Mastering 3D Boolean Operations.

Published on by free3dmaxmodels

3D Boolean operations in 3D programs are not always reliable and sometimes fail at apparently simple tasks.

Some of their other drawbacks are:

  • 3D Booleans add greatly to system overhead.
  • 3D Boolean operations can create long thin faces in a mesh object.
  • 3D Boolean operations can disrupt smoothing groups and welded vertices.


In their defense, some advantages of 3D Boolean operations are:

  • 3D Booleans can be used to cut openings in curved walls.
  • 3D Booleans can be used at anytime in the modeling process.
  • 3D Boolean operands can be animated. Using 3D Booleans can be stressful, so use them when you have no other reasonable option.


Boolean operations in the latest years have improved in reliability, but are still resource intensive and should only be used when needed in the 3D Applications (Free 3D Max Models). For Boolean Subtractions, such as those in the exercise, select the object that will remain after the process.With Boolean Union and Intersect, the order you pick is not important.

Prior to any Boolean operation, always select the Hold operation from the Edit pull down menu to insure that you can use Edit/Fetch to return the model to its present state if the Boolean goes awry. Operand B should disappear and leave a clean opening in the wall.At this point, it is important to right-click in the active view port to clear the Boolean operation.

If you have trouble picking the object you want, press H after clicking the Pick Operand B button and select the object by name. So far, everything is working predictably; you have walls with two window openings. However, if the scene is any more complex, the process would soon fail and you would get unwanted and possibly difficult to correct results. (Do not forget to Edit/Hold for each Boolean operation.)

We can create and position objects to be used as Boolean operands to cut door and window openings from extruded floor plans. Perform an initial Boolean operation and, upon completion, exit the Boolean process by right-clicking in a view port before starting a new Boolean operation.

Use the Hold option in the Edit pull down menu before each Boolean operation as a safety feature if the operation fails. We can simplify the amount of information that 3D Studio MAX has to keep track of, therefore increasing the chances greatly of successful Boolean operations and freeing system resources at the same time.

If you choose to work with the extruded floor plan method of creating walls, an architectural scene will become very cumbersome with the many Boolean operations required to punch door and window openings, and you will soon deplete system resources.

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