender will open. The terminal output can be seen inside of VS Code. The first time you open a new Blender build like this can take a few seconds longer than usual because some Python libraries are installed automatically. For that it is important that you have an internet connection.

Once Blender is started, you can use the Addon in Blender. Debugging should work now.

If the selected Blender executable does not use its own Python version, no packages will be installed by default. This is to make sure that the extension does not interfere with another package manager. You can either install the modules listed in the error message manually, or allow the extension to install the modules itself. To do that, the blender.allowModifyExternalPython setting has to be checked in VS Code.

How can I reload my addon in Blender?

Execute the Blender: Reload Addons command. For that to work, Blender has to be started using the extension. Your addon does not need to support reloading itself. It only has to have correct register and unregister methods.

To reload the addon every time a file is saved, active the blender.addon.reloadOnSave setting in VS Code.

Script Tools

When I say "script" I mean a piece of Python code that runs in Blender but is not an addon. Scripts are best to test and learn Blenders Python API but also to solve simple tasks at hand. Usually scripts are written in Blenders text editor. However, the text editor has fairly limited capabilities compared to modern text editors and IDEs.

For script writing this extension offers

  • all text editing features VS Code and its extensions can offer
  • a way to quickly organize your scripts into folders
  • easy execution of the script inside of Blender
  • a simple way to change the context, the script runs in
  • debugging

How can I create a new script?

Execute the Blender: New Script command. You will be asked for a folder to save the script and a script name. For quick tests you can also just use the given default name.

The new script file already contains a little bit of code to make it easier to get started.

How can I run the script in Blender?

First you have to start a Blender instance by executing the Blender: Start command. To execute the script in all Blender instances that have been started this way, execute the Blender: Run Script command.

How can I change the context the script runs in?

Currently the support for this is very basic, but still useful. To run the script in a specific area type in Blender insert a comment like #context.area: VIEW_3D. The preferred way to insert this comment is to execute the Blender: Set Script Context command.

Core Development Tools

These tools are not officially supported yet. While I can use it to speedup my daily workflow, it is very likely that those tools don't work on other machines yet.

Future

  • Polish the features I already started working on but are not documented here yet.
  • Auto-complete for Blender modules.
  • Well integrated snippets.
  • ...

Some help from other developers would be very welcome. Please contact me if you want to help or just make a pull request.

Troubleshooting

  • Make sure you use the newest version of VS Code.
  • Use the newest Blender 2.8 version from https://builder.blender.org/.
  • Don't have Blenders source code open in VS Code (this is still unsupported on not much tested).
  • If your Blender does not use its own Python version, enable blender.allowModifyExternalPython or install the packages in the error message manually (currently ptvsd, flask and requests are required).

Support

If you want to support the development of this extension, please consider to join the Blender Dev Fund which currently pays my bills.

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