Form and Space

creating CG 3D since 2001

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tori booleaned in one second

MEL: Booleans

Matthew | February 27, 2013

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Like I’ve said in class, booleans are rarely taught for a few reasons, and there’s even a piece of literature in my library about digital modeling with a chapter titled, “Booleans Are Evil”. Well, for a long time, I thought that too, but not because I couldn’t use them, or that other artists shouldn’t use them, but because it’s difficult to explain there use. There are problems that arise when using booleans, but with a little foresight, edge loop planning, the boolean can be very powerful and assist with very complex geometric problems. Traditionally a boolean modeling operation is between object A and object B. With this script you will be able to boolean together more than two objects at a time. It will iterate through your selection, creating a final boolean object. The default settings are set to a Union boolean, and a Merge tolerance of 0.001.

tori booleaned in one second

16 Tori Booleaned together in about one second.

The image above is a simple 2d array of 8 sided tori rotated on the Y axis at 22.5 degrees. They are spaced with just the right amount of overlap so no triangles form after the boolean; 16 objects booleaned together in a few seconds.

Author Matthew L. Stoehr
version 0.1

Boolean more than two
polygon meshses at once.

Select poly meshes to 
boolean, and run.


mls_booleanMulti(1, 0.001);

proc mls_booleanMulti(int $_operation, float $_tolerance)
    float $tolerance = $_tolerance;
    float $operation = $_operation;
    string $sel[] = `ls -selection`;
    string $newSel[] = `ls $sel[0] $sel[1]`;
    string $boolObject[];
    int $count = size($sel);
    int $i;
    int $h = 2;
    for($i=0; $i < $count-1; $i++)
        $boolObject = `polyBoolOp 
                      -op $operation 
                      -ch 0 
                      $newSel[0] $newSel[1]`;
        if($h < $count){
            select -add $sel[$h] $boolObject[0];
            $newSel = `ls -sl`;
            print "I'm done!";
    polyMergeVertex -d $tolerance -am 1 -ch 1 $boolObject;
    select -r $boolObject;

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