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.
- Grey Box
- Blue Box
- Purple Box
- Green Box
- View Alignment
- 2d behavior
We hope you find more than enough to enjoy what we have in store. Updates for this release will be more frequent until the next level is achieved.
How do I use Boxcutter?
After installation (placing the folder in your folder) and enabling the add-on.
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.
Operation / Shape / Action / Mode / Draw Method / Behavior
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.
And he kept working after that. Go to bed Proxe.
Boxcutter F6 box –
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.
- draws correctly
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.
We hope you enjoy the latest update!
Phase 3 (2:51pm 12-5):
Phase 4 (4:10pm 12-6):
Sort modifiers has been expanded.
Now there are options for sort modifiers and options for choosing which modifiers get moved or ignored.
Show Wire – shows wires during draw. Support item.
Blue Box – press K during draw. Cuts in edges.
known issues: will remove weights. We hope this resolves itself as blender evolves.
Start mode tracking – sets mode back to starting tool at the end of tool after using it in a switched state.