I am new to blender and I'm struggling with one feature; a strip of metal going near the top of the camera body (Fujifilm s4400). My problem is that the metal strip will not extrude to a continuous length because of the curve around the camera body. To add to that when I smooth out the model I get a gap where the strip is and it curves at the end leading to a hole in the model.

Could someone guide me with what to do or edit my .blend file so that I can observe the way you do things.

enter image description here

Here is the blend file if you would like to have a look:


kind regards,


  • $\begingroup$ Sorry Zeffii, I did try to add more than one image but because I'm new here, my account doesn't have the permissions to share more than 2 links I've changed the title too now $\endgroup$ Sep 21 '15 at 8:23
  • $\begingroup$ Oh wow, I actually completely forgot that I have photoshop I'll get to it; and to answer your question I have the camera next to me so I am doing the modelling without blueprints $\endgroup$ Sep 21 '15 at 10:30

The extrude tool can be pretty confusing when you want to do something simple like this, but if you use the 'Extrude Region (vertex normals)' function in the Tools > Mesh Tools menu, you can do it. However, there is another tool that can handle your problem - 'Shrink/Fatten'.

What I do is extrude (e), but without actually moving the extruded faces (to cancel the move hit esc), then use shrink/fatten (alt+s) to move the faces along their normals.

Using Shrink/Fatten to simulate face normal extrusion

If you use Shrink/Fatten on its own, it won't actually create an extrusion, but can be used to move any existing face, edge or vertex along its vertex normals. I find it much less fiddly than invoking extrude along normals from the menu.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much, sorry for the late response I've had trouble with my ISP this has helped very much! $\endgroup$ Sep 25 '15 at 22:53

You can also use the inset tool to create something like that. Select the faces you want to inset, press I and play with the depth values.

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Set Thickness = 0 to mimic "Extrude" $\endgroup$ Sep 21 '15 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your response too; as I said to MrFlammy, sorry for the late reply I've had trouble with my ISP. I haven't tried this one yet because I've not long been able to get back to my computer. Just a quick question though, would this method be advisable for the job that I am trying to do? It looks like it may generate more geometry than the answer above? Looks interesting though so I shall give it a try. Once again, thanks for the reply. $\endgroup$ Sep 25 '15 at 22:56

Extrude is very counter-intuitive and kinda whimsical in Blender, especially when you want to extrude multiple connected faces. I found it really discouraging after using MAX and Maya.

Above answers give you most info you need, I'll add two things:

  • F6 menu after extruding is your friend
  • sometimes "use vertex normals" is the answer
  • sometimes you have to make sure the correct pivot point and transform orientation combination is selected in the bottom bar of the window (I wish I could tell you what the "correct" settings are)
  • sometimes it's important to apply object transform (rotation and scale) before extruding
  • sometimes it's important to recalculate normals on all vertices before extruding

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.