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  • Create a cube

enter image description here

  • Start extruding the top face, but either right-click or press Esc to cancel

enter image description here

As you can see, the number of objects (verts / edges / faces / tris) increased, even though the action was cancelled.

  • Undoing the action (that was supposedly cancelled) reverts to previous count

Am I missing something here about the intended functionality of Esc / right click when doing extrude (and other actions)e or is this a feature / bug?

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Check out this YouTube video at 8:20 to see this behaviour used as a feature. Thanks to gandalf3 for explaining what's happening behind the scenes. – Sabuncu Sep 24 '15 at 12:10
Thanks for the link @Sabuncu! – Sep 26 '15 at 21:14
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Pressing E is really calling extrude_region_move(), which is a two part operation. It extrudes the selection and then moves it as if you had pressed G.
Pressing RMB or Esc will cancel the move part of the operation, but not the extrusion.

This is actually useful behavior, as it allows you to easily keep the extruded geometry (or loop cut) in place (maybe you want to scale it or something). If you don't want the extruded geometry, you can of course undo it with CtrlZ.

This goes for all two part operations, such as CtrlR loop cut and slide (loopcut_slide).

Note that there are actually one part equivalents for these, but there aren't shortcuts for them (to my knowledge). If you press Space in edit mode and search for e.g. Loop cut:

enter image description here

Pressing Loop Cut will put you in modal operator for cutting loops, just like pressing CtrlR, but it won't slide them like CtrlR does once the cuts are confirmed (and if they are not confirmed, e.g. by pressing Esc there will be no cuts made at all).

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That explains it - thanks gandalf3! – May 24 '14 at 11:55
Great answer! I like that you included the operation names. – Mentalist Mar 24 at 22:53

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