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.
With that aside I am pleased to announce the release of Hard Ops 00984: Thulium
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!
Preferences have shown to be problematic with this release via human test trials. If you encounter installation issues preferences will more than likely need to be cleaned.
With features I’ll start chill and sharpen up…
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.