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Creating water around complex objects using geometry? Boolean failing.
show user profile  Stenrik
Hi, a little stuck here.

I'm working to visualize a seastead concept which involves floating architectural "bowls" within the ocean. Some of these have lower levels of water within them. I want the ocean to be volumetric if possible, since the viewer will be able to see through the walls of some of the bowls into it.

(Note that the bowls are not completely rounded as showed below, so remodeling everything is NOT desirable.)

Diagram here:

I thought this would be easy. Simply model the bowls with some thickness to them, then boolean subtract the bowls from a giant "ocean box", then delete the inside-of-bowl water part and restore the original bowl geometry into the hole... well, it's not working out as planned.

Using regular "boolean subtract" sort of works for the first shape, but as soon as I try to subtract other shapes from THAT one, the geometry goes haywire, and instead of getting bowl-shaped indentations, I get no indentation at all.
Proboolean is even worse. I simply get a dialog box error saying "invalid boolean" when I try to pick Operand B. I keep hearing that booleans are bad, that they're sloppy, nobody should use them, etc... but what are my alternatives in this situation?

Should I invest time into learning fluids in Max? Because this is a still water scene AND not an animation, I'd assumed it would be unnecessary.
How else would I go about "filling in the cracks" between structures?

read 703 times
9/15/2015 12:58:39 AM (last edit: 9/15/2015 1:04:40 AM)
show user profile  digs
the bowls already have the shape of the displaced water, so the geometry would be identical. ie, duplicate the outter faces of the bowls and you have your "boolean'd" part of the water. now all you have to do is grab the border edge at the top and extrude them outwards in x and y so you have the waters surface
read 690 times
9/15/2015 1:24:52 AM (last edit: 9/15/2015 1:26:06 AM)
show user profile  Stenrik
Hey, thanks for the suggestion, I did try it (worked beautifully with some halved test spheres), but was getting a lot of errors trying to extrude with my own bowl shapes, perhaps due to their irregular shapes and the fact that I used a 3rd party plugin partially to make them.

So here's a follow-up: I thought that Max's boolean function might be getting confused by the fact that there was an inside and outside to the bowls, so I deleted one's thickness. I then applied a symmetry modifier, effectively making it more like a sphere (added a ceiling) so that it was a "solid" object with no actual walls. Still no dice, BUT... I'd originally assumed that the mesh density of the bowls was screwing up the boolean attempts, since I wasn't getting specific mesh error messages. Ended up running a STL check and found a few errors along some of the bowl seams. Welding all the vertices didn't seem to help, yet RECREATING the bowl-spheres (less complexity, same poly count) from scratch DID work with ProBoolean! There must have been some other discrepancy within them unfound by STL check.

The next step was simply to apply the slice modifier to them to trim them from spheres back down to bowls, and THEN apply the shell modifier to give them their internal thickness as the final step.

Sucks I have a some re-modeling to do, but my faith in that tool is at least partially restored. It's not limited by resources/inefficient coding as I'd thought, just really finicky about the integrity of the mesh.
read 679 times
9/15/2015 3:45:54 AM (last edit: 9/15/2015 3:47:00 AM)
show user profile  Dub.
"just really finicky about the integrity of the mesh. "

You hit the nail on the head here.

It's EXTREMELY fussy. XView is your friend.

read 582 times
9/22/2015 5:25:07 AM (last edit: 9/22/2015 5:25:07 AM)
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