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.