Best way to make (text-shaped) holes in object?

What’s currently the best way to make text-shaped holes in an object?

I checked the Boolean modifier, but it creates all kinds of artifacts. I’ve spent most of the day trying various ways of cleaning up the geometry after the modifier, but none of them really made any difference.

So I wondered if there perhaps are any new ways of ‘stamping’ letters/text into an object - without weird side effects? :slight_smile:

Just found out that the Edgle Split Modifier is perfect for this.

Only problem now is that it seems to be impossible to add a bevel or other type of ‘smoothy’ thingy to the text…

If you only want the text as a stamp the safest way is tp add it in the texture and fake the geometry with a normal map or alternatively do this with a decal. In case you need the geometry itself I do not know a better way than using the boolean but you could use the data transfer modifier to fix the shading. Once you are ready to do the boolean operation you can:

  1. Duplicate the object in which you will carve the text and hide it or move it to another layer. The duplicate needs to be in the same position, make sure scale is applied

  2. Do the boolean operation, here is when you have the bad shading.

  3. Create a vertex group with all the faces except for the faces that make the shape of your carved text. Before continuing I would suggest that you get rid of, at least the ngons, I think triangulating the mesh should be good enough.

  4. Add the data transfer modifier and pick your duplicate object. You want to check “face corner data” also pick your vertex group so the effect is not applied on the carved-text faces. This should replace the shading of your boolean object by the shading of the duplicate object on the vertex group you made.

You will notice that weird things happen to the shading if you move around the object. You can either apply the modifier or set it to local? (If I remember correctly)

Hope it helps :slight_smile:

The edge split modifier cuts your mesh into pieces, that is why you can’t bevel, the geometry is no longer connected. You can get the same effect by making sharp edges (Ctrl+E in edit mode with the desired edge selected) and then use “auto smooth” . You can get away using only auto smooth and setting the angle but if you want more control you can make sharp edges manually.


Make your text then set extrude value in text property panel and then convert to mesh and use remesh to make cleaner topology and finally use bool substraction and it should work better.

There is a boolean addon that also do a better job then blender default but i don’t remember the name and i usually do that kind of stuff in 3d coat for the ease of use with voxel.

Have you tried the Knife Project tool? Because if you just need to engrave the text it’s the simplest/safest solution, then of course it needs a bit of work like join vertices, create edges with knife, bevels…

Did a quick test here and it seem to work really good with remeshing i also include the .blend

Also if you adjust your subdivision more precisely on object where the hole will be you can line up both text topology and object so you can clean very easily with a merge vertex distance.

text test.blend (2.7 MB)

Hope it is going to help

Thank you very much for your time, DantexAGC! I’ll try the Data Transfer modifier if the Edge Split modifier isn’t good enough.

But for now, it actually works quite nicely – it’s a blessing to get rid of the usual artifacts.

After using it, I tried selecting the edges that I would like to bevel, pressing Ctrl+E in Edit mode and using Auto Smooth. I couldn’t see any difference, but perhaps I did something wrong…

Thank you very much, polynut, I’ll try remesh – I think I already tried it, but I’m not sure anymore as I went through tons of trial-and-error (error, mostly) yesterday…slight_smile:

But again, the Edge Split modifier is really nice, so bevels are really the only (minor) issue now…

1 Like

Thank you very much, moonboots – no the Knife is actually one of the few tools I haven’t tried for this yet. But the thing is I need lots of text, so it’ll probably be a bit too time consuming.

I could easily imagine it might be the best tool for more detailed work on a single word, though.

I was talking about the Knife Project tool, not Knife alone, maybe check this tool, perhaps it’s not the best for your goal but it might help sometimes

IMHO, the best way for creating clean, no-artifacts inset text.

Hard to say without seeing a screenshot of what you are trying to achieve or a sample rendering similar to what you need, but you can always employ render time solutions.

Thank you – one of the first things I did was actually watching that video, but I’m afraid it was a bit too fast for me. :slight_smile:

Thank you again, I’ll look into the Knife Project!

That’s what I hate about most video tutorials…they’re either too fast or too slow (usually too slow!). Text is always nice because you go at your own pace and jump back and forth as you please. Having said that, have a PDF on me…
Inset text.pdf (65.5 KB)

Thank you very much, gtomorrow – that’s very kind of you!