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I want to recreate the following image:

enter image description here

I created one royal blue sphere object, sculpted the yellow and cyan objects, and added those onto the sphere.

enter image description here

My challenge: Essentially, each hole is the center of a hexagon (see red highlight in first screenshot). I want to extrude these parts to give each hexagon more shape. Is there a methodical way to do that without just selecting vertices and extruding individual regions?

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ It would be easier if the hexagons were in the topology of the sphere.. which you can achieve with the Mesh:Extra Objects add-on > 'Geodesic'... would an answer based around that be OK? $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Apr 1 '19 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ Absolutely! Thanks for responding. I've been racking my head around this for ever and have nothing... Just keep in mind I'm relatively new :) do you need me to upload the blend file? $\endgroup$ – Igor Houwat Apr 1 '19 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ Related blender.stackexchange.com/questions/56535/… $\endgroup$ – batFINGER Apr 2 '19 at 8:59
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If, in 2.79. you hit CtrlAltU, you can bring up User Preferences. In the Add-Ons tab, you will find 'Add Mesh: Extra Objects', shipped with the application. Activate it, and save the settings.. it will enable you to create an object like this: enter image description here

.. which might be a good starting point for your object. Note not all the faces are hexagons. ( You can't tessellate the surface of a sphere with regular hexagons, there need to be 'pleats': here, intrusions of pentagonal faces)

If you have surplus triangulation, you can use X > Limited Dissolve to remove coplanar edges.

If you delete the pentagonal faces from a copy of the base object, you can use the Duplifaces mechanism for distributing your hexagonal object onto the remaining hexagonal faces. (If the pentagons are acceptable, you could repeat the process to distribute a pentagonal sculpted object.)

enter image description here

Throughout modeling, you may find ShiftG > Select Similar, is a good way to select sets of elements across the surface of the base object.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry editing answer. Thanks for the help. I'm almost there. But I'm running into problems with the dupliface. First, things end up facing inwards. If I use "Verts" duplication and rotate, the model goes all wonky. And second, I end up with the hexagons in the wrong place. I'll add a .blend file above to show you what I mean. $\endgroup$ – Igor Houwat Apr 2 '19 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ @IgorHouwat The orientation of the duplis depends on the relation between their Local Object axes and the normals of the faces. So to make the duplis point outwards, you have to flip the normals of the base object, or rotate the mesh of the dupli with respect to its object axes (i.e rotate all its vertices in Edit Mode) It's true, while the base's hex faces know their normals perfectly, they don't consistently set their tangent X and Y with respect to their vertices, and they're not all exactly the same size. Maybe this suggestion isn't good enough... $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Apr 2 '19 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for taking the time, regardless... I learned a new skill. $\endgroup$ – Igor Houwat Apr 2 '19 at 21:04

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