I have a plane created from the "Import Image as Plane" plugin in blender. The image has an alpha channel that when imported displays as part of the plane, but transparent. What is the best way to carve the transparent portion of the object out, so the object is really just created in the form of the non-alpha portion of the original image.

I have found that I can use another cube mesh, line it up to the area I want to carve, and use a boolean object modifier to carve out the area that the two intersect. This works to an extent but I was hoping there was a more precise / quicker way to accomplish this. My concern about doing it this way is I have to size the cube manually and line it up with the mesh I want to carve from which leaves room for error.

The files I am trying this with now can be found here, including the PNG, a blend file, as well as some screenshots of what I am trying to accomplish.


To get that blend file I:

  • Imported Image as Plane, checking off to use Alpha
  • Set the shading of the plane to "Textured Solid"
  • Extruded the plane

I am extremely new to this, so if what I am asking is just not something that is done please let me know.

  • $\begingroup$ Nope you worked it out. Displace from image then use that as a boolean on the other. At least these days Blender has better bools. $\endgroup$
    – 3pointedit
    Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 23:11
  • $\begingroup$ Can you elaborate on what you mean by displace from image? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


You could make 2 planes. One with a displace texture and subsurf modifiers applied.

Subsurf plane and displace

On the other plane add subsurf and a boolean modifiers to receive the displace mesh as a hole cutter.

plane distorts up into other mesh

Boolean modifier will need a large amount of subsurf to get clean holes, but you could use a decimate modifier and smooth modifier to relax the mesh and reduce the vertices count.

Boolean modifiers

Resulting holes

Here I have also added a solidify modifier to make the plane thick.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response, this is much more advanced than what I am trying to do though. I am basically making a simple puzzle piece from an image. I tried to follow your instructions but without more detail about how you configured the modifiers I am at a loss. The solution did end being much cleaner than what I was originally doing though. I simply subdivided the plane to the point where I could reliably select the area of the image I wanted to remove. I selected the vertices I didn't want and deleted them. Once it is how I wanted, I deleted the extra triangles using a limited dissolve $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 18:36

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