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Spibe

Boolean Plugins for 3ds Max 2010?

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Hello.  I was wondering if anybody knew of any Boolean Plugins for 3DS MAX 2010.  I did a google search and I found something called Quad Boolean, which I don't think is released.  I've found something called Npower Boolean, which seems like it works perfectly, but the problem is, I don't know where to buy it or download it.  I've only found a trial version, but it's still unclear as to which product is the full version.

Does anybody know of any good boolean plugins and where to download them?

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I doubt it'll make much of a difference. When exported to .DAE, everything will be build up into triangles. That one face on top isn't a triangle so it'll be cut up in a lot of smaller triangles to make it work.

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It's not really for the simple objects like that.  I was just using the picture as an example of how horrible 3ds Max's boolean is.  3DS Max's boolean is pretty much unusable when it comes to more advanced structures.

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Spibe wrote:

It's not really for the simple objects like that.  I was just using the picture as an example of how horrible 3ds Max's boolean is.  3DS Max's boolean is pretty much unusable when it comes to more advanced structures.

I'm very curious how the topology of a boolean created, advanced structure looks. In my experience, only very very basic objects are suited for boolean operations.

If you want the results you got with the external tool, using 3ds max, there's a way. It does take even more mouseclicks though.

Merge all fives cylinders you have into one, then do the boolean subtraction, then turn it into an editable poly or mesh and weld all vertices. I got the same numbers you have in the example with the tool.

For more complicated items, I'd model the holes and fill in the rest by hand to have better control over the topology. This is sometimes needed for turbosmooth or meshsmooth or whatever smooth modifiers.

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Interesting.  Thanks for following up, Spibe. 

I can see how the duplicate vertices could potentially be annoying (although certainly not the end of the world, since you can always combine them, as Kwak suggested). But I can also see how they could be a plus.  There are situations in which one would want to keep those interior hole surfaces as separate objects from the main shape.  Assuming that's the role the duplicates are playing, it sounds like the makers of Max figure if you want them combined, you'll just do it yourself.  In that case, a plugin that gives you the option to go either way could certainly be a time saver.

As for the visible triangle edges, that wouldn't bother me.  I WANT to know what's going on with my topology, always.  N-gons are not a modeler's best friend.  As I'm sure you know, those edges are still there, whether you can see them or not.

For what it's worth, I do agree with Kwak.  Booleans really aren't a great solution when modeling for any environment in which topology is supremely important (which means pretty much any realtime environment, including SL), especially when you get into complex surface shapes.  I almost never use Booleans, myself.

If you do happen to find a plugin that is smart enough not to screw things up, great.  I hope it does its job well.  I think you'll most likely find that you're going to need to bite the bullet, though,and do the modeling by hand, in most situations.

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This is what I'm looking for pretty much.  This seems like an unreleased project that someone made.  However Npower plugin seems like it's been released already, but it's just difficult to find.  I believe they have it in some sort of bundle that you have to buy.

 

 

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The post above shows a video of what I'm talking about.  I'm looking for a plugin like that.

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Spibe wrote:

However Npower plugin seems like it's been released already, but it's just difficult to find.  I believe they have it in some sort of bundle that you have to buy.

Is this what you are looking for?

boolean.png

It's part of a free bundle you can download.

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3ds Max 2010...I'm not 100% sure in what version of Max it was, but at some point ProBoolean (formerly an external plugin) became part of Max. So if it was Max 2010, then you have already 2 boolean systems: the native one from Max and the more advanced ProBoolean/ProCutter.

The ProBoolean offers quite some more options than the native booleans, like quad-output, vertex-welding etc.. Maybe check the Max-help to see if you already have ProBoolean in your installation. 

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2010 has pro boolean. The big problem I always had with boolean operations in max is not solved by it though.

It's not the duplicate vertices like Chosen described, it's the fact max likes to triangulate every item before a new boolean operation. That's why the objects to subtract need to be combined before the operation. If you do them one by one, you get very awkward cuts. It's a bit difficult to explain without making a bunch of pics and right now I really don't feel like making them:)

Anyway, maybe I never looked into the function close enough, but I never liked it in max and pretty much avoid it altogether. In other programs I make good use of it. As I remember from years and years ago, Maya did a superior job, by remembering the operatives. As far as I know, max doesn't do that and always gives you "an endresult" after an operation.

You can see the odd topology in the picture Masami posted btw. Done by hand, it would never look that off.

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It's hard to tell completely unless I'm using it in a situation that would call for it.  I just know with my experience with booleans, it's a very cautious procedure.  I think that there are plugins out there that might be better.  Where'd you get that one from?  And does it work with 3ds? Or just blender?

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You're right.  My experience with the pro boolean is no different from the boolean.  Maybe I didn't tinker with it enough, but it seems like it just makes the boolean process quicker, and not necessarily cause less problems.

 

I don't have a project I'm working on that requires boolean, but there's so many times that it would be so useful if it actually worked right.  I don't really know to what extent a good boolean plugin will help me in the future, but I'm sure it'd be really helpful.

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Spibe wrote:

It's hard to tell completely unless I'm using it in a situation that would call for it.  I just know with my experience with booleans, it's a very cautious procedure.  I think that there are plugins out there that might be better.  Where'd you get that one from?  And does it work with 3ds? Or just blender?

Boolean operations in Blender introduce triangles just like in 3ds Max. In fact all boolean operators do that. Those plugins merely perform an additional clean-up pass to merge adjacent coplanar triangles into n-gons. However, you don't need plugins to do that. Blender and Max have built-in functions which do exactly the same. Here's how it works:

screen1.png

The nice thing about booleans in Blender is that they are implemented as modifiers. That means they are non-destructive and can be applied in realtime. You can watch that cube clipping the sphere as you move the objects around. In wireframe view you can also immediately see the effects on topology.

screen2.png

When you have applied the boolean modifier(s), you can perform the clean-up pass. In Blender this is called "Limited Dissolve".

screen3.png

At this point the topology is as clean as it gets. All the coplanar faces have been merged.

screen4.png

All the highlighted faces are n-gons created by the Dissolve function.

I use boolean operators all the time when I make architectural models. There are other ways to model buildings of course, but none of them makes UV unwrapping and texturing so easy.

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First of all I need to take back my statement about 3dsmax not keeping the operands, it does, both in boolean and pro boolean.

I did a tiny bit of "booleaning", using pro boolean and it seems to more or less do the same thing as shown in the video. You can move, change, copy or add operands in the same modifier, you can change the operation per operand.

You can also quadrify the result in the modifier for better smoothing.

In fact I didn't have any issues doing anything I'd like. Could you give an example where pro boolean doesn't suit your needs?

EDIT Pro Boolean even does a better job it seems than your example, 352 tris and 168 verts. Those are the same numbers I get when I make the object by connecting the holes by hand. I think those are the minimum numbers. Only difference is doing it by hand takes a bit longer, but leaves you with a much nicer topology.

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