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I have a mesh that is folded around an edge and curved. Currently, both curved parts are already aligned very closely, but not perfectly. I would like to align them more precisely with some fixed distance in-between.

Important conditions:

  • the operation must be non-destructive; the surface must retain its vertices in unchanged order because it has shape keys attached
  • I don't care which parts of the surface will be aligned - it could be the lower part aligned to the upper or vice versa or even both aligned to some average positions in-between

curved surfaces

How do I do that in Blender 2.92 ?

Edited: All the modifier based solutions seem to be inappropriate because Blender does not permit using modifiers on objects with shape keys, and I really need the shape keys to remain intact for morph animations.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello :). If you need the same distance in between, perhaps the Solidify modifier would work. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ @JachymMichal Solidify would work if I would be allowed to apply it later. However, I cannot - I must retain exactly the same vertices without changing the object because it has shape keys for animation. Blender even protects me from doing that - it displays an error when I try to apply Solidify : "The modifier cannot be applied on object with shape keys". $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ Then how about duplicating the mesh, applying solidify mod and then snap the vertices to that? Then just delete the duplicated mesh :) $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ @JachymMichal Thanks, that might actually work, I'll try it. I just wish there was some simpler method like selecting both parts and launching some command "Make aligned with 10mm distance" :D $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 16:45

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The Shrinkwrap modifier has an 'Offset' setting. If you make one of the surfaces the Shrinkwrap target of the other, projected along target surface normals, with an offset, would that do the trick?

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  • $\begingroup$ It seemed a good idea initially, but it turned out I cannot apply even shrinkwrap modifier to an object that has shape keys. I guess, Blender disables all modifiers for shape-keyed meshes to make sure that vertice indexes are not messed up by any modifier. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ @JustAMartin ahhh.. OK maybe Shift-D copy the object, remove the copy's shape keys, modify the copy, apply, then in the dropdown next to the shapekeys panel (with the copy selected but not active) 'Join as Shapes?'.. late here, will try, tomorrow am, $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Apr 14, 2021 at 21:14

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