First Post: Shell Tool?

Hi all - My first post so forgive me if this has been addressed. I did try to search around before asking.

I’m not new to 3D modeling but I am new to Blender – It’s beautiful BTW.
(I’m an ex Truespace user…)

I am wondering — Is there a tool in Blender that would create a “Shell” of an object? Ideally it would create not just one set of faces, but it would be two sets, one inside and one outside.

does that make any sense?

— I could try and use Boolean…maybe that’s the way. Looking for some advice.


Blender Matt

Try the Solidify Modifier, see if that is similar to what you are looking for.

I used the Solidify modifier, it was similar, but didn’t seem to create a whole different “inside” set of faces … maybe I did something wrong?

See about how much you set your thickness and offset, and maybe if you are actually expecting them to be editable as individual in modifier form, you might really need to apply the modifier in Object mode to do that. Not sure about that though.

Thanks – I’ll play with it …

If you want to play around with the UVs or otherwise tweak individual vertices on the new side of the shell you need to apply the modifier (click the “Apply” button i.e.). Also keep in mind that the direction in which the “shell” extrudes is dependent on the normals of your original faces.

there are difference between shell and solidify.

Shell (in 3ds…it’s been over 2 years!) can give you 2 meshes, one for inside, one for outside (really useful for physically based lighting effects on for example glass, that allow for defining IOR like water->glass, glass->air, air->water ). Solidify doesn’t give you inner and outer separately, it simply gives your object/mesh a thickness. (best used with objects that don’t have ‘solid’ appearance already.

Example: if you use the standard cube, this object appears ‘solid’ already. Adding a Solidify modifier, is a little pointless. but if you delete one vertex on the cube you will get a ‘non solid’ / ie (not enclosed surface) , the solidify modifier will then make the remaining geometry look solid.

@zeffi: I’m not familiar with 3ds shell, and I see why it would be useful to have a different IOR on one side than on the other. That said, adding a solidify modifier to something refracting light can make a significant difference. Take this shot of a Suzanne (subdivided and smoothed) with a basic glass material:

Here it is again, with exactly the same settings, except that a solidify modifier has been added:

I understand that both sides of the “glass” have identical IOR values, but having two layers to pass through instead of just one significantly changes the result, and in this case helps to give suzanne the feel of thick shell with hollow interior (especially around her eyes), instead of one solid piece of glass. Note that it takes a much higher depth to make raytracing work with solidify, as there are a lot more layers to pass through. (Also, I probably should have upped my AA settings – this was done w/5 samples.)