Oops - I read this post to late to help but I can answer your question regarding boolean operations making the mesh disappear.
I can't use the boolean operations on my meshes?
Booleans operations do not work on meshes that have zero (or very small) area faces. Before you use a boolean action, either enlarge these faces or remove them.
To select these faces:
1. Select the meshes. (be sure to have component faces on)
2. Choose Edit Polygons > Selection > Selection Constraints.
3. Set Constrain to All Next
4. Expand the Geometry and Area sections.
5. Turn on Activate and set Min to 0 and Max to 0.0001.
6. You can now enlarge them or remove the faces.
Booleans really get an undisserved bad rap. I am certainly not a professional modeller but in 5 years at SGI I have been around enough of them (I had the ILM and Pixar accounts) to know that the pro's do use booleans. They are certainly not the end all solutions but in many cases they can majorly speed up model development especially as the models get complex.
And with history on they are used in some very cool effects.
Last edited by ctbram : 05-03-2004 at 04:06 AM.