Any way to control the directions of the normals for an extruded object?

So lets say I set up one half of a set of stairs. So I have the shape of the steps and everything in a simple, unclosed, 2D shape. I am using Blender 2.49b. So I go to Top View, place my cursor where I want the other side of the stairs to be, press and hold CTRL, then right-click. Now I have a 3D object. But if I go into Face Mode and change the Orientation to Normal I see the faces are pointing down and towards the outside. Which makes them invisible in the game. So I have to go through all the faces and Flip Normals. No big deal, but is there a way to extrude them with the faces already pointing up and inside, the correct way?

Thank s for the help!

Ctrl-N recalc normals

I am using Blender 2.49b

Why? You are many years behind. Answers become less reliable with that gap.

But the answer to your question would be that if you extrude in the direction of your face that the z normal is pointing in, you are asking for an object to be created that has is Z normal pointed in the same direction, i.e. inwards. So there is a right and a wrong direction to extrude in, but for convenience it’s ok to ignore that and do ctrl N recalculate normals so all normals point away from the center of the object.

Because I like a challenge.
Because its nice to go back to the version of Blender that drove me back to 3DS Max in the first place. Face my fear.
Because I am building ages for Uru Complete Chronicles, and making tutorials so others can, and the exporter we have only works with Blender 2.49b.
Because I like to be different.
Because to understand the future we must understand the past.
Just because.


I am still not uncerstanding this. But I will experiment. You say that the direction of the extrude in essence determines the direction of the faces. So I either A. Change the origin so that it is down and inside the mesh. My origin was outside and slightly above or B. Extrude in a view that places the origin under the mesh, in this case Bottom View.

Am I on the right track?

OK, the results…

  1. Changing the view doesn’t make a darn difference.
  2. CTRL+N does not work.
  3. Moving the origin outside and above, or inside and below does not work.

The ONLY SOLUTION, so far, is to flip the normals AFTER extruding.

Looking into rotating the origin, because when I look at the normal origin of the shape BEFORE extruding it, I see it is pointing down at an angle, with all vertices selected, which tells me this is the average direction of the face normals when I extrude the shape.

Sorry for OT: Nice. Are there any fan created ages that have a comparable artistic quality as the official ages? - I haven’t been to URU for ages. :wink:

just a guess here but if it had been possible
it would have been done long time ago

when you extrude you make a face but it uses the edge index and add new one
and problem it does not know where the center is and some normal can be inverted
only way it to manually inverse these normal as I know of

i wish there was a better way

happy bl

changing the view does not matter to normals.
changing the origin does not matter to normals.
you need to select all in edit mode for ctrl n to work. it may not be a command in 2.49, a historian may be able to tell you about that. Do a spacebar search for recalculate.
The manipulator will not tell you as much as enabling normal display (face normals). no idea where that is in 2.49, if you have an N panel it might be there.

The only real alternative to the way it’s set up is to disallow the extrusion in the positive direction, which would be a greater inconvenience than the extrude and recalc, which is instant.

No apologies needed.

A quick search at the Guild of Writers forums found these:

This thread will give you search material:

To my knowledge all of these ages are downloadable and playable through Drizzle:

I have visited a few ages. One of them was not pretty, but it was MASSIVE, and impressive by its sheer scale. Once I started working on making my own ages I stopped exploring for a bit. Once I have the tools down and am making ages I will probably visit all of these custom ages for inspiration.

It’s OK. I am not complaining, just curious. I will consider my question answered for now. No big deal.

I did figure out how to use the recalc normals. But it does not work on extruded shapes for some reason. Nor can you use it on the shape before extruding. I just experimented with this. Selected my vertices, CTRL + N, I have the normals drawn and no change.

This is interesting… I just drew the vertex normals of a shape, and I changed the orientation to normal, and guess what? The Z-axis is pointing in the exact same direction as the vertex normals! Which, in this case, is down and to one side. Recalc and flip has no effect. Is there any other way to flip normals or control their direction?

OK, I did find one other way… I just played with my shape. Initially I had extruded down and to the side for stairs. So working my way from top to bottom. The vertex normals correlate to the general or maybe average direction of that extrusion. Well I clicked on the top vertex and tried going up. So now I am clicking to the side and up. Guess what? The normals were pointing outside and up!

So I sort of answered my own question… Yes, you can control the direction of the normals in a shape before you extrude a shape into a 3D Object by the direction in which you extrude your 2D Shape. So you have to extrude in a positive average direction for your normals to come out in an up average direction. I will make a video on this later.

You can draw the normals on your mesh by pressing F9 (Editing), going to Mesh Tools, clicking on the Draw Normals button, then adjusting the NSize to taste. You can also press Draw VNormals for the vertex normals.

And you didn’t even need a historian to get that information!

Here’s the video: