When using a modal the T an N panels could obscure the help which caused problems.
Update Notification System
HOPS now has an update notification system. I wanted to make it as unobtrusive as possible.
The button is the easiest way to find out if you are up to date. Clicking it displays about which will say in the bottom right.
In the event of an update being needed or available additional icons for market links will be provided as well as a button explaining how to obtain updates. We hope this makes it easier to keep up what is going on with Hard Ops.
Hotkey Helper / Ctrl + K
With the enthusiasm shown for the button tutorial, AR wanted to expand on it even more. Now the button is capable of listing the default hotkeys of Hardops to make it even more intuitive for new users.
Ctrl + K will now bring up a hotkey manager for adjusting or changing hotkeys in Hardops. As with all prefs to keep them across sessions its important to save the preferences.
Boxcutter received a very small micro update and HOPS has also been enhanced to display modal information for boxcutter.
This is something users can opt into via the opt in panel.
Sequential Q Menu
The Q menu is a never-ending quest to shrink while also expanding towards our dreams. In this update we wanted to add and opt-in to allow users to stack the Q menu in a different fashion making the options more accessible for smaller displays.
Wrap / Auto T and N Panel
Modals now have a custom wrap and border that can be toggled in preferences to be corners or boxes. This was something I felt added a bit of serenity to modals by quieting the experience.
Edit Mesh Multi Tool (EM Macro)
EM Macro aims to replace all 4 of these and combine them in one and bring them back front row. Grate, Knurl and Panel were some of the oldest tools in HOPS and now they have finally been remade for the new generation. Now all of them have interactive capabilities and go so much farther than their predecessors.
Multi edit mode is something I am still getting used to. With the latest update multi curves can be extracted from multiple meshes in edit mode.
ST3 Array was our first attempt at making an alternative approach to arraying. While it is the most entertaining array yet we didn’t want to stop attempting to make something even better. This update brings forth Array V2 which can be opted into and will replace the options in the menus and helpers for array.
This array starts off feeling like 2d classic default.
Pressing V changes from 2d to 3d changing the experience. Even adding additional count is a different experience.
This array is experimental so there is additional madness to opt into. Pressing G in 3d mode will activate both circle and tractor beam for users to experiment with. The goal is to make an array that allows for understanding of 3d positioning while arraying.
Helper New Material
New material in the helper has also been enhanced to work better. Now multiple indices are no longer being nuked and blank materials can be stacked and assigned properly.
Material List Count Pref
The material list was capable of getting long when there were tons of materials. A user kindly wrote about it and provided a solution and now I am happy to announce a better way to deal with out of control material lists.
Blank Material Cut
I admit this one is a little random. But cutting a blank material per cut was a long time dream for reasons I can’t remember.
Modscroll Smart Apply
Smart Apply has come to modifier scroll.
When using modifier the following now applies.
Ctrl + LMB – applies current modifiers and reactivates deactivated modifiers.
Shift + LMB – applies current modifiers and duplicates the mesh while removing deactivated modifiers
Viewport adjust is done by pressing Alt + V >> V or selecing (v)Lookdev +.
During lookdev pressing T will set the flag for the operation to exit to blank light allowing for users to adjust lighting post lookdev. Now there is support for rotation.
Blank Light also has a tab for expanded mode. It is still in the process of being sorted but it does have an experimental world edit tab that can be used for adding various types of fog.
Post release we generally aim to keep fixing things found by users. This release was no exception.
Boxcutter also received a small service update “716_6” to ensure things worked well with 2.9 as well. We remain grateful for those who report issues and keep on keeping on with HardOps.
With each release I feel we get closer and closer to the initial goal of creating a streamlined workflow for hard surface use. This release brings us a little bit closer while also providing a new ui and plenty of new things to enjoy.
I am proud to announce the release of HardOps 985: Neodymium… X.
In addition to being cleaned up a bit there is now a panel category area. Deleting the entry removes the tab from the N panel.
Fast UI System
Over the course of this development we came to realize our typical approach was what could be considered “fast” and a new UI system was made by ST3 to keep up with us. Alternative to this is the expanded UI which I will get into next.
Color customization was big for me because I wanted my UI pink.
This system extends to most tools and modals.
Even operators display a ui similar to our first attempts. This was crucial to me. Having this information really helped ground the experience and maintain awareness.
And of course if you don’t like pink you can choose something more “fitting”.
Boolean / Parent Shapes
After a boolean F9 will bring up a panel where parent can be checked for booleans.
This can also be set by default in prefs.
Sharpen / Csharp – Remove Cutters
Csharp within sharpen has been expanded to be able to remove cutters when used. This is also able to be set in preferences as above.
Knife Curve Support
If a curve is selected and a mesh shift clicking knife will perform knife project in a way that utilizes curve now. Someday it will be even more automatic but for now this is a step in the right direction.
C0 was diligent in his work with fixing circle and now it is performing better than last release. I still have hopes of rewriting and revamping it but now it survives once more.
Smart Apply Expansion
Smart apply was intended to be a smarter version of the apply system of Csharpen. In this release it has been expanded further to encompass more.
Shift clicking smart apply will create a new duplicate with weighted normal and the last bevel removed to assist with quick work.
Dice is now more capable than ever. Last release we added “big dice” where users can dice multiple objects using the same die. This time we allow for a bevy of new things:
to_dice – allow dicing of a primary object using the bounds of the secondary object.
selection_die – dicing using 2 points to determine an area (mesh intersect)
hidden_die – Dicing in edit mode on partially visible meshes.
Smart Apply Dice
A prop was added to the ctrl + ~ HardOps helper for choosing how to treat dice prior to use. When mods were present the dice would never go through so smart apply is here to help make sure dice works as desired. Without applying the last level of bevel or weighted normal.
Alt click will also do it unless emulate 3 button is enabled then no alt. .
When sort bypassing users may now choose to add and adjust a bevel at that intermediate stage.
Curve / Extract
Curve extract will take a surface and either make it a curve or an extraction. Extractions without mods are also capable from this.
Shift + click for mesh extractions with solidify.
First we had to_box then to_plane then I didn’t want to add more of these. So now introducing to_shape. Now you can turn an area into a shape box, cube or cylinder.
KitOps Popup / ST3
Kitops has also received an update from within hops. If used with the Q menu option kitops will now have a floating, scalable and movable popup.
Shift + clicking the option will make it stay allowing for quick changing.
There’s quite a bit for hops I am sure is being missed in this log but I wanted to go over the most crucial. The UI system extends far beyond what was shown. As time goes on we hope to show a different way to approach things and further make systems optimized for users requiring simplicity.
My goal this year is to expand internally and externally in our endeavors. We are always searching for additional help with things so as our team grows so does our potential and possibilities. And because of your continual support we are able to release “(2.8) HOps 009841_Neodymium_” after barely just having an event not even a month ago. 2020 will be the year of hopstool but doesn’t mean we can tighten up the other areas that have become “legacy” and build a better strong hops with all we have learned.
As 2.8 goes on we want to refine existing systems and continuing consolidating / removing things no longer needed. We hope everyone has been able to hang in there and continues to be patient as we add and calibrate new members to the team and our workflows / ideals. Also I want to expand on accessibility and the offerings it could have for workflow and user ease of use and functionality.
Dice was a Pro3 level task. And I gave it to Bonjorno7. The result is Dice. Dice is the crown jewel of this release alongside twist360 which will assist heavily with deforming boolean meshes. This version was intended to be a spin on loopcut for meshes needing dicing. In the future we hope to dice in more paths than just straight.
When it comes to dice H will display help with has option for axis.
As we progress we aim to spin this off at some point and possibly give it an entire path. The art of deformation is something that has always interested us and this is just a part of the puzzle.
Been so long since we talked about this tool. The original version was hacked together by me so seeing a remake done by bonjoro was refreshing. This time the origin is managed by a 2nd displace while offering the versatility needed while maintaining a perfect center for calculation.
Modifying twist 360 requires twist 360. Using array or displace to affect things will not perform the proper steps to maintain a perfect center so this modal was made for that purpose.
With twist 360 interior faces must also be taken into consideration.
Twist spawns with the mods disabled related in render. This allows for these to bypass sort (for now) and allow you to boxcut / boolean without issues. For rendering you will need to re-enable them.
Even as I type I want dice to twist360 in the same operation with a mirror level interaction for interior face removal. But that may be in the future plans. At this time I am curious for insight from users as to additional uses we could be using dice for. Creativity sometimes spawns ideas that previously would have been inconceivable.
Step was previously a “Weight” thing. There was no non-destructive version.
And step was intended to hide mesh in edit mode, apply bevel / boolean, and add bevel. This was highly destructive and was no longer as needed in 2.8 so we were preparing to let it go. However I wanted to give it one last try and now step in the angle workflow is support of the non destructive workflow.
All it does is add an additional bevel at half the amount of the previous bevel. This helps it flow together and is easier on users than just not existing.
Even with this in place this is just fixing a hole in the workflow and still doesn’t even need to exist. Stepping is possible in hopstool and even bevel itself.
Direct Shift (shift + Q pie only atm)
Boolshift was revisited this version by AR and has been enhanced in the Q menus. I am proud to say that you can now shift a cutter directly into another state if needed. I still dream of this being possible in hopstool but this is the first step.
Of course you can still use modal shift in the Q menu to shift to any state and theres still things I want to do with this as well.
Smart Apply Improvements
Smart apply is intended to be what csharpen was on the apply side but not associated with csharpen. My goal is to have it work without UI or even options.
Until they are needed.
But for the most part smart apply will apply all mods except:
last mirror (if more than 1 present)
last bevel (if more than 1 present)
This will allow you to completely apply shapes to be done with hopstool if needed but keep the last bevel since it adds more geo than needed and can be useful to toggle off for optimizations.
By being able to do this quickly shapes can easily be dice and twisted and handle differently in an all new way.
Blank Material V3 (alt + M)
Blank material has also received an expansion.
Users now can cut glass and emission as well.
Emission utilizes pulsing to create pulsing materials. This is intended to be used with greyscale off allowing colors to be vibrant and unique.
Drivers are being utilized for pulse so be aware that Blender can be unusual with processing them.
Menus are always in state of refinement.
last version there were too many options under mod.
meshtools was slimmed out last version to make room
Notice custom modifier modals have been moved to meshtools and mark receiving an S in front to make it even faster to execute.
I want 2020 to be year of hopstool. And I plan to enhance hopstool with each update to get it to the level I know it could be. Hopstool is ARs vision, so I would like to play off of his ideas for now before I begin adding layers and systems to it.
Dots will now display text on hover. Text size can be increased in the behavior panel.
D inside of hopstool will activate a special helper.
In the future we’ll be coming back to adjust the hotkey since I still love my DecalMachine.
Smart shapes have also received small changes to ensure they will work with boxcutter out of the box.
Sorting should be the least of a users worries but if the sorting gives issues just bypass it with render visibility and it should behave correctly.
This whole section is about hopstool but because we got multiple arrays, I have to be specific. While moving an object in hops presssing 1 will reset the object back to 1 to allow quick stacking of array parts.
New members is always an exciting time. I am glad and so so greatful for all who continue to support us and our dreams. It is thanks to hops that I could probably stop working but due to the uncertaintly of the climate I am not yet convinced to. Also resumes always need new ticks. I can’t wait to show why I needed dice in a hurry but it’s gonna be good. Also by the time I can talk about it we’ll be onto something else exciting.
With every release we try to change up things a little based off of criticism and feedback. Hardships faced while modelling are something I take especially hard and find myself devoting a bit of thought and energy towards seeking solutions. We never want to present ourselves as the best or the default way to do something. We feel we are explorers. Seeking the next level in modelling. Our tool has been our best attempt to automate some of the most repetitive aspects of our workflow to make creation more entertaining. It is always the art itself that tells the tale of success or failure.
I was gonna name it Bonjornium like the Proxium release but we’ll see what comes next.
Joining us on the team this release is bonjorno7. Proxe was more in a supervisory role this release with AR leading and me throwing as many wrenches as possible into things. Without further ado let’s get into it!
Sharpen takes the place of ssharp/csharp/clear sharps.
Click – sharpen (mark sharps)
Ctrl – apply modifiers
Shift – resharp
Ctrl + shift – Csharp + Bwidth classic.
Classic ssharp / csharp exists in the operations submenu in the meantime but sharpen will be the main operator going forward.
I set my alt to clear sharps. I love it.
For those missing the classic cut, apply and bevel system of classic hops can map sharpen to behave as classic.
Otherwise bevel will handle bevel and sharpen will be handle sharpening. As a result csharpen is now faster than ever.
Sharpen is customizable in preferences however the tool tip may not reflect those changes. I like to have classic csharp as my fallback for everything and unmark sharps under my alt.
The jump to bwidth toggle will make new csharp also jump to bwidth after operation.
Mark is intended to be your all in one bevel / weight edit / bevel tool. In a way we just extended on set ssharp but I became addicted to this quite fast. Shout-out to any Marks out there reading this.
Edit mode operations have been consolidated into a smart tool named “mark”.
Mark is generally used for marking edges. Just like Set Ssharp used to.
Ctrl click will create a bevel similar to bevel.
Shift click will activate Bevel Weight which can be utilized for weight workflows. (nothing in angle)
Mark is an all in one tool for marking sharp edges and manually beveling using modifiers in edit mode.
Mirror / Array Consolidation
Mirror / Array (active tools) have been unified as far as menu entries are concerned.
LMB – mirror
CTRL – array
Mirror has shown to be much more popular than array in most contexts but as array gets better it will be re-integrated.
Bevel / Edge Manager Consolidation
Many of the classic hops utilities have been consolidated.
Bevel helper / Edge manager has been merged into one tool with many former not needed options being removed.
LMB – bevel helper
Ctrl – Bevel Divide
Alt – Bevel Multiply
LMB + shift – Edge Manager
Many of these existed as standalone but are no longer needed to dense up the menus. I want to keep them for auxiliary needs.
Modifier Multi Scroll
LMB – boolscroll
shift – modifier scroll
Ctrl – toggle modifiers
Alt – apply modifiers
Ctrl + shift – modifier scroll
The process of handing bool shapes, modifier scrolling and appling modifiers has all been combined into one tool. None of the tools this is replacing are being eliminated. The goal was just to make room for the future.
Curve Res Added To Q Menu
When it comes to deformation curves are your friend. However the res option was missing from the Q menu which helps for improving the smoothness.
This will come in handy for the things we’ll be getting into later.
We endeavor to do more activity with curves in the future as well as support them in hopstool.
Interior Bevel Support
Pressing 1 during bevel will flip the profile inward creating an interior bevel. This can be useful for level blocking and in cases requiring an inverted profile.
Edit Mode Slice / Inset / Outset / Knife
Our goal with each tool is to maintain parity to the first thing BonJ wanted to fix was edit mode not having knife, slice, and inset.
Inset is especially nice in edit mode thanks to care and love applied to the creation process.
Object Mode Inset / Outset / Knife
Inset can be toggled into outset via the F9 panel that comes up with the operator. Outset is less impressive but also a thing. Coming to boxcutter in the near future.
Knife is capable of both project and knife project.
Why add these to HOps? Aren’t they in BC?
When it comes to tools like knife and inset. I found it key to have them in hops for a couple of reasons.
I was asking for inset for the last couple of releases. There should be no utility cutter in one tool and not the other. Except extract. It’s connected to custom cutter so that would better be left to boxcutter. Also make box is just a box. So Blender does it better than us. And qblocker better than that.
Having inset in hops allows me to work with it more precisely and break apart the workflow and analyze the steps taking place in a way not present in Boxcutter which is just… too fast. The care taken to make sort capable of ignoring bevel sort on F6 is something that is more useful than anticipated. I was worried inset was overscoping in endeavor but as I use I find myself proud of the amazing work Bonj did for a first try. Sort and bevel bypass are supported on the fly and the mod can even be adjusted in the stack for getting just the right level of bevel back.
Knife in boxcutter also works differently and as a result the hops counterpart will not nuke materials and behave better than the knife in boxcutter. Also in boxcutter I have struggled to get both knife project and knife 3d to be both interchangeable and vocal in its presentation of it. Now that it is in hops we have precision control and the knife we always wanted. I am adamant about knowing and controlling what operation is being done.
I know in hops we can expand them in interesting ways and then take what we learn and apply it to BC. To keep it efficient.
HOPs Dot Infinity Ring
I begged to let this stay for release. When I first saw this I knew. The gauntlet is almost complete.
While in hops tool the bool dots have been turned into a ring. In the future I hope for shift support and a text sidebar. It almost made it but I wanted you guys to see this ring.
Interactive Boolean (ctrl + shift + B)
Interactive boolean was a tough one to sort. With initial tests testers revealed they did not like additional clicks to confirm. I did not want to leave it out so it has it’s own hotkey.
Shared with ctrl + shift + B >> Bevel helper.
Interactive boolean requires no introduction.
Scrolling toggles shapes / X toggles shapes.
The naming for this went through some itterations. But shifting made since the most. Even Bonj liked it. This tool brings back classic rebool but multiple levels better. When I first saw this tool I was afraid. Afraid of it’s power…
Boolshift is alternative in ctrl + shift + B with a boolshape selected.
Boolshift is also in the bool shape Q menu.
This tool is serious. Users can now shift a bool from one state into another without issue. The F6 panel has options for sort bypassing and bevels if applicable.
Boolean Sort Bypass
Holding ctrl while using boolean will use sort bypass.
This makes it easier than ever to step up bevels to another level. Above you can see boxcutter which currently has no sort bypass and hops comparatively with it.
In the event sort is perma-locked it can be fixed in prefs.
Half bevel will set the current bevel to half of the last parameter and end the operation. When racking bevels you generally have to idea how big they are however by pressing X bevel will drop with half res ensuring the next cut looks great.
2d Bevel Removed / Consolidated Into Bevel
2d Bevel was my attempt at modifying the older bwidth to handle 2d shapes. It has been handed off to classic bevel now. A special use case was added for planes.
A – Aayy
A has been added to bevel for dealing with angle. However in general use it bounces between 30 and 60 but it can also utilize autosmooth angle for catching hard to catch areas. This is something I wanted quite a bit and should make lives easier. Got a problem during bevel? A.
During modelling sometimes I will set the autosmooth low to catch wedges. When a bevel was added it was always at 30 or 60 degrees which resulted in less than optimal results. When utilized correctly bevel can be used to catch autosmooth with angle being set to 30 or 60 then while retaining the lower bevel.
L >> Limit Method
L to change limit was also added.
Array support for plane
Array always was strange with planes on the Z axis which makes it hard to use as a dicer. This has been resolved so that everyone can dice away.
I have long wanted to dice in Blender so this brings my dream a step closer. Someday we hope to dice in the form of a dedicated tool.
Knife is useful for a plethora of reasons.
Proxe always has something to add in a release.
Sort V3 has been added which will be getting a focused video. Now Boxcutter, Kitops and now HardOps are on the same page with sorting. This ideally should allow these tools to deal with modifiers more intelligently.
Sort settings can be found in the ctrl + ~ settings.
Sort also has settings for ignoring vgroup and only vert bevels which I am adamant about “not sorting”. These have shown to be disastrous in action and result in workflow issues.
Sort can be turned off altogether but sort bypass is also a theme in this release.
Sort also only sorts the last level of a modifier. If there are two mirror modifiers in the stack only the last one will be managed when enabled.
Sort bypassing can be given to a modifier by disabling either show in render or show in edit mode. Since we cannot add properties to modifiers this is the only way to give a modifier a flag for bypass at this time. This also affects scroll and can lead to instability so keep that in mind. But the good news is you can prevent modifiers from being modified period.
Weighted Normal Multi Sort
This idea was based on a support issue with the cylinoid tutorial. When users struggle I take it to heart and send complaints straight up the chain (1 link).
When using weighed sort you can select everything and it will put a weighed sort on the object.
If the weighted sort is misplaced it will be removed and re-added properly.
If it is not present it will add one.
This makes WN a lot more versatile and capable of being the finishing stroke on a model or assisting with shading when things get rough.
I am excited to show this in use in the future but this is a large step up but our issues with WN extend inherently into mirror and bevel where these tools also will add new mods while dealing with WN specifically to avoid shading hardships even at intermediate steps in working.
Lazy support for mod modals extend to all modals. Lazy meaning if you select a light or empty, we’ll keep going. An error wont stop ya.
Radial Array w/ 3d Cursor Displacement change
When using radial array w/ 3d cursor the displacement would make the mesh offset undesirably. This is no longer the case. Also verbiage about launching into displace is removed as well. We’ll be revisiting this in the future.
Area Light Q Options
I find myself exiting fullscreen to make area lights custom rectangles. Now that option is in the Q menu. Small thing but I’m glad it is there.
Random Material V2
Random material has been made more random. Also material consolidation has been added to the Alt + M menu when multiple objects are selected.
Random material can be unstable w/ multiple objects so make sure to save!
Late Parent (level1)
When we call something level1 it means it is an experimental feature. As we work with it more and more we hope to evolve it to the highest level it can be. Use with caution.
An alternative version exists that requires selecting the boolshapes and the parent but that would be just traditional parenting. Even as I write about it I think about how this could be more useful.
Reset Axis Cursor
Reset axis had a bug w/ 3d cursor that was driving me nuts. It has been resolved.
To_box just converts a selection to a box. I hope to expand on this more in the future.
Sometimes people just want a box.
Smooth / Laplacian Mod support
I was adamant about using smooth after a recent experience where it came in handy for modelling a weapon. The default modal just smooths. Just like the modifier. But the shift mode creates a vertex group that does the following:
omit marked edges
omit edges of manifold nature (ie mirror junction)
This results in a smart smooth that helps maintain form while smoothing everything in between. This can come in handy for modelling using sub-d and booleans at the same time. I hope to show its uses in depth in the future. But I am very excited it made it into the release.
Metaball Support to helper
Meta ball support has been added to ctrl + ~. I have been playing with metaballs lately.
I am against deleting old code since it serves as an educational journey when looking over the solutions we solved and how efficiently it was done. I also like comparing old and new itterations. Nothing was removed this version but the menus received a heavy cleaning. (not deleting pizza ops AR).
Csharp and Ssharp has been consolidated into sharpen along with clear sharps which is no longer present since sharpen handles it. Clean mesh is a classic and beloved so I don’t want to get rid of it. In the next update I will more than likely add a legacy panel w/ classic behaviors for users to add to favorites if desired. Step is more of a behavior but I want to bring that back in a different way. In fact the half bevel with X was my idea to expand on the step idea. To box was added at the last second by ImperfectLink. After he explained the idea I realized that it could go places with a little pondering and proxe magic. So we’ll see about that.
Meshtools also received a good cleaning. I left the classic scrolls in mod scroll / toggle but really those have been mixed into the mod toggle tools that are unified.
The goal was to clean things up to make room for new ideas that we’re facing for 2.8. HOPstool is its own little micro universe but hops outside has a world to grow within now.
Export options are more prominent to ensure exporting isn’t a problem.
Settings has been cleaned up quite a bit too. Helper/ Assistant is the goto place for the classic hops utilities that I can’t live without on commercial work. Edge exponent has been mixed into bevel / edge manager so that users can double / halven their bevels on the fly.
Interactive boolean is the highlight of this release. I want to give it an edit mode hotkey as well but it will take some pondering. Have fun shifting booleans! Edit mode had a rough landing so for a term we’ll be letting interactive modal take over the edit mode hotkeys. Have fun!
Was also supposed to be part of boxxmas this year. We’ll have to see.
Mirco-update offering auto-scale improvements to make lazorcut accucut more accurate every time.
(2.8)BoxCutter 715_12 out now.
Our goal this release was simplicity. We wanted to make it easier than ever to jump in and have fun. Even though boxcutter aims for the same goal via drawing I also like setting up insets and slices via going through things slowly and procedural. We lost rebool several releases back and now I am happy to say slice is now back in action fully performing the goals needed. I hope everyone enjoys Interactive Boolean / Inset etc. It is bonjorno7’s first update with us and he picked the time we were reassembling what hops was to become.
So many items on the cutting room floor but we’ll be right back…
I am always grateful to you the user for reading this and for the team for their continued tolerance of my 24/7 insanity. QD gang.
*some director cuts were made of final release w/ hotfixes surely to follow this post when the team is done caroling.
Every release is an adventure. This one was no exception. I am proud to announce the release of Boxcutter 715: Utility Knife
This release was a doozy. Things were being perfected even unto the final minute but this update has been in the works since the last time we met. With this update we wanted to tackle the number one request ever.
This time we come back with a grid. The grid people wanted. So without further ado lets jump into it.
Starting with the topbar things have changed slightly. For this demo I am using the latest Blender 2.82. Boxcutter works with 2.80, 2.81 and 2.82.
Proxe has once again outdone himself on this release. The released version of grid is the 3rd iteration with the first 2 not being adequate enough for release. AR also remains integral and made the initial prototype.
This grid is infinite. Users can press ctrl during boxcutter to grab a face vector and go to work. There is even a fade and color change system to make it visually pleasing.
The previous system utilizing dots would only go so far.
Also the previous dot system wasn’t made for snapping. Just initial orientation.
Thanks to this drawing with precision is faster and more capable than ever.
And without limits.
The new grid system will be taking over all alignment systems in the future going forward as it is further refined. Our initial release isn’t perfect but serves as a demo of what we are aiming to go for. As with as systems as it gets perfected it will be right at home and an integral part of the boxcutter workflow.
Surface align is a work in progress. When object is active the grid will attempt to orient to the surface for snapping via the grid. In the event of directional inaccuracy simply drawing without grid is more optimal.
View align uses the classic systems from previous releases. Grid has not been integrated yet but will in the future. View align works in perspective and orthographic.
I am excited to say cursor has been improved dramatically. In this update the cursor can be used for grid positioning and orientation however I hope to create support tools for assisting with getting the perfect cursor alignment.
When it comes to using grid with cursor. Aligning the 3d cursor to an edge can be useful.
Then use cursor as alignment. This can come in handy for hard to reach areas.
Last but not least the fallback of fallbacks received the same updates. Now with grid the world is better positioned for level design and make box work.
Having a grid that is infinite means that a larger grid size is not needed due to the grid generating as you move. However adding more units than 10 can result in some heavy performance and is not recommended for slower PCs.
Even I don’t go past 10.
Some of the lower configs look quite interesting.
2 gives us an idea for a future tool. And 0 is no grid at all and can be interesting to use as well. We may add a preset panel in a future release.
Grid is typically grey but in the examples I have grid color checked which makes the grid the same color as the cutter in use. This should be more useful for helping visually know what is about to happen.
This can be turned off under display in the behavior panel.
The whole focus of this release was grid and we hope users enjoy it. I received requests for it in every language and more times than anything else. We hope to expand on this in the future and maybe do a whole release catered towards precision working. So as always we welcome any ideas you throw out there. Along with requests, complains and support issues. I am truly grateful to all who have supported us and we endeavor to continue to provide a AAA experience.
But this isn’t over yet.
This is 715.
Sort was one of the first big changes we attempted in 2.8 and with this release I am proud to announce sort V2. This time latest sort behavior extends to all sorted modifiers and is even on by default!
The new sort should only sort the final iteration of a modifier solving many of the holdups that would come with non destructive cutting.
Sort V1 – sorted mods but didn’t discriminate on bevels and sorted them all
Sort V2 – sorted mods but had support for only moving the last bevel
Sort V3 – allows final sorting on all listed modifiers
A rough overview on sort.
The main buttons determine where the boolean is placed in the stack. Checking these boxes ensures the boolean is placed before / after depending on context.
The sub-buttons are about “last sort”. Enabling one will ensure we only sort the last version of the modifier in the modifier stack. This keeps things fluid when working right.
Bevel is the main sort focus. And mirror.
When bevel is enabled there are options for ignoring only v-group bevels and vertex bevels. This is because these mods have been deemed to never be worth moving around in the stack and must be omitted. The goal of sort is to be streamlined and allow for consistent working without interruption.
The drop-down on the end is for determining final sort or single instance sort. For example when working on a non destructive model with multiple bevels and mirrors, users now are able to choose which mods only sort on the last iteration. This ensures the above stack remains solid and unchanged.
Sorting options should only be on relative to your project.
Having them all on by default will cause serious workflow issues with mods being shifted in an unwanted manor. Even something like solidify is best used sparingly deepening on the result.
Read the tooltips to understand more about sort. In fact a little basic testing will show what we are going for with it.
Sort V3 will be coming to hardOps / kitops at a later time.
Keep modifiers determines what modifiers are kept live on cutters. This is below sort in the modifier panel.
If keep spin is on. Circle cutters remain non-destructive.
Quick Execute Improvements
Quick execute simply bypasses the extrude operation after draw.
In conjunction with depth and snapping quick execute can be used to quickly block things out with precision.
Delete Cutters On Apply
At the top of boxcutter is the apply button.
When applying booleans the associated cutters are also now deleted.
In destructive mode cutters will no longer be created.
If you select a cutter and click apply only that one will be applied on the main mesh and cutter deleted.
This one is strange to explain but in short we deal with errors differently now. This should result in a more stable experience and less issues with dots being stuck on screen or grid overlap.
Also this resolves the issue with blue box in local mode. We hope. However local can be quite unusual at this time.
With any big systems change we expect bugs and issues. In the event you are having install issues contact us.
Welcome to all new users who get in on this Black Friday / Cyber Monday event. I hope to do an updated boxcutter crash course in the near future. Before that, I have to update the docs. 715 is intended to be an extended release meaning that much of the content planned for this term will have to be dropped in stages. But I am excited for what comes next.
Grid opens so many more possibilities than just a grid.
Proxeis a legend. He was working on this until the final ad on this page. I work for him. Since joining us he continues to keep us moving without stopping. AR has been a part since the beginning and without him there is no HOPScutter. I am honored by the chance to team with such brilliance and doubly honored by the work operatives continue to put out! I am the weakest link of the chain but I am held up by those who has helped me. In our community we hope to help others find their way as well. Thank you all for your support.
jerry / masterxeon1001
PS. post release proxeis still working. I already said to call it a day. He’s a machine.
Now the help icon is in the topbar to make accessing the documentation easier. As users ask questions we hope to expand on it to automate the learning process of hopscutter.
Shapes now have the ability to fade into view and fade out of view. This has resulted in a much more graceful experience. This was the most time consuming portion of 714. Great care was taken to improve stability in order to support this system.
Fade times are in milliseconds. Set to low numbers to disable.
Fade adds shape afterfade for lazorcut, greybox, and repeat.
Fade can be adjusted via behavior panel or prefs.
Previously extractions would remain in user view. That has now been resolved making for a smoother experience. Also the shading of extractions have been improved making them better for use with kitops.
Behavior Panel >> Display Additional Options
In the behavior panel fade options were added from prefs for changing fade options on the fly. Also simple topbar was added for simplifying the topbar while working if preferred.
Accucut is a new system extending lazorcut’s accuracy.
When using lazorcut in the previous versions it always overshot.
The new version makes it closer to the dimensions of the mesh.
Dots Edit Mode
Dots are back in Boxcutter 714.
When drawing a shape users can tab to live. During live dots exist for Extrude, Offset, Draw and Bevel.
Click the shape to apply.
The draw dot utilizes shift, ctrl and alt draw for fine adjustment of the draw being uniform, center, or corner.
Dots extend to the other shapes in varying degrees.
With circle the diameter and bevel can be changed.
Rounded Snap Dots
Dots for snapping are more rounded. Resulting in a nicer appearance.
Pressing V goes into array. Pressing V twice launches radial array.
The radial array can be shifted to live for movement and fine modification.
Since radial array is live and uses modifiers it starts at 3 at this time. In the future we plan to extend on the functionality of this tool and give it a proper start operation.
Array supports all shapes and modes.
Knife Box Display
I am a big fan of knife box however without wire showing it’s potential is misunderstood.
Now wires will show when knife is in use. Allowing you to see what is being cut and how the underlying geometry is being affected.
On completion wires will be turned back off.
Edit Mode Circle No Tris
I am particular about circle not having interior points. Now in edit mode circle no longer leaves center points.
Keep in mind you can not only cut in edit mode but radial array in edit mode and not to mention being able to shift to live from edit mode to object mode and still modify the asset.
I am excited for the next horizon for Boxcutter. So much almost made it but had to be cut for time on this release. Alot of things planned for next time so don’t count us out just yet. We even wanna show you one last thing to try.
Set the fade out time to any of these numbers.
I hope everyone enjoys this latest release. We can’t wait to see you guys fading real slow.
Boxcutter also received a small update to ensure cross compatibility.
The N panel has been updated with the mini helper and accompanying functions to make HOPS more accessible.
Also to be more persistent than the mini helper which can be problematic at this time.
Its can be nice to have a modifier panel that can go away with the N panel.
This will be key for later and keeping up with modifiers in fullscreen. I tend to keep an eye on my stack to ensure modifier placement is optimal for my needs.
Circular array was a popular request so it has been added. It has a couple of different ways to use.
First there is just simple circular array.
Then there is 3d cursor circular array which was intended for assistance with things like Boxcutter.
The 3rd state will not use the 3d cursor and will launch the user into displace allowing for quick positioning.
At this time adjustment is done via array and displace modifier modals. This will be streamlined in the future but for now our next feature will have to do.
Introducing hopsTool, the first active tool of Hard Ops. This is the first part of a new system that we have been working on. AR put an immense amount of work into this tool and I am immensely proud of what he and Proxe has accomplished.
Final ordering of modifiers may differ in final version.
Hotkey: Alt + Shift + W
Also can switch on alt + W if latest boxcutter is installed and alt + W hotkey is turned off.
Display – chooses which dots will show during ctrl in this state
Shapes – hShapes or modifier generated shapes that serve as a starting points.
Modifiers – modifiers can be added to the shape and controlled in the 3d view using gizmo dots.
Misc – just mirror for now.
You are also able to make the topbar list smaller via lists in the behavior panel.
To showcase the idea of the tool in action.
We understand there being some limitations with how the instructions are conveyed and are working on ways to improve it but in the meantime I can only say the more time you spend in it the more fun it becomes.
The dots showing up on ctrl in this example are used to adjust various screw, solidify and bevel modifiers. When bevels are present they stick out of the corners with subsequent levels racking up more corner dots. This should make tweaking multiple levels of bevels easier and more intuitive.
These dots are only showing during hopsTool. Exit the tool to get out of it.
Like boxcutter / hopsTool can be exited with W or choosing any other active tool.
With hops tool procedural creation should be fun and enjoyable.
So the reason some mods have multiple buttons is due to operational differences with the system we aim to create. Someday they will work as intended and put the dots in the right places for the goals we aim for.
Even more interestingly you can ctrl + click a dot to adjust the specific mod or to fine tune properties using the mod itself.
The final cherry of this release would have been tool-tips but the tool-tip timer doesn’t update until the mouse is moved so a workaround system will have to be found.
When changing values on mods rapidly crashes can occur. There are know issues and limitations with the tool that we aspire to improve upon in the future. Also save frequently.
hDots also support booleans. This should make the boolean process a little easier and more intuitive.
With 2 object selected you should see 3 new dots.
Cut / Union / Slice
Boolshapes also get their own dot which is where things get really busy.
Fade distance can be adjusted if needed and booldots can be turned off if they are getting in the way.
This should come in handy for recalling specific boolshapes to modify.
Perfect dots for your setup
Of course dots have a behavior panel for fine tuning behaviors.
In this prop you can adjust the scale and offset depending on monitor. You can also change the colors in preferences.
Ctrl + shift clicking dots allow for alternative modification.
Bevel dot adjusts the width but ctrl + shift allows for segment adjust.
The info text up top lets users know whats being adjusted.
On screw ctrl + shift left click dragging adjusts the steps in screw.
Simple deform also gets dots for making large adjustments on the fly.
When using hops tool w/ boxcutter and racking bevels the ctrl + add mod behavior adds a mod at 60 degrees which is smoother for going to box city.
The n panel can display your mod stack so get in there and look at the mods.
If you get confused about how a shape is constructed just mod scroll it.
Try starting off with a vert!
A vert can be a fun time for getting started and experimenting with non destructive shape creation. It’s also fun getting creative with decimate and mirror to create dynamic base shapes.
Various bugs with scrolling and slash has also been resolved. We tried to make this release more stable than previous to set the foundation for what is to come.
The initial rough versions of new tools are always rough but I am eager for what this system will become. I like to imagine dots as placeholders for future plans of sliders and rounded icons that lets users know what mod is being affected. When this system was first added it was quite rough. After many passes by each of us it is now ready for this first release.
Boxcutter can be started with clicking activate Boxcutter.
There was also some cleanup to make it more presentable and remove duplicate options.
In addition the help is also here so it is more accessible than before.
The topbar now has an option for a slimmer version. This can be more useful for mice users versus pens.
Extraction has been added to Boxcutter however at this time it only takes boolean cut areas. This means if the area does not have a live boolean it will not be taken.
Here I cut a few circles in using dots to center subsequent circles in the face center.
Extractor can be switched to with Y during draw.
After an extraction the custom shape is then the extracted mesh. This allows for rapid use after extraction.
flip shape vertical – shift + F
rotate shape – R or ~ during draw
NOTE: Ngon cyclic does not support bevel yet. A special system will have to be made expanding on it.
Pressing C during Ngons toggles cyclic which can be used for creating imprint lines.
To best explain how to use cyclic.
When in (C)cyclic mode you can double click the last point which will make the line darker. From here lazercut is active and the user can press T to add thickness to the shape.We hope to expand on its uses in the future.
Classic Blue Box
If you draw the blue box in 2d which means not starting on the mesh you are able to use classic blue box from 79′. Classic blue box will cut into a surface and never create an interior face. The 3d version of blue box is still showing occasional issues that will be fixed in a future release.
Blue box also has received an additional capability. Since knife project works with any type of edgework, with custom shape Blue box can cut custom geometry into other forms!
I have long wanted to cut grids into forms for deformation and now with Boxcutter it is easier than ever.
It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Boxcutter 712.
As Blender 2.8 evolves further. Daily breakage has become a thing and with that we strongly recommend updating 2.8 before installing Boxcutter 712. We work around the clock to keep the tools working while also working towards their enhancement.
Also remove any previous boxcutter folder before replacing it with the new one.
INSTALL FROM FILE CAN HAVE ISSUES IF THE FOLDER IS THERE ALREADY. PLACE THE ZIP IN THE SPECIFIED FOLDER TO ENSURE IT WORKS WITHOUT ISSUE. OR ENSURE THE FOLDER ISNT THERE AND USE INSTALL FROM FILE.
The next level of support involves deleting the /config which makes Blender open as new. If you have issues with the previous steps or are moving over custom configurations this can cause issues if the properties have existed for multiple itterations of 2.8. From time to time removing the config allows for clean installation and quick startup.
For support issues you can email me at email@example.com
We hope you enjoy the latest update. We have more to come and even more to go back over with refinement and behavioral fine tuning. I look eager to user input of feature request improvements and to see what custom cutters you come up with for Boxcutter!
Hopscutter is a 24 hour operation but also we enjoy the work we do and the results users show! We hope to keep you cutting as long as possible!
As usual Proxe and AR were monumental in this release and I am forever indebted to them for their endless tolerance of me and my madness. This 2.8 era has had us working tirelessly on release after release but in a way it’s the best moment of our developmental era because the avenues of exploration are wide open.
Without further ado lets go over some of the changes!
Pressing ctrl + shift + B brings up the bevel helper. This is a helper designed for making bevel management easier.
In the helper you can adjust every bevel present on a model.
As you can see the presets / full properties are also available.
We hope users find it useful in controlling the multiple levels of bevels you are able to create on the fly!
Menu / Icon Update
Menus have been updated to be more clear and visible and welcoming to new users.
All options should have icons now.
Redesigned (shift + Q) Pie Menu
The pie menu has been redesigned for support of what comes next.
More modifiers are now supported via modal for usage when modelling procedurally.
Many additional operators and modals have been added for quick addition while modelling. Ctrl + clicking functionality for adding has also been added to make stacking modifiers more fun than ever!
This is our first level of implementation but we plan to add a progression system for predictable procedural workflows assisting with hard surface modelling. Smart apply is useful for moving onward to csharp / cstep type workflows as well.
HOPS Helper Redesign (ctrl + ~)
The HOPS helper was recreated with 2.8 in mind. Now the hops helper supports any object and will provide options making your life easier if the properties window is out of sight due to working fullscreen.
An immense amount of work went into the helper and we hope you find the improvements to your liking. There are still a few bugs to iron out and behaviors to refine but this should provide even more functionality to a classic and bring it into the 2.8 era.
Grease Pencil Support
In addition to having the helper fully support materials and modifiers for grease pencil we also added a couple of new operators.
In the Q menu the following have been added.
Copy / Move – just makes a copy and moves the object during draw. Comes in handy for making quick variants in a row.
Surface Offset – allows for drawing on the surfaces of objects easier.
Mirror Gizmo – everyone’s favorite mirror tool has gotten support for grease pencil as well. Press alt + X to mirror. (symmetry not supported yet)
When working non-destructively you will need a scroll to show everyone how you started from something simple like a plane.
Curve Taper Cancel
If you use Q on a curve you can taper it. But right clicking will now return it to a neutral state in case you don’t want bevel depth.
Boolean objects will be put in a collection called “Cutters” similar to boxcutter.
Machin3 is also a continued auxiliary source of awesomeness when we least expect it.
BoolScroll / Object Scroll
Boolscroll is back and better than ever. Previously it had compatibility issues that took it out for a few releases.
Object Scroll – allows for cycling of boolean shapes that remain live on a model via boolean modifier object fields.
Cycle Booleans – allows for cycling of each boolean modifier present on a model individually. It also support restacking certain modifiers.
Additive Scroll – allows for replay of boolean history on a model using the modifier stack.
There are now options to toggle all the modifiers on an object off an on. This is in multiple locations to ease user experience. It can be enjoyable taking an object down to it’s simplest form and make modifications.
We have began to make improvements for the cstep workflow in 2.8 and now have non destructive support.
In order to truly be able to work in non-destructive alot of systems had to be rethought so we plan to further refine this aspect in future releases as well as provide systems to transition into destructive workflows for complete control and finishing.
Smart apply was an idea I had for making it easier to apply models and move on with different workflows and export. Right now it’s simple but we hope to improve it immensely in the future and make it the one stop shop for applying modifiers and converting to mesh within Hard Ops.
If the mesh is csharp: it applies only booleans.
If the mesh is undefined: it converts it to mesh.
Our goal with this release was to free users to explore other workflows outside of Csharp/Ssharp and dissect it for themselves and literally go off the reservation.
Sometimes in Csharp you just wanna apply booleans and with smart apply that is now possible with csharpening.
OnScreen UI Improvements
We intend to unveil a new drawing system down the line for the 2.8 era but in the meantime the drawing has been updated with options to allow users to make text more legible. There has also been an accent added to allow individuality.
Cslash has received improvements from boxcutter’s yellow box. It should not only be faster but support non destructive workflows better.
Pressing 1 during bwidth will change autosmooth from 60 to 30 which can be helpful for addressing shading issues. We plan to expand this in the future with a shading subsystem that takes over during all modals to ensure smooth shading all throughout the process.
Bwidth Multiple Bevel Support
To support the nondestructive aims of this release Bwidth has been improved to support multiple bevels at once.
Shift scroll to change through bevel levels if multiple ones exist.
This is our first implementation but we do plan to improve this in the future to be more visually conveying of relevant information.
Helper Border Toggle
If you want the helper to have an OK button or the bevel helper which can help it stay on screen there is a toggle in prefs for it.
We hope that this release of Hard Ops opens new avenues for users to explore. I can’t wait to show how we intend for all this to work in conjunction with Boxcutter. I am sure I missed a few features but I was eager to get this release out before we dove into the next endeavor.
I have been making so many non destructive assets lately that I forget about csharp sometimes but we plan to bring all this together and even make a more expansive add modifier system for users to keep working without UI.
HOPS is back and this time we’re going all out! I can’t wait to see you next time!