Modelling detailed inward extrusions on surfaces?

Title might be a bit confusing, let’s just assume the following:

I have a surface, not evenly distributed yet consisting of squares only.

Now, I just selected a few faces, used the extrusion tool and extruded in the Z-vector.

My problem: I can do this with simple models, sometimes using proportional fall-off to get smooth edges, but I want to be able to do it exact.

I have, say, a randomized surface, and a text object converted to a mesh. (In the following image, the surface is not entirely random and it doesn’t have any inside vertices so to speak, but just for the example.)

And, I’d like to get this result:

(Obviously this has been done in photoshop, but you get the picture.)

Is there any method to easily gain said effect, not having to screw around with weird placed vertices and triangles and music instruments?

Note that the meshes shown are just examples, the models I require this help for are not aligned to the grid, or they are but the locations at which the text needs to be extruded inwards are not aligned to the grid.

If you plan on doing it for games, floating the geometry might be a good method, because you can then bake a normal map to fake it. Try your best not to use boolean, cause it makes lots of thin triangles and those are bad for rendering.

this is my ideer

first start with a cube. subdivide it and extrude out your letters.
then select all the verts around the letters and hide them.
when they are hidden then you can displace your mesh how you want to and arfterwards you unhide your verts and they will be un toucht.
to make matters simple you can make a vert group for the letters and that way you can find them back easaly


well, if its not for a game, the boolean difference operator is what I’d suggest

It’s not for a game, it’s for still images and animations. I am able to create such intrusions as suggested by using a grid and intruding hand-picked faces from there on, but the issue is that I have detailed items such as text and symbols that I require to intrude, and just using a perfect grid isn’t exactly going to work.

I can try to manually connect several vertices to eventually get the intrusion, but then the problem would be that because of this manual adjusting, I will be unable to create proper borders( because I don’t just want supersharp edges).

The boolean difference operator is new to me, I’ll look it up.

Have you tried Displace modifier?