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Another nice modifier is the Boolean Modifier. Now, this is familiar to anybody who has used CAD or solid modeling, and what it does is it allows you to take one object and use it to cut away or add to another object. So let's take a look at how to use this. I've got two objects here; I've got a Cylinder and a Cube. So I am going to go ahead and select the Cylinder and move it down so that it overlaps the Cube. In fact, we should probably take a look at this in Wireframe.
I just want this to make sure that it's intersecting that Cube. Now, I'm going to select the Cube, itself leaving the Cylinder unselected and we are going to go over to the Modifiers Panel of that Cube and add a Modifier, and in this case we are going to add the Boolean Modifier. Now, at this point it's not doing anything, and that's because we need to select the object to be the effecter. In other words, the object is going to cut or add to the Cube.
If we click here, we can select Cylinder and now something happens. In fact, it's probably better to take a look at this in Wireframe, because the highlighted orange is really the effect of the Boolean operation. So we have three options; Intersection, which is the area of the Cube that intersects with that Cylinder; Union, in other words, the Cube plus the Cylinder. You can see how the orange Wireframe completely encloses the Cylinder.
And then we also have Difference, and what that does is it creates a little hole where the Cylinder intersects with the Cube. Now, this is actually live, so if I were to move the Cube, you can see that the Intersection spot actually moves with that Cube. So once we have a Boolean and we like it, probably the easiest thing to do is to hit Apply. Now, once I hit Apply, that freezes the effect and now we can move the Cube off of the Cylinder.
And if I go into a Solid Mode, you can see what happened. So Booleans are really good for creating mechanical objects, hard surface objects. Typically you don't use Booleans for things that are going deform, like characters and those sorts of thing. And the reason is because when you create a Boolean, you see how we get all of this additional geometry, and so that makes it very hard to deform the object. Now, this may look clean and render very nicely, but if we start to move vertices around, the model will break up.
So remember, Boolean is an active operation until you hit Apply and also use it on solid objects. Deformations and Booleans don't agree.
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