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BoxCutter is a fully featured Boolean system more powerful than Booltool and Hard Ops combined however goes in a direction that is unique and different.
This is not an extension. This is a separate tool. Focused purely on cutting.
The features and workflows developed in Hard Ops are intended to streamline and speed up the hard surface workflow. Box Cutter is merely a concept of another idea that was just too big to be just a button in another plugin.
There is an extensive roadmap and we have our eyes on some very interesting features. With time and support we can turn this into something that will cut a new slit in the cg world.
Developed by AR, MX, JL and endless python mercs.
Boxcutter can be started 1 of 3 ways.
- press Alt + W
- click the Boxcutter icon in the T-Panel
Once active Boxcutter can be used to draw on the mesh to cut using LMB by default.
Click drag to make a 2d shape then drag down to extrude depth. LMB to apply or TAB to drop the shape and use any of the other following options.
- H - Hide Shape (wire display)
- B - Bevel (scroll wheel for segments)
- V - Array (x and y for axis with F to flip to - or + )
- T - Solidify (add thickness to the shape during draw.
- E - Extrude / O - Offset (fine adjustment of top or bottom of shape)
You are also able to press the following to change the shape outcome on the fly.
- X - Slice
- Z - Inset
- J - Join
- A - Make
- K - Knife
During the shape drawing and locked state of a shape all the hotkeys are available for modifying and perfecting the shape during operation. The buttons up top, the D menu and the Ctrl + D are also at your disposal for fine adjustment / modification even during operation.
When the shape is paused or locked you are able to double click to apply or RMB to cancel.
Boxcutter can be used in object or edit mode.
There are 3 shapes to get started with.
These are able to be setup at the top of the screen before and during operation however this is also a D pie menu.
Also for faster adjustments and even parameters connected to the operation at hand there is the ctrl + D popup.
Alt + W starts Boxcutter however it should also be known alt +W also toggles orientation from cursor grid to surface.
When rotating the cursor grid it is important to note that to rotate the grid you can drag a rotate gizmo then press R to start the operation.
There is a checkbox next to NonDestructive/Destructive behavior toggle for applying modifiers.
Edit mode is now possible with all cutters. Holding shift to keep it live in edit mode is also possible now.
It's best to show this in action. Even the new inset (purple) is in edit mode.
Fun Things to Try
Model out a curved shape and try purple box on it! Its fun for making spaceships! Of course with Hard Ops (alt + X) mirror do not use bisect (creates a hole) use modifier.
Inset is perfect for curved surfaces due to how it works. Even though it's the most unused / unloved box we intend to to make it better than ever.
Circle with bevel is also legendary and this is before we revisit the circle to really show you something you never expected.
Its fun to get crazy with however we do see a growing need for pre-emptive snapping and face locking shapes and also the ability to relocate them.
Using Hard Ops is is possible to get circles to be more controllable. Our goal is to of course make Boxcutter fully capable of solving all of it's own problems.
Press H during draw for wire view!
In this image using mirroring was in optimal due to the shape so using the 2 mirror tool in Hard Ops was the optimal solution.
Boxcutter UI In Detail
The topbar is one way to access the many options of Boxcutter and customizing the behavior to your liking.
Initial Cut Mode
- Cut - Red
- Slice - Yellow
- Inset - Purple
- Join - Green
- Knife - Blue
- Grey - Make
- Surface (default)
Destructive / Non Destructive Toggle w/ Apply Modifier Checkbox
Behavior Panel w/Pause Play button for instant cut or delayed feedback
The workspace area has been reworked into a temporary help of sorts. This is intended to help new users get acquainted quicker with boxcutter in the meantime until a proper internal help system is implemented.
To show how the workspace looks in action.
The first time you access the behavior panel it will be noticeably thinner.
However, expanded we can see the actual scope of the types of behaviors that matter to us and how custom the experience of boxcutter can be.
The first new to 711 feature listed is wires only. Which reduces the opacity of shaped drawn and will draw only wires which can be useful for colorless situations.
- Active Only (cuts only the active mesh in a multi mesh selection situation)
- Quick Execute (uses lazercut for every cut removing the extrude process from drawing)
- Apply Slices (when using yellow box slices will have the intersect modifier applied making them easier to deal with)
- Auto Smooth (sets auto-smooth on the mesh and the cutter to ensure proper shading result)
- Preserve Non-D (allows for edit mode cutting with automatic toggle to non destructive for edit mode)
- Shift to active (when shift is used to keep the shape after a cut the shape will be selected for quick placement or adjustment)
- Simple Trace (recommended for high poly unmodified cutting. Allows for speed but doesnt take modifiers into account so surface draw can be inaccurate)
- Sort Modifiers (sorts modifiers automatically to ensure stack remains stable and mesh is optimal)
- Offset (determines offset from surface before draw)
- Lazorcut Limit (determines minimal extrusion for lazorcut to be activated)
- Circle Verts
- Inset Thickness (initial thickness for the purple inset box)
- Array Count
- Solidify Thickness (initial thickness for solidify modifier)
- Bevel Width (initial bevel amount for bevel modifier)
- Bevel Segments (initial bevel segments for bevel modifier)
- Quad Bevel (bevels using alternate system that reduces poles and gives cleaner result with bevel)
- Straight Corner Flow (straitens out the edges for bevel corners to prevent distortion)
- Drag Threshold (pixels of movement needed to begin draw) (connected to blender parameter)
Hard Ops optional (requires Hard Ops)
- Material cut (allows for a specified material to be applied during slice)
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