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Thread: Boolean not working

  1. #1

    Boolean not working

    I'm trying to create a grilled surface like that of a Mac Pro. I've extruded a surface that is an L shape and I'm trying to cut the holes in one of the flat surfaces. The holes were created in illustrator, imported to LW, then extruded to provide a cutting surface. There is a lot of them so trying them all at once just crashes my system. I can get the first row to work fine but when I try the second row all I get is "Lightwave is not responding". I've tried it on my old PowerMac G5 and my Intel MacBookPro to no avail. I've even resorted to taking each tube to cut each hole in the surface but it will not work.

    Has anyone come across this problem or know how to fix this. It is extremely frustrating.

    Thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Lots of booleans in the same object can get ugly. Here's an option: use the circles from illustrator. In illustrator make a box and punch the circles out of the box using pathfinder minus front. Then you will have a box with lots of holes in it. That box can be imported into lightwave and you can extrude the box with the holes already made.

  3. #3
    Nothing ado about much Exception's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    I agree with Symko, that is likely to be the best option.

    Booleans are a nasty operation in any shape or form. It requires a lot of computing power since the calculations involved are exponential with each added set of polygons/points and so on.

    Alternatively, you could do any of the following:

    - Reduce the complexity of the circles, either by running a polygon/point reducer or by changing the resolution of the imported illustrator file. That likely will not give you enough reduction by itself, but it will help a great deal. Of course, the circles will need to remain nice and round, but more than 16 points per circle is often overkill on small details or far away things.

    - Divide the L shaped polygon into smaller polygons by slicing it. Each polygon might then get 10 circles instead of hundreds. That will greatly reduce boolean complexity

    - Make a small section using booleans, and clone that section. Make the section so that it utilizes metanurbs, if possible, this will reduce your poly/point count tremendously and will allow you to have a properly manageable object rather than something with a gazillion point that will just slow everything down.

    - You could evaluate the possibility of doing it in a mapped way. Holes can be cut quite well using clip or transparency maps. This is a really efficient switch, as it allows you to adjust the density of the holes, localized alterations and many other properties very quickly. Downside is that it doesn't create depth, but that is very often not visible or easily fudgeable by layering two objects with the same mapping, a small distance apart, with the back object being darker.

    If you go the illustrator route you might still end up with an object that's too complex to handle. Consider any of the above for that situation.

    Cheers and good luck.
    Last edited by Exception; 02-03-2011 at 07:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Another idea, depending on the detail, is to do a transparency map instead of booleans.

  5. #5
    Clip map, even faster when rendering =P

    Great tips guys

  6. #6
    Cow Orker cagey5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Manchester UK
    I would model it from the start rather than trying to boolean later. Using bevelled squares, then subpatching. Bend to the required shape later.

    The attached grills can be done in less than 5 minutes from starting modeler to final render.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Good tip about the clip map. I always forget about them!

  8. #8
    Thanks for the tips so far. The part that is being booleaned is about 1/8" thick and is for a product that is being developed. There will be close-up shots of this area so the inner geometry needs to be there. I reduced the illustrator circles for this part to fine instead of superfine. I'm thinking, based on what everyone has said, to segment the original extrusion so there are more poly's to start with and each boolean is within its own poly.

  9. #9
    Finally figured it out. No matter what I did with the face being one singular poly face, after doing one row it would always just lock up. I decided to break down the flat extruded side that I was drilling through to a singular poly face(deleted the sides and opposite face) so it was flat. After trying the same method on this to no avail, I decided to cut the poly into several poly's allocating one poly for each row of holes being drilled. It worked and it was quick. I'm going to try it next with the boolean and the fully extruded surface but with it cut into multiple ones first. Wish me luck.

  10. #10
    da what? daforum's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Bristol, England
    Have a look at this plugin (it's free too)

    (see the second example in the introduction section)
    Montage Reel, Portfolio, PIN_01, Prime......«« go on, click on a link!

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