Is there a better way of mirroring than the mirror modifier?

Hi everyone…

Is there a different type of symmetry other than the mirror modifier?
One that is intuitive where you grab a polygon on one side and move it and the same thing happens automatically on the other side but in reverse?

I have searched all over the place for this and can’t find anything that works.

Cheers and thanks,

(Edit Mode) Tool Shelf > Mesh Options > X Mirror.


THAT is very very close and very helpful as well!
Is there a way to get it to work when adding new geometry, like using extrude for example?

It’ll only work on the geometry that was there when you turned it on. There IS an add-on called Jay’s Tools that would allow you to do that from the Tools Panel.


You’re pretty much exactly describing the mirror modifier. What isn’t working for you?

In addition, check the Symmetrize and Snap to Symmetry functions in Edit Mode :
(each of those tools settings are available in the operator panel on the bottom of the toolshelf or popup by pressing F6, just after doing the actual operation)

@ Glkie:
Thank you! I will look into that, it LOOKS from your screenshot that it is what I am after.

The mirror modifier makes a copy and flips it, this makes a mess inside what I am working on, so for example if I mirror the basic shape of a person with no features and push in an eye socket it vanishes beneath the surface of the copy. On top of that I don’t want all the extra geometry, just to have what I am doing on one side happen on the other side but its doing it to a copy instead and even after applying the modifier in object mode I get all the stuff I don’t want.

That is very interesting, and could be helpful to, it has the rather serious drawback however of needing to have the whole model selected and then having the symmetrize button pushed in a menu, I need this in real time so I can see what’s happening as I do it.
—EDIT: Mostly what it does is make gaping holes actually if I do it wrong… I think… this is ok for tiny objects with a few polygons but not anything big like a sphere, you need to know where every single polygon has been moved or holes happen…
The stuff in F6 left me clueless, what’s that stuff do?

Has anyone here ever used a sculpting tool like Sculptris?
Sculptris has exactly what i’m after for symmetry.

There is another place to see this working like I want it here:
Turn on symmetry, its the fifth box down on the right.

I know these two things are sculpt programs but I use other software where symmetry works when doing box modeling (ZBrush for example).

Thanks for the help you guys!
Thats some good stuff even if its not what Im after.


The Symmetrize function should work with anything big, but it’s important to note that similarly to the mirror modifier it is using the mesh origin as its symmetry center, so if your mesh origin is not located at the central axis of your model, it’s not going to end nicely when you’re using it and will lead into holes where the symmetry axis is not correct according to the position of that origin point

The “press F6 after making an operation” makes the operator panel (that by default is on the bottom of the toolshelf, to the left of the 3D view) as a popup , easier to work with when you need to modify settings of a tool you just used.

ummm, MealeaYing, you’re supposed to add a mirror modifier at the beginning of your modeling process, not after you have already got a more or less complete model. Start with a cube, put a loop cut exactly down the center, delete the verts on one side of the origin, then add the modifier, turn on clipping. Model away to your heart’s content.

Do this and you won’t have any problems with “a mess inside what I am working on” or “push in an eye socket it vanishes beneath the surface of the copy” or “all the extra geometry” or “applying the modifier in object mode I get all the stuff I don’t want.”

The mirror modifier does exactly what you say you want, BUT, you have to learn to use it correctly.

See below where what you say here starts to make sense when I try what Orinoco says, also thank you for explaining the f6 thing, I just tried screwing with everything in it and it didn’t make a lot of sense, now it does, its just a very quick way to get at something else.
Thank you VERY much for the help!

Holy crap!
Its works!!!
It seems like its a lot of work to begin editing a simple cube, but I have made the thing, it works and I improved it by looping it from the other two directions as well. Now I can save it and instead of opening Blender I will open this file unless I want to do something else.
Now my only problem is that the tools for manipulating stuff appear on only one side (right!!!) though I can select on either side… ITS SUCH A SMALL PROBLEM!
Ok Im thrilled, this works almost perfectly and the hindrances are so small I won’t notice them till long after I forget that I couldn’t do this at all!
Thank you Orinoco, you solved the bloody thing and I dont want to ram blender up its own… Ahem… anymore.

Cheers everyone and thank you!

PS: I was adding it (the mirror modifier) at the beginning, it was just making a copy of the whole cube and I didn’t understand why, it never occurred to me that in order to edit two sides of something you needed to delete one of the sides. Now that I think of it that way it makes even less sense but at least it works so I couldn’t care less, I just have to hope theres nothing else like this.

Thanks again you guys for all your help, I made a gargoyle to scare off the Blender Mirror Demon in honor of all you helpful people out there:

And heres the actual cube I saved as a .Blend file in case anyone has the same trouble I did:


You can use the tools on both the original and the mirrored side of the mesh by selecting “apply modifier to editing cage during Edit Mode” (the ‘mesh’ icon - three dots connected by double lines) at the top of the mirror modifier panel. It’s the only one of four not selected by default. The only trick in using this is the mouse motions on the mirrored side are the opposite of what you’d expect. It’s like you can select a mirrored vertex, but when you try to move it you are really moving the actual, not the mirrored vertex.

Ah, never mind, it seems you have already figured that out. By tools I’m guessing you mean the manipulator: yes, that does only show up on the actual vertex (I usually have this turned off, so didn’t notice that’s what you were talking about…)

BTW, you don’t have to start with a cube, you just have to make sure that you delete half of whatever you begin with, then add the modifier. You’ll see a lot of tutorials where the modeler will make half of a rough human figure, say, then cut it in half and mirror it before adding any detail. If you do go this route, make sure you don’t accidentally leave any faces inside the center of your model.

Symmetry in sculpting mode?
Is this what you’r asking for?
I mean, like in zbrush?
Zbrush remeshes - alters topology in the middle, badly (triangles). You don’t care there because you always remesh by dynamesh or by z remesher (auto retopology). You can’t perform symmetrize and weld having subdivisions on. Right?
How to symmetrize a default cube? There is no geometry in the middle.
You have to cut it in two parts, delete the half, add a mirror modifier and start working like a human being. LOL
In blender sculpting mode

  1. multires sculpting. Here we don’t alter topology, subd only. Like in zbrush (subd). Just check the x mirror on T (tools) panel.
  2. dynamic topology. Here we have a remesher based system. On T panel you can symmetrize without having to delete anything. There are mirror options in T panel. (in zbrush or in Sculptris there are not! Just saying)

Thats awesome, I see what you mean, and also I do use the manipulator thingys, they give me a sense of reference for some reason, I dont always use them but most of the time I have them on at least.
I make whole people in other programs and wanted to do stuff with them in Blender and that was where the problem was coming from… (that and cubes!). Chopping a person in half properly is going to be challenging but I think I know how to do it now, and I know WHY I need to do it sort of, or at least that i do and THAT is a very good thing.
Thank you again!

Im in regular edit mode, Im not learning the sculpting stuff at the moment since I have so many other things to learn in Blender and so many other good sculpting programs that I already know.
That thing above is from the default cube, it took a very short time to make once it wasn’t passing through it self, its like 10-20 minuets of work…
All it is is half a cube, the mirror modifier and the subsurface modifier and some screwing about with polygons, actually its a lot of fun working like that for some reason, its limited but very interesting and I get to play with big long curves and I LOVE that.

Basicly the whole problem boiled down to me not believing that it worked like this, where I have to delete half of what I am working on in order to work on it, it simply eluded me that that was how it was done. As for WHY its done like that I haven’t a clue. I would not have made it work this way my self.
This is why I made a .blend file thats all ready to use, Im not the first person to run into this problem.


Bringing in models from other programs and chopping them in half properly can be a challenge. One technique for getting vertices to line up for you is to use scale.

Select the verts you want to organize (these will be the ones you want on the centerline) and lets suppose you are going to mirror across the x axis, so you want them all on the same exact x coordinate (presumably zero). Scale them along the x-axis (hot key S, X) then type in 0 (the number zero). Now, typing zero does NOT set the x-coordinate, it tells Blender to scale the selected verts by zero amount from the pivot point. If your pivot point is the 3D cursor (and the cursor is at the origin) then the verts will be placed zero distance from zero. If the pivot point is the selection median point, then all the verts will line up zero distance from where ever the median is.

I usually do this with median point as the pivot, and then turn on clipping when I add the mirror modifier, and then move the lined up verts a bit to the centerline.

This post will make a lot more sense if you try it rather than read it. Might be interesting to experiment with Suzanne.

As for WHY its done like that I haven’t a clue

So, you would expect to see what, in edit mode? A blender that will guess where is your symmetry pivot point, to automatically add a cut loop on a cube? Can you suggest any other apps?
No "nope"s Mealea, not to me LOL. You had in mind zbrush, sculptris and such sculpting apps that can mirror and weld vertices.
And, blender, in sculpting mode, does have one click mirror, and in dyntopo mode mirror and weld.
One of the easiest, the friendlier 3d apps is SketchUp. Great UI actually. Try to mirror there. LOL because you gonna have to delete half of the mesh and some of this using an eraser brush. It will take some time.

THAT was FUN!!!
I didn’t use Suzanne, but I did use this simple base mesh I whipped up a while ago and the results were very entertaining and rather dimensionally painful looking!
I also tried to do this the other way, where I select all the vertices (Using B) on one side and just delete them, this required me to use 5 for orthographic, than 7 for a top view (My monitor is not exactly vast, and people are sometimes smaller from the end on view) and then Z so I could select everything at once, this worked flawlessly.
Your method however is FAR more entertaining, as one whole side of the person gets yanked outward and two dimensionalized. This is great for getting at them which as you pointed out can be tricky.
I will post a picture or two at the bottom after saying “nope” to Michalis again. hehehe!

I am not using a pivot point to do anything (Although I could, with things like spin or screw and stuff which look like a lot of fun), Im attempting to work on two sides of the same thing at the same time, this isnt a new concept, it was possible and even sort of totally normal in things like Swivel 3D and if I remember correctly MacPaint. I do not have ZBrush or Sculptris in mind, I have a method of making things symmetrical in mind.
Im not using the Sculpt stuff at all, I have other things for that and if I wanted to make things in sketchup I would be learning sketchup not Blender.
What I am doing is working on normal objects in edit mode, it has nothing to do with UV’s, sculpting or anything else, and when I do need UV’s if I ever do I will dig into that, but for now I can UV something in ZBrush with one button.

Prior to deleting vertices, this amused the hell out of me:

I will add another post the upload thing is broken and only lets me use a URL now for some reason…

So this wasnt possible before, now it is and Im thrilled!