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I am a complete blender beginner. I have a 3d model and try to make a relief out of it, by putting it on a flat rectangle, so that it is suited for 3d printing (only the z-height should vary, so 2.5d not 3d). As the data is noisy, I need to cut some data away. I tried to do this with vertex dissolve. However, then I end up with the following situation:

enter image description here

Black and green is the contour of my object and in gray you see the rectangle I put my object on. However, I would like that the object goes straight down to the rectangle, meaning the faces of the red line instead of the green line.

Another possibility is to simply erase the vertices. However, then the border of my object looks like this

enter image description here

and I would like to have the border set to the same height. However, I don't even know how to select the border

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    $\begingroup$ There are several possible practical approaches to this .. which one would work the best would depend on your model.. and exactly what you want.. can you show us its shape, topology? $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Oct 4 '18 at 17:04
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    $\begingroup$ You can select the vertices of the green line and scale them to 0 (S, X, 0 or S, Y, 0 so they are aligned and then move them all to the left where you want them. $\endgroup$ – Coffeehouse Oct 5 '18 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ See this answer for a possible approach using a height map and displacement. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Apr 8 '19 at 10:23
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A relief can be generated using shrink-wrapped plane over the object.

enter image description here enter image description here


Procedure (tested on Blender 2.79)

  1. Add the object to blender and a base plane. Position the object over the plane. enter image description here

  2. Add another plane over the object and the plane on the bottom. enter image description here

  3. Subdivide the plane until the mesh is relatively fine. enter image description here

  4. Apply the shrink-wrap modifier to the object. Set the mode to 'Project', set the target to the object name (in this case 'Suzanne'), set the auxiliary target to the base plane (in this case 'Plane'). enter image description here

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