In this article:
• How to use the Boolean tool
• Why does Boolean fail?
• What to do when Boolean fails
HOW TO USE THE BOOLEAN TOOL:
One of the more advanced tools in Shaper is Boolean, which is used to create complex shapes by subtracting or intersecting two overlapping shapes.
Think of the Boolean tool like using a cookie cutter; when you subtract a shape you remove the dough on the inside and keep the dough on the outside of the cookie cutter; when you intersect a shape you remove the dough on the outside and keep the dough on the inside of the cookie cutter.
1. Start with two shapes in Shaper.
2. Arrange the shapes so they are overlapping.
3. Select one shape, click the menu button (three horizontal lines), then click the Boolean button (two circles).
4. To subtract the shape click the Subtract Shape button. You will see a wireframe preview of the shape you're about to create. Click the ok (tick) button (or redo if you're not happy with the result).
5. To intersect the shape click the Intersect Shape button. You will see a wireframe preview of the shape you're about to create. Click the ok (tick) button (or redo if you're not happy with the result).
6. You can use Boolean multiple times to create more complex and unique shapes, for example, this piece of Swiss cheese.
WHY DOES BOOLEAN FAIL?:
Boolean is a complex operation, not just for users to master, but also for any app to handle.
All 3D shapes are made up of vertices. The more complex and curved a shape, the more vertices it will contain. For example, a cube has only 24 vertices, but the soap shape has over 5000.
Every time you use Boolean, the remaining shape becomes more complex. Once a shape reaches around 50,000 vertices, the app just can't handle it any more and you will see the "Boolean operation failed." message.
WHAT TO DO WHEN BOOLEAN FAILS:
If you see the "Boolean operation failed." message, that combination of shapes will never work.
In this case you will need to consider work arounds to achieve your desired design:
• Try to avoid combining complex shapes when you use Boolean. You can apply Boolean to shapes from the Basic Shapes pack many more times than you could to shapes from the Advanced Shapes pack, or text.
• Try to avoid using multiple Boolean operations on a complex shape, the total number of vertices will quickly compound.