How do I carve a hole in a mesh?

What are the alternatives to boolean subtraction?

I am completely new to blender. Please help me !!!

Depends on the mesh. I prefer to Select the face/faces where i want a hole, set my 3dcursor to it, delete the faces, add up a circle, scale it and join it with the mesh. with 2.63 , it is very easy to do via knife tool too.

Basically you subdivide your mesh, rearrange vertexes to form the outline of hole, select faces with in the hole area, and then extrude the hole down [E].

Don’t forget the “to sphere” shortcut (alt+shift+s I believe). If you use it when selecting an edge loop it creates a circle out of the verts. Useful for fingers and arms and stuff too.

Boolean modifier works the best in my opinion for like rounded shapes like you want an hole in a sphere.

Also, can’t you add a circle as a separate object and in edit mode use the snapping function to get it to conform to the surface, then add it to the object and do your face creation/destruction? I think it would work to allow for a hole cut in a non flat surface…

This is why you don’t want to use boolean operations on most occasions, especially on curved surfaces.

This is CGC tutorial on how it should be done instead.

Happy blending!