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
It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Hard Ops 0095: Americium. This release is an intended update on our 2.79 support as the anticipation for 2.8 boils over. This is less event filled than Boxcutter‘s newest release but is still worthy of going over.
Operatives : In the addons tab is a link to meshmachine that will discount you on the product. Kudos to Machin3 for his kindness to the ops.
Interactive mirror was added this version and we couldn’t stop fine tuning it even up to release.
It is an expansion off of the previous mirror rewrite done here.
All 4 systems (mod, symmetry, bisect, relink) have been combined into 1 easy to use modal.
This is one of my favorite tools and we even took it a step further!
In this modal you choose which side to use to overwrite the other. And it’s visual. It has come in handy for so many tasks and it was a major undertaking by AR and RF.
During the modal you can change the behavior to do other things as well depending on goals.
*it is worth noting that the bisect will create an open faced mesh which will have issues with bmesh which works best with completely manifold items. This is because Carve is gone. I hope they put it back. In the meantime I recommending checking your meshes in the event of boolean errors because Bmesh will highlight any geometrical errors with anything from crashes to geometry disappearing.
This mirror is not done.
So Machin3 also made a mirror as well for MeshMachin3. It is cool, but it’s an alternative to symmetrize so we added a level of compatibility for users using that tool as well.
To use this you will have to disable the meshmachine‘s alt + x hotkey.
Ctrl + alt + U >> User Preferences
Addons >> Search Mesh
General >> Symmetrize >> Uncheck Alt + X
If you search for 9. You’ll find Hard Ops 9.
If meshMAchine is installed you will see a Mir2 Symmetrize Type: Set to Machin3
Save User Settings
(As I type this.. we might put this in the helper next version)
Now when you use our Interactive Mirror with alt + X it will use Machin3’s symmetrize.
I just love those fading verts he does. Now keep in mind this is only for symmetrize and replacing ours with Machin3‘s.
edit: If the hotkey for mirror doesn’t show next to the option in the Q menu you may need to right click it and set the hotkey to alt + X and then save user prefs in the ctrl + Alt + U user prefs to set on next load. Sorry about this issue we will hardcode it in the next update. And have it show up under the hotkey of our prefs.
Make sure your version of meshmachine is at least 0.5.13 in order to have machine’s symmetrize tools. In the meshmachine user prefs you should see hotkeys listed for machin3’s symmetrize. If they are not showing you need to get the preview.
This idea came about while modelling a bunch of weapons for work recently.
The issue was I kept having to exit full screen to deal with empties on images. And since Hard Ops focuses on the weird ideas…
If you have an image loaded in Blender. Via through the UV Image editor window or dragging and dropping like me and then unchecking background images in the N panel, you can press Q to bring up a unique empty q menu that can do various functions such as:
Set Image (select image from list)
This is worth trying out and adding to your workflow if you like dealing with references but this was something on the todo list for too long.
I was floored when Machin3 showed me what was to become MeshMachine. With every update I see more into his workflow and modelling approach.
We have integrated mesh machine into menus and pies to make it easier to get used to the tool. It helps me immensely and I hope users utilize it.
I am still coming to terms with some of the features and how it opens a whole new modelling method once again. I hope everyone is at least following the development. I believe it will push Blender to untold heights and keep the other packages jealous.
Machin3 has made a fair deal of submissions to HOPS and is a valued supporter.
Operatives get a discount. Just check the addons tab of Hard Ops.
Edit Mode Boolean Options
In the Q menu for edit mode there are now options for booleans in edit mode. This was added a few versions back but now has a place in the Q menu itself.
Edit mode booleans have their uses and can be used in certain situations. It is worth experimenting and implementing into your workflow.
It works great alongside Boxcutter‘s new edit mode behavior.
There’s always more bugs to fix. In this version many bugs were resolved but as always new ones are sure to come about.
While this was an incremental update, alot has went on underneath to prepare us for what comes next. I plan to do some final videos for this update and a public demo so stay tuned and we’ll see what the future holds.
I thank all customers for their shares, recommendations, and continued support. Even as work gets busy and I find myself modelling ancient guns and swords I cannot stop thinking about Hard Ops and what I want to do next.
An update for Fidget is coming and with that some big things. Fidget is intended to be a companion for Hard Ops and a customizable macro widget for full screen working so do give it a try and when we add templates it will become more apparent when its easily usable without pre-setup.
As always I must thank AR and RedFrost who were immense this release. As we cycle between tools with different thoughts and goals it can get confusing so I admire the teamsters who are able to keep up with my madness.
Boxcutter has received an update as part of our continuation of the 2.79 series.
It is with great pleasure that I release Boxcutter 688: GhostScythe. There were quite a few new additions and refinements to classic ones.
Even with 2.8 on the horizon it is our goal to continue as normal until the future of Blender is ready and stable. With modifiers present we are on our way but there are still some missing items.
Without further ado let’s begin.
The top file on the market is the latest. The top file is always the latest. The files below are always legacy support going back a couple of versions.
It is also worth noting that Buildbot appears to no longer have Carve present as a boolean solution. As a result the hard mode Bmesh may be the only algorithm going forward. But Carve will be missed.
RedFrost has been a new member of the team this release. AR continues to be the shadow boxmaster enigma. RF is special because he does my ideas even if they make no sense. AR is special because he’ll make an idea make sense and take it so far I don’t even recognize the core. Hard Ops / Boxcutter is nothing without the team so rest assured they were compensated for their efforts and continued contributions.
While drawing a box if you hold shift the box will be kept live. This is essential for situations where you want to cut but decide mid cut you want to keep it live.
Try it out! Hold shift while drawing a red box. It will remain live, allowing you to edit it after the fact.
Multi Object Cut
This was a big feature addition and one that really adds to the BC experience. With multiple objects selected you can now cut them with Boxcutter.
Also slicing is supported.
Now Boxcutter can live up to its name and Slice and Dice with multiple objects.
Edit Mode Cutting
Now edit mode supports all cutters instead of just blue.
In edit mode if you press X , Z or A the type of box will be changed.
This is another feature I am very excited about and am happy to announce is a part of Boxcutter. So cut anytime… anyplace.
*some conditions apply
Circle: Center Cut
While drawing a circle the center can be toggled to spawn at the 3d cursor with D.
This is useful for times where the circle has to be in the perfect center with 3d cursor precision.
This feature was a personal long time request of mine and am glad to finally have it in Boxcutter.
Custom Depth: V1
Too long have we been restrained by the 3d cursor when cutting to depth. How would you like a constant depth?
Cut depth is in the D menu and will allow you to use the 3d cursor differently than before.
In the old version cutting to depth was done by using the cursor as the depth indication.
The previous mode is still viable and usable however cut depth changes the approach a bit. The goal was constant cutting without realigning the 3d cursor.
Help System Improvements
Thanks to CGcookie our help system has improved. As a fan of retopo I always had my eye on their help and wanted to try something dynamic with it in BC.
Right clicking the help box closes it. The help box is also a good indicator of BC being activated.
RMB was used to prevent from accidentally moving the 3d cursor. This might be toggle-able in the next version.
You are also able to fine tune the corner and padding.
*some users have been reporting issues with this so a bugfixed has been pushed as the file at the top Boxcutter 0688 (zip). So this should be resolved.
Right Click Logo Snapping
Being able to toggle snapping without the D menu was an objective for touchscreens.
Right clicking the BC logo will turn it red. When the logo is red snapping is enabled. Hopefully in the future it will expand to cycle between grid and custom snapping but this was a final touch that was requested.
Orthographic Jump while Cutting
There is a pref that will make boxcutter jump into orthographic while cutting. This is useful for situations where numpads aren’t available and perspective cutting is not desired.
Notice that for every cut the view is jumped into ortho. Making it much more predictable. This drove me crazy when using Boxcutter on a laptop.
Hotkey / Color Coding Tab
Boxcutter now has a hotkey tab. In addition to hotkeys there are also UI prefs for color coding your cutting workflow.
This has become a common trend with our tools.
Also you can set a color for any alternate shape.
The defaults are as follows.
Red – cut (normal)
Yellow – slice (X)
Gray – null box (no selection / can also be toggled with A)
Blue – Edit Mode Knife (edit mode)
Purple – thickness slice (Z)
Alt + W starts Boxcutter. However now it loads up in the correct 3d view.
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.