I have a basic and simple question: How do AN get copy instances to point to follow the normal of original mesh / surface?

Would that involve BVH or KDTree? OR Is there also a way that is more Mathematical?

I did it using Sverchok at some point, maybe by accident:

This part below:

TRICK: Outward Vertex Normal => Adaptive Polygons I learned this trick from Houdini TD Spencer Lueder not long ago. To get Vector of Points that goes outward, just subtract vector to itself.

In Sverchok, just use Vector Math to add or subtract to get outward vector.

So, I think Instances can be: - On Point > Need Point Normal? - On Poly Face > Need Face Center and pointing to follow normal? - Scattered Instances across mesh... now for these, probably need a more clever way to "direct" the instance to follow the normal of mesh.

I saw Jacques template example on Instances along Curve and the Direction x Rotation happening there is nice.

Is there already a way to "copy attribute" based on distance? I am sure it will be involving BVH. And jump from here, I am wondering if in the future you will implement a way to "Paint" Attribute on Point?

My Wishlist: - Attribute Transfer - Visualizing stuffs like Normal, Point Number



2 Answers 2


Vertices normals can be converted into rotation information (with a free axis as you may expect) using the Direction To Rotation Node.

So the node tree in AN 2.0, the node tree is as follows:

Node Tree


Actually I just got the answer from Jacques, it's "Vertex Info" >>> Normal can be used to direct the Instances.

Never mind --- (=_+)b

enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is not a good answer as it doesn't demonstrate usage only that a solution exists. $\endgroup$
    – 3pointedit
    Apr 24, 2017 at 6:50

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