My goal this year is to expand internally and externally in our endeavors. We are always searching for additional help with things so as our team grows so does our potential and possibilities. And because of your continual support we are able to release “(2.8) HOps 009841_Neodymium_” after barely just having an event not even a month ago. 2020 will be the year of hopstool but doesn’t mean we can tighten up the other areas that have become “legacy” and build a better strong hops with all we have learned.
As 2.8 goes on we want to refine existing systems and continuing consolidating / removing things no longer needed. We hope everyone has been able to hang in there and continues to be patient as we add and calibrate new members to the team and our workflows / ideals. Also I want to expand on accessibility and the offerings it could have for workflow and user ease of use and functionality.
Dice was a Pro3 level task. And I gave it to Bonjorno7. The result is Dice. Dice is the crown jewel of this release alongside twist360 which will assist heavily with deforming boolean meshes. This version was intended to be a spin on loopcut for meshes needing dicing. In the future we hope to dice in more paths than just straight.
When it comes to dice H will display help with has option for axis.
As we progress we aim to spin this off at some point and possibly give it an entire path. The art of deformation is something that has always interested us and this is just a part of the puzzle.
Been so long since we talked about this tool. The original version was hacked together by me so seeing a remake done by bonjoro was refreshing. This time the origin is managed by a 2nd displace while offering the versatility needed while maintaining a perfect center for calculation.
Modifying twist 360 requires twist 360. Using array or displace to affect things will not perform the proper steps to maintain a perfect center so this modal was made for that purpose.
With twist 360 interior faces must also be taken into consideration.
Twist spawns with the mods disabled related in render. This allows for these to bypass sort (for now) and allow you to boxcut / boolean without issues. For rendering you will need to re-enable them.
Even as I type I want dice to twist360 in the same operation with a mirror level interaction for interior face removal. But that may be in the future plans. At this time I am curious for insight from users as to additional uses we could be using dice for. Creativity sometimes spawns ideas that previously would have been inconceivable.
Step was previously a “Weight” thing. There was no non-destructive version.
And step was intended to hide mesh in edit mode, apply bevel / boolean, and add bevel. This was highly destructive and was no longer as needed in 2.8 so we were preparing to let it go. However I wanted to give it one last try and now step in the angle workflow is support of the non destructive workflow.
All it does is add an additional bevel at half the amount of the previous bevel. This helps it flow together and is easier on users than just not existing.
Even with this in place this is just fixing a hole in the workflow and still doesn’t even need to exist. Stepping is possible in hopstool and even bevel itself.
Direct Shift (shift + Q pie only atm)
Boolshift was revisited this version by AR and has been enhanced in the Q menus. I am proud to say that you can now shift a cutter directly into another state if needed. I still dream of this being possible in hopstool but this is the first step.
Of course you can still use modal shift in the Q menu to shift to any state and theres still things I want to do with this as well.
Smart Apply Improvements
Smart apply is intended to be what csharpen was on the apply side but not associated with csharpen. My goal is to have it work without UI or even options.
Until they are needed.
But for the most part smart apply will apply all mods except:
last mirror (if more than 1 present)
last bevel (if more than 1 present)
This will allow you to completely apply shapes to be done with hopstool if needed but keep the last bevel since it adds more geo than needed and can be useful to toggle off for optimizations.
By being able to do this quickly shapes can easily be dice and twisted and handle differently in an all new way.
Blank Material V3 (alt + M)
Blank material has also received an expansion.
Users now can cut glass and emission as well.
Emission utilizes pulsing to create pulsing materials. This is intended to be used with greyscale off allowing colors to be vibrant and unique.
Drivers are being utilized for pulse so be aware that Blender can be unusual with processing them.
Menus are always in state of refinement.
last version there were too many options under mod.
meshtools was slimmed out last version to make room
Notice custom modifier modals have been moved to meshtools and mark receiving an S in front to make it even faster to execute.
I want 2020 to be year of hopstool. And I plan to enhance hopstool with each update to get it to the level I know it could be. Hopstool is ARs vision, so I would like to play off of his ideas for now before I begin adding layers and systems to it.
Dots will now display text on hover. Text size can be increased in the behavior panel.
D inside of hopstool will activate a special helper.
In the future we’ll be coming back to adjust the hotkey since I still love my DecalMachine.
Smart shapes have also received small changes to ensure they will work with boxcutter out of the box.
Sorting should be the least of a users worries but if the sorting gives issues just bypass it with render visibility and it should behave correctly.
This whole section is about hopstool but because we got multiple arrays, I have to be specific. While moving an object in hops presssing 1 will reset the object back to 1 to allow quick stacking of array parts.
New members is always an exciting time. I am glad and so so greatful for all who continue to support us and our dreams. It is thanks to hops that I could probably stop working but due to the uncertaintly of the climate I am not yet convinced to. Also resumes always need new ticks. I can’t wait to show why I needed dice in a hurry but it’s gonna be good. Also by the time I can talk about it we’ll be onto something else exciting.
It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Boxcutter 712.
As Blender 2.8 evolves further. Daily breakage has become a thing and with that we strongly recommend updating 2.8 before installing Boxcutter 712. We work around the clock to keep the tools working while also working towards their enhancement.
Also remove any previous boxcutter folder before replacing it with the new one.
INSTALL FROM FILE CAN HAVE ISSUES IF THE FOLDER IS THERE ALREADY. PLACE THE ZIP IN THE SPECIFIED FOLDER TO ENSURE IT WORKS WITHOUT ISSUE. OR ENSURE THE FOLDER ISNT THERE AND USE INSTALL FROM FILE.
The next level of support involves deleting the /config which makes Blender open as new. If you have issues with the previous steps or are moving over custom configurations this can cause issues if the properties have existed for multiple itterations of 2.8. From time to time removing the config allows for clean installation and quick startup.
For support issues you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you enjoy the latest update. We have more to come and even more to go back over with refinement and behavioral fine tuning. I look eager to user input of feature request improvements and to see what custom cutters you come up with for Boxcutter!
Hopscutter is a 24 hour operation but also we enjoy the work we do and the results users show! We hope to keep you cutting as long as possible!
Normally Boxcutter has a cool name to signify an era of developmental endeavors but this one is BetaScythe so it has no name. What I mean to say is we’re just getting started. The name will come.
Releasing this finally allows us to next add widgets, drawing, points, better edit mode, and all the visual flair that users need and I miss designing or trying to(with collaboration). The next goals after this are more ambitious than ever before and we aim only to be the best. Boxcutter 711 was a 24/7 endeavor and we cannot wait to impress you now and in the future. HOPS is already going slightly in that direction with it’s new active tools but we plan to enhance them both as we get better acquainted with 2.8s new systems.
For returning customers lets cut to the chase with the new features!
Boolshape sstatus for Hard OPS connection
Boolshapes will now have support for the Hard Ops Q menu. The link for Hard Ops is intended to be in the background so no checkbox needed.
Edit Mode Live Support
Edit mode live is still new to Boxcutter so boolean rules apply.
Live Blue Box w/selection support (F to flip selection)
Purple Box Initial Reimplementation (Z toggles to purple box / T adjusts thickness)
Also works in edit mode.
Redesigned Behavior Panel
Ctrl + D Shape Submenu Panel (only when boxcutter is active)
compare it to 710!
Bevel / Solidify / Array rememberance
Auto jump to last parameters when initialized.
Cutter Autohiding (cutters will be re-hidden on next cut)
Modifier removal with key double press during draw (ex b>>b or t>>t or v>>v)
Edit mode shift to Live
Quad Corners Toggle For Bevel Bevel settings can be pre-configured using the behavior panel.
There you should be able to see quad bevel listed.
Neutral Grey Box (allows for make box when nothing is selected and drawn on the ground floor)
It goes without saying that many bugs were also squashed.
Post Release Updates
Boxcutter has been updated 19 times since this announcement to ensure the most seamless experience.
Part of our live update process is following up on release to ensure minimal errors and squashing buts proactively and doing live silent updates for the first 72 hours.
Post release updates. Boxcutter has received updates since this update on (2-18). We are committed to ensuring all users can work without error.
Fix for ngon.
Fallback orientation system implemented to ensure smooth experience
Toggle for Alt + W orientation toggling between cursor and surface
Presets for circle / ngon in Ctrl + D boxcutter helper
Quick Execute (Auto Lazercut)
Link to user discord / documentation via help button.
Ctrl + click to go to the documentation. (this page)
Boxcutter 711.5 update (2/22)
Mirror (inherent) press 1 2 3 or use the button for mirror.
BC gizmo resets multiple objects for axis clicked with ctrl + shift
Auto parent checkbox
Tthick red to purple transition fix.
For new users a proper introduction would be in order.
Boxcutter can be started 1 of 3 ways.
press Alt + W
click the Boxcutter icon in the T-Panel
Once active Boxcutter can be used to draw on the mesh to cut using LMB by default.
Click drag to make a 2d shape then drag down to extrude depth. LMB to apply or TAB to drop the shape and use any of the other following options.
H – Hide Shape (wire display)
B – Bevel (scroll wheel for segments)
V – Array (x and y for axis with F to flip to – or + )
T – Solidify (add thickness to the shape during draw.
E – Extrude / O – Offset (fine adjustment of top or bottom of shape)
You are also able to press the following to change the shape outcome on the fly.
X – Slice
Z – Inset
J – Join
A – Make
K – Knife
During the shape drawing and locked state of a shape all the hotkeys are available for modifying and perfecting the shape during operation. The buttons up top, the D menu and the Ctrl + D are also at your disposal for fine adjustment / modification even during operation.
When the shape is paused or locked you are able to double click to apply or RMB to cancel.
Boxcutter can be used in object or edit mode.
There are 3 shapes to get started with.
These are able to be setup at the top of the screen before and during operation however this is also a D pie menu.
Also for faster adjustments and even parameters connected to the operation at hand there is the ctrl + D popup.
Alt + W starts Boxcutter however it should also be known alt +W also toggles orientation from cursor grid to surface.
When rotating the cursor grid it is important to note that to rotate the grid you can drag a rotate gizmo then press R to start the operation.
There is a checkbox next to NonDestructive/Destructive behavior toggle for applying modifiers.
Edit mode is now possible with all cutters. Holding shift to keep it live in edit mode is also possible now.
It’s best to show this in action. Even the new inset (purple) is in edit mode.
Fun Things to Try
Model out a curved shape and try purple box on it! Its fun for making spaceships! Of course with Hard Ops (alt + X) mirror do not use bisect (creates a hole) use modifier.
Inset is perfect for curved surfaces due to how it works. Even though it’s the most unused / unloved box we intend to to make it better than ever.
Circle with bevel is also legendary and this is before we revisit the circle to really show you something you never expected.
Its fun to get crazy with however we do see a growing need for pre-emptive snapping and face locking shapes and also the ability to relocate them.
Using Hard Ops is is possible to get circles to be more controllable. Our goal is to of course make Boxcutter fully capable of solving all of it’s own problems.
Press H during draw for wire view!
In this image using mirroring was in optimal due to the shape so using the 2 mirror tool in Hard Ops was the optimal solution.
Boxcutter UI In Detail
The topbar is one way to access the many options of Boxcutter and customizing the behavior to your liking.
Initial Cut Mode
Cut – Red
Slice – Yellow
Inset – Purple
Join – Green
Knife – Blue
Grey – Make
Destructive / Non Destructive Toggle w/ Apply Modifier Checkbox
Behavior Panel w/Pause Play button for instant cut or delayed feedback
The workspace area has been reworked into a temporary help of sorts. This is intended to help new users get acquainted quicker with boxcutter in the meantime until a proper internal help system is implemented.
To show how the workspace looks in action.
The first time you access the behavior panel it will be noticeably thinner.
However, expanded we can see the actual scope of the types of behaviors that matter to us and how custom the experience of boxcutter can be.
The first new to 711 feature listed is wires only. Which reduces the opacity of shaped drawn and will draw only wires which can be useful for colorless situations.
Active Only (cuts only the active mesh in a multi mesh selection situation)
Quick Execute (uses lazercut for every cut removing the extrude process from drawing)
Apply Slices (when using yellow box slices will have the intersect modifier applied making them easier to deal with)
Auto Smooth (sets auto-smooth on the mesh and the cutter to ensure proper shading result)
Preserve Non-D (allows for edit mode cutting with automatic toggle to non destructive for edit mode)
Shift to active (when shift is used to keep the shape after a cut the shape will be selected for quick placement or adjustment)
Simple Trace (recommended for high poly unmodified cutting. Allows for speed but doesnt take modifiers into account so surface draw can be inaccurate)
Sort Modifiers (sorts modifiers automatically to ensure stack remains stable and mesh is optimal)
Offset (determines offset from surface before draw)
Lazorcut Limit (determines minimal extrusion for lazorcut to be activated)
Inset Thickness (initial thickness for the purple inset box)
Solidify Thickness (initial thickness for solidify modifier)
Bevel Width (initial bevel amount for bevel modifier)
Bevel Segments (initial bevel segments for bevel modifier)
Quad Bevel (bevels using alternate system that reduces poles and gives cleaner result with bevel)
Straight Corner Flow (straitens out the edges for bevel corners to prevent distortion)
Drag Threshold (pixels of movement needed to begin draw) (connected to blender parameter)
Material cut (allows for a specified material to be applied during slice)
AR and Proxe were legendary during this release fixing bugs and talking to me about Boxcutter 24/7. This update has been in the works since before 710 with many of the changes happening up until the period on this sentence. Even at 4:00AM we’re still up ranting about boxes and cutters and… doubles. Teamwork is the best part of collaboration and I look forward to many more box adventures with the team.
Shoutout to William Reynish for assistance on the icons. Also Campbell for sending us the much needed .blend file.
Anyone who emails me is a legend. I am grateful for any email and even the support issues are a pride in our ability to effectively resolve.
email@example.com if you have support issues.
Always use Boxcutter 7Series with the latest Blender 2.8!
preference errors are typically caused by older 2.8 versions. Update
register class already subclass are related. Ensure you have the latest Boxcutter.
close / reopening Blender resolves most issues with registration if the updates are current.
forward support issues via the usual channels.
Boxcutter 710 – Phase 9 (1-19-19)
Material Cut (with hops present)
Material Cut – Toggle Material with M Key during slice (requires materials)
This means you must have viewport shaded materials for them to show as in the above gif. This is done via using the viewport shading area of the material stack or in the materials >> settings area of the HardOps helper (ctrl + ~).
For cursor grid to orient properly on cursor you will need to access user prefs >> input >> search for “cursor” >> locate Set 3d Cursor and set orientation to Geometry. Now save user prefs and cursor will orient to the surface.
These are my settings for surface orientation in Boxcutter
For resetting the rotation of the 3d cursor gizmo you are able to shift + ctrl click the gizmo to reset.
We are still working our way into the gizmo system to it can be finicky. For example when rotating on the gizmo you must press R after clicking and dragging it to rotate the 3d cursor.
Begin ngon by selecting the tool and ctrl + click on the object to do a surface draw. Drawing off of the surface is possible once you set the starting points. Double clicking the final point will apply the shape.
We plan to expand on the extrude / offset behavior in subsequent updates. Angle snapping is also present when ctrl is held.
Quick Execute / Auto Lazercut
N Panel Update
Object Gizmo w/ shift duplicate support
Phase 8 (12:00pm 1-4-19) Boxcutter 708:
– Circle now dissolves center point
– Pause / Play
○ Pause play now works better.
○ Built for working on denser meshes and is faster
○ Creates and does cuts after draw.
○ Alternative to instant cut / draw
Hotkey is showing before usage / no longer displays panel before use
– Center draw box is back.
– Active cut mode now supports all box types.
– Skip keymapping in batch mode (kudos x123!)
– Fix for linked data removal (nondestructive only)
– Active only rotation fix
○ Now active only mode keeps rotation accurately
– Fix for (1-4) Blender API changes.
The Harden normals parameter was part of the 1-4-18 2.8 Update. The updates today were to prevent errors that happened because of it.
Boxcutter has been an adventure. And the journey is nowhere near over. Without further ado lets get into it!
Blender 2.8 went Beta today which was our deadline for the next release. We always try to support the latest version of Blender. So many emails and messages about 2.8. and I hear ya “let’s boxcut in Eevee”!
Boxcutter 7: BetaScythe is only supported in Blender 2.8 and depending on changes stability can be variable. After the last Boxcutter release it was apparent that a rewrite would be needed for the end goal of being able to use all shapes in 3d and also allow for custom shapes to the level that we want.
We have plans to integrate widgets in the future to further connect these features with the systems we’d like to add. Our goal is to someday have a setup that can work with mouse, touch and even a pen.
Like Hard Ops / Boxcutter had a few losses on the way into 2.8. We plan to add them back better than ever but everything required evaluation in this transition. To list the casualties:
NGON edit mode / curve behavior
Dots / Widgets
We hope you find more than enough to enjoy what we have in store. Updates for this release will be more frequent until the previous level of excellence is achieved.
I know the things missing stick out. We know and miss them as well. But 2.8 caused us to have to rethink every system so rest assured most features will return stronger than ever.
As you can see the options have been simplified. This will get more complex over subsequent updates.
Auto Smooth – smooths the cutter object / turns on autosmooth on cut
Geometry Repeat – allows for hold ctrl and left clicking to repeat previous cuts.
Multi Edit – allows boxcutter to cut every object selected similar to how 2.8 is
Debug – not needed except for diagnosing issues via the terminal. This will slow down you experience if you leave it on.
About The UI
Boxcutter is our first. Active tool.
You can start it in the T panel.
After clicking the icon (pending) there will be an additional set of options up top in the 3d view.
This version works for now but we expect changes over the next couple of versions that could be a major departure of this current experience.
When Boxcutter is open the toolbar up top will contain options related to Boxcutter. We have great plans for the expansion of this but the tools shown is the current setup.
One of my most requested functions was the behavior panel which is at the end. I find it necessary that users be able to customize their boxcutter experience before, during and after the cut if need be.
To explain each icon there are tooltips but to break them down into sections.
Cut – cuts the shape via the shape selection upon draw
Slice – cuts a separation via the shape selection upon draw
Box – allows for box drawing of shapes 3d or 2d. Pressing X during draw
Circle – draws a shape using a circle
Lock Shape – this is part of our pen usage initiative. There is no need to click this as a mouse user and this behaves as an indicator.
Draw Shape – another part of our pen usage initiative. This will allow for us to go back to draw mode and then behave when the pen is found. This is also an indicator.
Extrude – allows user to expand the shape
Move – allows for 2d movement.
Array – allows for array (roll wheel to add more segments) press x y z for axial direction
Bevel – allows for bevelling (roll wheel for segements). Still remembers the segments from last time. If the mouse is still it can also jump to the same width as the previous shape.
Many of these are state indicators which currently work better via keyboard shortcuts until widgets are in. Unless you use a pen. Then you are in for a new adventure.
Destructive – cuts destructively
Non-Destructive – cuts non destructively
Corner Draw – typical way boxes should be drawn
Center Draw – how circles should be drawn
Align shape to view – force 2d cutter. If you want to force cuts to be only 2d use this option. Alternatively you can draw in 3d via on the surface or 2d via starting from 3d space.
2d Expand Cut – when using 2d in 2.8 when you cut the mesh is eliminated. By clicking this the shape isn’t seen being eliminated until application. This option comes in handy when attempting to see what is being cut out.
Display cuts during modal – This pause play option will pause instant feedback during cuts. This is more like 2.79 in behavior but with play enabled the cuts will be shown live.
Adv options – allows for fine tuned adjusments related to the tool. (still in progress)
I start Boxcutter using the alt + W hotkey personally but the T panel option is also nice.
At the bottom of the 3d view it will say “Activated Boxcutter” in the notification area.
LMB for drawing a box.If the mouse is on the surface it will be a 3d surface box. If the mouse is in 3d space or not on the active shape it will be 2d.
You can force 2d using the options up top.
Notice how when you cut using 2d expand it has a more visual experience than with the dynamic cut but it’s worth experimenting with.
All the cuts so far have been dynamic. Now for a few destructive ones.
Now for an interesting new addition.
If you bevel and then draw starting using the bevel tool the shape will be pre-bevelled. This has been a long requested feature by myself.
Array is also present. And now works with 2d. One of the benefits of a rewrite is the hope we will unify 2d and 3d and have them all contain the same features.
Array can also be remembered for next time via using it as the draw object.
I know I forget some things with these notes but there’s always an easter egg or two to explore.
Now for circle.
Circle is best used with center draw. One day it may default to that but the war over ovals continues internally.
Also if you draw a 3d circle and use ctrl + LMB it will repeat the shape. Another long awaited feature.
Now for slice.
Pressing X during a draw will create a slice. This can be useful for mesh separations and is the beloved rebool come to life.
All these cuts are non destructive meaning I can edit them adjust them and even Csharp them.
Circle can also have it’s segments set via the behavior drop down up top.
You can also Tab into pause and adjust segments then as well.
Circle also arrays. (wip)
When multiple objects are selected cuts will affect them.
And with that I believe we have covered the initial experience for Boxcutter 7.
Proxe has went above and beyond in his rewrite for 2.8. We aspire to make it much more than it’s 2.79 counterpart and that required rewriting it from the ground up. As always I must thank AR, proxe, and Redfrost for their work on the release. Tony Leonard for his diligence in learning 2.8/HOPS and Boxcutter at the same time and being an all around great user for us to test ideas using a fresh perspective. Also Tony is my sensei.
We hope you enjoy this release and continue to hang in there with us as we strive to bring you the best in cutting for Blender 2.8 and beyond.
Is just for show. If you adjust it errors will result. This is due to differences in the way Blender works now. We hope to find a way around this. However the top bar is recommended for changing things.
Extended Notes (these are post release fixes)
Phase 1 (8:07pm 11-30):
Fix for array when kept live.
Array count in top bar for users without scroll
More options exposed up top.
Vertices refers to circle segment count. It only shows if circle is selected.
Array count is also present.
Bevel segments is also present.
Phase 2 (6:15pm 12-2):
Bevel clamp has been fixed for the repeat usage in the bevel.
Repeat Shape has been improved to retain bevel and array.
Bevel 2d has been fixed and should work better.
Array circle has been improved.
array repeat shape support
Bevel segment update.
The options are also context sensitive now.
Slice has been improved with management of choice changes.
Sort Modifiers is a new option we’re experimenting with.
It will keep your modifiers in order and place the boolean at the start.
If you are using a mirror >> bisect / bevel >> angle / weighted normal workflow this will assist while we work on a proper mirror.
Here is an example of me setting it up.
Notice the modifier stack as I cut with sort modifiers on.
The modifier order is kept. We plan to experiment and evolve this option / behavior over time.
Bevel Shrink Fix
If the bevel is too small for comfort it will be removed. This should alleviate issues with doubles.
I pushed for this for 24 hours. And finally Proxe added it. Took 10 minutes.
If you press tab you can drop the shape. This is similar to 2d except for the addition of some dots.
Edit mode goes much deeper so I recommend checking out the hotkeys in the help display since they explain all the functions. Right click to open it
Rotate 3d Box (R)
Rotate is connected to the D property angle. Also note the mirror persists if the user set it on a previous cut.
Pressing X / Y or Z during rotate will make it rotate on another axis. This can sometimes have glitches so you have been warned.
Bevel / Solidify 3d Box (B) / (Q)
This feature was essential.
In 3d edit mode drag an edge to bevel. – and + keys to change segments.
There is also a 2nd bevel (Q) that reaches all the way around.
Array 3d Box (V)
Array is also present as an essential for 3d box.
Lazer Surface Cut (name pending)
This is basically a 2d cut on a 3d surface. Without depth it is supposed to cut through the form.
Lazer also cuts to depth with alt. It takes some practice but its there similar to 2d. The goal was to expand on the base.
Shift to live (shift on release)
This one is underrated. If you hold shift when you click or double click to apply the cube the boolean is kept live and the mesh is left behind.
This can allow me to prepare for what i want to do.
Precut the area with edit mode classic blue box. And then modify the boolshape to be more interesting with thickness with HOPS and some edit mode work.
The possibilities are endless.
Union Boxes (J)
Last minute addition. Pressing J will turn a box green making it a union box.
In closing. There are probably things I am missing but as we progressed it became apparent we couldn’t let this wait. We had to have users cutting in 3d immediately. So prepare you minds for whats to follow but this is the beginning of something much bigger.
Other bugs were fixed and I’m sure if something essential is missed I’ll update the page.
Box was just the start. I hope everyone enjoys!
Credits to proxe and AR who gave up their whole summer to work with and talk about boxes. They are truly legends and the collaboration with them has changed every aspect of how I model.
Yes we know 2.8 is a thing. When it’s time we’ll pounce and it’ll be great.
As with all updates glitches are expected and bugs. We hope to resolve them and ease the experience to even greater heights as this goes on. I thank everyone who supported this product and continues to share it’s news and word of mouth. The users keep the tools alive and I cannot stress that enough. As long as Boxcutter has fans we have ambitions to improve the workflow.
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
AR dropped the transformation system on us and Proxe was a major factor in it’s implementation. Also Proxe continued working tirelessly on things up to the final cut to ensure the result was of the highest level. As a result an astounding amount of bugs were resolved resulting in the most solid iteration of Boxcutter yet.
715 was rather major and we wanted 716 to be major too and on path as well. So for that reason I am pleased to announce 71..V.
I was hoping it would be interpreted as a transformative but also familiar since V is roman for 5. But also Vs look cool.
Shift + V – Viewport Menu
Shift + V will bring up the alignment submenu allowing for changing view system.
Object is typically used for surface but view is more like traditional boxcutter. Now users can change this on the fly.
Next to shape on the top-bar are options for changing the origin that shapes (boxes) receive during cut.
Corner : default corner as origin.
Face center: Utilizes the face center. My new favorite. I love having this as my new default.
Bounding box center: Utilizes the origin center of the shape. Almost as useful as the above.
Active element origin: utilizes the origin of the object being cut into as the origin. This one is unusual but also useful and essential in the right situation.
The d-pie also contains options for rapid use when it comes to changing cutter origins on the fly.
Internally we discuss alternative approaches to the D pie but for now origin options are located here.
The n panel also contains options for origin but the D pie is where it is at.
I should have led with this. But I like theatrics. Translate, Scale and rotate are readded to Boxcutter as of 71V. That is what I meant by 715 being “transformative”.
During draw tab will pause the shape.
Pressing G will allow for translation.
X / Y / Z to constrain to axis during translate
Shift click dragging the offset dot will also translate the shape.
During draw or pause pressing R will allow for rotation.
This changes things like reset array which is now shift R.
During rotate X / Y / Z will affect axis which will also affect translation. We aim to improve support down the road and have an advanced support system to supplement.
Rotation will also utilize the same axis as before last operation.
The mini helper (ctrl + D) allows for angle rotation amount adjustment.
Scale will be based on the origin chosen and can also be constrained to a particular axis. All 3 in conjunction can be quite useful for getting shapes in line.
Alt + D : Toggle Dots
Alt + D during pause will toggle dots off. Also dots will hide when ctrl is held.
Viewport Hotkey Unlock and View Pie
View pie will allow tilda ~ to change the viewport inside of boxcutter to position the view. This also unlocks numpad 1, 3 and 7 for reuse in addition.
Numpad period to focus will also work in pause mode making Boxcutter feel much more natural.
Release lock is intended to be a more stepped approach to drawing with boxcutter.
This behavior adds lazorcut lock which is related and is also connected to quick execute.
This is a typical draw. I draw the shape and jump to extrude and release LMB to cancel. While this is optimal for mouse use it is not as optimal for tablet or touch use.
This is release lock by itself in action. Notice how it pauses after the first draw. Before extrude.
Release lock is located in the topbar for rapid behavioral toggling.
Notice that ctrl and shift clicking also toggles adjacent options related to this parameter. This can get confusing but as long as you know about the connected options it will make more sense.
Lazorcut lock is located in behaviors and is capable of pausing lazorcut automatically so the user can view and adjust the result prior to apply.
The process of pausing lazorcut (cut through) allowed us to examine how well lazorcut worked and improve it for good resulting in a stronger release.
Quick Execute + Lazorcut Lock
Quick execute + Lazorcut lock results in a cut that goes through the form but pauses short of applying. This can make boxcutter behave quite interestingly and has become one of my favorite ways to cut.
With lazorcut lock off Quick Execute behaves normally. This is due to the fact that with quick execute every cut jumps to lazorcut.
Smart Apply / Apply Slices
Behaviorally I like to test behaviors in hardops prior to adding it to boxcutter. One workflow I was experimenting with was apply.
Apply slices will now apply all mods except for the last bevel and weighted normal. Similar to smart apply. This makes slices capable of being destructively managed while also speeding up performance by consolidating useless modifiers on slices.
Apply slices was supposed to do this but with the unique combinations of mods in use we needed a more streamlined solution.
Recut (mod behavior)
Recut is a mod behavior for slice that gets back the mesh that was taken away via boolean activity.
Knife Mark (mod behavior)
Quadremesher is able to utilize marked edges for retopo calculation. That gave me an idea. What if we could cut in edges for that retopo.
I hope to show more on this in the future but surely there are other uses for cutting in “marked edges”.
Knife mark is locked to be single use for now. We find that new behaviors trick new comers.
Knife Material Fix
Knife has nuked materials for so long it was part of the tooltip. I am pleased to announce this is no longer an issue. Cut and no longer lose materials.
Blue box is meant to be silent but effective. Like a scythe.
Autohide to Omit Solids
Custom cutter used to hide shapes in the marked collection with autohide. Not just cutters. This behavior was a nuisance and has now been resolved.
Now users can use meshes as custom cutters without the other meshes that are solid being hidden. This should make custom feel much more natural for general use.
I can be a bit obsessive. I was obsessed with having hook support back. I love nothing more than cutting and adjusting (when blender is fast) on the fly. Special care was taken to make sure hook modifiers function as intended.
Ngon Backspace Fix
The thing about me and bugs is I neverever let them go. To me a single bug can hold off a release because I care about the experience put forth.
Ngon had a bug where when backspace to undo a point was used. The shape would cease draw and be in paused state.
This bug was the worst. And it made ngon much more hard to use and undo on the fly.
I am happy to say it has been resolved.
Additional / Misc
Weld fix for small scale
Inset shift to live
Circle Scale Improvements
AR set the stage for this release with transformation but Proxe was vigilant with the bugfixes and integration. I am always proud of seeing the team work together and grow over the course of an update. Proxe is one of my favorite people to work with and get coding advice from.
I don’t like to talk about the things that I can’t show but there is much to look forward to.
Someday everything will change. And I mean everything.
Your greatest complaints are kept close to my chest with best intentions on fixing them.
I can’t wait to help you.
So much is happening beneath the core but it will be coming out soon. I want everyone glad they are using our tools. While it seems like we “add and add” we also aim to slim and refine to keep things quick and accessible.
I remain grateful for the support of everyone using / recommend / loving our products. We truly aim to change the way cutting and hard surface is done and we can’t wait to show you what’s next…
#hopscutter also has a long playlist for those who need to learn.
With every release we try to change up things a little based off of criticism and feedback. Hardships faced while modelling are something I take especially hard and find myself devoting a bit of thought and energy towards seeking solutions. We never want to present ourselves as the best or the default way to do something. We feel we are explorers. Seeking the next level in modelling. Our tool has been our best attempt to automate some of the most repetitive aspects of our workflow to make creation more entertaining. It is always the art itself that tells the tale of success or failure.
I was gonna name it Bonjornium like the Proxium release but we’ll see what comes next.
Joining us on the team this release is bonjorno7. Proxe was more in a supervisory role this release with AR leading and me throwing as many wrenches as possible into things. Without further ado let’s get into it!
Sharpen takes the place of ssharp/csharp/clear sharps.
Click – sharpen (mark sharps)
Ctrl – apply modifiers
Shift – resharp
Ctrl + shift – Csharp + Bwidth classic.
Classic ssharp / csharp exists in the operations submenu in the meantime but sharpen will be the main operator going forward.
I set my alt to clear sharps. I love it.
For those missing the classic cut, apply and bevel system of classic hops can map sharpen to behave as classic.
Otherwise bevel will handle bevel and sharpen will be handle sharpening. As a result csharpen is now faster than ever.
Sharpen is customizable in preferences however the tool tip may not reflect those changes. I like to have classic csharp as my fallback for everything and unmark sharps under my alt.
The jump to bwidth toggle will make new csharp also jump to bwidth after operation.
Mark is intended to be your all in one bevel / weight edit / bevel tool. In a way we just extended on set ssharp but I became addicted to this quite fast. Shout-out to any Marks out there reading this.
Edit mode operations have been consolidated into a smart tool named “mark”.
Mark is generally used for marking edges. Just like Set Ssharp used to.
Ctrl click will create a bevel similar to bevel.
Shift click will activate Bevel Weight which can be utilized for weight workflows. (nothing in angle)
Mark is an all in one tool for marking sharp edges and manually beveling using modifiers in edit mode.
Mirror / Array Consolidation
Mirror / Array (active tools) have been unified as far as menu entries are concerned.
LMB – mirror
CTRL – array
Mirror has shown to be much more popular than array in most contexts but as array gets better it will be re-integrated.
Bevel / Edge Manager Consolidation
Many of the classic hops utilities have been consolidated.
Bevel helper / Edge manager has been merged into one tool with many former not needed options being removed.
LMB – bevel helper
Ctrl – Bevel Divide
Alt – Bevel Multiply
LMB + shift – Edge Manager
Many of these existed as standalone but are no longer needed to dense up the menus. I want to keep them for auxiliary needs.
Modifier Multi Scroll
LMB – boolscroll
shift – modifier scroll
Ctrl – toggle modifiers
Alt – apply modifiers
Ctrl + shift – modifier scroll
The process of handing bool shapes, modifier scrolling and appling modifiers has all been combined into one tool. None of the tools this is replacing are being eliminated. The goal was just to make room for the future.
Curve Res Added To Q Menu
When it comes to deformation curves are your friend. However the res option was missing from the Q menu which helps for improving the smoothness.
This will come in handy for the things we’ll be getting into later.
We endeavor to do more activity with curves in the future as well as support them in hopstool.
Interior Bevel Support
Pressing 1 during bevel will flip the profile inward creating an interior bevel. This can be useful for level blocking and in cases requiring an inverted profile.
Edit Mode Slice / Inset / Outset / Knife
Our goal with each tool is to maintain parity to the first thing BonJ wanted to fix was edit mode not having knife, slice, and inset.
Inset is especially nice in edit mode thanks to care and love applied to the creation process.
Object Mode Inset / Outset / Knife
Inset can be toggled into outset via the F9 panel that comes up with the operator. Outset is less impressive but also a thing. Coming to boxcutter in the near future.
Knife is capable of both project and knife project.
Why add these to HOps? Aren’t they in BC?
When it comes to tools like knife and inset. I found it key to have them in hops for a couple of reasons.
I was asking for inset for the last couple of releases. There should be no utility cutter in one tool and not the other. Except extract. It’s connected to custom cutter so that would better be left to boxcutter. Also make box is just a box. So Blender does it better than us. And qblocker better than that.
Having inset in hops allows me to work with it more precisely and break apart the workflow and analyze the steps taking place in a way not present in Boxcutter which is just… too fast. The care taken to make sort capable of ignoring bevel sort on F6 is something that is more useful than anticipated. I was worried inset was overscoping in endeavor but as I use I find myself proud of the amazing work Bonj did for a first try. Sort and bevel bypass are supported on the fly and the mod can even be adjusted in the stack for getting just the right level of bevel back.
Knife in boxcutter also works differently and as a result the hops counterpart will not nuke materials and behave better than the knife in boxcutter. Also in boxcutter I have struggled to get both knife project and knife 3d to be both interchangeable and vocal in its presentation of it. Now that it is in hops we have precision control and the knife we always wanted. I am adamant about knowing and controlling what operation is being done.
I know in hops we can expand them in interesting ways and then take what we learn and apply it to BC. To keep it efficient.
HOPs Dot Infinity Ring
I begged to let this stay for release. When I first saw this I knew. The gauntlet is almost complete.
While in hops tool the bool dots have been turned into a ring. In the future I hope for shift support and a text sidebar. It almost made it but I wanted you guys to see this ring.
Interactive Boolean (ctrl + shift + B)
Interactive boolean was a tough one to sort. With initial tests testers revealed they did not like additional clicks to confirm. I did not want to leave it out so it has it’s own hotkey.
Shared with ctrl + shift + B >> Bevel helper.
Interactive boolean requires no introduction.
Scrolling toggles shapes / X toggles shapes.
The naming for this went through some itterations. But shifting made since the most. Even Bonj liked it. This tool brings back classic rebool but multiple levels better. When I first saw this tool I was afraid. Afraid of it’s power…
Boolshift is alternative in ctrl + shift + B with a boolshape selected.
Boolshift is also in the bool shape Q menu.
This tool is serious. Users can now shift a bool from one state into another without issue. The F6 panel has options for sort bypassing and bevels if applicable.
Boolean Sort Bypass
Holding ctrl while using boolean will use sort bypass.
This makes it easier than ever to step up bevels to another level. Above you can see boxcutter which currently has no sort bypass and hops comparatively with it.
In the event sort is perma-locked it can be fixed in prefs.
Half bevel will set the current bevel to half of the last parameter and end the operation. When racking bevels you generally have to idea how big they are however by pressing X bevel will drop with half res ensuring the next cut looks great.
2d Bevel Removed / Consolidated Into Bevel
2d Bevel was my attempt at modifying the older bwidth to handle 2d shapes. It has been handed off to classic bevel now. A special use case was added for planes.
A – Aayy
A has been added to bevel for dealing with angle. However in general use it bounces between 30 and 60 but it can also utilize autosmooth angle for catching hard to catch areas. This is something I wanted quite a bit and should make lives easier. Got a problem during bevel? A.
During modelling sometimes I will set the autosmooth low to catch wedges. When a bevel was added it was always at 30 or 60 degrees which resulted in less than optimal results. When utilized correctly bevel can be used to catch autosmooth with angle being set to 30 or 60 then while retaining the lower bevel.
L >> Limit Method
L to change limit was also added.
Array support for plane
Array always was strange with planes on the Z axis which makes it hard to use as a dicer. This has been resolved so that everyone can dice away.
I have long wanted to dice in Blender so this brings my dream a step closer. Someday we hope to dice in the form of a dedicated tool.
Knife is useful for a plethora of reasons.
Proxe always has something to add in a release.
Sort V3 has been added which will be getting a focused video. Now Boxcutter, Kitops and now HardOps are on the same page with sorting. This ideally should allow these tools to deal with modifiers more intelligently.
Sort settings can be found in the ctrl + ~ settings.
Sort also has settings for ignoring vgroup and only vert bevels which I am adamant about “not sorting”. These have shown to be disastrous in action and result in workflow issues.
Sort can be turned off altogether but sort bypass is also a theme in this release.
Sort also only sorts the last level of a modifier. If there are two mirror modifiers in the stack only the last one will be managed when enabled.
Sort bypassing can be given to a modifier by disabling either show in render or show in edit mode. Since we cannot add properties to modifiers this is the only way to give a modifier a flag for bypass at this time. This also affects scroll and can lead to instability so keep that in mind. But the good news is you can prevent modifiers from being modified period.
Weighted Normal Multi Sort
This idea was based on a support issue with the cylinoid tutorial. When users struggle I take it to heart and send complaints straight up the chain (1 link).
When using weighed sort you can select everything and it will put a weighed sort on the object.
If the weighted sort is misplaced it will be removed and re-added properly.
If it is not present it will add one.
This makes WN a lot more versatile and capable of being the finishing stroke on a model or assisting with shading when things get rough.
I am excited to show this in use in the future but this is a large step up but our issues with WN extend inherently into mirror and bevel where these tools also will add new mods while dealing with WN specifically to avoid shading hardships even at intermediate steps in working.
Lazy support for mod modals extend to all modals. Lazy meaning if you select a light or empty, we’ll keep going. An error wont stop ya.
Radial Array w/ 3d Cursor Displacement change
When using radial array w/ 3d cursor the displacement would make the mesh offset undesirably. This is no longer the case. Also verbiage about launching into displace is removed as well. We’ll be revisiting this in the future.
Area Light Q Options
I find myself exiting fullscreen to make area lights custom rectangles. Now that option is in the Q menu. Small thing but I’m glad it is there.
Random Material V2
Random material has been made more random. Also material consolidation has been added to the Alt + M menu when multiple objects are selected.
Random material can be unstable w/ multiple objects so make sure to save!
Late Parent (level1)
When we call something level1 it means it is an experimental feature. As we work with it more and more we hope to evolve it to the highest level it can be. Use with caution.
An alternative version exists that requires selecting the boolshapes and the parent but that would be just traditional parenting. Even as I write about it I think about how this could be more useful.
Reset Axis Cursor
Reset axis had a bug w/ 3d cursor that was driving me nuts. It has been resolved.
To_box just converts a selection to a box. I hope to expand on this more in the future.
Sometimes people just want a box.
Smooth / Laplacian Mod support
I was adamant about using smooth after a recent experience where it came in handy for modelling a weapon. The default modal just smooths. Just like the modifier. But the shift mode creates a vertex group that does the following:
omit marked edges
omit edges of manifold nature (ie mirror junction)
This results in a smart smooth that helps maintain form while smoothing everything in between. This can come in handy for modelling using sub-d and booleans at the same time. I hope to show its uses in depth in the future. But I am very excited it made it into the release.
Metaball Support to helper
Meta ball support has been added to ctrl + ~. I have been playing with metaballs lately.
I am against deleting old code since it serves as an educational journey when looking over the solutions we solved and how efficiently it was done. I also like comparing old and new itterations. Nothing was removed this version but the menus received a heavy cleaning. (not deleting pizza ops AR).
Csharp and Ssharp has been consolidated into sharpen along with clear sharps which is no longer present since sharpen handles it. Clean mesh is a classic and beloved so I don’t want to get rid of it. In the next update I will more than likely add a legacy panel w/ classic behaviors for users to add to favorites if desired. Step is more of a behavior but I want to bring that back in a different way. In fact the half bevel with X was my idea to expand on the step idea. To box was added at the last second by ImperfectLink. After he explained the idea I realized that it could go places with a little pondering and proxe magic. So we’ll see about that.
Meshtools also received a good cleaning. I left the classic scrolls in mod scroll / toggle but really those have been mixed into the mod toggle tools that are unified.
The goal was to clean things up to make room for new ideas that we’re facing for 2.8. HOPstool is its own little micro universe but hops outside has a world to grow within now.
Export options are more prominent to ensure exporting isn’t a problem.
Settings has been cleaned up quite a bit too. Helper/ Assistant is the goto place for the classic hops utilities that I can’t live without on commercial work. Edge exponent has been mixed into bevel / edge manager so that users can double / halven their bevels on the fly.
Interactive boolean is the highlight of this release. I want to give it an edit mode hotkey as well but it will take some pondering. Have fun shifting booleans! Edit mode had a rough landing so for a term we’ll be letting interactive modal take over the edit mode hotkeys. Have fun!
Was also supposed to be part of boxxmas this year. We’ll have to see.
Mirco-update offering auto-scale improvements to make lazorcut accucut more accurate every time.
(2.8)BoxCutter 715_12 out now.
Our goal this release was simplicity. We wanted to make it easier than ever to jump in and have fun. Even though boxcutter aims for the same goal via drawing I also like setting up insets and slices via going through things slowly and procedural. We lost rebool several releases back and now I am happy to say slice is now back in action fully performing the goals needed. I hope everyone enjoys Interactive Boolean / Inset etc. It is bonjorno7’s first update with us and he picked the time we were reassembling what hops was to become.
So many items on the cutting room floor but we’ll be right back…
I am always grateful to you the user for reading this and for the team for their continued tolerance of my 24/7 insanity. QD gang.
*some director cuts were made of final release w/ hotfixes surely to follow this post when the team is done caroling.
Every release is an adventure. This one was no exception. I am proud to announce the release of Boxcutter 715: Utility Knife
This release was a doozy. Things were being perfected even unto the final minute but this update has been in the works since the last time we met. With this update we wanted to tackle the number one request ever.
This time we come back with a grid. The grid people wanted. So without further ado lets jump into it.
Starting with the topbar things have changed slightly. For this demo I am using the latest Blender 2.82. Boxcutter works with 2.80, 2.81 and 2.82.
Proxe has once again outdone himself on this release. The released version of grid is the 3rd iteration with the first 2 not being adequate enough for release. AR also remains integral and made the initial prototype.
This grid is infinite. Users can press ctrl during boxcutter to grab a face vector and go to work. There is even a fade and color change system to make it visually pleasing.
The previous system utilizing dots would only go so far.
Also the previous dot system wasn’t made for snapping. Just initial orientation.
Thanks to this drawing with precision is faster and more capable than ever.
And without limits.
The new grid system will be taking over all alignment systems in the future going forward as it is further refined. Our initial release isn’t perfect but serves as a demo of what we are aiming to go for. As with as systems as it gets perfected it will be right at home and an integral part of the boxcutter workflow.
Surface align is a work in progress. When object is active the grid will attempt to orient to the surface for snapping via the grid. In the event of directional inaccuracy simply drawing without grid is more optimal.
View align uses the classic systems from previous releases. Grid has not been integrated yet but will in the future. View align works in perspective and orthographic.
I am excited to say cursor has been improved dramatically. In this update the cursor can be used for grid positioning and orientation however I hope to create support tools for assisting with getting the perfect cursor alignment.
When it comes to using grid with cursor. Aligning the 3d cursor to an edge can be useful.
Then use cursor as alignment. This can come in handy for hard to reach areas.
Last but not least the fallback of fallbacks received the same updates. Now with grid the world is better positioned for level design and make box work.
Having a grid that is infinite means that a larger grid size is not needed due to the grid generating as you move. However adding more units than 10 can result in some heavy performance and is not recommended for slower PCs.
Even I don’t go past 10.
Some of the lower configs look quite interesting.
2 gives us an idea for a future tool. And 0 is no grid at all and can be interesting to use as well. We may add a preset panel in a future release.
Grid is typically grey but in the examples I have grid color checked which makes the grid the same color as the cutter in use. This should be more useful for helping visually know what is about to happen.
This can be turned off under display in the behavior panel.
The whole focus of this release was grid and we hope users enjoy it. I received requests for it in every language and more times than anything else. We hope to expand on this in the future and maybe do a whole release catered towards precision working. So as always we welcome any ideas you throw out there. Along with requests, complains and support issues. I am truly grateful to all who have supported us and we endeavor to continue to provide a AAA experience.
But this isn’t over yet.
This is 715.
Sort was one of the first big changes we attempted in 2.8 and with this release I am proud to announce sort V2. This time latest sort behavior extends to all sorted modifiers and is even on by default!
The new sort should only sort the final iteration of a modifier solving many of the holdups that would come with non destructive cutting.
Sort V1 – sorted mods but didn’t discriminate on bevels and sorted them all
Sort V2 – sorted mods but had support for only moving the last bevel
Sort V3 – allows final sorting on all listed modifiers
A rough overview on sort.
The main buttons determine where the boolean is placed in the stack. Checking these boxes ensures the boolean is placed before / after depending on context.
The sub-buttons are about “last sort”. Enabling one will ensure we only sort the last version of the modifier in the modifier stack. This keeps things fluid when working right.
Bevel is the main sort focus. And mirror.
When bevel is enabled there are options for ignoring only v-group bevels and vertex bevels. This is because these mods have been deemed to never be worth moving around in the stack and must be omitted. The goal of sort is to be streamlined and allow for consistent working without interruption.
The drop-down on the end is for determining final sort or single instance sort. For example when working on a non destructive model with multiple bevels and mirrors, users now are able to choose which mods only sort on the last iteration. This ensures the above stack remains solid and unchanged.
Sorting options should only be on relative to your project.
Having them all on by default will cause serious workflow issues with mods being shifted in an unwanted manor. Even something like solidify is best used sparingly deepening on the result.
Read the tooltips to understand more about sort. In fact a little basic testing will show what we are going for with it.
Sort V3 will be coming to hardOps / kitops at a later time.
Keep modifiers determines what modifiers are kept live on cutters. This is below sort in the modifier panel.
If keep spin is on. Circle cutters remain non-destructive.
Quick Execute Improvements
Quick execute simply bypasses the extrude operation after draw.
In conjunction with depth and snapping quick execute can be used to quickly block things out with precision.
Delete Cutters On Apply
At the top of boxcutter is the apply button.
When applying booleans the associated cutters are also now deleted.
In destructive mode cutters will no longer be created.
If you select a cutter and click apply only that one will be applied on the main mesh and cutter deleted.
This one is strange to explain but in short we deal with errors differently now. This should result in a more stable experience and less issues with dots being stuck on screen or grid overlap.
Also this resolves the issue with blue box in local mode. We hope. However local can be quite unusual at this time.
With any big systems change we expect bugs and issues. In the event you are having install issues contact us.
Welcome to all new users who get in on this Black Friday / Cyber Monday event. I hope to do an updated boxcutter crash course in the near future. Before that, I have to update the docs. 715 is intended to be an extended release meaning that much of the content planned for this term will have to be dropped in stages. But I am excited for what comes next.
Grid opens so many more possibilities than just a grid.
Proxeis a legend. He was working on this until the final ad on this page. I work for him. Since joining us he continues to keep us moving without stopping. AR has been a part since the beginning and without him there is no HOPScutter. I am honored by the chance to team with such brilliance and doubly honored by the work operatives continue to put out! I am the weakest link of the chain but I am held up by those who has helped me. In our community we hope to help others find their way as well. Thank you all for your support.
jerry / masterxeon1001
PS. post release proxeis still working. I already said to call it a day. He’s a machine.
Now the help icon is in the topbar to make accessing the documentation easier. As users ask questions we hope to expand on it to automate the learning process of hopscutter.
Shapes now have the ability to fade into view and fade out of view. This has resulted in a much more graceful experience. This was the most time consuming portion of 714. Great care was taken to improve stability in order to support this system.
Fade times are in milliseconds. Set to low numbers to disable.
Fade adds shape afterfade for lazorcut, greybox, and repeat.
Fade can be adjusted via behavior panel or prefs.
Previously extractions would remain in user view. That has now been resolved making for a smoother experience. Also the shading of extractions have been improved making them better for use with kitops.
Behavior Panel >> Display Additional Options
In the behavior panel fade options were added from prefs for changing fade options on the fly. Also simple topbar was added for simplifying the topbar while working if preferred.
Accucut is a new system extending lazorcut’s accuracy.
When using lazorcut in the previous versions it always overshot.
The new version makes it closer to the dimensions of the mesh.
Dots Edit Mode
Dots are back in Boxcutter 714.
When drawing a shape users can tab to live. During live dots exist for Extrude, Offset, Draw and Bevel.
Click the shape to apply.
The draw dot utilizes shift, ctrl and alt draw for fine adjustment of the draw being uniform, center, or corner.
Dots extend to the other shapes in varying degrees.
With circle the diameter and bevel can be changed.
Rounded Snap Dots
Dots for snapping are more rounded. Resulting in a nicer appearance.
Pressing V goes into array. Pressing V twice launches radial array.
The radial array can be shifted to live for movement and fine modification.
Since radial array is live and uses modifiers it starts at 3 at this time. In the future we plan to extend on the functionality of this tool and give it a proper start operation.
Array supports all shapes and modes.
Knife Box Display
I am a big fan of knife box however without wire showing it’s potential is misunderstood.
Now wires will show when knife is in use. Allowing you to see what is being cut and how the underlying geometry is being affected.
On completion wires will be turned back off.
Edit Mode Circle No Tris
I am particular about circle not having interior points. Now in edit mode circle no longer leaves center points.
Keep in mind you can not only cut in edit mode but radial array in edit mode and not to mention being able to shift to live from edit mode to object mode and still modify the asset.
I am excited for the next horizon for Boxcutter. So much almost made it but had to be cut for time on this release. Alot of things planned for next time so don’t count us out just yet. We even wanna show you one last thing to try.
Set the fade out time to any of these numbers.
I hope everyone enjoys this latest release. We can’t wait to see you guys fading real slow.
Boxcutter also received a small update to ensure cross compatibility.
The N panel has been updated with the mini helper and accompanying functions to make HOPS more accessible.
Also to be more persistent than the mini helper which can be problematic at this time.
Its can be nice to have a modifier panel that can go away with the N panel.
This will be key for later and keeping up with modifiers in fullscreen. I tend to keep an eye on my stack to ensure modifier placement is optimal for my needs.
Circular array was a popular request so it has been added. It has a couple of different ways to use.
First there is just simple circular array.
Then there is 3d cursor circular array which was intended for assistance with things like Boxcutter.
The 3rd state will not use the 3d cursor and will launch the user into displace allowing for quick positioning.
At this time adjustment is done via array and displace modifier modals. This will be streamlined in the future but for now our next feature will have to do.
Introducing hopsTool, the first active tool of Hard Ops. This is the first part of a new system that we have been working on. AR put an immense amount of work into this tool and I am immensely proud of what he and Proxe has accomplished.
Final ordering of modifiers may differ in final version.
Hotkey: Alt + Shift + W
Also can switch on alt + W if latest boxcutter is installed and alt + W hotkey is turned off.
Display – chooses which dots will show during ctrl in this state
Shapes – hShapes or modifier generated shapes that serve as a starting points.
Modifiers – modifiers can be added to the shape and controlled in the 3d view using gizmo dots.
Misc – just mirror for now.
You are also able to make the topbar list smaller via lists in the behavior panel.
To showcase the idea of the tool in action.
We understand there being some limitations with how the instructions are conveyed and are working on ways to improve it but in the meantime I can only say the more time you spend in it the more fun it becomes.
The dots showing up on ctrl in this example are used to adjust various screw, solidify and bevel modifiers. When bevels are present they stick out of the corners with subsequent levels racking up more corner dots. This should make tweaking multiple levels of bevels easier and more intuitive.
These dots are only showing during hopsTool. Exit the tool to get out of it.
Like boxcutter / hopsTool can be exited with W or choosing any other active tool.
With hops tool procedural creation should be fun and enjoyable.
So the reason some mods have multiple buttons is due to operational differences with the system we aim to create. Someday they will work as intended and put the dots in the right places for the goals we aim for.
Even more interestingly you can ctrl + click a dot to adjust the specific mod or to fine tune properties using the mod itself.
The final cherry of this release would have been tool-tips but the tool-tip timer doesn’t update until the mouse is moved so a workaround system will have to be found.
When changing values on mods rapidly crashes can occur. There are know issues and limitations with the tool that we aspire to improve upon in the future. Also save frequently.
hDots also support booleans. This should make the boolean process a little easier and more intuitive.
With 2 object selected you should see 3 new dots.
Cut / Union / Slice
Boolshapes also get their own dot which is where things get really busy.
Fade distance can be adjusted if needed and booldots can be turned off if they are getting in the way.
This should come in handy for recalling specific boolshapes to modify.
Perfect dots for your setup
Of course dots have a behavior panel for fine tuning behaviors.
In this prop you can adjust the scale and offset depending on monitor. You can also change the colors in preferences.
Ctrl + shift clicking dots allow for alternative modification.
Bevel dot adjusts the width but ctrl + shift allows for segment adjust.
The info text up top lets users know whats being adjusted.
On screw ctrl + shift left click dragging adjusts the steps in screw.
Simple deform also gets dots for making large adjustments on the fly.
When using hops tool w/ boxcutter and racking bevels the ctrl + add mod behavior adds a mod at 60 degrees which is smoother for going to box city.
The n panel can display your mod stack so get in there and look at the mods.
If you get confused about how a shape is constructed just mod scroll it.
Try starting off with a vert!
A vert can be a fun time for getting started and experimenting with non destructive shape creation. It’s also fun getting creative with decimate and mirror to create dynamic base shapes.
Various bugs with scrolling and slash has also been resolved. We tried to make this release more stable than previous to set the foundation for what is to come.
The initial rough versions of new tools are always rough but I am eager for what this system will become. I like to imagine dots as placeholders for future plans of sliders and rounded icons that lets users know what mod is being affected. When this system was first added it was quite rough. After many passes by each of us it is now ready for this first release.
Boxcutter can be started with clicking activate Boxcutter.
There was also some cleanup to make it more presentable and remove duplicate options.
In addition the help is also here so it is more accessible than before.
The topbar now has an option for a slimmer version. This can be more useful for mice users versus pens.
Extraction has been added to Boxcutter however at this time it only takes boolean cut areas. This means if the area does not have a live boolean it will not be taken.
Here I cut a few circles in using dots to center subsequent circles in the face center.
Extractor can be switched to with Y during draw.
After an extraction the custom shape is then the extracted mesh. This allows for rapid use after extraction.
flip shape vertical – shift + F
rotate shape – R or ~ during draw
NOTE: Ngon cyclic does not support bevel yet. A special system will have to be made expanding on it.
Pressing C during Ngons toggles cyclic which can be used for creating imprint lines.
To best explain how to use cyclic.
When in (C)cyclic mode you can double click the last point which will make the line darker. From here lazercut is active and the user can press T to add thickness to the shape.We hope to expand on its uses in the future.
Classic Blue Box
If you draw the blue box in 2d which means not starting on the mesh you are able to use classic blue box from 79′. Classic blue box will cut into a surface and never create an interior face. The 3d version of blue box is still showing occasional issues that will be fixed in a future release.
Blue box also has received an additional capability. Since knife project works with any type of edgework, with custom shape Blue box can cut custom geometry into other forms!
I have long wanted to cut grids into forms for deformation and now with Boxcutter it is easier than ever.
As usual Proxe and AR were monumental in this release and I am forever indebted to them for their endless tolerance of me and my madness. This 2.8 era has had us working tirelessly on release after release but in a way it’s the best moment of our developmental era because the avenues of exploration are wide open.
Without further ado lets go over some of the changes!
Pressing ctrl + shift + B brings up the bevel helper. This is a helper designed for making bevel management easier.
In the helper you can adjust every bevel present on a model.
As you can see the presets / full properties are also available.
We hope users find it useful in controlling the multiple levels of bevels you are able to create on the fly!
Menu / Icon Update
Menus have been updated to be more clear and visible and welcoming to new users.
All options should have icons now.
Redesigned (shift + Q) Pie Menu
The pie menu has been redesigned for support of what comes next.
More modifiers are now supported via modal for usage when modelling procedurally.
Many additional operators and modals have been added for quick addition while modelling. Ctrl + clicking functionality for adding has also been added to make stacking modifiers more fun than ever!
This is our first level of implementation but we plan to add a progression system for predictable procedural workflows assisting with hard surface modelling. Smart apply is useful for moving onward to csharp / cstep type workflows as well.
HOPS Helper Redesign (ctrl + ~)
The HOPS helper was recreated with 2.8 in mind. Now the hops helper supports any object and will provide options making your life easier if the properties window is out of sight due to working fullscreen.
An immense amount of work went into the helper and we hope you find the improvements to your liking. There are still a few bugs to iron out and behaviors to refine but this should provide even more functionality to a classic and bring it into the 2.8 era.
Grease Pencil Support
In addition to having the helper fully support materials and modifiers for grease pencil we also added a couple of new operators.
In the Q menu the following have been added.
Copy / Move – just makes a copy and moves the object during draw. Comes in handy for making quick variants in a row.
Surface Offset – allows for drawing on the surfaces of objects easier.
Mirror Gizmo – everyone’s favorite mirror tool has gotten support for grease pencil as well. Press alt + X to mirror. (symmetry not supported yet)
When working non-destructively you will need a scroll to show everyone how you started from something simple like a plane.
Curve Taper Cancel
If you use Q on a curve you can taper it. But right clicking will now return it to a neutral state in case you don’t want bevel depth.
Boolean objects will be put in a collection called “Cutters” similar to boxcutter.
Machin3 is also a continued auxiliary source of awesomeness when we least expect it.
BoolScroll / Object Scroll
Boolscroll is back and better than ever. Previously it had compatibility issues that took it out for a few releases.
Object Scroll – allows for cycling of boolean shapes that remain live on a model via boolean modifier object fields.
Cycle Booleans – allows for cycling of each boolean modifier present on a model individually. It also support restacking certain modifiers.
Additive Scroll – allows for replay of boolean history on a model using the modifier stack.
There are now options to toggle all the modifiers on an object off an on. This is in multiple locations to ease user experience. It can be enjoyable taking an object down to it’s simplest form and make modifications.
We have began to make improvements for the cstep workflow in 2.8 and now have non destructive support.
In order to truly be able to work in non-destructive alot of systems had to be rethought so we plan to further refine this aspect in future releases as well as provide systems to transition into destructive workflows for complete control and finishing.
Smart apply was an idea I had for making it easier to apply models and move on with different workflows and export. Right now it’s simple but we hope to improve it immensely in the future and make it the one stop shop for applying modifiers and converting to mesh within Hard Ops.
If the mesh is csharp: it applies only booleans.
If the mesh is undefined: it converts it to mesh.
Our goal with this release was to free users to explore other workflows outside of Csharp/Ssharp and dissect it for themselves and literally go off the reservation.
Sometimes in Csharp you just wanna apply booleans and with smart apply that is now possible with csharpening.
OnScreen UI Improvements
We intend to unveil a new drawing system down the line for the 2.8 era but in the meantime the drawing has been updated with options to allow users to make text more legible. There has also been an accent added to allow individuality.
Cslash has received improvements from boxcutter’s yellow box. It should not only be faster but support non destructive workflows better.
Pressing 1 during bwidth will change autosmooth from 60 to 30 which can be helpful for addressing shading issues. We plan to expand this in the future with a shading subsystem that takes over during all modals to ensure smooth shading all throughout the process.
Bwidth Multiple Bevel Support
To support the nondestructive aims of this release Bwidth has been improved to support multiple bevels at once.
Shift scroll to change through bevel levels if multiple ones exist.
This is our first implementation but we do plan to improve this in the future to be more visually conveying of relevant information.
Helper Border Toggle
If you want the helper to have an OK button or the bevel helper which can help it stay on screen there is a toggle in prefs for it.
We hope that this release of Hard Ops opens new avenues for users to explore. I can’t wait to show how we intend for all this to work in conjunction with Boxcutter. I am sure I missed a few features but I was eager to get this release out before we dove into the next endeavor.
I have been making so many non destructive assets lately that I forget about csharp sometimes but we plan to bring all this together and even make a more expansive add modifier system for users to keep working without UI.
HOPS is back and this time we’re going all out! I can’t wait to see you next time!
Without further ado lets discuss the latest updates!
To break the ice with KitOps in 2.8 I did a video about dynamic radial arrays. The perfect way to start off inserts in 2.8.
Features / Improvements
Insert Material Improvements – previously in KitOps when multiple inserts were brought in many duplicates were made making the material panel rapidly increase. This has been fixed and now should perform better.
Thumbnail Rendering Improvements – when rendering thumbnails for complex driven inserts sometimes the transition system would have issues. This has been resolved now adjusting inserts for beauty shots should be easier than ever.
Sort Modifiers – this is courtesy of Boxcutter Sort modifiers was essential for working with bevel, mirror, array, solidify, and simple deform. This has now been added to the KitOps preferences for situations where modifier control is needed.
There has been improvements behind the scenes of kitops as well to prepare it for a brighter future in 2.8 for importing assets of all types. Hence the improvements.
It should even support dynamic insert thumbnail creation better!