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Just to preface this, I'm working on an architectural project for an architectural class. Technically I should be using Rhino but I don't own a license for it and I only know blender so I'm making do with what I have.

Goal: For architectural renderings I want to render out cuts of what I'm working on. My first iteration I used metaballs to build up the forms of my project and lay out the spaces roughly. The problem is I'm using a Mask modifier with vertex groups on metaballs that I've converted to meshes. What ends up happening is the metaballs converted to meshes have this very jagged complex geometry that looks bad when I use the mask modifier.

Question:

1.) Is there a better way to do section cuts? Previously I was using the clipping distance on the camera but because I'm trying to make cuts at separate distances (see attached picture) I can't use the camera clip unless I do multiple renders and combine them.

2.) How do I smooth out the metaballs so that the edges where I'm masking are smooth.

The following images show the problems I'm facing with the current methods. I've tried using shade smooth and laplacian smooth but to no avail. Not sure if my image captions will render but if they don't, the first image shows the problems with using a mask filter and the second and third show problems with clipping. Sorry still kind of new to Blender. Any help would be appreciated.

edit: I realized I don't need to render out the metaballs to meshes which makes the renderings much less jagged. That said I'm still unsure how to cut sections at different depths. Thanks

Section cut made with mask filter. Notice jaggedness of vertices Section cut made with camera, notice lack of smooth edges on foregroud left of mesh Section cut made with camera clipping still looks blocky

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  • $\begingroup$ Have you considered using boolean modifiers with rectangular meshes intersecting at various positions? $\endgroup$ – asoftbird Nov 21 '19 at 8:17
  • $\begingroup$ I've found that booleans create flat faces; these can be removed by applying the modifier and deleting the flat face. It's probably the best idea to work on a copy of your model since you'd be applying modifers doing it this way. $\endgroup$ – asoftbird Nov 21 '19 at 8:24
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I'm not entirely sure that's what you want but maybe you could use the Boolean modifier to cut your object. You need to make your boolean object (here a cube) invisible: In Cycles Render go in the Properties panel > Object > Visibility > Ray Visibility and disable everything, and in Viewport Display choose Display as > Wire). Also pay attention to the modifiers stack order: Solidify to give your object thickness if needed, then Subdivision Surface to make it smooth (also don't forget to press W > Shade Smooth), then Boolean (Difference mode) to cut with your cube, then EdgeSplit to have sharp edges on the cut. And of course for your object try to have a nice topology with quads.

enter image description here

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