Tip: Cutting a Hole in a Curved Surface

Cutting a hole into a curved mesh is a common problem, particularly for new modelers. This tip shows you how to go about doing it using blender’s retopology tools.

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17 Responses to “Tip: Cutting a Hole in a Curved Surface”
  1. Posts: 1
    John says:

    Blender doesn’t have a bug about displaying the full wire. You need to go into edit mode and turn on “All Edges” under “Mesh Tools More”


  2. Posts: 1
    Herbert van der Wegen says:

    A good technique to keep the mesh manageable – however, it comes at a price: precision is not quite up to the standard of a good Boolean. I would never ever want to manually edit vertices to ‘smooth out’ the surface when I want precision.

    The Megabool script offers precise cuts into objects, and is much better than the default Boolean. However, at the cost of creating far more edges, granted. It seems one cannot have the best of both worlds…

    • Posts: 4176

      That is unfortunate reality… Booleans work well if you need to quickly visualize something but for most practical situations they’re are far too problematic.

  3. Posts: 3
    Mike Robinson says:

    Jonathan, this one is just a -little- -bit- “rushed.” When you know all of the short-cut tricks it is very easy to “lose” someone who does not.

    As an example, “G … Y … right-click.” You instantly, instinctively did that, but give the viewer no time to absorb what they just saw, unless they rubbed the video a few times to watch that bit again. A better approach would have been to -show- in the menu what each keystroke does, pausing very slightly after each one (even if you do not say anything), then find a way to repeat the process again, this time demonstrating the faster keyboard-shortcut. “Repeat key points.”

    The pace keeps-up, if not speeds-up, as you whisk through the process of adjusting the edges. Again, interject slight pauses so that a person who has not seen what you are doing can follow what you are doing, without giving the sense that you are being condescending and/or intentionally slowing yourself down.

    In short, “go ahead and let it be an eight-and-a-half minute video.” You’ve got an excellent presentation style and it’s good that you incorporate practical-shortcuts into the workflows that you present. Just watch for those “pause to think” moments that someone will need when following along with what you’re presenting. They are brief, but important.

    Thumbs-up, as usual.

    • Posts: 4176

      Thank you for the excellent critique Mike, there’s are the things I like to hear. They let me know where to focus to continue improving the quality of the tutorials.

    • Posts: 1
      GuiT says:

      To me as a newby (I DL’ed Blender about six weeks ago and put approx. 36 hrs. of playing/learning in it) it was really easy to follow even though the tutorial was tagged as advanced. About the “G … Y … right-click” example: I did pick it up without thinking, prolly because most of the newby tuts keep mentioning those keyboard shortcuts.
      So this post is not to critique Mike’s critique, but mainly to say: THANX to Jonathan and all those other fine people in the Blender community that are putting up all these great tutorials!
      Me likes Blender alot! :-) so thanks again to all “tutors”.

  4. Posts: 234
  5. Posts: 44

    This is extremely useful for me because i want to be able to intersect cylinders and be able to make complex window frames in curved walls, etc. Thanks for this salient tutorial. I was also confused about the retopo action: G, Y, Right-Click. The first time i tried it, it didn’t respond at all. Also i get a different context menu when i press F. I had to manually make all the new faces, between the circle and the edge loop opening. I am using 249.2.

    Excellent topic, thanks again.

  6. Posts: 1
    Jan says:

    Please where could i find retopo tool in blender 2.5 beta?

    • Posts: 4176

      The retopo tool is currently part of the Snapping tools. You can use it by enabling snapping to the surface and snapping to other objects.


  7. Posts: 1
    Bee Eckhoff says:

    Wer hat an der Uhr gedreht.. Ich habe nur immer meine Finger in Wunden gelegt, die sonst unter den Tisch gekehrt worden wären.

  8. Posts: 80
    Ian says:

    Nice tutorial, but nothing happens when I hit “F” in edit mode. I am running 2.55. Please help so I can wrap up this tutorial! ; )

    Thanks for all of your hard work. I am really coming along while learning Blender, thanks to you.


  9. Posts: 1
    Meelis says:

    Nice tutorial

    Snap tool had to be activated in Blender 2.49.2
    Wireframe mode has to be off.

  10. Posts: 10
    gikkio says:

    if some user does not see that blender to make a simple hole in a topology that it takes so much work you put into laughter.
    It ‘s absurd that to pierce the mesh there is an advanced tool that allows you to keep clean topology.
    good tutorial.

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