In Chapter 4 of “The Essential Blender” I’ve got to the point where I’ve created the base pillar, added the top face, made an array of eight pillars, and extruded the column from the top face of the pillar. At this point we are told that with the "extruded edge still selected, use the Shift-S snap menu to bring up the “Cursor->Selection”. In top view, use the toolbox to add a mesh plane to the existing mesh (Add->Mesh->Plane). Using either the scaling or grab tools, change the plane to look like this:
Figure MMT2.44: Top view of the pillar, with a plane added to begin the bridge deck.

Notice how the other arrayed instances started scooting out of the way as you made the plane larger? That’s because you were using “Relative Offset”, and as the spacing was relative to the size of the mesh, it changed as the mesh’s size changed. That’s not going to work, so turn off Relative Offset in the array modifier, and turn on Constant Offset."

This doesn’t seem to work properly. First, I could only find Add->Mesh->Plane when in Object Mode, which would have been useful to know. When I added the plane it didn’t seem to be part of the original arrayed object, as it only appears over the specific column I’m working on. So no, the instance didn’t “start scooting out of the way…”.

It seems that Add->Mesh->Plane is adding an actual named object (Plane.001), not simply extending new mesh on the existing Cube-001 object, so is this the wrong command?

How do I add a new plane that is connected to the selected edges of the top of the extruded column, so it appears in all instances of the array? Thanks for any help with these frustrating tutorials…


In Edit Mode, you should be able to hit space bar and be given the option to add the plane to the object that is already selected.

Not happening for you?

jr, there’s Add->Plane and Add->Empty Mesh in Edit Mode, but no Add->Mesh->Plane, which is only available in Object Mode. I’ve just tried Add->Plane in Edit mode, and it does create a plane that appears in all elements of the array, but it isn’t connected to the mesh, it’s at an angle. Maybe I have to add it in top ortho view, but I have one hell of a time going from perspective to orthogonal views at times, as everything disappears. I can see the 3D cursor, but nothing else until I hit NUM-5 again. I thought since the edges at the top of the column were selected the plane would orient automatically? Is there perhaps another setting that has to be in place first?


To have control over the alignment of newly added objects, I set the preferences to ‘Aligned to View’ in the Edit Methods tab of the User Preferences (pull down top of screen to see or temporarily change one of your windows.)

Then, yes, you should go to an ortho view. If everything disappears, then put the cursor in the window and hit the Home key. Or hit the ‘.’ on the Number Pad to zoom to the selected object.

Hope this helps.

Thanks jr, that works really well. “The Essential Blender” really could do with some serious quality control; there’s always a detail or two missing that mean the difference between getting the right result and getting something completely weird. jvh