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enter image description hereProblem: I'm modeling a car and (unfortunately) thought too late about shutlines (panel gaps). Now, as I have my finished exterior, I've tried making the panel gaps by creating them as a separate object and cut them out with a boolean. It works okayish, but in certain areas doesn't make a clean edge, instead very blocky and the reflection is unacceptable when I render it. On the exterior I have the subdivison modifier. I've tried applying the subd and then boolean but it created an enormous amount of data, which was very slow to handle and also, it's then not really possible to modify anymore. Even then, the effect was not 100% convincing. I'm hoping there's an easier way.

Question: How could I do panel gaps that are relatively easy to modify or fine-tune if I want, yet still creating a clean and realistic effect? Are there any tools for that? I just want to somehow project them on the finished mesh, without having to modify the structure.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hello :). Please add some images to illustrate your problem. Also, you mentioned "without having to modify the structure". Are you looking for non-destructive (modifier based) solutions? $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal May 17 '20 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ Hi!! I've added a screenshot - forgot to include it in the fist place. Yes, I am looking for something that I can create a clean panel gap but without having to touch the exterior, just something that I can turn on/off and modify. Actually boolean wouldn't be bad, if it didn't make this horrible pixelated edges. $\endgroup$ – M_Sebestyen May 17 '20 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ Hello :). Boolean is actually a great tool for this. Your topology just isn't optimized for that boolean shape - those artifacts are triangles and n-gons caused by the Boolean operation. Try to edit the topology so it fits better with the boolean object. $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal May 18 '20 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ You might want a look at this method $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts May 18 '20 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ Robin Betts, thanks it seems like a good option but not for me, as I wanted the partition lines to go independently from the mesh lines. $\endgroup$ – M_Sebestyen May 18 '20 at 19:52
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Boolean Modifier is actually a good tool for this specific purpose.

But it can clash with topology, creating tris and n-gons.
Optimize your topology flow to better match with the Boolean shape, and it should work.

Example of Boolean on a 'friendly' topology (Just a subdivided plane). enter image description here

Boolean on a 'clashing' topology causing tris and ngons. enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, yes it explains well why I'm getting this problem. I am just not sure if I can optimize the topology since I spent a lot of time optimizing the perfect lines and surfaces (without keeping a clean topology - I'm not so experienced in that yet) That's why I was looking for a solution around the boolean, where I wouldn't need to touch the topology anymore - but as I see this, I might have to still do that. $\endgroup$ – M_Sebestyen May 18 '20 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ Hey :). You're right, nothing beats good topo. You could also try moving the Boolean before Subdivision modifier. And use Bevel modifier to keep the edges sharp. Good luck. $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal May 18 '20 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ I gave it a try. It did make it better but it still makes some weird shapes (not as weird as those pixelated lines though) I guess there's no escaping from cleaning up my topography! Thanks for the link, very cool! Been searching for this kind of tips a lot!! $\endgroup$ – M_Sebestyen May 19 '20 at 21:24

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