Soft Boolean Tools, Worth It?

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I'm doing some hard surface design in Houdini, and really wishing that we had some more built in tools for doing "smooth" boolean operations.

Of course, one can switch over to a volume-based modeling approach to get better smoothing options for boolean ops, but that comes with a large performance penalty.

Has anyone found a good work around?

The Soft Boolean for Houdini [alexeyvanzhula.gumroad.com] package seems promising, but I'm a little dubious of paying $30 without a demo. Has anyone tried it or found it useful?

I've seen on orbolt there's a Smooth Boolean seams HDA, but I've had mixed results with it.
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Hey wyhinton1,

I think the soft boolean tool is awesome. Yes, I wish it would be faster and more robust. But it is an awesome tool to achieve complicated geometry effortlessly. It's good practice to always have clean and evenly distributed quad geo to do the soft boolean operations with. So my recommendation is to combine it with exoside quadremesher. I know it's another paid tool, but also best in class.

Cheers
CYTE
Edited by CYTE - 2022年10月6日 11:55:50
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Welp, I tried to buy it and it looks like Alexey's PayPal account isn't working. Unfortunately might have something with him, I assume, being in Russia?
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Maybe someone has some general theory about how one would make their own smooth boolean tool they could share?
Aizatulin
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Hi,

I've done some experiments with smooth booleans. Here are some ideas (rough approach).
Use the normal boolean node, to get intersection seams. You will probably get multiple seams, so you have to loop over each in some way. For each seam you can create a tube (swept) geometry along this seam, to intersect with the geometry. This will give you two other seams and you can also delete the intersection of the tube and the original geometry. Once this is done you can use the three seams to construct a surface. To keep this surface smooth and without holes and whatever (tricky part -> but there are multiple ways), you have to use the surface normals near the border seams to create tangents and the points should match the positions of the original geometry (where the tube was substracted).
Once this is done you can do do other (optional) things aswell like transfering attribtues (especially uv).

Here is a file, but this is very experimental (and not well sorted node network ...) and some things might not working probably.
Edited by Aizatulin - 2022年10月13日 17:59:33

Attachments:
boolean_bevel_experiments_only.hipnc (692.6 KB)
boolean_bevel_experiments_onlyA.hipnc (1.5 MB)

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Well, if you don't mind spending money on another software package,

Best way to get great boolean results is to go with nurbs modelling, like SolidWorks.
Rhino is good but the filleting is not as good as SW.
osong
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Fusion360 has a free tier to test things out and learn the CAD ways.
As per Soft Boolean, i have it, it is great.
https://twitter.com/oossoonngg [twitter.com]
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wyhinton1
Welp, I tried to buy it and it looks like Alexey's PayPal account isn't working. Unfortunately might have something with him, I assume, being in Russia?
for some reason, PayPal cancels some attempts to buy any of my plugins on Gumroad. Yesterday I asked them why. Waiting for an answer. I am not from Russia, I am Ukrainian and live in Poland.
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Soft Boolean is definitely worth it. Nothing is perfect, but compared with Modo mesh fusion and various other systems out there, it does an excellent job. As was mentioned, you can use quad remember to soften this up if you wish (second attachment).
Edited by Island - 2022年10月13日 15:27:02

Attachments:
SoftBoolean.jpg (243.3 KB)
QuadRemesh.jpg (170.9 KB)

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