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I've been trying for some time to make a sphere hole in a bigger one, just like the death star, but I can't seem to make it without having shading issues.

I tried to use the boolean modifier

Shading issues I'm having

It seems like it has to do with the fact that the surface of the bigger sphere is overlapping with the new vertices of the hole. How can I solve that, or just achieve the same result without all this hastle?

Thank you very much!

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    $\begingroup$ You must correct your mesh after a boolean, especially with complex objects like spheres $\endgroup$
    – Yvain
    Jun 27 at 20:03
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    $\begingroup$ Check out this tutorial by Josh Gambrell: youtube.com/watch?v=NZXYWzv02m4. He's got a lot of great stuff on hard surface modeling. $\endgroup$ Jun 27 at 20:16

4 Answers 4

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Create your sphere, duplicate, scale down the copy, move it and make its vertices overlap with the first one, keep it selected, go into the top header menu > Face > Intersect (Boolean) and in the Operator box choose Difference:

enter image description here

Select all and press M > Merge by Distance to remove the overlapping vertices:

enter image description here

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Same difference.. slightly different method.. V slice your inset sphere around a latitude.

With Snap set to 'Vertex and 'Active', set to influence all transformations, it should be easy to move and snap-scale, to perfectly align vertices.

M merge vertices by distance, and AltN recalculate normals (outside).

enter image description here

..Ctrl B bevel the joint a little, maybe.

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Welcome to Stack Exchange! Moonboots and Robin Betts both have good, robust answers. Here's another one that might be interesting.

Some advantages to this method:

  1. It can be very fast if the cutout is the same radius as the sphere.
  2. No change in topology are necessary.
  3. UVs are not affected.

Some disadvantages:

  1. It only works on UV spheres that haven't been rotated.
  2. It's very difficult to make the hole a perfect sphere whose radius of curvature is different from that of the original sphere.

Assuming you're starting with the default UV sphere without rotation:

Select a vertex that will be on the edge. Set the position of the 3D cursor to the position of the vertex (Shift+S -> Cursor to Selected) Screenshot of selected vertex

Also make sure pivoting is around the 3D cursor enter image description here

Select all the faces in the inner sphere (Select top vertex, Ctrl+Numpad plus)

Then invert the vertex positions along the Z axis (S, Z, -1, Enter) enter image description here


If you'd like the radius of the inner sphere to be smaller than that of the outer one:

Add more faces to the inner sphere with loop cuts if necessary (Ctrl+R) enter image description here

Scale the vertices in the inner sphere along the z axis, so the hole is as deep as you'd like. (S, Z, Drag)

Imagine where the center of the inner sphere is in space. Set the 3D cursor to that position. enter image description here

Then it's possible to align all the inside vertices to a sphere with the "To Sphere" tool (Alt+Shift+S, drag) enter image description here

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Why not procedural?

Sure, that wasn't asked here, but I just love Geometry Nodes.

Anyway, here would be the solution for Geometry Nodes:

enter image description here

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