I have a mesh that looks like this:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Is there a way in Blender to flatten this mesh so that:

  • its thickness is preserved
  • the deformation of faces is minimized

In real life terms the process I'd like to obtain is the one by which you'd flatten parts of a rubber ball by putting a weight on it. It would give horizontally, but the thickness would stay the same(ish).

This picture kinda shows it:

enter image description here

but the fact that it's from a Siggraph paper doesn't give me much hope...

  • $\begingroup$ Hello :). Could you please add what you already tried to solve it? $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2021 at 11:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JachymMichal - HI! I tried shrinkwrapping on a plane, but it didn't work out. I can add that in the question if it helps. But my question could also be formulated as "what do you call a thing that does this" - often 70% of my problem is to find out what to google for, as I am new to Blender. Once I know, I'm usually on the way to a solution. $\endgroup$
    – simone
    Sep 1, 2021 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ Could you please add link to siggraph paper. Suggest the tennis ball is akin to a spherical UV mapping, keep one "peanut". Similarly a 2x1 plane can be warped into a sphere. 360 degrees one way and 180 the other. blender.stackexchange.com/questions/24043/… IIRC @moonboots has an answer re something similar. $\endgroup$
    – batFINGER
    Sep 1, 2021 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ LInk to siggraph paper: cs.cmu.edu/~kmcrane/Projects/VariationalCuts/… and another nice one: geometrycollective.github.io/boundary-first-flattening/… Also: I could let go of the thickness, but minimization of distortion of faces is important $\endgroup$
    – simone
    Sep 1, 2021 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


If you can reproduce the shape by adding Solidify Modifier to a one-sided mesh (no thickness), then you can just add shape keys and scale it to 0 on the second shape key. This doesn't retain volume:


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