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I'm new to blender and I don't even seem to be able to extrude my faces straight down. I'm creating the base mesh for a shirt, but I keep extruding faces at different angles. Some help would be appreciated!

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Immediately after typing E (extrude), type Z twice: first to override the default direction (along the faces' normal), then to constrain the extrusion along the Z axis.

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    (E, Z, Z, move, Enter. Note "along global Z" on the bottom bar)


To add on this: you can constrain to an axis - X, Y or Z - also the other familiar operations G (move), R (rotate) and S (scale).

Similarly, Shift+Z constrains the transformation to all axes except Z.

Finally, selecting an axis twice means that the axis local to the object's internal coordinates is used, rather than the global one.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you so much. It is a really frustrating learning process, but this certainly helps me a step further! $\endgroup$ – maura01 Sep 22 '18 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ Note that pressing Z twice will only transform along the Local axis if that is the transform orientation chosen in the 3D view header. $\endgroup$ – Ray Mairlot Sep 22 '18 at 15:38

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