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Boolean modeling tricks and tips

In the Object Attributes dialog under the General tab there is a new option called "Transfer Material of Negative Boolean". When selected, this transfers the material of the negative Boolean object in a group to the area of contact on the positive Boolean object.(For a more detailed description of the Object Attributes dialog see pages 107 & 312 of the manual; for a more detailed description of Booleans see page 316 in the manual).

This article consists of two tutorials. 


Related tutorials:

Modeling a vase using negative primitives

Modelling a vase using negative primitves

Author: babyclanger Printable Version
Step 1: Create a new file
Step 2: Create two spheres.
Step 3: Create a torus.
Step 4: Create a cube.
Step 5: Create a cone.
Step 6: Create the vase!
Step 7: Finishing touches: Texturing
Step 8: Applying the texture.
Step 9: You
Tools Needed
* Bryce

Support Files


Step 1 - Create a new file
This is simply to have a clean area to work in. 'Nuff said.
Step 2 - Create two spheres.

These will form the basic shape of our vase. Set their attributes by clicking on the [A]. Set the attributes for both according to these pictures.
Step 3 - Create a torus.

This will eventually produce the flared neck of the vase. Click on the [E] to edit the radius (highlighted in red). Set it to 422 as shown.

Next, edit the attributes (highlighted in blue). Set it according to the picture.

Step 4 - Create a cube.

This will create a flat portion as a base for our vase. Set its attributes to the ones shown.
Step 5 - Create a cone.

This will indent the neck of the vase, giving it the illusion of being hollow. Set the attributes as follows.
Step 6 - Create the vase!

At this stage your vase will look like a jumble collection of shapes. Which in fact it is. The final step in creating the vase is to select all of the above shapes, and group them together by clicking on the [G]. The shapes with negative attributes will remove pieces of the ones with positive attributes, thereby creating an elegant vase shape. Render you image and see how the negative shapes function
Step 7 - Finishing touches: Texturing

This stage is entirely optional. You are free to apply your own textures, or materials from the standard library. Some examples are shown here. Also, I would recommend you go back and play around with the shapes, scale and position, and see how versatile this basic shape can be.

Here, we are going to apply a blue china texture, which is available in the support file at the start of the tutorial. Unzip the texture to somewhere you will able to find it easily.

Step 8 - Applying the texture.

With your entire vase selected, click on the [M] to enter the materials lab. 

On the texture palette to the right, click on the image texture button [P] (shown here in yellow). Then click on the image source editor button (shown in green). This will take you to another window, where you want to click on the first empty tile down the bottom (highlighted in red), and browse to where you unzipped the image. Then, make the second picture pure white by clicking the white circle above it (highlighted in yellow). Click the okay tick, and we have returned to the materials lab. 

Click on the transformation tools button (shown as no. 3 in red) and adjust the scale by clicking on the centre of the scale control and dragging to the right. If you have altered the proportions or scale of the vase itself, you��TMll need to play around with this setting until it looks right. 10% should do if you have stuck to the tutorial. 

Ensure that the settings in the centre are the same as in the diagram, and click the ok tick on the mat lab.
Step 9 - You

Frame the vase in the window, and render. Voila! You have created a fully-textured vase. Congratulations. You now have a very classy vase to place in your renders. 

Remember to save your file!

Hopefully this has given you an insight into negative shapes, and applying your own textures.

Tóg go bog é



Create a Meta-Alien Head, Using Negative Metaballs in Bryce

Create a Meta-Alien Head, Using Negative Metaballs in Bryce

Author: BillMTracer Printable Version
Step 1: Set up Work Area
Step 2: Get Creative
Step 3: Make a Positive Metaball
Step 4: Changing Attributes
Step 5: Make one Negative
Step 6: Drill a Hole Through
Step 7: Test Render
Step 8: Let�s Make it a Little More Interesting
Step 9: Add More Character
Step 10: Refining Our Meta-Model
Tools Needed
* Bryce 5 or
* Bryce 5.5


As a dedicated 3D artist, I find software like Bryce a useful tool. Over time, I�ve learned several interesting techniques. Of the undocumented features I know, one of the most powerful is the use of negative metaballs. While not particularly intuitive, it is, however, incredibly simple to create a negative metaball in Bryce 5 & 5.5.

Step 1 - Set up Work Area
Before we get creative, let's set up our work area. 

When I activate Bryce I like to work without the ground plane, and with a simple white background. That way all of my attention is on the model. Test renders go faster with these settings. 

To delete the ground plane, click on the ground plane and hit your delete key. Then activate the 'Sky & Fog' palette, seen in Figure 1.

In Figure 1, note the small triangle (circled in red) next to the words 'Sky & Fog. Click it. 

This should show you the preset skies. Among the standard preset skies is the 'Simple White Background'. As its name suggest it is simple and white. 

Click it to select, and then click the accept check mark in the lower right corner. 

The attribute settings used in this tutorial are easiest to set while viewing the model from the Front. You can activate the Front view by using the keyboard View shortcut, then hitting the 4 number key.
Step 2 - Get Creative
Activate the Create Palette by clicking the word Create in the upper left region of your working window, as seen in Figure 2. 

From left to right this palette reveals clickable icons for Bryce object creation as follows: Water, Sky, Ground Plane, Terrain, Tree, Rock, Symmetrical Lattice, Metaball, Sphere, Torus, Cylinder, Cube, Tetrahedron, Cone, Disk Flat Plane, 2D Picture Object, Rectangular Flat Plane, various lights, and lastly in version 5.5, the icon for DAZ Studio.

Step 3 - Make a Positive Metaball
The eighth icon from the left is the Metaball icon. It is the left most of the group of blue icons, and can be seen in Figure 2 surrounded by the red line. 

To create a normal positive metaball all you have to do is click this knobby icon. A positive metaball will appear in your scene, as in Figure 3. Before moving on, let's adjust it's size and shape.

Step 4 - Changing Attributes
Click the A, (Attribute box), circled in Figure 3. Give your metaball these attributes� Position: X=-40.96, Y=30.72, Z=40.96; Rotate: X=0, Y=0, Z=0; Size: X=51.84, Y=69.12, Z=51.84, like you see in Figure 4. 

I always like to give objects their own names, for easy identification. Name this one 'AlienHead'. 

When finished, click the check mark in the lower right of the attribute box, as shown by the red line in Figure 4. 

So far, pretty easy stuff. 

(A quick side note about numbers in Bryce. Undoubtedly, you've noticed the oddness of the Bryce numbering system. An entire tutorial could be devoted to explaining how they work for us, but I'll sum it up like this; everything is a power of 0.08, or you might think of it as increments of 0.08, starting with 0. It all has to do with that 8 bits to a byte thing. So if you should take the time to get your calculator out, you'll notice that all of the numbers I use for positions, and sizes are all powers of 0.08, or as I like to call it, 'base Bryce'. Rotations are not in base Bryce in the interest of symmetry to our view.)

Step 5 - Make one Negative
Making a negative metaball is easy. 

While clicking the metaball icon we talked about back up in Figure 2, hold down the shift key. That's all there is to it. Give it a try. Simple huh?

Step 6 - Drill a Hole Through
After creating your negative metaball, while it is still selected, click on the A, (attribute box). 

Give it these attributes -- Name: 'EyeDrillNegator'; Position: X=-40.96, Y=32.48, Z=34.96. Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0. Size: X=32.48, Y=16.16, Z=15.36. As before, click the check mark lower right when complete.

Step 7 - Test Render
Give it a quick render to see a hole drilled through your original metaball. It should look like Figure 5.

Step 8 - Let�s Make it a Little More Interesting
While this alone demonstrates how to use negative metaballs, let's add more metaballs, to make our model a little more interesting. 

Select the positive metaball, labeled 'AlienHead'. Click on Edit in your Menu Bar, then Duplicate from the pull down menu. 

This will create a duplicate of the selected metaball. The duplicate will appear in exactly the same location as the original, and will be the currently selected object. 

We must change the position and size attributes of this new positive metaball, so click the A box. 

Change its name to Brow, and set its attributes as you see in Figure 6; 

Position: X=-40.96, Y=38.88, Z=38.88; Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0; Size: X=46.08, Y=13.12, Z=30.72. Click the lower right check. 

While we still have the brow selected, make another duplicate, as before. Give it the following attributes:

Name: 'LeftLobe' Position: X=-48.48, Y=46.08, Z=46.08. Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0. Size: X=28.88, Y=23.04 Z=28.88.

Duplicate this LeftLobe, and give it these attributes:

Name: 'RightLobe' Position: X=-33.44, Y=46.08, Z=46.08. Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0. Size: X=28.88, Y=23.04, Z=28.88

The result should look somewhat like Figure 7.

Step 9 - Add More Character
This time, select the negative metaball, 'EyeDrillNegator', and duplicate it like you did the other duplicates. The difference is that since you are duplicating a negative metaball, the duplicate will also be negative. Give this new negative metaball these attributes:
Name: 'LeftNoseNegator'. Position: X=-42.96, Y=25.92, Z=31.60. Rotation: X=40, Y=0, Z=-20. Size: X=1.92, Y=4.32, Z=10.24. Click the check mark, when complete. 

Duplicate again. Click the attribute box of this second duplicate and set it's attributes:
Name: 'RightNoseNegator'. Position: X=-38.96, Y=25.92, Z=31.60. Rotation: X=40, Y=0, Z=20. Size: X=1.92, Y=4.32, Z=10.24. 

After this you should have two more holes drilled into your original metaball. But before we do another test render, lets' add a few more metaballs to enhance the overall form. 

{For ease of reference in the following list, PM represents a positive metaball, and NM a negative metaball. Also note that I like to use the word Negator in the names of all my negative metaballs. This helps keep track of which metaballs are negative, at all times).

PM > Name: 'Nose'

Position: X=-40.96, Y=28.40, Z=30.72

Rotation: X=20, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=6.48, Y=8.64, Z=6.48

PM > Name: 'LeftCheekRidge'

Position: X=-52.48, Y=30.72, Z=38.88

Rotation: X=-20, Y=-20, Z=0

Size: X=8.64, Y=10.24, Z=25.92

PM > Name: 'RightCheekRidge'

Position: X=-29.44, Y=30.72, Z=38.88

Rotation: X=-20, Y=20, Z=0

Size: X=8.64, Y=10.24, Z=25.92

NM > Name: 'LeftTempleNegator'

Position: X=-56.08, Y=32.64, Z=48.48

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=8.64, Y=20.48, Z=30.72

NM > Name: 'RightTempleNegator'

Position: X=-25.84, Y=32.64, Z=48.48

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=8.64, Y=20.48, Z=30.72

NM > Name: 'LeftSideCheekNegator'

Position: X=-54.96, Y=25.52, Z=36.96

Rotation: X=-20, Y=-20, Z=0

Size: X=10.24, Y=15.36, Z=30.72

NM > Name: 'RightSideCheekNegator'

Position: X=-26.96, Y=25.52, Z=36.96

Rotation: X=-20, Y=20, Z=0

Size: X=10.24, Y=15.36, Z=30.72

NM > Name: 'LeftFrontCheekNegator'

Position: X=-52.08, Y=25.52, Z=28.48

Rotation: X=20, Y=-80, Z=40

Size: X=10.24, Y=15.36, Z=30.72

NM > Name: 'RightfrontCheekNegator'

Position: X=-29.84, Y=25.52, Z=28.48

Rotation: X=20, Y=80, Z=-40

Size: X=10.24, Y=15.36, Z=30.72

PM > Name: 'OccipitalLobe'

Position: X=-40.96, Y=34.56, Z=56.56

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=28.88, Y=28.88, Z=28.88

NM > Name:'OccipitalNegator'

Position: X=-40.96, Y=20.48, Z=56.56

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=30.72, Y=30.72, Z=30.72

When all are in place, do that test render. A left view should look somewhat like Figure 8, while the front view like Figure 9.

As you can see, we have the beginnings of our alien head. But wait, where are the eyes? Not to mention, we have no mouth! Don't worry, with just a few more metaballs we'll flesh out these last details.

Step 10 - Refining Our Meta-Model
To refine your Meta-Alien Head further, try creating more metaballs with attributes as listed below:

PM > Name: 'NoseBridge'

Position: X=-40.96, Y=33.44, Z=35.12

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=8.64, Y=15.36, Z=12.96

NM > Name: 'UnderNoseNegator'

Position: X=-40.96, Y=21.12, Z=27.76

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0

SIZ X=6.48, Y=17.28, Z=6.48

PM > Name: 'Mouth'

Position: X=-40.96, Y=20, Z=33.36

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=5.12, Y=3.84, Z=5.76

NM > Name: 'MouthNegator1'

Position: X=-41.20, Y=19.60, Z=32.32

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=8

Size: X=2.56, Y=0.96, Z=5.12

NM > Name: 'MouthNegator2'

Position: X=-40.72, Y=19.60, Z=32.32

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=-8

Size: X=2.56, Y=0.96, Z=5.12

NM > Name: 'UnderMouthNegator'

Position: X=-40.96, Y=13.12, Z=33.44

Rotation: X=-40, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=6.48, Y=17.28, Z=7.68

NM > Name: 'LeftLowerCheekNegator'

Position: X=-49.68, Y=17.92, Z=37.76

Rotation: X=-40, Y=0, Z=40

Size: X=10.24, Y=20.48, Z=40.96

NM > Name: 'RightLowerCheekNegator'

Position: X=-32.24, Y=17.92, Z=37.76

Rotation: X=-40, Y=0, Z=-40

Size: X=10.24, Y=20.48, Z=40.96

After adding the above to your creation, group all the metaballs you have thus far. 

To do this, simply select all of your metaballs and click the G box. Give this group the name, 'MainHeadGroup'. 

Now, with the main head group finished, we have but to fill the eye cavity with eye balls. These are simply 2 spheres, given the following attributes:

Sphere > Name: 'leftEyeBall'

Position: X=-47.12, Y=32.96, Z=35.76

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=10.24, Y=10.24, Z=10.24

Sphere > Name: 'RightEyeBall'

Position: X=-34.80, Y=32.96, Z=35.76

Rotation: X=0, Y=0, Z=0

Size: X=10.24, Y=10.24, Z=10.24

So far as materials go, experiment with different presets, tweaking the colors and other characteristics. When all is done, your rendering should look similar to Figure 10. Don't be afraid to experiment. Use different materials. Play around with sizes and positions and even rotations to see what kind of variations you can come up with. 

This meta-alien head is just to get you started on the principles. Add more metaballs in specific places to enhance your realism. Add teeth, if you like. Of course, if you want teeth, you'll probably need to make him a bigger mouth. But above all, have fun creating with both positive and negative metaballs. Who knows, if you keep practicing, you might even come up with a better way to make a metaball slug.

Stay tuned for the future tutorial, 'Attack of the Meta-Slugs'.