Cutting a mesh in half

  • I have a mesh which I have imported from an OBJ file. I would like to apply Material A to the section of the mesh which is on one side of a given plane, and apply Material B to the section of the mesh which is on the other side of that plane. A potential plane is indicated here as a blue line. Note that it does not necessarily intersect the centre.

    To do this, I need to split the any faces which intersect this plane, and select all faces on one side of the plane so that I can apply a material to them. How can I do this in the current versions of Blender?

    I've tried using the K knife tool in Z cut-through mode, but the cuts haven't been reliable. Even when they were, after the cut was finished I couldn't figure out how to select only the faces on one side of the cut. (The details were too fine to be reliably selected with any tools I know, such as the C circle select tool.) I tried using the B selection tool, but it only selected the faces on the near-side of the mesh.

    We used to have a procedure to cut a mesh using a plane in Blender 2.4, but it involved using mesh boolean tools which appear to have been replaced, and I can't figure out how to adapt it.

    Another use for this is for deleting one side before creating a mirrored object.

    If i may point to, i answered there with my (free) add-on, that does exactly what was asked there and if i read it right, here too, using a plane to cut (non-destructive).

  • I would recommend using the bisect tool (new in Blender 2.69):

    1. Enter edit mode (Tab), then press Space and type in Bisect, or select Bisect from the toolshelf (under Add).
    2. Click and drag, to bisect the object. enter image description here
    3. Press F6 to bring up the options for the tool, and select clear inner, or clear outer depending on which half you don't want. enter image description here

    If you don't want to delete half, but just want to select it:

    1. Instead of step 3, press H to hide the loop: enter image description here
    2. Hover over the half you want and press L to select linked vertices under the cursor: enter image description here
    3. Unhide everything (AltH), leaving you with one half of the object selected: enter image description here

    Thank you, that's incredibly helpful! Do you know if there's a way to just select the other half, instead of deleting it?

    @JeremyBanks yep, added the process to the answer.

    Thank you very much. That almost works, but unfortunately the selections created with L sometimes cross over the bisection, even with the middle parts hidden. I'll keep trying to figure it out. Even if I can't get it perfect, you've helped me get a much better result than I had so far.

    @JeremyBanks I think you are looking for **Select > Select Loop Inner Region**.

    Note that this feature was added in Blender 2.69, which is at present newer than the version in the Ubuntu repositories. You can get a newer version from a PPA:

    In step 3, how would one go about filling in the missing faces?

    @tecywiz121 You could create an n-gon with `F`, then triangulate the mesh with `Ctrl-T`.

    Works very well in Blender 2.8 too, if you do a little digging around. I prefer the menu's to using shortcuts, as it helps me to learn and retain information. Thank you.

  • A recommended workflow here would be:

    1. KZC, then drag a perfect vertical line. (Optional for C)
    2. Menu: Select > Select Loop Inner Region, to select one side of the cut result.(F6 > Select Bigger to select the other side)
    3. Assign a second material for the selection. Done.

    As shown below: enter image description here

    @Jeremy Banks, have you solved it?

    I'd prefer this version over CharlesL's, because I had to cut in the perfect middle and with K + Ctrl you can snap to the exact center of an edge and thus keep full precision.

    A better answer would explain what KZC is, because in my version I don't think it is the same.

  • If you want to create two identical halves from a symmetrical mesh, all you need to do is to tab into Edit Mode and press Numpad 5 then Numpad 1. Now you can press B for Box Select and drag over the vertices to one side of the center line, then delete those vertices.

    GIF Illustration

    This method can be used to make Vertex Groups for easy selection, so you can assign materials. Notice that your selection will be limited to the vertex locations, and no new geometry will be created to ensure a straight line.

  • Just to add a more procedural way to do this cutting thing. This is one solution if using Sverchok Add-On. The cutting is done using Bisect Node, very similar to Blender's Modeling own Bisect operation.

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

    You will end up with 2 new objects in this case, but you can join them if you like.

    What is the 2nd picture?

    2nd picture is Sverchok node tree. You need to install this addon.

  • If you just want to do a temporary bisect you can also use the Bool Modifier.

    Create an object with the shape of the cut you want to make, call your object cutout just for easy reference, then select the object you want to cut, add Modifier > Generate > Boolean and on the object select cutout, then select the type of operation you want to make, Intersect, Union or Diference...

    Since this is a Modifier, the changes are not applied until you do so, and if you make a copy of the object, you can apply the same Modifier with opposite operation to create the effect you are looking for.

  • 2.8x bmesh version. Using cursor for plane coords

    This one popped up today so what the hey. a blatant attempt to improve my people reached

    enter image description here A plane has been used as a visual tied to cursor orientation

    Extended the bmesh bisect plane operator to return the left and right faces, and the cut's edges.

    import bpy
    import bmesh
    from mathutils.geometry import distance_point_to_plane as dp2p
    def bisect(bm, plane_co=(0, 0, 0), plane_no=(1, 0, 0)):
        ret = bmesh.ops.bisect_plane(bm,
                geom=bm.faces[:] + bm.edges[:] + bm.verts[:],
        cut = [e for e in  ret["geom_cut"] if isinstance(e, bmesh.types.BMEdge)]
        left = []
        right = []
        for f in ret["geom"]:
            if not isinstance(f, bmesh.types.BMFace):
            left.append(f) if dp2p(f.calc_center_median(), plane_co, plane_no) > 0 else right.append(f)
        return left, cut, right

    For the case in question to create new edges at cut and set materials left and right.

    Example script append to above and run in object mode

    context = bpy.context
    scene = context.scene
    cu = scene.cursor
    ob = context.object
    # convert cursor coordinates to object space 
    mwi = ob.matrix_world.inverted()
    plane_co = mwi @ cu.location
    plane_no = mwi.to_3x3() @ cu.matrix.to_3x3().transposed()[2]
    # create a bmesh from context object
    me =
    bm =
    left, cut, right = bisect(bm, plane_co, plane_no)
    # do something 
    for f in left:
        f.material_index = 1
    for f in right:
        f.material_index = 2

    Split the cut edges

    bmesh.ops.split_edges(bm, edges=cut) 

    List of all vert indices in left faces, assigned to a new vertex group

    # all left verts
    left_verts = [v.index for v in set(v for f in left for v in f.verts)]
    # create and assign to vertex group
    vg ="Left")
    vg.add(left_verts, 1.0, 'REPLACE')

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM