Fidget is pretty detached from HOPS and BC and is more of an experiment. However Hard Ops has an alt + V menu for viewport and Fidget pops up there was well if present.
FIDGET is a separate product that can be downloaded and installed similar to our other tools.
Fidget has many shift + w options in the node editor for mapping HOPS commands so give it a try!
Fidget like boxcutter can easily be closed with esc. Fidget will get documentations and its own blog post at a later time.
Edit Mode Booleans
When it comes to integration with new features I usually wait and experiment before integrating it in order to make sure it doesn’t disappear or change dramatically.
In edit mode you can select an object and press ctrl + alt + numpad minus or plus to union or subtract geometry.
This is less dynamic than object mode booleans but it offers exciting new possibilities as well.
Red / Green Boolean System
Previously Hard Ops had an immense amount of focus on setting up booleans then applying them. Over the course of recent work it has become needed to keep them dynamic for a little longer than previously.
To show in action. This is the classic behavior.
In the Q menu pending boolshapes will have an option for green / red.
Green will allow it to go on and be applied.
Red will stop it from being applied and allow for more adjustment.
Notice I changed it to red to stop it and keep it dynamic and live and back to green to then apply it and continue.
Sounds boring. Why is it last? Because it’s the best.
Previously Hard Ops used a combination of symmetry systems brought together but still was complicated.
Symmetrize which we modified to our needs.
Mirror Mirror a previous tool I was involved with. Now built in.
Automirror by Lampagne which was great however unification was the ideal method. So this tool is no longer needed.
The modifier helper is brought up with ctrl + ~.
The modifer helper lists the modifiers present on the selected model.
Materials and misc are the other 2 tabs. Lets look at the misc.
Expanding mirror options we can see there are now all options built into Hard Ops. And the best part is the fact that its listed in the helper means you can configure the behavior before the tool is used.
Mod – adds a mirror modier
Bisect – splits the mesh then adds the mirror modifier
Symmetry – similar to symmetrize and is a form of one and done destructive mirroring
Relink – relink will create a group instance mirrored on the negative axis of an object. This one is a form of mirroring which uses no modifier and is a group instance.
The mirroring rewrite was the biggest part of this latest update. I hope all the users come to enjoy it and without issue.
I must personally thank AR and Proxe among the many others who email me for their assistance. Its amazing this tool is still going and I hope to unveil many more ideas before we tie the bow on it!
THIS RELEASE IS FOR VERSION 2.79(official) and higher. Not the bevel build yet however, I do look forward to it and recommend trying it.
It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Hard Ops 093 Neptunium.
This version is a small update with a few enhancements to catch users up to 2.79. With 2.8 around the corner we are looking to the future of what Hard Ops could become. Even while working full time on historical re-enactments Hard Ops still plays an integral role in my life even if its less robots and more cannons for the time being. So without further ado lets get into the update.
Gumroad customers can log into their account on the site and access the sales page in order to get the update. The latest file is always at the top.
BlenderMarket customers just have to log in and it should be under My Account.
This guide has always been the recommended method. Using install from file can be risky so it is not recommended.
After installation simply enable it in preferences (ctrl +alt + u).
And with no error you are good to go.
Whats New? –
Cut In Operator –
This operator is similar to the boolean subtract option except that it cuts and is done. Currently there is not transition to wire on the cut in mode but this may be expanded in the future.
To properly show this I will duplicate my default cube and change the shading to wire. Otherwise in solid it can’t be shown well.
And with both selected I will just use the Q menu option for cut in that is in the two-object boolean submenu.
This option will also csharp if present after the operation as shown above.
This was created with intention on allowing for csharp objects to be cut into each other as well so there is additional depth that goes beyond the usual boolean operation.
In the above example you might be able to notice that the bevel from the csharp didn’t get cut into the object and was allowed to translate as a marked sharp to the prime object. This comes in handy for operations requiring fitting of objects. I recommend testing it out to find if it can fit in your workflow.
Cut In Expanded –
I use cut in as a way to also deal with shape cutters quickly. Below I have added a few more examples.
So here I’ll set things up.
And basically using this wire cylinder I can quickly snap and cut to quickly get holes on the shape.
Adaptive Bevel Width –
This one was added by Machin3 at the last moment for this release who also happened to have updated Decal Machine to version 1.4 allowing for decals to be exported everywhere which is always exciting to hear.
This tool is best shown visually.
This is bwidth by default. There is also a help option that can be brought up with H on all modals.
Pressing A will enable adaptive bevel width.
I suspect this tool will work good for workflows involving using the bevel for blocking and scale. I am not rolling the mouse in the above example. It is adjusting the segments according to the width dynamically. I plan to do video content explaining it in depth as well however I believe this gives an idea of what to expect.
Material Helper Glitch –
This one was personal but quite annoying.
In the Hard Ops 8/9 material helper if you assigned a new material, it would not be selected like the default blender material panel.
Expected and typical behaviors is a stickler of mine so it with great pleasure that proxe has managed to solve it.
Proxe has been a major part of this release as has AR and Machine. It’s the teamwork that keeps it going.
Clean Mesh Update –
Clean mesh was something that I felt had more of a future than the initial implementation. Clean mesh did it’s job well but it showed no mercy.
In this quick example I’ll make something simple.
So at the top of it I added some geo just for kicks.
Here is the default behavior of clean mesh. Which also only worked in object mode which made it limited but sometimes useful.
Having all your geometry dissolved isn’t the best outcome so with tweaks it now has flexibility that has optimized it for hard surface needs of the 21st century modeller.
Since my ssharpen is marking seams on top of sharps + bweight. I can select regions in edit mode with L.
Even making this gif impressed me. Proxe as really created a very smart and versataile mesh cleaner that can work from edit mode now. This is something worth experimenting with and the options for mesh visible and selected you can find a way to clean up specific areas for additional booling.
If you aren’t familial with the ctrl + ~ helper it is a favorite of mine for fullscreen working. The mesh clean options are there for setting prior to tool usage.
Relink has been floating around for a minute without a proper way to introduce it or integrate it’s workflow to the one we have used up until now. But in short. Group Mirroring. But not even group just group… based?
In the above example I used automirror to split it quickly but using relink as a mirror is different than using a mirror modifier. This is due to the other side now being a group instance so no clipping or merge like youre used to with mirror. I have been using this on larger projects to share large group pro assets like arms and boots. This also works on meshes. This is something I recommend testing for yourself but if you use group pro this will come in handy. Just don’t ever edit the group instance. Sounds silly but I did it once. Never again…
This tool is hard to explain in use however it is for the larger of workflows. I sometimes have to lie in my viewport to keep the navigation fluid. Larger objects can turn a PC into a beeping mess.
Final Notes –
Fun Fact everytime we try to make “HOPS mode” a new tool is made. It just can’t happen. Because of that I feel the helper is the next best thing to keeping my UI less workflow moving forward. I do hope everyone tries that Bevel build I mentioned at the beginning. I hope that someday that will also integrate with our work but it would be a cycles only thing so more limiting in that regard. You know me I’m cycles for life but evee is on the horizon. I would love a realtime experience.
So back to HOPS mode. It didn’t work again haha so now we are working on this upcoming thing that HOPS customers will be hearing about first once it’s stable.
So hopefully soon on that. There’s also an easter egg in HOPS that is unfinished and possibly dangerous so I won’t get into that but as of this posting
THIS VERSION IS COMPATIBLE WITH VERSION 2.79 and UP!
Boxcutter continues to grow and this version holds up to the tradition of incremental evolution. I am pleased to announce the release of Boxcutter 6.6: Polyslash.
If it first doesn’t work close and reopen Blender. This tends to resolve issues with enabling or smaller issues. Also with our tools please remove the previous folder and replace it with the new one provided.
The latest update has forced us to update a little sooner than planned but we have much more planned for the little cutter we know as Boxcutter.
This one is classic but it’s Alt + W.
The border is how I tend to know it is operational.
It can be closed with escape.
When the border is gone. I know it is closed.
To get familiar with the basics of boxcutter I recommend the getting started video.
AR has been a large part of this version as he is with all versions and the latest HOPS. Proxe also continues to play a large role and is a dedicated operative.
With that aside lets get started with what’s new.
This is a feature that is part of the Hard Ops connection.
If you are drawing a box and press Z it will turn purple and will behave as a solidification. This is best shown in action.
This feature is still in development and can have issues with unapplied scaling. Modifiers and other otherworldly circumstances that visit operatives in the night.
After the initial draw I am using the Q menu option tThick to add thickness.
Edit Mode Boxcut
This is a personal favorite of mine and hope it can be expanded even more for more versatility but the initial implementation offers quite a bit for edit mode that was not available previously.
With the blue border up just tab into edit mode to project cut.
Currently this does not work to depth with alt as edit mode would work.
D opens a pie menu with options for cut through projection. In edit mode.
This does not support slice or any of the more advanced object level functions.
Boxcutter has additional features and hotkeys added to make it more functional than ever.
Lets first go over some changes to Boxcutter Pie menu for object mode.
The mirror area is especially worth going over.
You can now mirror based off of
origin – of the object (this is how mirror traditionally behaved)
cursor – NEW – this will allow you to mirror across the cursor to allow for more unique designs
The mirror has also been rebuilt to handle mirroring on a 2d system instead of 3d making things simpler for users. This way X will always be X.
The cursor mirroring is worth testing for yourselves.
Also notice how I use apply boolean to give the boxes a chance to be modifier before the booleans are applied via HOPS|Csharp.
While drawing you can press
1 – X mirror
2 – Y mirror
That is shown in the following example. It is worth noting that to disable it in the pie menu you must hold shift depending on setup.
R – rotate
S – scale
This one is available if you use the tab to edit behavior.
Hold shift while moving points in BC edit mode will snap to the x or y axis and w will swap which 2d axis it is snapping to.
As usual I am sure I am missing other features new to this version but also as usual I leave this to you the users to find as well. There are numerous fixes and other small adjustments for stability and flexibility.
2.79 was a harder transition than the last few updates of Blender. With 2.8 around the corner we are expecting even more API changes. Any support issues can be sent to my email or wherever you choose to notify me.
I am grateful to all who have used and support us and our experiments.
Boxcutter is the darling of Hard Ops. It’s the thing we mess with when we want a break from Hard Ops. (redacted) I want to make this tool unique. And this version takes us a little closer to the next level of cutting.
I am pleased to announce Boxcutter 6.5 Symslice.
Gumroad Customers: The top file is always the latest version.
I will go over each of the enhancements you can expect in this version.
View Alignment V1 –
It’s v1 because this is just the start.
When you start boxcutter there is a border. If you press alt + shift + mmb on a face. The view will align to that face. This is something I wanted to add to hard ops as well but differently however that may come at a later time.
This tool is invaluable to making angled cuts and and comes in handy for alignment related issues. I use this all the time and cant wait for it’s next level.
Boxcutter now has mirror. This is a big enhancement and was a welcome addition to Boxcutter. In the D menu you can select the axis (holding shift) and select multiple axis.
Before I would cut on one side and mirror to the other using Hard Ops (alt + x).
Enabling the a mirror axis on the D menu will allow mirror cutting.
Non Destructive Changes –
There have also been changes to the format of the D menu. This should make it easier to understand / use.
Pressing R during drawing will rotate the object the amount of degrees specified in the D menu.
This was also in the last version but has been improved for this version.
Additional Notes –
Hard Ops connection improvements
faster boolean method than previous
fix for cutting to cursor in local view
fix for cutting with distant origin
Support Notes –
There appeared to be some issues with this release due to changes between Blender versions 2.78c/2.79/2.8.
Sometimes pressing D will get you a menu like this.
If this happens there is a hotfix version released(4/30/17) to markets containing an additional option.
There is also a known issue where the menu can have issues refreshing and displaying correctly if the window draw method is not set to triple buffer.
When drawing a box I get this error.
Reinstall boxcutter using the latest fix from the sales page. This is a resolved issue.
Unable To Install –
Do not use install from file. I recommend installing things as per the 008 guide. Just put the contents of the zip in your add on directory. Replace the previous folders or rename them to keep classic versions.
Pie Not Showing Symmetry –
If you use fix for Pie. This will require you also utilize the T panel for symmetry.
This is due to differences between blender 2.79 and 2.78 and lower and the support the pie menus now have. I apologize for the inconvenience and hope this becomes more normalized come 2.79 official.
There is more in the release_log.md in the zip file.
I should mention here booltool is no longer needed / required for Hard Ops. We support it however certain features require it not be enabled.
After the release of Hard Ops 0087 we immediately got to work on the next version working to unify things on a level that makes the workflow easier to explain and use. I plan to release videos for this version when possible to help explain but I will attempt to in this update log.
Let’s begin with the Hard Ops preferences in the add-ons panel.
Add On Prefs –
The hotkeys of Hard Ops are now listed in the preferences. It is recommended to uncheck them to disable them. (Do not click the Xs). This shouldn’t be needing any adjustments and is experimental.
The addons panel and which ones are recommended is also updated .The main change is the decalMachine. Clicking the Hard Ops link will get you a discount on the product. To find out more about decalMachine check this link to find out more.
There is also a Modal Scale for making the modals work at larger scales but we will go over this in its 2nd location. The misc menu of the Hops Helper (ctrl + `)
Ok so with the addon prefs aside lets get to the T panel. The Hard Ops learning tab is there for users to find out more on how to use Hard Ops and get help.
I hope the learning tab can be useful in helping more people get started with Hard Ops.
The Q menu has went through some changes. As you can see all options are listed however the context. For example merge and cslash (formerly rebool / cslice). These options are particular and will do nothing if the context is not correct.
But another thing to note is Cstep / Sstep / CBake are gone. The cstep / sstep workflow is now simplified into the Csharpen / Ssharpen / Step workflow.
Basically Step will bake the bevels and set up the bevel modifier in addition to putting the mesh in Cstep mode.
To demonstrate this in action. This is the normal boolean / Csharpen behavior. Just perform a boolean action and press Q and Csharpen. Also note the boolean object became sstatus: boolshape. This give the boolean object a special q menu. I bevelled using a neutral bevel instead of csharpen bevel due to the cutting of weights into geo is not recommended.
To take this a step further lets Step and then do a boolean and Csharpen again. Then use Step to bake the previous bevels and then adjust the bwidth of the new bevels. This is not much of a departure from the previous workflow except now ssharpen and csharpen work with cstep meshes. So the other operators were not needed. This should make the learning process easier for beginners especially.
CSharpen and Ssharpen now work on multiple meshes. As does Bwidth.
This isn’t even the best part.
In the T panel and (ctrl + ~) Modifier Helper is an Sharp tab. This allows you to set the sharpeners S/C and step’s angle parameter. This can be useful in cases where you need a higher number before doing an operation. This makes the Hard Ops workflow much faster and easier to work with. Here is an example of how it can be used.
The easiest way to explain what is going on is.
Bwidth to show the bevel is still live
Step to bake the bevels
Changed Sstatus to Csharp for emphasis
Ssharp with 30 degrees (this bevelled the bevel with is undesired)
Changed angle using Mod Helper Sharp area to raise to 45.
Bevel is no longer effecting undesired edges because the limit is 45 and not 30
Bwidth has also seen some enhancements. In addition.
You can use Bwidth to turn off bevel modifiers by pressing V. In fact pressing H will show help. This is for all modal operators.
There are even more enhancements beyond this that I am sure am missing. On a technical level they perform even better with heavy scenes than before however with so many changes I expect glitches.
Reset Axis Operator –
We added an option to reset an object on an axis.
It comes in handy for orienting things on the x axis which is it’s main purpose.
Sharp Manager –
This was also an important feature that I am quite pleased with.
In short. This will convert sharps to seam / bevel mark / sharp / subdivision crease. This can be useful when using subdivision to block in a model and then applied and used with beveling which I do alot.
This panel looks complex but really the top is all that matters.
In my typical use cases I am holding shift and clicking sharp on the left side and selecting all the options on the right side.
When using subdivision block in and applying it via alt + c or clicking on the apply button of the modifier all the ssharp edges get converted to sharp edges so the converter just converts them back.
Modifier Helper –
The misc tab has been populated with options. This will be useful for using this in full screen mode and accessing quick options. In this screen all options are expanded for effect. I’ll go over what they mean.
Sharps (covered previously on page)
Bmesh / Carve (this will change the behavior of booleans in Hard Ops)
Bmesh is nicer but less stable / Carve is completely stable but gives undesired edges alot of the time.
Modal Scale – Sets the modals to a multiplier for working with meshes larger than usual or smaller. This is ideal for scale modelling or accuracy.
Status – sets the sstatus of the mesh. Replaces sstatus override.
Mesh Options (options for dealing with a mesh and smoothing)
Set smooth / flat shading / autosmooth angle and enable autosmooth.
Show wire / all edges. For times when wire must be enabled or disabled
Parent – just a test
There is still more we plan to do with the helper. It has opened the door for a whole world of functionalities. The modifier helper concludes a 3d long dream of being able to mess with modifiers without the panel.
The material helper is also working better than before.
Cutting Material is where you can specify a material to cut into another object.
This was covered in the last version where it made its debut.
Bevel Multiplier –
Sometimes when I finish a model I want to divide / multiply all the bevels present. This option fulfills that need. All selected objects will have their bevel width multiplied by two. Or divided with the checkbox which can also add some realism depending on context.
Sstatus Logo –
At the top of the screen it used to tell the sstatus of the object however this proved to be confusing to this has been replaced with a discreet logo for notifications. I want to expand its uses however this is the initial implementaion.
Someday it will do something in addition to be colored for notifications but that is for down the road. It is barely visible when the mesh is not in a sstate from Hard Ops. This should provide some assistance to following future tuts and understanding the upcoming “modes”.
Renderset 1 –
Renderset 1 is my default render setup I use for tutorials and basic rendering. It has been expanded to use filmic.
This is just the way I render and can help with setting up renders. GPU recommended.
Edit Mode Enhancements –
MDisp – Mesh Display –
This will hide ssharps from showing in edit mode. This was requested a while back.
Only a visibility change. No sharps are affected.
Edit Sharp Global –
If you need to adjust what edit sharp does the T panel allows this. You can also set it in the (ctrl + `) modifier helper.
Other than that there were no other notable edit mode changes at this time. Things are planned however but planning is required.
With that I conclude this update log and can’t wait to show whats next for Hard Ops. This has been a steady refinement over time and not a day goes by where we aren’t discussing what next to do with Hard Ops. I am honored to have received so much support over the course of the project. The community keeps this tool alive.
Also if you are curious of the official changes internally there is release_log.md file you can open in any text editor or even blender’s text editor.
Like Hard Ops 0087, Boxcutter 6 has also received abilities to cut materials via the Hard Ops connection among many other things. This means if you have Hard Ops installed and you set up the material cutting in the material helper or t panel subsequent boolean operations will use that same behavior.
Material Cutting –
This was something I have wanted for a long time. The process of cutting objects and assigning materials was significantly lessened with Hard Ops but BoxCutter just makes a joke out of the whole idea by making it a quick operation. The necessity that caused this feature to be born is undeniable…. spaceships.
Cutting Improvements –
Even in the last gif one thing was apparent. The cutting system has improved. This started in Hard Ops but has also been passed into Boxcutter. Thanks to enhancements by proxe and AR now the cutting process will not affect the naming which will protect complex relationships like modifiers and constraints which happened alot when using the yellow split with the old system.
*this isn’t to say it’s perfect. just improved dramatically. expect occasional glitches and odd behavior
Snapping Improvements / Grid System –
In Boxcutter you can start snapping with shift + z. Now there is a grid.
The snapping system was a novel implementation in the first version and now that has been taken to another level with the grid snapping. This is still very much still a work in progress so this is the initial implementation.
Now the snapping indicator will disappear in edit mode which was an annoying old bug. The grid will not show if the zoom level is too high or too low which also prevented a crash.
Roll / Dolly Unlock –
This isn’t a feature. We’re just giving back what we took.
alt + shift + scroll
ctrl + shift + scroll
This wasn’t supposed to even be an issue but here it was.
Rotate Box –
The box has always been an area where we test things that we want to do elsewhere. And now boxes can spin. While drawing the box press R.
This is just an experimentation so it may or may not be developed further depending on use cases.
Final Notes –
Hard Ops and Boxcutter are like 2 sides of a coin for us. When something is complicated it’s Hard Ops. But when it comes to the cutter that’s all Boxcutter. I hope everyone enjoys the latest update and continues to email me about bugs and feature requests. It’s the users that keep this tool alive.
I wasn’t kidding when I said the 008 series was going to be a longer one. With this upgrade there are many improvements to classic tools and I am quite happy with the state of this release.
Boxcutter is also getting prepped for an update at a later date.
The main goal of this version has been the focus of material cutting. I am sure I mentioned in a video long ago that it would be nice to cut materials. With the assistance of Proxe this has now become a fundamental part of Hard Ops.
(It is important to note that materials won’t normally show in the viewport unless you set the viewport color. Also it goes without saying to do material cutting you also need materials)
The T panel has options for it. And also the Modifier Helper / Misc Tab. We have it in both places because I couldn’t decide which area worked best. To be honest I would rather have it in the alt + m material menu but that is not possible at this time.
The default options are optimal for the result that we feel the user would expect from the material cutter area. This means it is not recommended to uncheck the dot or change it to object because those behaviors are different.
All – lists all materials from the scene
Object – lists materials that are on the recipient object. (to get this to work you gotta bring it up right before you use a boolean operation to see the materials listed.
Force Dot – forces the material onto the recipient cut object in order to receive the material. Initially I expect users to not have the material assigned that they intend to cut with so this option was important to me.
So without further ado here is the material cutter in action.
The important thing to note is when using multiple materials with the bevel modifier present it is optimal to have an even number of segments. As in 2,4,6, 8 is a little crazy however.
I was very much needing this for a spaceship I was working on for a contract and I can’t stop using this thing.
Booleans, slicers and rebool/slash all support material cutting.
Booleans and rebool/slash work best with material cutting with the slicers still being a work in progress so expect bugs and errors. We’re working on a better system for that.
To show that in an example.
So when it comes to material assignment I handle it during the process of creation. So now onto the next enhancements.
In my usage of Mira tools I hated going into the Q menu to lower spans then into the Q menu again to use the tool. So with that allow me to show off the Mira handler. All it does is show a number to set segments then upon pressing enter or left clicking the operator begins. I use Curve Stretch primarily so that and curve guide are supported by this system.
I used this heavily in my last work and can say this is a dream come true for managing curvature with complicated geometry.
I enjoy also setting it to two and watching the geo straighten out. The behavior is so perfect I don’t need any further enhancements except the frontend.
B-Width (show wire) –
When using Bwidth pressing A will show the wire. It will also get rid of the wire after applying.
As you know I personally try to work for as long as I can without an UI showing at all. When I exit fullscreen to access items I count it as a negative that represents an issue I must address.
The modifier helper was astronomically useful when it was implemented and the modifier helper was moderately useful. Mainly because it did not work properly. Now I am happy to announce.
Material Helper now works as intended.
Now you can assign materials via the helper, manage slots, set transparency and all that fun stuff and not to mention the Material cutter option as well.
Misc Tab now contains options as well. We plan to expand on it in the future but for now it contains the sstatus override and options for dealing for autosmooth and angles.
Many operatives report the ctrl + ` modifier helper to be one of their favorite additions.
To top it off the Hops helper will open to whatever tab you last had up. This was another bug that drove me crazy that AR went ahead and resolved.
Curve Taper –
I want the Q to have options for many different types of objects in addition to meshes.
If you select a curve and press Q you can now add thickness and spans. U and V spans are also now controllable.
1 and 2 (non numpad) at the top of the keyboard also have options for additional presets that I use on a regular basis.
1 is basic curve / 2 is denser but smoother curve
Mark Ssharp / Clear Ssharp Consolidated –
In this version going forward mark ssharp and clear ssharp is now consolidated into edit ssharp. This allows us to keep the menu short and lower the amount of options to confuse users.
This is used in cases where you would need to adjust the ssharps that are marked in edit mode.
Modal Bevel Weight –
Previously this tool behaved as the classic function of Blender did by allowing you to move the mouse to set the bevel weight amount however it wasn’t accurate. Now this snaps to the nearest 0.1 and with shift you can get finer numbers.
This allows for a whole slew of workflows of csharp with custom bevel weights on the object.
Most importantly Csharp will no longer overwrite bevel weights. Neither will ssharpen unless you use the resharpen function.
Bevels can be tricky to manage with multiple weights converging so I recommend playing with it to find the limits in your workflow.
CStep / Csharp Bake –
Many users requested the ability to bake bevels while keeping csharp sstatus and not hiding the mesh. This allows for alternative workflows of applying bevels while keeping a bevel modifier and continuing to destructively model on the mesh.
This option is experimental and can cause some issues if your bevel modifier is lower than 3 segments. I recommend 6 to prevent from resharpening areas that have had bevels applied.
Here is what happens if you bake using 3 segments.
This is an experimental option and should be used with caution.
Cstep also has a checkbox now to keep the sstatus csharp so you can bake the bevels easier. This is what (C) Bake is based off of. You just have to uncheck one box in the F6 menu.
Here is an example of it in action.
Csharp 3.0 –
It could be 4.0. We have rewritten this thing a bunch trying to get the most out of our most essential function.
I am pleased to announce.
Csharp no longer applies modifiers that are not listed. This has been behavior since the beginning.
This means the only modifiers we apply are boolean and solidify by default. As this thing was intended for.
Here you can see my set up a cube with a lattice. And use the custom Q menu to simplify the lattice because I did not want the interior spans and wanted only 4 points.
After csharp the bevel was added and the lattice was still in play. I cannot stress how much this was needed recently. This whole update was essential and even though we have found the limits of whats possible that doesn’t mean we can’t come up with new ideas using existing tools.
When AR first made Cslice I responded “That’s too fast. You’re missing the step where the user decides if he wants that.” Well now all the slicers and cutters / rebool have been combined into an operator that does what we want to all along.
Previously slicing was done in an optimal but sometimes inaccurate setup. This would affect naming and also modifiers that were dependent on naming. This was a dark shadow in hard Ops that has lasted as long as the csharp issue.
Now it is fixed somewhat. This is great because on large scale models I don’t find out the hard way that a small cutout has inherited the responsibility of many mirror mods.
This can still have issues but there has been a long standing debate between rebool(me) vs cslice(ar). And now it looks like AR won he just added the behavior and precision I needed and won me over.
Also works in local mode now.
Final Notes –
There were many changes to this version of Hard Ops with this I close the page on the 8 series and will begin work on Hops9.
Also I tested all the inserts and fixed the “killer insert” if you encounter one please let me know. Also I was thinking about expanding the inserts this version but I wasnt sure if they were still a thing. Anyways email me if you encounter and issues.
Boxcutter also has an update coming. We did a few essential things that make this cool as well that will be disussed in a later post. Also the discount is still up for the operatives with Hard Ops. Just launch box cutter’s link from the Q menu to go to the page!
Also videos / manuals will / may / might / could be made showcasing / explaining features. Just busy as heck lately. This video is my favorite floor vid. I might make one tonight….
*note (f) release contains a few final bugfixes to remedy matcutting issues found after release. Theres nothing major to say just bugfix.
BC4 works with 2.77 but not BC5. You will need 2.78.
Boxcutter 5 has been worked on alongside Hard Ops 8: Polonium. This means that they are working even better and on the same level with special behaviors working even better.
While the basic idea is to keep BoxCutter simple there has been some additional complexity added for more functionality.
People always ask the difference between Hard Ops and Boxcutter.
“Hard Ops is a toolkit. Boxcutter is a cutter.”
D Button Pie Menu –
The D button has been changed to be a pie menu with the most relevant options. This is only in boxcutter mode (or when the border is active). Otherwise this is still grease pencil. The options contained here are the most relevant and was something we had been debating on for a while. Turns out everyone loves pies.
The redbox has been enhanced quite a bit this version and now has
tab to edit / c to cut to cursor
bevel behaviors (MMB on one point or MMB outside for all points)
x swap cut out and rebool
same behavior as classic red box while also having new behavior
The reason this sort of behavior is needed is due to the fact I drew alot of boxes using the ngon tool for this level of control. It reduces quite a few clicks for myself.
Also the X to swap between rebool box and cutter seemed to be an essential and universally needed behavior among all tools.
New circle also shares the same behavior among all the tools. Aside from not having edit mode. X will swap rebool and cutout. We are still wanting to leave this tool open for another idea in development.
Better Mesh Behavior –
This one is about how it behaves with meshes that are not Csharpened (or bevelled). This was an irritation in previous versions with it bevelling meshes that didn’t need to be bevelled. In all the previous gifs I am slicing and cutting the mesh without changing the sstatus. This is is essential since it makes the workflow easier to control.
If the mesh is in Csharp sstatus then Boxcutter works a little differently as you all know where after every cut the csharpen operation is performed.
Alternatively if the mesh has no bevel it will leave it unbevelled which opens up for some interesting possibilities.
I have been experimenting with using boxcutter on boolshapes for advanced shapes. It’s hard to explain but here is a basic example.
In this example I am using boxcutter on a boolean shape that is still live in the primary shape. When you really get down and experiment with this workflow you can make some very interesting shapes that would be impossible or difficult to model. You can also use the boxcutter box to clean up these boolshapes for re-usability like a subset insert. Which can also be experimented with.
I have began making all sorts of interesting elements with these by cleaning them up and adding sub cuts while they are live. It also behaves faster than working the other way.
Rebool Mod Mode –
When using Boxcutter there are multiple modes.
(C) Use Carve boolean for cutting
(B) Use Bmesh boolean for cutting
There is a 3rd option as well for modifiers that were kept live for reuse / tweaking / rebooling. This has been expanded into two additional modes.
(B)Mesh Mod – keeps the modifier and sets it to bmesh boolean on mesh
(C)Carve Mod – uses the classic modifier of carve for the boolean
This also now expands into rebool which can now be a modifier which can be tweaked.
But to show one more example of it.
The rebool being live is sometimes hard to see but when you csharp the main mesh it becomes real. The next thing is you may have to separate the object using P in edit mode after using L to select linked over the geometry your cursor is leaning over.
Blender has made many changes between 2.77 and 2.76 which of course change things for the better. It also makes changes to backwards compatability so I must stress Boxcutter is incompatible with previous versions of Blender as is Hard Ops. But I guess this isn’t a big deal since we don’t go back using old versions I hope.
Additional Notes –
The older feature of fast bisect is still very useful. I use it to but guidance lines on non quad flows. I hope everyone tries it out. Guidance lines can comes in handy for controlling the edge flow provided to the boolean modifier for mesh solving.
The left side shows the addition of a guidance loop for booleans versus the right side which doesn’t have one and therefore solves differently and less than optimal.
Ngon hasn’t changed much but that’s because it’s still pretty darn good.
And the new box tab mode is useful for switching to a rebool (with X).
Also the preferences have been changed a bit in the way the default settings are saved. Not to mention we removed experimental options to just simplify it while we work on said experiments.
Bevel Vs Curve –
In Ngon / Newbox mode you are able to MMB points to bevel them.
Pressing Q will change from bevel mode to curve mode. This was also in the last version. I don’t use it as much but it is there.
Q: My boxcutter 4 worked fine but boxcutter 5 does not work. Why?
A: Blender 2.77 works with BC4 / 2.78 and up works with BC5
So we are already at work on the next update discussing features like Viewline and multishape which didn’t make it. And on that note I’ll let Model 500 play me out. I hope everyone enjoys the latest update.
I also made an art dump of all the stuff I made using Hops8.
Hard Ops 8 has been the longest release of the series and continues even now as we use this number to focus on enhancement and stability.
As Blender 2.78 gets closer we also try to refine this version for public consumption. With some internal changes glitches can be expected but we are working to resolve them. Currently it is still in testing stage and is the top file of the Gumroad at this moment.
As issues are being reported and resolved and 2.78 comes closer it will be on the BM as well but once 2.78 is out.
A series of additional menus and panels have been added. The center and foundation of Hard Ops has always been the Q menu. In time I am sure we will no longer need the shift + Q hotkey and the pie and menu will toggle from the Q hotkey.
Sculpt Mode now has a Q menu.
In it’s current form it also has the view port menu attached which means if you choose matcaps as the option that matcaps will appear as an additional box.
In fact in the Q menu if you go into Settings >> Viewport the same functionality also exists.
Alt + V also brings up a viewport menu in object mode. This was just an experimental feature that was added that grew on me as I used it more and more.
Cameras also have a Q menu. With handy options.
Lattices also have a Q menu. My favorite is simplify.I use it to reset lattices to their simplest points and start over with deforming.
Alt + M brings up a menu of all the materials in your scene for fast assignment. This is for object mode of course since edit mode would merge geometry. This is also experimental but has proven useful recently.
In preferences there are additional properties for the HUD and how long it displays. That way you can adjust this to your liking.
Merge has also been updated a bit. While it is still being worked on we examined the naming and decided it was best the way it was.
When you select an AP and the mesh to merge with you have 2 options.
Soft Merge – merges with mesh while keeping it live. This allows for tweaking then for completion just select the main mesh and choose Q >> Csharpen.
Complex Merge – merge and is done. Places the OB. Deletes the BB and the AP. This is the option I would normally use.
So it’s just Cmerge and Smerge. In addition to this the inserts are being expanded with new ones for users to have fun with.
Mirror Mirror now mirrors across any object not just meshes. This is similar to the original mirror mirror and was a mistake on my part.
This is useful because sometimes I mirror across an empty. As a recap mirror mirror has been internalized into HardOps so the plugin is no longer needed.
Settings menu is a little cleaner. We discuss all the features often and what can be removed / enhanced / etc. All the remaining functions are near and dear to me even if the other teamsters don’t even use them.
CSplit / CSlice now behaves better. If a mesh isn’t beveled you can slice and it will respect that. This has also carried over into box cutter and it’s behavior with unbevelled meshes.
This can be handy for using the Cslice as a more utility function for alternate workflows. I like the fact that you can also use the status reset and then have cuts ignored by bevels.
Q >> Meshtools >> Sstatus Reset is quite a useful option when used correctly. I am unable to explain all cases in which you would want to reset your mesh to dupe the system but it has come in handy on more than one occasion.
As this post has gone on I am keeping the best for the later part. Now that the boring stuff is out of the way we can go over some of the larger changes.
The T panel has underwent changes again. This was done for stability and ease of use. There is also a learning tab added for new users. On a technical level this has made things more stable and it has a connection with the other menu systems with make it easier on us internally.
XUnwrap now behaves on multiple objects at once. I tend to manually unwrap hero items but for secondary stuff or quickies XUnwrap can be useful for quickly getting a mesh out to Substance Painter or a game engine.
Select your objects and press Q >> Meshtools >> Xunwrap
As you can see through the uv preview that both pieces are placed uniquely on the same UV space.
2d Bevel was an idea based off of the mesh cleaner for bevelling 2d shapes. I must add… DO NOT USE ON 3d SHAPES . If you do that the results will be different. I must also stress the importance of modifier stack order as well with using this since it can have issues. I consider this an experimental feature.
In this example I used 2d bevel then Tthick to add thickness on top of the bevelling of the 2d shape. All it does it round corners using a limited dissolved mesh with a bevel set to only verts.
CleanMesh(E) is also a new feature that has been added. This will do a limited dissolve / remove doubles operation on the mesh. I cannot stress that this is for planar-ish meshes and will not give good results where linework is specific.
Also make sure you check pro mode under preferences to enable it. Since it is an experimental option.
Clean mesh will dissolve all useless edges. This can be useful for simplifying meshes for boolean operations.
This is something I think it’s best to experiment with and try out. It can be useful having useless edges dissolved when it comes to simplification.
These two videos have portions where I am experimenting with the simplification of the CleanMesh(E). Sometimes this can also make booleans easier to perform due to there being less errors. If you are using guidance loops for control then you may not want to use this on the main mesh but like I said use it at your own peril.
So with that I conclude this post and have fun operatives! Big shoutout to AR. He’s been down since the beginning and continues to be a big part in the shadows. He also rendered the apartment ad for HardOps.
As always it’s the operatives that keep this tool alive and kicking. I cannot stress how important it is to experiment with the tool and find a unique way of your own for using the tool. I often find people using it in strange and unique ways that get results far beyond even my expectations. Alot of the features I feel extend past hard surface modelling and are just the way I wish some things behave. It’s a understandable impression that Hard Ops is primarily a hard surface toolkit but it’s also a workflow assistant.
Boxcutter has underwent many updates thanks to the efforts of AR, Dima, Edgard and myself. I am happy to report many of the previous glitches are resolved and more than likely new ones have appeared but lets hope not.
Box Cutter’s T Panel is right below Hard Ops. It also still has the hotkey Alt + w.
The t panel has been expanded to show new additional parameters which we will go into more later.
The Hard Ops connection has been made better so Boxcutter and Hard Ops will continue to be the ultimate combo. There is also a special q menu for Boolshapes which are made via Box cutter in mod mode that will allow array, bevels and solidification.
So in a nutshell here’s the latest features!
2d Snapping / Help Display (NOTE: NEVER LET SNAPPING BE AT 0…)
Activate snapping – shift + z.
Change Increments – shift + mouse wheel or numpad + and –
As you can see it is capable of being precise in cutting things subsequently however an array would be better. This is a 2d plane snapping system so no snapping to verts / edges / faces also that would equal hot lining so that may be examined down the road.
Angle Snapping – Only For NGON TOOL
Activate Angle Snapping – alt + z
Change Angle in the T Panel
Angle Snapping Indication – Indicator Display
At the last minute. Dima just had to add to the angle snapping. Now when you activate it with alt + w after initializing snapping with shift + w. You get an indicator line making it more visibly obvious where your snapping for angle is going to go. Now I can say the angle snapping is set for the moment.
Alt + z – must be pressed after the initial points were set in order to see the angle snapping indicator.
Notice that it shows after alt + z is pressed after the first line is made. This may be improved in subsequent releases.
Advanced Ngon Behavior – Curve and Bevel Support
The ngon tool initially implemented has gone through quite a few advancements that I am quite excited about.
To Start – Hold ctrl + click and draw a line
And the best part. Pressing X toggles rebool and red cutter box. We plan to expand on this behavior much more in the future so this is just the start.
Only the ngon is this advanced at the moment. The box and circle have a specific behavior that is still being fine tuned and one shape feature is yet to be added yet.
This tool’s behavior allow you to draw a shape and adjust it before committing it. We have more plans for it however its current state is leagues above the former and now I can consider the ngon an essential and usable tool.
(edit: this tool has been enhanced 3 times since this update secretly. So if you have the latest version your help might display additional/ differentinformation.)
Circle Tool – Limit Break
The circle has had its limit broken so now you can insert cylinders more than 32 spans. That was the first glitch resolved after the last release.
We still have plans to consolidate circle and box into a new simple shape tool that will have a double behavior system of cut and run and also a hold in place type of thing.
Mod Mode Enhancements / Hard Ops Connection 2
Mod mode has been enhanced to impressive levels as well. Basically mod mode is similar to booltool in which all cuts are kept live and are available to be adjusted after the fact before committing. This allow hard ops to also get in the box cutting fun with bevels, arrays and solidification. Then at the very end. You can commit. It also treats unbeveled meshes differently and is more preferable to the older behavior.
alt + mouse wheel changes cutting mode.
This works in box, circle, and ngon mode.
When I first got this going I was off like a rocket. The speed of it compared to inserting cubes over and over is just miraculous. But it gets better. When I go back and select the boolshape meshes and press Q the hard Ops menu from Hard Ops 8 is there to do additional functions that are a part of that plugin already. With the hard Ops integration of mirror mirror there is now a quicker way to mirror things across other things now positioned in a way for expansion.
So I had to tweak alot of elements but this sort of experimentation is going to drive the next cstep system and its connection into box cutter. I have been able to make some pretty interesting shapes just messing around with it.
Shape Memory V1 (Circle and Box Only) (secret)
Shape memory is still in the works but basically it allows for repeating shapes.
Remember shape – ctrl + space
Recall shape – shift + space
Once you store the shape you will be in move mode.
But after you press shift + space while in the drawing state you will call the shape back. We hope to also extend this quite far into a library of sorts but this is the initial framework of the idea.
I must remind you it is only for box and circle at this time. Ngon is important as well however in time I hope we will expand it there as well.
So the new defaults are blue because Adrian and Ivan made fun of my affinity for the warmer colors. cough red/orange.
You are able to change your colors for the border and the logo indicator. Credit to AR for coding the Boxcutter logo as an indicator and the Hard Ops one for that matter.
One particular glitch with pressing alt + w multiple times to start box cutter is resolved.
Also you can now use box cutter in any 3d view you want. But only 1 at a time. Thanks to Dima for the glitch resolution. The depth parameter has been refined along with the internal cutting calculation which now results in more predictable results.
Compared to the previous version there has been major upgrades.
Normally I press alt + F10 to maximize my 3d view. Then it works best.
As you may notice in the previous image there is now a help area when using box cutter. This will make it more clear you are in box cutter mode as well as provide information in an easier format. There is also a toggle to turn it off.
Even as I’m writing this guide we’re still doing last second pushes. So I know it never stops around here. So this release has to go out now. Or we’ll turn this boxcutter into a plasmasword.
Dairin0d / Dima was absolutely amazing in this release and cannot be thanked enough. I call him the mathmagician. Ivan has been our trusty and dedicated tester and lead complainer not to mention UI consultant. Adrian of course is leading this project and is always overcoming some sort of impossible thing it seems. The magic of seeing these tools come together can only compare the the results I see you guys make!
I hope everyone enjoys this release and pray for less issues than before.
So with that I release. Boxcutter: 4 – Plasmacutter.