5. How to make name plates on the command line

If you have a large number of name plates to make, it is convenient to make the on the command line rather than using the Blender UI. This process is very similar to process introduced in the making models on the command line blog post.

Setting up the directory structure

To start we will set up our directory structure.  Each galaxy will go into its own folder and the make_name_plate.py and TU_startup.blend files from our github page should be placed in the same directory as these folders.  This should look something like this:

TU_name_plate_examples
├── M51
│ ├── i.json
│ └── i_notches.json
├── M100
│ ├── i.json
│ └── i_notches.json
├── make_name_plate.py
└── TU_startup.blend

Where the json files are configuration files we will go into more in the next section.

You can download this example’s folder structure for either Unix based systems or Windows.

Configuration files

For this example we will set up the code to crate two versions of each name plate, one with notches and one without.  The configuration files for M51 should contain the following:

i.json

 

{
 "name_plate_keywords": {
   "Text": "M51 i",
   "Notches": false
 },
 "output_name": "M51_i_name_plate"
}

i_notches.json

 

{
 "name_plate_keywords": {
   "Text": "M51 i",
   "Notches": true
 },
 "stl_keywords": {
   "axis_forward": "-Z",
   "axis_up": "-X"
 },
 "output_name": "M51_i_notch_name_plate"
}

The configuration files in the M100 should adjust the Text and output_name to match the galaxy’s name.

Running the code

With your terminal in the top level directory you can run the script to make one name plate with the following command (bash):


cd M51
blender ../TU_startup.blend --python-exit-code 1 --python ../make_name_plate.py -- i_notches.json

or for Windows:

cd M51
blender ..\TU_startup.blend --python-exit-code 1 --python ..\make_name_plate.py -- i_notches.json

This will crate two files: M51/M51_i_notch_name_plate.stl and M51/M51_i_notch_name_plate.blend.  The final step is to create a bash script that will look for all sub folders and json files and create a name plate for each.  This script will be called process_configs.sh and will sit in the top level directory (bash).


#!/bin/bash
set -e

for d in */; do
  cd $d
  for config in $(ls *.json); do
    echo $d$config
    blender ../TU_startup.blend --python-exit-code 1 --python ../make_name_plate.py -- $config > /dev/null
  done
  cd ..
  echo '======'
done

To run this code type source process_configs.sh into the terminal.

For windows this script should be called process_configs.bat and should contain:

set PATH=%PATH%;"C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender\"

for /D %%d in (*) do (
  cd %%d
  for %%c in (*.json) do (
    @echo %%d\%%c
    blender.exe ..\TU_startup.blend --python-exit-code 1 --python ..\make_name_plate.py -- %%c
  )
  cd ..
  @echo ======
)

To run this code type process_configs.bat into the terminal or just double click the file.

The final file structure

Once the code is done running the final file structure will look like:

TU_name_plate_examples
├── M51
│ ├── M51_i.png
│ ├── i.json
│ ├── i_notches.json
│ ├── M51_i_notch_name_plate.stl
│ ├── M51_i_notch_name_plate.blend
│ ├── M51_i_name_plate.stl
│ └── M51_i_name_plate.blend
├── M100
│ ├── M100_i.png
│ ├── i.json
│ ├── i_notches.json
│ ├── M100_i_notch_name_plate.stl
│ ├── M100_i_notch_name_plate.blend
│ ├── M100_i_name_plate.stl
│ └── M100_i_name_plate.blend
├── make_model.py
├── TU_startup.blend
└── process_configs.sh

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