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groups vs booleans

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I used to boolean my solid objects together all the time.  If I have two solids intersecting, 99 times out of 100 I would Union them.

 

However, lately I've just been grouping things together.  This workflow started after using SketchUp a few times a month in my office (not grouping in SKP = model death), but I've found that grouping in formZ can be very beneficial over Unions in that I usually don't have to remodel something if changes are to be made to my designs (and this happens often).

 

I'm just curious to see what other users do here.  

 

I'm also curious if anyone has noticed a difference in file size between large models that are simply grouped together vs models that contain a large number of boolean solids.

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I have never used booleans as an organizational tool. To me, it makes no sense and in practice makes later edits a nightmare.

I know lots of people do work this way and have had to edit models that have been booleaned into unmanageable lumps which is no fun at all.

With polygonal models, this practice is even worse as quite often it makes a complete mess of the topology and introduces shading errors when exported for rendering elsewhere.

Sketchup is a polygonal modeller so I believe that it is better to use as few boolean operations as possible.

 

 

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Hmm, I'm not so sure I agree. I use both methods, the grouping more recently and I think each method is better suited to different scenarios.

So it's not a "one or the other" question.

 

I find booleans better for editing generally, especially with the reshape tools. The overall model, when it gets big is visually cleaner with booleans, both in shaded and wire frame.

I use layers for organising as opposed to grouping, but I suppose whatever suits the user. Some, such as product designers use the object palette for organising, but for me it's layers all the way.

 

I have used sketchup sometimes over the years and while it has it's nice things, I wouldn't even bring it up to compare to FormZ. It's a 2.5D modeller IMHO.

 

My 2 cents (€)

 

:P

 

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I use Group, Join, Boolean, and Layers to keep everything tidy.  It all depends on the specific needs of that piece.  One size does not fit all.

 

For example, Join can be great for when needing to texture mapping objects together at once, but it still leaves the option to Seperate them if need be, unlike Boolean.  Boolean creates the cleanest solid models, but can be problematic if you need to rebuild things frequently.  Group (Ctrl+G) is just a super easy way to keep sets of things together.  I've come to love using Group/UnGroup and Isolate/Reveal to quickly work through models without turning off layers. 

 

Layers are still very important to keeping your project organized.  If you don't use them, and share your files with others, just know that people are cringing when they have to deal with your messy project.  I'll actually charge extra hours if I have go through and organize someone else file I need to use.  Layers and snaps, learn them, love them, use them!  

 

Yes, I'm OCD about modeling.  :)

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I use a lot of booleans in my architectural work, they are incredibly powerful! in formZ and the cleanest way to visualize my projects... but to do it well and not have problems when transferring my models to Autocad, over time I developed a strict technique for working with them, in formZ that's easy!... doing it well are incredibly efficient and the exportation to Autocad is perfect, really... sometimes I also transfer them to Sketchup also, only for distribution, and I have no problem with it...

 
I also use Objects a lot, like the Layers... through the DWG format I can transfer everything very organized to both programs and very efficiently... even as blocks or components with their name according to the name of the objects in FormZ, perfect...
 
I never use components in FormZ and unfortunately in the latest versions, from 8.0 onwards, I have had some problems with Groups, which I really regret, because the combination of Objects, Groups and Layers in FormZ is very powerful to organize everything and do very good transfers...
 
I also regret that from version 8.0 the plugin to rename the objects generates some problems when exporting in DWG... this has become a big problem because in the way of working I always name all the objects with real names, to keep very organized and understand everything, which is very important when I re-open previous files in which I have already forgotten the details of the project... I hope that at some point this tool is corrected, because it is very useful for someone who works like me.
 
Marcelo

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I suppose the reason I don't use booleans as an organisational tool is that I don't usually model intersecting solids.

Anyhow using bools to clean up intersections etc is a modelling task not organisational.

There are occasions where I will either add or subtract a block from a part that should not be seen or edited but this is a very rare instance.

I have worked with models that have been booleaned instead of joined to reduce object counts. These projects are a nightmare to edit later and usually I cannot just send the file back and demand a cleaner model. This is why the practice hits a raw nerve with me.

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I have not been able to group things for a year or so. I don't know why. Even two simple polygons in a new file wont group.

Does anyone know why?

I have been using FormZ for maybe 20 years! ( I wish Paul was still around ).

Ged

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Hi Ged,

Maybe you should check your installation. Group has worked for me in all versions since it was introduced years ago.

 

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When you say you can't group objects do you mean no actual group is created, or is it that you create a group but the individual objects are still being selected?

If it's the latter, then you might simply need to deselect "unlock groups" under the edit menu.

I have been using FZ since V7, and the grouping command is one thing I don't ever recall having a problem with.

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AH Ha! FZnoob, That worked. Thank you and Des too for the quick responses. I am using Maxwell render and having great success with it.

Layout is still a bit patchy. Especially with notes moving from their given location when making PDFs. That is another topic though.

 

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Posted (edited)

There is an option for groups that allow you to select individual objects and if you toggle between the option it become group as one.

Edited by Hugo

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