Boolean tools and exported mesh from Groboto.

I’ve seen some talk about better booleans around here. I wonder how many people are familiar with They recently updated the program with what looks to be some really nice boolean tools and decent meshing/export functionality. Might be nice for a base mesh to sculpt, stuff to retopo in Blender, or just use as is if you can deal with a slightly higher poly count. What I liked was the clean seams that can be made because the booleans are done first, then the whole thing is remeshed for export. Plus, the booleans stay dynamic, so you can adjust and re-export as you want to.

Looks cool.

Does they on Groboto also using the Carve-Library?

I’m pretty sure they’ve written their own engine for creating primitives and performing operations on them, but then again, I’m no expert on their internal workings.
What I do know is that from some experimentation the booleans and remeshing seems to work pretty well.

Hey tungee, achrystie,

Right. GroBoto’s Solids/Boolean engine is entirely ours. Importantly it is not a polygonal system - it uses true analytical geometry.
…actually a big deal, because we can handle subtle intersections, complexity, coincident surfaces, and a bunch of other stuff that any poly-based system would choke on… Real-Time, absolutely clean, precise, fully shaded work-mode rendering.

I don’t want to launch into a pitch here (I’m GroBoto’s creator & one of it’s developers - 'tho the other side of my brain knows I’m really an artist).

The GroBoto Site will give you a better idea of what it’s about.

Best Wishes,

Here are a couple of videos (more on our site & on YouTube – groBotz Channel):


Yeah, groboto is cool.

Is it a NURBs-based system?

Thanks Reidh

Hi GeoPappas,
Our geometry consists of Quadrics - the core of many Solid/CGS systems. Unlike Nurbs – or polys for that matter – we are working with Solids, not Surfaces. That’s what makes the system so robust. Any notion of patches, seams (edge loops), surfaces & finally polys… comes after the Boolean is fully defined in a ideal analytical form.

The mesh/surface structure never ‘gets in the way’. Further, we are free to reinterpret the quadric forms in the process of meshing. That is, to deviate from the strict (rather stiff) quadric primitives with a variety of smoothing, spreading, relaxation options. Thats what accounts for the subtle curvilinear forms (bevels, rounding, fillets, and more radical reshaping), you see in our videos and other examples.

Here’s a recent test:

This means absolute freedom re: topology/morphology. As achrystie mentioned, the boolean form remains dynamic throughout the editing process.

The magic comes from what my co-developer, Boris, has accomplished with the unprecedented Real-Time Quadric Boolean render engine, and the virtually unlimited ability to automatically convert any primitive/boolean arrangement with a beautifully structured hi-fidelity mesh.

Best Wishes,

Looks realy clean :confused:

Here’s my take on the app after playing with it last night.

It fills in a “niche” that has existed among modeling software for quite some time:

Polygon modeling tools (Blender, 3DS Max) are great for completely arbitrary geometry, but when it comes to making hard surfaces, they mostly suck. This is because making “changes” is tedious and often it’s hard to predict what the final shape will be when using subdivision. It’s also difficult to get a “truly smooth” form from polygon modeling tools without significant amounts of care and probably tweaking of points directly. Boolean tools are mostly useless in ALL these programs as well, because merging the polygon surfaces arbitrarily is a tough problem.

Nurbs modeling tools (Rhino/MOI) offer relatively smooth surfacing, and work well when you need to create “swoopy” hard surface models (like in industrial design), but drawing out the curves can sometimes be a pain and often the interpretation of cuts and merges between surfaces is poor once the geometry becomes quite complex. They also generally create poor polygon export geometry that often ends up useless at seams and intersections. Inexpensive programs like MOI do “ok” with this, but not good enough for general use IMHO. Rhino/MOI and the like are also not that great at maintaining history in the modeling process, so what you get, is often what you’re stuck with unless you do it over.

Solid Modelers (Solidworks/Pro-E) are fantastic for controlling and creating smooth and exact surface geometry, and the ability to go back and modify the modeling operations at any point are pretty much what they’re designed for. However trying to move that geometry into a polygon modeler to sculpt or use traditional poly tools to make “organic” forms and/or use the much better rendering and surfacing tools is a pain in the neck as the polygon exports typically stink and quite a bit is lost in translation. Plus, this type of software is generally quite expensive (Alibre being one of the cheapest, but it doesn’t export poly models of any use).

With Groboto I get the combination of the really smooth surface creation and some “history” that I get in Solid modelers and parts of NURBS modelers, but also really clean usable mesh generation (and I think they’re trying to improve it even more) for when I want to move to Blender, ZBrush, or whatever other polygon modeler. I’ve always wanted to have the power of good boolean tools, because they can be so exact and really quick to model complex surfaces that ends up in a relatively clean polygonal mesh for my final design.

Additionally, there are some really interesting “creative mathematics” features in the program that were the original selling feature. These “bots” can be used to generate interesting organic forms, kind of like 3D fractals on steroids, using primitives that, again, can be remeshed to polygons and exported. Just move some sliders and click some buttons and you can create all kinds of cool weird shapes and structures on the fly and redo them if you don’t like what you see.

All in all it’s pretty fun so far.
They have a sale going on for competitive software + if you advertise by posting on twitter and such, you get a greater discount. I only paid $40 for what is usually $100, so it was a really good deal. Not much money to spend IMHO.

Hey achrystie,

Thanks for that thorough feedback… really appreciate you taking the time.

Two quick notes:
– Yes, our mesh is constantly improving, and ('tho it will take a little time), we have a solid plan for fully-flowing, all-quad automatic meshing.
– Our current Collaborative/Cooperative Discount can go as high as 70%.

Best Wishes,

I bought Groboto a while back, but the only thing that’s holding it back for me is the sluggishness of it all. I know the Windows version isn’t optimised for speed and they are working on it, but the Mac version seems quite fast when looking at the video’s.

Hello Gremriel,

There should be very little performance difference between the Mac & Windows version. Please let me know specifically what you are experiencing (ex. is this during Boolean editing, or some other operations?)… I’ll see if I can offer any tips.

Yes, we still have optimization to do on both platforms, but editing should be quite fluid as-is. Again, I can probably point you to a few settings tweaks.

We should probably have any further discussion elsewhere (PM me, or use the contact link on the GroBoto site, or join our forum).

It would be good to post anything we work out here in the end… but GroBoto troubleshooting – not related specifically to Blender – probably does not belong here.

Best Wishes,

This looks very interesting! Will have to grab the demo and give it a spin…

Wow… cleanest meshing I’ve seen. I tried it out real quick on some curvy intersections and the meshes look very nice! I’ll have to poke around some more, but so far it seems well worth the 100USD. If only NURBS modelers made such pretty meshes…

Thanks Tom,
Be sure to check out the Discount Offer.
…the most you should pay is 75USD… could be as as little as 30.

Best Wishes,

I know, I’m just taking the discount as an added bonus :slight_smile: Is there a roadmap for Groboto that’s available to the public? I’m very interested to see where this goes. Correct me if such things are already implemented, but having object/axis snaps and precise scaling controls (working in units, for example) could open up Groboto to making very precise models (I’m thinking furniture, mechanical modeling, sketch modeling for architecture, etc.). The NURBS-like workflow makes a LOT of operations much easier than poly-modeling, so it’d be great to harness that with a greater degree of control.

We do not have numeric input. At some point we will. We do have a lot of useful innovative and clever snapping, rotation, coordinate system & aligning options - 'tho they are more art oriented than technical/mechanical… probably enough to support the ‘sketch modeling’ you mention.

While absolutely realizing the value of precise numeric (and our true geometry can show extraordinary precision). We are being a bit careful – we are a very tiny team – constantly on the look out for ‘slippery pits’ (combo of slippery slope and bottomless pit) in our development path.

All that said, we will have basic numeric input before too long, and will always be improving/enhancing our snap/align features.

Here are some references:
GroBoto Snap/Align Stuff:
GroBoto Modeling Videos (esp. the one represented by this thumbnail)

Note that the video is Mac-Based, and a bit outdated, but still a good overview.
Towards the end it shows some FlexTool options that are not yet implemented in our Windows version (will be very soon). However most of the FlexTool modeling shown is with the ‘Single Object Stretch’ FlexTool which is available on both platforms.

Best Wishes,

Hi Gremriel,

I don’t know if you are one of the people who has talked to Boris on our Forum…
He has found a compiler bug/implementation weakness that causes the 64bit Windows version of GroBoto to run slowly.

You are better off running the 32bit version until we are able to address this problem (the performance difference, i understand, is pretty dramatic). The only thing you will be losing is the ability to work with very complex models (10,000 or more primitives – spheres, cones, ellipsoids)… and some limitations in render image size (around 2-3k pixels wide).

Two other tips:

  1. Turn Shadows Off (Scene Options Tab in GroBoto’s right-side tool palette).
  2. Switch to Quickline Mode (same Scene Options Tab). This is by far the speediest mode.

Best Wishes,

Imagine! Blender, MakeHuman, Yafaray (et al), Inkscape, GIMP, ABI, and then for 40$ groboto!

I’m sorry groboto developer for interrupting, but how long is the trial version of the mac based GroBotot for?