Boxcutter 7 (2.8): BetaScythe

Boxcutter has been an adventure. And the journey is nowhere near over. Without further ado lets get into it!

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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.

What’s missing?

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:

  • Grey Box
  • Blue Box
  • Purple Box
  • Green Box
  • View Alignment
  • Bisection
  • 2d behavior
  • Rotation
  • Scale

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.

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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.

blender_2018-11-29_19-29-39.pngAfter 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.

blender_2018-11-29_19-32-58.png

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.

hotkey: TAB

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.

hotkey: D

Extrude – allows user to expand the shape

hotkey: E

Move – allows for 2d movement.

hotkey: G

Array – allows for array (roll wheel to add more segments) press x y z for axial direction

hotkey: V

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.

hotkey: B

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)


Getting Started

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.2018-11-29_20-21-15.gifIf 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.

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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.

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Now for an interesting new addition.

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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.

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Array can also be remembered for next time via using it as the draw object.

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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.

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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.

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All these cuts are non destructive meaning I can edit them adjust them and even Csharp them.

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Circle can also have it’s segments set via the behavior drop down up top.

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You can also Tab into pause and adjust segments then as well.

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Circle also arrays. (wip)

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Multicut

When multiple objects are selected cuts will affect them.

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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.

Proxe was working on this until the last minute. Be sure to tweet him if you love his work!

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And he kept working after that. Go to bed Proxe.

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Boxcut image by Tony.

Known issues

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.

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Array count in top bar for users without scroll

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More options exposed up top.

blender_2018-11-30_20-11-44.png

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.

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Repeat Shape has been improved to retain bevel and array.

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Bevel 2d has been fixed and should work better.

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Array circle has been improved.

  • draws correctly

  • repeat shape

  • array repeat shape support

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Bevel segment update.

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The options are also context sensitive now.

Slice has been improved with management of choice changes.

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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.

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Notice the modifier stack as I cut with sort modifiers on.

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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.

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Flip

I pushed for this for 24 hours. And finally Proxe added it. Took 10 minutes.

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We hope you enjoy the latest update!

 

 

 

https://gumroad.com/l/hopscutter

Phase 3 (2:51pm 12-5):

Bugfixes.

 

 

 

Phase 4 (4:10pm 12-6):

Boxcutter 704

Sort modifiers has been expanded.

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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.

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Blue Box – press K during draw. Cuts in edges.

known issues: will remove weights. We hope this resolves itself as blender evolves.

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Start mode tracking – sets mode back to starting tool at the end of tool after using it in a switched state.

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Hard Ops 0097 / 2.8 : Release Notes

product updated last 12/6/2018 4:34AM

2.8 has arrived. And now we look forward and move forward with our LMB fingers on the ready. And with the release of BLENDER 2.8 Alpha we release Hard Ops 0097: Promethium.

Before I begin I must add this will be an extended release. We attempted to port over as much as possible and make it work within the new Blender but many things will need to be re-approached. Extended means we will be improving it over the course of the development with a more rapid update schedule than the usual.

To clear the air before we begin here is what is missing in this release.

  •  inserts
  • merge options and workflows
  • relink (replaced with collections)
  • UV preview
  • Xunwrap
  • radial array
  • display ngons/tris (no scene handler to update / broken)

Many of these things will return even better than last time with expand ability in mind for their expansions. There were many ideas for this release that didn’t make it due to stability or lack of time. As Blender 2.8 changes we endeavor to go for the most streamlined workflow we can come up with an effective way to use Blender and our tools.

Without further ado lets begin.

Alt + V / Sub-Menu: Eevee Improvements

blender_2018-11-29_13-32-17.png

This one was added by me. So its simple. But I was very happy to get it started. When we first went into 2.8 it took a moment to figure out how to get these options where I wanted.

Machin3 was so kind as to give me assistance in solving things and after that I was set! He has also released Machin3Tools for 2.8.

The breakdown of the alt + V menu is as follows,

  • Overlays (formerly quiet mode)
  • Eevee HQ / LQ (changes the scene to quickly show a nice result) (enabled shadows / AO / sets cavity) It can also be quickly turned off.
  • Viewport Mode
  • Viewport Mode Details
  • Lighting setup sphere / matcap sphere
  • Rendering checkboxes for view
  • Specific checkboxes for view

I must add machin3tools has made a different approach to this setup but I was assisted by his support.

 

Hard Ops Helper Improvements

blender_2018-11-29_13-44-22.pngThe (Ctrl + ~) helper has been updated to 2.8 and also has settings for Viewport Color / Roughness / and Transparency type for Eevee. This comes in handy for viewport shader management and also creating glass materials with transparency.

blender_2018-11-29_13-48-26.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 2nd image we see the mirror options and sharp options still intact. The interactive mirror was affected last release so the previous system also remains in case anything happens.

Mirror Changes

2018-11-29_13-52-20.gifInteractive mirror (ALT+ X) almost died. I am pleased to announce it pulled through. When this was broken I was expressing how riots would be had were this popular feature not present. Thanks to AR and proxe respectively.

We have plans to grow this into something more visually appealing but the framework is in place. I am excited to think of what this version will become in 2.8.

Relink was the 4th box and with it gone now there is only 3 options.

  •  Modifier (now with bisect options)
  • Bisect (classic bisect)
  • Symmetrize (one and done classic)

Alt + shift + x / y / z still do the classic mirrors and mirror mirror (for mirroring one object across another). But the F6 menu is there if you need to make adjustments.

blender_2018-11-29_13-57-11.png

 

 

 

 

BWidth

Blender’s bevel modifier has changed. We are optimistic we will at least get where we were in a future update but this is a major change.

Weight doesn’t show if a mirror mod is first!

2018-11-29_14-02-02.gif

During Bwidth pressing S will change the bevel from weight to angle. 

That is our only fix at the time. The solution is simple. Don’t mirror. Just kidding but if you do face this issue just apply the mirror and ssharpen and you can proceed.  This brings us to the next glitch affecting our workflow.

Bevel Weights will disappear if you apply a mirror!

This bug is another one that drives me a bit crazy but I am optimistic it will be resolved in future releases.

2.8 is treading into unfamiliar territory but since they keymap and even selection is changed it makes 2.79 a very hard road to go back to. So I understand any frustration this may cause.

 

Cslash

Cslash now can rebool. It was supposed to be capable from the get go. But now users can cut. Then get back the cut if they desire.

Works in both a destructive and non destructive state.

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Classic slash still applies.

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Menu Changes

The q menu also had a few adjustments.

Thin Q menu

If an object is a plane there is a special menu for it. Or just thin really. It came in handy during testing and I felt was worth keeping around.

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Multi Q menu

When multiple objects are selected. Difference is in the menu.

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Just trying to make booleans even more accessible.

Eevee Support

I have fallen in love with Eevee and it’s realtime performance offerings. Cycles will have a place for me.

The Q menu has options now for area lights, and suns for contact shadows and energy. I was able to find a pretty effective workflow for enabling shadows and setting up lighting.

2018-11-29_19-01-05.gif

 

Fixes

I know I am failing to mention many many fixes. There is not an operator present that AR didn’t have to touch up or refine. Or Proxe.

 

In Closing

HOPS goes on. I personally wanted this release to feel close to the last one in terms of feel and experience. That was we can radically change it but have a baseline to refer to. Active tools have become a big part of Blender and we want to make our tools behave in that same sense. Of course we don’t want to change anything to alienate users but I dream of a dynamic array spin radial system that will finally be worthy. Like the mirror.

I must shoutout Adam K, Pro3 (formerly known as proxe), Machin3 and of course AR.

AR has been with this since the start. He’s definitely one of my favorite people to bounce ideas off of. Also Boxcutter creator. I truly consider him 50% of this endeavor and a cheater in Mario Tennis.

Proxe works like a Machin3. He’s just insane. And a leaker. Proxe also was the principal designer behind the 2.8 Boxcutter rewrite so we hope you’ll be pleased with the work so far. Everyday he wakes up “how’re the tools!?” and “boxcutter broke again… its been dead for XX hours” It takes a special soul to work with me.

Adam K. new icons coming soon. I am always excited to see it.

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Support

I pride myself on the support I provide. I try to respond to all emails, messages and requests that aren’t soliciting or spam. If you have an issue or need help there are support groups but also you can always email me at masterxeon1001@gmail.com

(support issues only or jobs (I’ll always take a job))

(edit: Job received!)

 

Extended Notes (these are post release fixes)

Phase 2 (8:07pm 11-30):

Fixes for Cslash with Boxcutter (now it works!)

2018-11-30_20-05-09.gif

World rotation for alt + V menu.

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New Ssharp / Csharp

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AR surprised me with another update to the beloved C/Ssharpen. The UI is updated and now has options for global sharpening management on the ssharp level.

  • if you want ssharp to replace autosmooth values it can
  • if you want autosmooth to stay where you had it manually but still sharpen without changing that. You can do that too now.

 

I am also doing content for this release as we refine it get a discussion going.

Today’s video.

 

Phase 3 (4:26pm 12-6):

AR added many fixes for ssharp and csharp. The helper has also received a small redesign. Csharp can now be toggled to jump into Bwidth after usage making this a one click operation.

Right click to be able to access the F6 in this configuration.

2018-12-06_04-28-19.gif

2.8 has made some changes to weight having us needing to rely on angle as a fallback system for bevelling.

AR made changes to the helper for making that process easier.

blender_2018-12-06_04-29-37.png

Now Csharp has an alternate workflow enabled by default to ease the transition. I plan to go over it in detail in an upcoming video.

In addition several reported bugfixes has been resolved with more to come.

 

Phase 4 (7:00pm 12-1):

  • Q menu quick favorite support.

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  • Gizmo system for Array and Mirror added

2018-12-11_19-01-28.gif

2018-12-11_19-02-17.gif

  • Cleanup and minor fixes

 

Hard Ops 0096: Proxium

2.79 has been an era. This release was pretty planned out. Just adding a few boolean tools and call it a day. So I asked AR if he had something to add, expecting him to say no. He was like nah I got something major to add. After much tweaking I am proud to announce the final-ish HOps for 2.79.

It is recommended to update to the latest build via the buildbot. Users have reported issues with 2.79B. If you are having issues with 3d box crashing please try updating Blender. This has been found to resolve most of the issues.

The next update will be for 2.8.


Boolean Scrolling

When AMD was planning to have me test a Threadripper 2 I wanted to have some tools that could push a processor to the max with booleans stacked on booleans. In the end I was getting to 70+ booleans on a model and then found I could isolate things and tweak them to make endless variants. So in a way AMD was the cause of this shift of workflow.

Scroll Booleans / Additive Scroll / Object Scroll

Scroll Booleans – allows user to cycle through all booleans active on a model. Meshes are made visible to quickly identifying and tweaking a boolshape in an isolated state.

2018-09-24_17-48-28.gif

Additive Scroll – allows user to scroll through a series of booleans in order to rebuild a shape selectively or shape by shape.

2018-09-24_17-47-13.gif

Object Scroll – helps users locate and enable a particular boolshape or series of boolshapes. (I also use this to select a single boolshape while hiding all other then LMB and hide the shape selected)

2018-09-24_17-50-27.gif

Toggle Boolean Visibility

Allows user to toggle all booleans off. This will allow users to move parts around then re-enable for performance efficient working.

2018-09-24_17-53-16.gif

These options are part of the Q >> Operations >> BoolScroll

We plan to make them more prominent and possibly merge into 1 in future versions.


QArray

Qarray has been updated to now support multiple objects. Also the default array is now constant instead of relative. This allows users to array multiple objects and press S (applies scale during modal) to ensure they array evenly and equally.

2018-09-24_17-58-45.gif

In the above example I also parented with ctrl + P >> Curve Deform following the array to deform and continue to tweak.

Tthick

Tthick now supports multiple objects.

2018-09-24_18-00-47.gif


Reset Axis +

Reset axis was formerly a series of options but now it has been merged into 1 tool.

2018-09-24_18-03-19.gif

When 1 object is selected you can reset the axis globally.

When 2 objects are selected it will reset the origin according to the 2nd object.

I use reset axis quite a bit and I hope you are able to find a use out of its evolution.


Now for the highlight of this release. We originally had this planned for 2.8, however AR bought it over to 2.79 HOPS for this release and expanded it.

Destructive / Non Destructive Mode

In the ctrl + ~ >> HOPS Helper >> Misc tab there is an option at the top for destructive / non destructive modes.

2018-09-24_18-09-00.gif

Destructive

Destructive offers the same classic behavior users have come to expect.

2018-09-24_18-10-07.gif

Modifier order is determined by user behavior. This is the way things have always been. Even in destructive ctrl + numpad minus cuts are still handled the same. And as always Q >> Csharpen will make this cut real.

2018-09-24_18-11-32.gif

Non Destructive

Non destructive is similar to an extent.

2018-09-24_18-12-47.gif

Notice that the live cut also inherited the bevel. This is what non-destructive will offer users. However it goes farther. At the moment of the gif above the bevel mod is set to angle and the boolean is first in the stack.

2018-09-24_18-14-49.gif

The shift of bevel mod from angle to weight is done by csharp as the boolean is applied allowing users to continue in a csharp state.

We plan to furter expand on these workflows and behaviors but consider this us sticking our flag in the task.


Slice

Slice has once again received an upgrade.

There is a destructive and non destructive variant.

Destructive – behaves as before. Slices one and done.

2018-09-24_18-24-10.gif

Non Destructive –  everything is kept live. Csharp to apply.

2018-09-24_18-22-49.gif


In closing. I am working on a robot for AMD using 2.79. I hope you check it out!

Part 2 coming soon.threadox1_3.png


 

Special thanks to: AR, proxe, redfrost. Teamwork is the secret. I am thankful everytime we come together for another release. Let’s keep goin!

 

We hope you continue to enjoy HardOps and report any support issues to my email (masterxeon1001@gmail.com).

Boxcutter 6.9.0 : Poly Dirk

This is the final-ish Boxcutter for Blender 2.79+.


It is recommended to update to the latest build via the buildbot. Users have reported issues with 2.79B. If you are having issues with 3d box crashing please try updating Blender. This has been found to resolve most of the issues.

The next update will be for 2.8.

Boxcutter has had a few small changes and improvements mainly bugfixes.

The D menu has been adjusted and a new workflow mode for Destructive and Non-Destructive is in the pie menu.

blender_2018-09-24_18-59-05.png


Destructive

Behaves as classic in red box 2d/3d. Just cuts and is done.

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Yellow box is also connected to desctuctive / non destructive.

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Non-Destructive

Booleans are kept as modifiers if shift is not held.

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Yellow box also has a non-destructive counterpart.

2018-09-24_17-22-57.gif


Grey Box Deselect

This one was requested by Jama.

blender_2018-09-24_19-03-10.png

Grey box deselect will auto deselect the grey box allowing for rapid grey box creation.

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I can’t wait to see what is done with it.


Autosmooth

For those who use Boxcutter without Hard Ops >> SSharpen. Boxcutter now sets autosmooth for those who cut the greys. Just better shading.

2018-09-24_19-19-09.gif


There are many additional bugfixes in addition to small enhancements.

  • NGON doubleclick error

  • HOPS not present error

  • dead boolean error resolved

  • boolean naming convention

  • low level boolean application

  • local mode fixes

  • 3d box improvements

  • hops integration matcut improvements

 

We hope you continue to enjoy Boxcutter and report any support issues to my email (masterxeon1001@gmail.com).

 

blender_2018-09-11_19-06-52

Boxcutter 6.8.9 Interdimensional GhostScythe

Boxcutter continues…

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I know. We were just here talking about it.

This picture explains it all…

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So Proxe returned right after we finished the last update and wanted to try something we had on the wish list. 3d Shapes. I was like well sure why not.

So without further ado…

>Note: 3d is only supporting box at this moment. Circle and ngon will be next but we want to make their 3d counterparts different and more powerful so everything here is just phase 1.

>Obligatory: Update is the top file with the highest number.

____________________________________________________________________

3d Box

blender_2018-07-24_01-05-01.png

If you have issues with 3d box and want to revert to classic this option is available.

____________________________________________________________________

How do I start 3d Boxcut!?

Ctrl + LMB Clicking and drawing on the surface will start 3d box.

2018-07-24_01-09-52.gif

If you start drawing in 3d space 2d box will be drawn.

2018-07-24_01-12-13.gif

Classic box has all the classics. Bevel and conversions. Right click the help for more info.

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Notice that the help updates dynamically showing information varying from 2d information to 3d information. In boxcutter there are many hotkeys for 3d which is still a work in progress.

Lets see what 3d boxcutter is like.

____________________________________________________________________

3d Box In Depth Features

Local Mode 3d Box / Mirroring

In local mode you can take a shape for an adventure.

2018-07-24_01-19-06.gif

3d box has it’s own mirroring mode. And as you see it will remember it as you work so it keeps the instances going.

____________________________________________________________________

Edit Mode 3d Box (Tab)

If you press tab you can drop the shape. This is similar to 2d except for the addition of some dots.

2018-07-24_01-21-51.gif

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.

2018-07-24_01-26-29.gif

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.

2018-07-24_01-31-42.gif

There is also a 2nd bevel (Q) that reaches all the way around.

2018-07-24_01-35-00.gif


Array 3d Box (V)

Array is also present as an essential for 3d box.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This can allow me to prepare for what i want to do.

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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.

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The possibilities are endless.


Union Boxes (J)

Last minute addition. Pressing J will turn a box green making it a union box.

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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.

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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.

A few gifs from AR.

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I was on CGC!

Hard Ops 0095: Americium

It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Hard Ops 0095: Americium. This release is an intended update on our 2.79 support as the anticipation for 2.8 boils over. This is less event filled than Boxcutter‘s newest release but is still worthy of going over.

Operatives : In the addons tab is a link to meshmachine that will discount you on the product. Kudos to Machin3 for his kindness to the ops.


Installation

here


Interactive Mirror (alt + X)

Interactive mirror was added this version and we couldn’t stop fine tuning it even up to release.

It is an expansion off of the previous mirror rewrite done here.

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All 4 systems (mod, symmetry, bisect, relink) have been combined into 1 easy to use modal.

This is one of my favorite tools and we even took it a step further!

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In this modal you choose which side to use to overwrite the other. And it’s visual. It has come in handy for so many tasks and it was a major undertaking by AR and RF.

During the modal you can change the behavior to do other things as well depending on goals.

*it is worth noting that the bisect will create an open faced mesh which will have issues with bmesh which works best with completely manifold items. This is because Carve is gone. I hope they put it back. In the meantime I recommending checking your meshes in the event of boolean errors because Bmesh will highlight any geometrical errors with anything from crashes to geometry disappearing.

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This mirror is not done.

So Machin3 also made a mirror as well for MeshMachin3. It is cool, but it’s an alternative to symmetrize so we added a level of compatibility for users using that tool as well.

To use this you will have to disable the meshmachine‘s alt + x hotkey.

Ctrl + alt + U >> User Preferences

Addons >> Search Mesh

General >> Symmetrize >> Uncheck Alt + X

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If you search for 9. You’ll find Hard Ops 9.

If meshMAchine is installed you will see a Mir2 Symmetrize Type: Set to Machin3

Save User Settings

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(As I type this.. we might put this in the helper next version)

Now when you use our Interactive Mirror with alt + X it will use Machin3’s symmetrize.

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I just love those fading verts he does. Now keep in mind this is only for symmetrize and replacing ours with Machin3‘s.

 

edit: If the hotkey for mirror doesn’t show next to the option in the Q menu you may need to right click it and set the hotkey to alt + X and then save user prefs in the ctrl + Alt + U user prefs to set on next load. Sorry about this issue we will hardcode it in the next update. And have it show up under the hotkey of our prefs. (8-1) An update has been pushed to customers for having alt + X be interactive mirror by default)

 

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Make sure your version of meshmachine is at least 0.5.13 in order to have machine’s symmetrize tools. In the meshmachine user prefs you should see hotkeys listed for machin3’s symmetrize. If they are not showing you need to get the preview.

Ref +

This idea came about while modelling a bunch of weapons for work recently.

The issue was I kept having to exit full screen to deal with empties on images. And since Hard Ops focuses on the weird ideas…

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If you have an image loaded in Blender. Via through the UV Image editor window or dragging and dropping like me and then unchecking background images in the N panel, you can press Q to bring up a unique empty q menu that can do various functions such as:

  • Set Image (select image from list)
  • Center Image
  • Change Transparency
  • Change Offset

This is worth trying out and adding to your workflow if you like dealing with references but this was something on the todo list for too long.


MeshMachine Integration (meshmachine required)

I was floored when Machin3 showed me what was to become MeshMachine. With every update I see more into his workflow and modelling approach.

We have integrated mesh machine into menus and pies to make it easier to get used to the tool. It helps me immensely and I hope users utilize it.

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I am still coming to terms with some of the features and how it opens a whole new modelling method once again. I hope everyone is at least following the development. I believe it will push Blender to untold heights and keep the other packages jealous.

Meshmachine is proof lightning can strike twice. DecalMachine has already changed the landscape on what is real.

Machin3 has made a fair deal of submissions to HOPS and is a valued supporter.

Operatives get a discount. Just check the addons tab of Hard Ops.


Edit Mode Boolean Options

In the Q menu for edit mode there are now options for booleans in edit mode. This was added a few versions back but now has a place in the Q menu itself.

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Edit mode booleans have their uses and can be used in certain situations. It is worth experimenting and implementing into your workflow.

It works great alongside Boxcutter‘s new edit mode behavior.


Bugfixes

There’s always more bugs to fix. In this version many bugs were resolved but as always new ones are sure to come about.


In Closing

While this was an incremental update, alot has went on underneath to prepare us for what comes next. I plan to do some final videos for this update and a public demo so stay tuned and we’ll see what the future holds.

I thank all customers for their shares, recommendations, and continued support. Even as work gets busy and I find myself modelling ancient guns and swords I cannot stop thinking about Hard Ops and what I want to do next.

An update for Fidget is coming and with that some big things. Fidget is intended to be a companion for Hard Ops and a customizable macro widget for full screen working so do give it a try and when we add templates it will become more apparent when its easily usable without pre-setup.


Thanks

As always I must thank AR and RedFrost who were immense this release. As we cycle between tools with different thoughts and goals it can get confusing so I admire the teamsters who are able to keep up with my madness.

Machin3 is and has been an invaluable resource during this adventure. As he shows us more of his workflow and style I feel the whole hard surface landscape shake.

I cannot recommend his latest tool and previous tool enough.

MeshMachine / DecalMachine


 

BoxCutter 6.8.8 GhostScythe

Boxcutter has received an update as part of our continuation of the 2.79 series.

It is with great pleasure that I release Boxcutter 688: GhostScythe. There were quite a few new additions and refinements to classic ones.

Even with 2.8 on the horizon it is our goal to continue as normal until the future of Blender is ready and stable. With modifiers present we are on our way but there are still some missing items.

Without further ado let’s begin.

The top file on the market is the latest. The top file is always the latest. The files below are always legacy support going back a couple of versions.

It is also worth noting that Buildbot appears to no longer have Carve present as a boolean solution. As a result the hard mode Bmesh may be the only algorithm going forward. But Carve will be missed.

RedFrost has been a new member of the team this release. AR continues to be the shadow boxmaster enigma. RF is special because he does my ideas even if they make no sense. AR is special because he’ll make an idea make sense and take it so far I don’t even recognize the core. Hard Ops / Boxcutter is nothing without the team so rest assured they were compensated for their efforts and continued contributions.


Installation

same as always.

___

Shift Mod Live

While drawing a box if you hold shift the box will be kept live. This is essential for situations where you want to cut but decide mid cut you want to keep it live.

Try it out! Hold shift while drawing a red box. It will remain live, allowing you to edit it after the fact.

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 Multi Object Cut

This was a big feature addition and one that really adds to the BC experience. With multiple objects selected you can now cut them with Boxcutter.

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Also slicing is supported.

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Now Boxcutter can live up to its name and Slice and Dice with multiple objects.


Edit Mode Cutting

Now edit mode supports all cutters instead of just blue.

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In edit mode if you press X , Z or A the type of box will be changed.

This is another feature I am very excited about and am happy to announce is a part of Boxcutter. So cut anytime… anyplace.

*some conditions apply

Circle: Center Cut

While drawing a circle the center can be toggled to spawn at the 3d cursor with D.

This is useful for times where the circle has to be in the perfect center with 3d cursor precision.

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This feature was a personal long time request of mine and am glad to finally have it in Boxcutter.


Custom Depth: V1

Too long have we been restrained by the 3d cursor when cutting to depth. How would you like a constant depth?

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Cut depth is in the D menu and will allow you to use the 3d cursor differently than before.

In the old version cutting to depth was done by using the cursor as the depth indication.

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The previous mode is still viable and usable however cut depth changes the approach a bit. The goal was constant cutting without realigning the 3d cursor.

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Help System Improvements

Thanks to CGcookie our help system has improved. As a fan of retopo I always had my eye on their help and wanted to try something dynamic with it in BC.

Right clicking the help box closes it. The help box is also a good indicator of BC being activated.

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RMB was used to prevent from accidentally moving the 3d cursor. This might be toggle-able in the next version.

You are also able to fine tune the corner and padding.

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*some users have been reporting issues with this so a bugfixed has been pushed as the file at the top Boxcutter 0688 (zip). So this should be resolved.

Right Click Logo Snapping

Being able to toggle snapping without the D menu was an objective for touchscreens.

Right clicking the BC logo will turn it red. When the logo is red snapping is enabled. Hopefully in the future it will expand to cycle between grid and custom snapping but this was a final touch that was requested.

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Orthographic Jump while Cutting

There is a pref that will make boxcutter jump into orthographic while cutting. This is useful for situations where numpads aren’t available and perspective cutting is not desired.

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Notice that for every cut the view is jumped into ortho. Making it much more predictable. This drove me crazy when using Boxcutter on a laptop.


Hotkey / Color Coding Tab

Boxcutter now has a hotkey tab. In addition to hotkeys there are also UI prefs for color coding your cutting workflow.

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This has become a common trend with our tools.

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Also you can set a color for any alternate shape.

The defaults are as follows.

Red – cut (normal)

Yellow – slice (X)

Gray – null box (no selection / can also be toggled with A)

Blue – Edit Mode Knife (edit mode)

Purple – thickness slice (Z)


Region Respect

Alt + W starts Boxcutter. However now it loads up in the correct 3d view.

alt + ctrl + Q – quad view.

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Hard Ops 0094 Update Notes

It is with great pleasure that I release Hard Ops 0094. This version has received a few small enhancements that are worth explaining in detail.

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Also the docs are always being expanded and more video content is to come.

Tooltip Displays

Now most tools have a tooltip explaining what it does. I hope this makes things more clear.

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Fidget Integration

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Sculpt Mode: Brush Menu

If you press Q during sculpt there are now options based on sculpting. This will be expanded in the documentation but is worth a shot!

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Mirror Rewrite

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 + ~.

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The modifer helper lists the modifiers present on the selected model.

Materials and misc are the other 2 tabs. Lets look at the misc.

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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!

Next up! Boxcutter!

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Also damn that Eevee is looking nice! I can’t wait to port HOPS over!

Boxcutter 6.6 Update Notes

THIS VERSION IS COMPATIBLE WITH VERSION 2.79 and UP!

Boxcutter continues to grow and this version holds up to the tradition of incremental evolution. I am pleased to announce the release of Boxcutter 6.6: Polyslash.

If it first doesn’t work close and reopen Blender. This tends to resolve issues with enabling or smaller issues. Also with our tools please remove the previous folder and replace it with the new one provided.

The latest update has forced us to update a little sooner than planned but we have much more planned for the little cutter we know as Boxcutter.

Starting Boxcutter

This one is classic but it’s Alt + W.

The border is how I tend to know it is operational.

It can be closed with escape.

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When the border is gone. I know it is closed.

To get familiar with the basics of boxcutter I recommend the getting started video.

AR has been a large part of this version as he is with all versions and the latest HOPS. Proxe also continues to play a large role and is a dedicated operative.

With that aside lets get started with what’s new.

Purple Boxcut

This is a feature that is part of the Hard Ops connection.

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If you are drawing a box and press Z it will turn purple and will behave as a solidification. This is best shown in action.

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This feature is still in development and can have issues with unapplied scaling. Modifiers and other otherworldly circumstances that visit operatives in the night.

After the initial draw I am using the Q menu option tThick to add thickness.

 

Edit Mode Boxcut

This is a personal favorite of mine and hope it can be expanded even more for more versatility but the initial implementation offers quite a bit for edit mode that was not available previously.

With the blue border up just tab into edit mode to project cut.

Currently this does not work to depth with alt as edit mode would work.

D opens a pie menu with options for cut through projection. In edit mode.

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This does not support slice or any of the more advanced object level functions.

 

Hotkey Changes

Boxcutter has additional features and hotkeys added to make it more functional than ever.

Lets first go over some changes to Boxcutter Pie menu for object mode.

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The mirror area is especially worth going over.

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You can now mirror based off of

  • origin – of the object (this is how mirror traditionally behaved)
  • cursor – NEW – this will allow you to mirror across the cursor to allow for more unique designs

The mirror has also been rebuilt to handle mirroring on a 2d system instead of 3d making things simpler for users. This way X will always be X.

The cursor mirroring is worth testing for yourselves.

Also notice how I use apply boolean to give the boxes a chance to be modifier before the booleans are applied via HOPS|Csharp.

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While drawing you can press

1 – X mirror

2 – Y mirror

That is shown in the following example. It is worth noting that to disable it in the pie menu you must hold shift depending on setup.

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R – rotate

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S – scale

This one is available if you use the tab to edit behavior.

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Hold shift while moving points in BC edit mode will snap to the x or y axis and w will swap which 2d axis it is snapping to.

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Final Notes

As usual I am sure I am missing other features new to this version but also as usual I leave this to you the users to find as well. There are numerous fixes and other small adjustments for stability and flexibility.

2.79  was a harder transition than the last few updates of Blender. With 2.8 around the corner we are expecting even more API changes. Any support issues can be sent to my email or wherever you choose to notify me.

I am grateful to all who have used and support us and our experiments.

 

 

Hard Ops 0093 Release Notes

H9 Videos / Docs / Gumroad / BlenderMarket /

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.

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It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Hard Ops 093 Neptunium.

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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.

 

Installation –

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).

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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.

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And with both selected I will just use the Q menu option for cut in that is in the two-object boolean submenu.

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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.

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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.

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And basically using this wire cylinder I can quickly snap and cut to quickly get holes on the shape.

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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.

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Pressing A will enable adaptive bevel width.

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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.

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Expected and typical behaviors is a stickler of mine so it with great pleasure that proxe has managed to solve it.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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ctrl + ~ helper

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 –

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?

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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.

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litterally my largest object… yet

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.

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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

Hard Ops 0093: Neptunium is live.

So until next time. That is all.

support: masterxeon1001@gmail.com

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Also BoxCutter. Updates soon.

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Randomness:

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