Modelling with Boolean

Hey there people, not sure in which forum to put this.
When I started my modding career back in the days, I first found boolean to be a remarkable tool in 3dsmax, until I noticed the mess it left behind.

So now many years later I’m wondering if anyone uses it, how and how do you handle the mess left behind?


Hi Ottosson,

Personally, I use Boolean on occasions where I really need it, but you’re right that that it can leave a mess behind.

When using Boolean it’s important to clear up your geometry afterwards to get the best results. In some cases it would probably be best just to use the Boolean mesh as a visual aid for creating depending on the mess that can be left behind.

Just some thoughts from my experience with it. :slight_smile:

What I expierienced with booleans is that, with a few rules observed, they work quite well.

  • Convert your boolean operands to edutable polys first (i.e. dont subtract a “Box”)
  • If you have NGon geometry, try to make them quads, else you might see missing faces after import. The “Quadifyesh” modifier might help here.
  • When you clean up the mesh and combine cluttered faces, dont forget to remove the unconnected vertices.

As Tim pointed out, it about clean mesh geometry.

Avoid using Boolean as much as possible, I use it only to cut simple shapes, or if the messy geometry doesn’t matter.

If you actually want to model with booleans, look into Modo—it has Meshfusion which is insane in how it can work that way.

For mechanical modeling I find it quite useful. It takes some planning to make sure the mesh topology is suitable sometimes, but it’s a good tool to have in the toolbelt on occasion.

I don’t tend to use it for additive modeling: I tend to rough in the basic volumes of my object with extrusion because it gives me better control over edge loops and topology. Booleans are still handy for subtractive stuff like placing doorways, wheel wells, stuff like that.

I use ProBoolean fairly often for hard surface stuff.

A couple of points to remember:

  • In ProBoolean > Advanced Options > Planar Edge Removal = No Edge Removal (This should be default setting, but it’s not)
  • After performing the Boolean operation, use this to help the cleanup process: Graphite Tools > Selection > By Numeric > Set to “2” and make sure “=” is selected > Once set, press the Arrow button. What this does is select all verts that have 2 edges. 90% of the time, this will select all the extraneous verts created by Boolean process and you will be able delete them very easily.

Hope this helps! Booleans can be very powerful when used correctly and is definitely something to learn to work with instead of avoiding altogether.

Wow. I just watched the MeshFusion demo video on their website… That is really awsome. This makes the 3dsmax boolean options look like MSPaint compared to Photoshop. :eek:
Only the price is really prohibitive for amateurs…:frowning:

In 901 version MeshFusion is a core feature and provided for free!
So, you could wait for 901 MODO indie version if you want to play with MeshFusion

What do you mean with the “Indie” version? I could only find the versions for sale and a 30days trial…
To be honest, I dont quite get their licensing scheme… For the 801 version, they charge around 1100. Plus arolund 300 for the MeshFusion.
So what would the 901 cost when it is available?. What are the gotchas of the Indie version?

Its only on Steam:

You can purchase it making one payment or select a subscription.

I really liked how Modo works, but I had problems with exporting to UE4(through FBX). Faces facing the wrong way etc. I went back to Blender, until I can figure out what I was doing wrong in Modo :stuck_out_tongue:

That explains. Have no steam account…

Would they correctly import in Blender? The nyou could go from Modo to Blender to UE4. :stuck_out_tongue:

As if the workflow pipeline aint long enough! :wink:

But boolean in Blender is working well, you need no other tool.
Only german Blender-Tipp - Verbesserter Boolean Modifier - YouTube
If you need more functionality with meshbool, then try this code/BoolTool 0.2.rar at master · vitorbalbio/code · GitHub
Here in action Blender-Tipp - Modellieren wie ein Profi mit BoolTool - YouTube
If you ask me, then you can find blenders open source code in many paid applications.

I never got very warm with blender. Somehow the UI is totally counterintuitive to me.
I use mainly 3dsmax.
But Modo isnt the only thing that I like from the Foundry…
I thought about looking into SubstancePainter, but MARI sure made my mouth watery… :stuck_out_tongue:

This is an old topic but I just faced the same problem. Here is the best solution I found : in edit mode > ctrl+T (triangulate faces) > alt+J (Tris to quad). This is it!