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I am trying to flare the opening to a relatively complex organic shaped piece of geo. I'd like to extrude out from the opening, and move the extruded edge relative to the vertex normals.

I've tried extruding then pressing escape, but this makes the new edge's vertex normals point towards the center of the object so when I use Alt-S, it doesn't quite move the verts relative to the connected face.

This is relatively hard to describe so maybe some images will help. Original mesh with normals:

Original Mesh with Normals

Then I hit alt-E and press escape. The new vertex normals point away from the origin:

After extrusion

Here's a close up of a vertex whose normal is facing away from the center:

enter image description here

And finally here's what I get when I press alt-S (was hoping for it to move perpendicularly):

enter image description here

So is there a way to add a sort of flared opening where the flared angle is relative to the face it's built off?

Thanks, Warren

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  1. select the boundary edge loop using Alt+Right click (if it doesn't select the entire loop, select everything with A and click on Select > Select Boundary Loop) :

  1. expand the selection using Ctrl++ :

enter image description here

  1. while the Pivot Point is set to anything else than Individual origins, use the Extrude Region (Vertex Normals) operator :

enter image description here

  1. add to the selection the extruded face loop you don't need (the lower one) using Shift+Alt+Right Click and delete the selection :

enter image description here

  1. select the edge loops between which you have a gap and bridge them (Ctrl+E) :

enter image description here

  1. select everything and recalculate the normals with Ctrl+N :

enter image description here

You get something like this :

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for taking so long to respond. Am I looking in the right place for "Extrude Region (Vertex Normals)"? In the Tools panel, under "Mesh Tools", under "Add" I see an "Extrude" dropdown, an "Extrude Region" button, and "Extrude Individual" button. "Extrude" only has 2 options: "Edges only" and "Vertices Only". $\endgroup$ – WarrenJ Sep 6 '17 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ Ahh, I see that option if I am selecting faces, but not if I'm selecting the edge loop as vertices. Is there a way to do that with vertices? $\endgroup$ – WarrenJ Sep 6 '17 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ I edited my answer, tell me if you still have any problem $\endgroup$ – ChameleonScales Sep 19 '17 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ OK, the result I've been getting is using the second method you mentioned with shrink/fatten. I believe the normal it uses is towards the 3d cursor or the center point of the object. If you shrink the opposite direction, you will probably see all the vertices come together at the center point. $\endgroup$ – WarrenJ Sep 20 '17 at 0:30
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    $\begingroup$ I re-edited my answer to make it work on messy triangular meshes. You're right about the Shrink/Flatten method, it uses the object's origin once you extrude the boundary edge loop, because since the extruded vertices are overlapping with the non-extruded ones, their vertex normals have no clear direction anymore, so Blender uses the object's origin instead. So this method is not valid and I removed it from my answer. $\endgroup$ – ChameleonScales Sep 20 '17 at 21:02

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