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In a 2D app like Photoshop or GIMP, you can add a stroke to an object, and an outline is created for it that's of even distance around the shape. I want to do this for an irregular mesh in Blender.

For regular meshes like circles, spheres, squares and cubes, everything works well - E, S, scale out the extrusion. But for irregular shapes, I'm stumped. 2D 'E' extruded/scaled out.

This 'E' was selected, then E, S, mouse-dragged out (median point center). It doesn't border the original 'E' at all, and I wouldn't expect it to. Is there an option/add-on that allows for an extrusion at a set distance from the original mesh?

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Edit:

This script can apparently be used to stroke edges outward:
https://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.6/Py/Scripts/Modeling/offset_edges

If, for some reason, you can't use the script, you can use the workaround in my old answer.

Old answer

This is just a workaround. Find an add-on if you have to do this frequently.

1 - Extrude the shape

2 - Select one face on the top and on the bottom

Select

3 - Select linked flat faces

Select linked
This should select everything on the top and bottom.

4 - Select inverse

Inverse
This will select the rim edges

5 - (optional) Extrude, don't move them and Enter

6 - Shrink/fatten

Fatten
You should see this result:
result

7 - If necessary, delete unneeded geometry

Select one face on the top - Select linked flat faces - Select inverse - Delete!

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  • $\begingroup$ Yep - You're showing a standard extrude operation, and I'm aware of that operation. What I'm after is a border-extrude. Create a circle. Tab into edit. Select all. Now, press E, and immediately press S. That will extrude the circle outwards (or inwards) into a 2D ring, with an even distance from the original circle. I want to be able to do that... only with an irregular shape. $\endgroup$
    – OroNZ
    Jan 16, 2018 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ @OroborosNZ oooh, sorry. I misunderstood. If I find nothing better, I'll delete the answer. $\endgroup$ Jan 16, 2018 at 3:27
  • $\begingroup$ @OroborosNZ, I updated the answer. It's just a workaround, but it should work! And I apologize for thinking you didn't know the extrude operation :P $\endgroup$ Jan 16, 2018 at 3:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I think this works. You can also (sometimes, depending on your mesh), after extruding on the Z axis, enter face select mode, then Alt-click on one of the "rim faces" to get a face loop, which can then be extruded and then shrunk/fattened. This is just a different and possibly quicker way to select the relevant faces. But it would be nice to have an "extrude and shrink/fatten" option that worked this way for a selection of edges, rather than a selection of faces. $\endgroup$
    – risingfall
    Jan 16, 2018 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ @R.M. No need to apologise :) Blender is hugely complex, and sometimes even experts (which I'm not) get blindspotted by some feature or other. This is not a simple solution: what I'm after will require some pretty complex math behind it, or a multi-step workaround. If this isn't a built-in feature, it'll be an add-on, or I'll need to work in curves. Fun times... $\endgroup$
    – OroNZ
    Jan 16, 2018 at 5:47

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