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Old 30-09-2009, 01:12 AM   #1
Harmit
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3DS MAX: How to merge (or union) 2 or more elements inside of a mesh object?

Hey folks.

I'm rather new to 3DS but learning fast. I've used Google's Sketchup a lot, so things that used to be so easy have proven to be rather difficult to find in 3DS.

For instance, if I'm in Vertex, Edge, Polygon or Element mode and I have 2 elements that I want to simply merge together at the points where they are intersecting, in Sketchup and select both objects, right-click and choose to intersect the objects. This builds all the necessary lines and verts necessary.

In 3DS, I've learned about Boolean -> Union, and the Utilities -> Combine. While they work okay on 2 separate objects, they do not work when inside an Editable Poly or Mesh (I use Poly unless I'm having a hard time welding verts).

Can anyone tell me what is the most common ways to merge 2 or more different elements of one Poly/Mesh?

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 30-09-2009, 01:13 AM   #2
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attach button.
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Old 30-09-2009, 01:43 AM   #3
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Hi bobi,

I've used attach before and this seems to attach two objects together.

For example, if I have a Box and a Plane and I convert both of them to an Editable Poly, I then select one or the other, click the Attach button and then select the other object. This makes them one object -- however, this does not intersect them.

What if, at this point, I want to move the Plane so that it cuts the box in half, and I now want to merge them both together so that verts are created on the Plane surrounding the box so that I can select (in polygon selection mode) one half of the box and remove it leaving the other half sticking out of the plane.

I know "another way to do this" is to move the box into the plane and use Boolean or Combine to merge the two.. but I'm in a situation where I have a mesh that has a wall-like polygon that overlaps another piece that I simply want it to intersect. There are too many verts to do a Bridge between lines (I'm sure I could do it this way too).

Hope this makes sense...?

(edit) I wanted to add, that the functionality that I'm looking for is very similar to the Collapse:Boolean:Union rather than any other modifier. It welds/merges, combines all the connecting lines and faces that I also want to do at the Polygon level inside of an object.

Last edited by Harmit; 30-09-2009 at 02:35 AM..
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Old 30-09-2009, 06:23 AM   #4
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i think you mean booleans then

at the creation panel, where you normally see "standard primitives" you can select "compound objects"

then you have a few options, but you probably want to go for "Pro Boolean"
it works better than the standard "Boolean" (read about the details in the user reference under F1)
though keep in mind that, unlike with google sketchup,
its important to manage how your polygons "flow" over your object, and most of the times (pro)booleans just mess up your object's nice topology


what you can do, if you like to get into the modeling a bit more,
learn some basic polymodelling, that way you can make any shape mostly using other shapes or splines just for some reference.

as when you try to smooth a model that had boolean, it just transforms into a glitched blob

try watching these tutorials (free registration required though):
http://digitalapprentice.net/Communi...=67&Itemid=154

they are probably a bit too advanced but they do show whats possible when not using booleans.

also if you want a good start for poly modelling, do the chess set and plane tutorials from the build in tutorial system, they get you up to speed pretty fast.
or see the tutorials on the 3dtotal site

Last edited by Rachel vd M; 30-09-2009 at 06:25 AM..
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Old 30-09-2009, 07:47 AM   #5
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I appreciate the explanation, I've went through all the tutorials a few weeks ago, I've been steadily working in 3DS for about a month, but I have not found a way to have booleans work with 2 elements -- it seems to only work with objects.

It's important to understand that I am inside an object and trying to unionize two elements. Given my situation, I am not able to Detach an element to use Boolean because it is connected an multiple points (like a interwoven matrix of vertices).

I'm almost beginning to believe that this is not a capability within the native 3DS environment -- which is a bummer. It would be good for the development team to steal some of the quick-tricks from Sketchup that revolve around intersecting planes, faces, etc.



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Originally Posted by Rachel vd M View Post
i think you mean booleans then

at the creation panel, where you normally see "standard primitives" you can select "compound objects"

then you have a few options, but you probably want to go for "Pro Boolean"
it works better than the standard "Boolean" (read about the details in the user reference under F1)
though keep in mind that, unlike with google sketchup,
its important to manage how your polygons "flow" over your object, and most of the times (pro)booleans just mess up your object's nice topology


what you can do, if you like to get into the modeling a bit more,
learn some basic polymodelling, that way you can make any shape mostly using other shapes or splines just for some reference.

as when you try to smooth a model that had boolean, it just transforms into a glitched blob

try watching these tutorials (free registration required though):
http://digitalapprentice.net/Communi...=67&Itemid=154

they are probably a bit too advanced but they do show whats possible when not using booleans.

also if you want a good start for poly modelling, do the chess set and plane tutorials from the build in tutorial system, they get you up to speed pretty fast.
or see the tutorials on the 3dtotal site
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Old 30-09-2009, 09:35 AM   #6
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Booleans won't and can't work on elements of a mesh or poly object so that's not going to happen.

Strictly speaking you can't boolean an open object (ie. not watertight) like a plane either. I know it'll work but it's not mathematically sound.

The confusion arises because within sketchup the elements are actually separate objects in the sense that max/maya etc. see them so operations like an intersect can happen.

Stick a picture up here and we might be able to offer a better way of approaching the problem.

some wisdom...
Sketchup cheats a lot to get its results so this sort of thing will happen quite a lot when moving to a "proper" 3d package (it's worse going the other way I can assure you). If you persevere you'll be able to produce much better work than you can do in sketchup but there will be a little pain on the way.
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Old 30-09-2009, 11:21 AM   #7
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I somewhat understand the difference between Sketchup and actual modeling applications. I also knew moving to 3DS was going to be a bit of "unlearning" -- but even for "cheating" -- the functionality in Sketchup is terrific in this respect.

As far as finding an alternate method -- I can find those. I already stated a few ways I could do it before. But, I needed to find out if and how the process of unionizing two elements worked as I run across this need many times. The best example is the Box and Plane example I gave. This is the smallest example that can be used for a test case.

For most I have been detaching and then applying a boolean, but even working with booleans or collapsing on the object level, it has not been as "water-tight" as it should have been. Not to mention, when use Boolean on a poly, converting it back to poly leaves a whole bunch of additional edges that I have to remove by hand. I know this is a matter of learning the app a bit more but right now, this is what I know and have to deal with.

Anyway -- if there is no way to take two elements of an object and unionize them (water-tight or semi-tight), then I'll just have to do it a different way. I was REALLY hoping to find this as a functionality though.

Thanks much!



Quote:
Originally Posted by poopipe View Post
Booleans won't and can't work on elements of a mesh or poly object so that's not going to happen.

Strictly speaking you can't boolean an open object (ie. not watertight) like a plane either. I know it'll work but it's not mathematically sound.

The confusion arises because within sketchup the elements are actually separate objects in the sense that max/maya etc. see them so operations like an intersect can happen.

Stick a picture up here and we might be able to offer a better way of approaching the problem.

some wisdom...
Sketchup cheats a lot to get its results so this sort of thing will happen quite a lot when moving to a "proper" 3d package (it's worse going the other way I can assure you). If you persevere you'll be able to produce much better work than you can do in sketchup but there will be a little pain on the way.
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Old 30-09-2009, 04:36 PM   #8
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another bit more labour intensive way to do it is by using the "slice plane" or "cut" tool

the cut tool is mainly like, drag a line where you want a line, and then delete the stuff u dont need.
though watch the cusor carefully, it displays if you are about to cut into a vert, a plane or a edge. its best to cut from vert to vert, or vert to edge

to use the slice plane it has to be straight geometry, but if u have it into poly select mode, and select only the part that needs to be cut, it can be done easly.

then u have to reweld every vertice to the other object (that you have already cut out)
you can use "targetweld" when in vertex select mode

this is a better alternative to detach+boolean as you have much more controll over whats gonna happen to the mesh


ps.

i invite you to join the Speed Modelling Challenges at this forum,
they are hard, and you shouldnt play to win, but you'll get great feedback.
and you will get to know 3dsMax very good, as they "force" you to model stuff you wouldnt normally model (like a character, or a piece of equipment)
also they are awesome for your portfolio, if you do a challenge every few weeks youll have a big model library soon

Last edited by Rachel vd M; 30-09-2009 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:40 AM   #9
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I believe what you are looking for is the "Delete Poly" and "Bridge" tools. Say you have two rectangular boxes, side by side, and you wish to merge/intersect the perpendicular faces together. You would convert each rentagular prism(or box) to an editable poly and attach them together, effectivly making them one object. Then you would delete the perpendicular faces. You then select the "Border" selection tool, and select the open holes/faces in the mesh. Then click the button labeled "Bridge," and you should get a clean mesh between the space where the two holes were.

Hope that helped.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:30 PM   #10
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thinking about it, you'll probably be able to get roughly what you want using procutter rather than boolean you'll need to fiddle a couple of settings but the results aren't generally too dirty and that will work on open objects.

It didn't occur to me before because I generally avoid automatic modelling tools of this ilk on account of their unsuitability for realtime thingies
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:43 PM   #11
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You can use ProBoolean if you don't care about MeshSmooth etc. If you intend to smooth the object then you need to attach any vertices where to objects meet. Then you'll have one object when selecting.
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Old 26-04-2010, 10:38 PM   #12
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Post join objects

Use the Attach button to permanently fuse or join objects:

Editable Mesh > Modify Panel > Edit Geometry > Attach button
Editable Poly > Modify Panel > Edit Geometry > Attach button

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...P=OTC-RSSSUP01
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:17 AM   #13
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This works

I was in the same situation as Harmit. I had two elements within a editable Poly and they just wouldn't stick together while modeling them. So I tried to selected the polygon ends of the two elements I wanted to merge and then clicked on the bridge icon in the 'Graphite Modeling Tools' ribbon. And it worked !

Thanks Biggest Kid



Quote:
Originally Posted by biggest kid View Post
I believe what you are looking for is the "Delete Poly" and "Bridge" tools. Say you have two rectangular boxes, side by side, and you wish to merge/intersect the perpendicular faces together. You would convert each rentagular prism(or box) to an editable poly and attach them together, effectivly making them one object. Then you would delete the perpendicular faces. You then select the "Border" selection tool, and select the open holes/faces in the mesh. Then click the button labeled "Bridge," and you should get a clean mesh between the space where the two holes were.

Hope that helped.
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Old 18-06-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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This is how you can merge/combine two elements inside an editable poly into one:

1. Search the vertices that the elements will share (you need to join every pair of them together)

Editable Poly Mode, Selection Vertex, Edit Vertices:
2. Target Weld all of the vertex pairs together. (Select Target weld, select one vertex, then the other that it will attach to.
3. Do this to all of the vertices that the elements share.

Sometimes the vertices are so close to each other that Target Welding is difficult. In that case Collapse does the trick.
Editable Poly Mode, Selection Vertex, Edit Geometry:
2. Select a vertice (or a pair) and Collapse
3. Do this to all of the vertices that the elements share.

Sometimes two elements may look like they are joined together (if you weld the vertices or haven't moved them after detaching) but they have two edges on top of another. Just using Weld doesn't always work for some reason. I believe that you can also merge elements by editing the edges or polys so that they merge together, but i haven't tried that yet.

This was a reply to a very old post, but I just couldn't find a clear answer to this from anywhere. Thanks for the question.
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