I want to replicate a protein structure around an icosahedron. Basically a vesicle of protein structure is what we want:

enter image description here

When I am instancing the protein structure using each vertex of the icosahedron it looks like:

enter image description here

However, the tails are supposed to be directed towards the center. How can I make that work?


1 Answer 1


Globally dupli works on the convention that normals (vertex normals) correspond to the Y axis of the dupli.

To orient the protein:

  • First apply rotation and scale CtrlA so that we start with something we can work with
  • Then rotate it to the Y axis
  • And apply rotation again

enter image description here


If you want to do that (I had a look at some images on google):

enter image description here

  • Enter edit mode in the protein object
  • Select all vertices
  • Rotate and grab them so that the wanted inner part meets the origin of the object (still oriented along Y) as the dupli start at each vertex of its parent from this origin

The expected setting for the sphere, concerning instancing is the following:

enter image description here

Corrected blend file:


To do it from a particle system, you can use this setting for the particle system created for the sphere:

enter image description here

The orientation to Y is the same but can be perturbed if you activate physics, so it is disabled here.

Key parameters:

  • Set to 'emitter'
  • Start and end frames set to one (if not particles will appear during animation)
  • Emit from vertices
  • Physics 'none'
  • Render as object
  • Scale: tune as you need
  • Use the protein as instance object
  • Don't use the orientation as you want to emit along normals
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome man. That worked! $\endgroup$ Jul 22, 2019 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ @RafeequeBinUsman, Surely you will guess I'm not a biologist...!! $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Jul 22, 2019 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ What I am doing wrong here? drive.google.com/open?id=1FaDcYhASEieb-tLj6CZq1ZjdDJZUSDPP $\endgroup$ Jul 23, 2019 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ @RafeequeBinUsman the video resolution is too low for my eyes... but should be "align to vertex normals" in the sphere property panel in the instancing part. $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Jul 23, 2019 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ Don't forget also that the dupli starts at the sphere vertex position considering the origin point of the protein. To move the protein mesh from its origin point, preferably it is to be done in edit mode in this context. $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Jul 23, 2019 at 13:09

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