Hi. I’ll clarify some things, but first I want to report that I’ve since made a discovery that changes a few things, and partially answers my question, but there are still several points of confusion.
When I initially attempted to do this, I started with a UV sphere instead of a cylinder, but I modified the shape and deleted the ends so the final mesh still resembled a distorted cylinder. After attempting to create an example starting as a cylinder, I have found that the behavior differs quite a bit, giving me something a lot closer to what I want.
Here’s what I’m trying to do: Starting out with an irregularly-shaped tunnel, I want to create long objects that run along its length, and hug the walls. This would be straightforward if the profile of the objects was perfectly circular, but if it’s more complex (for this example, I’m using an elliptical profile) they can be oriented wrong; I want them to all be oriented normal to the wall of the tunnel, giving them a radial formation.
Here is the result of my latest attempt:
This is a lot better than my attempt starting with a sphere, in which all were oriented the same relative to the global space, but as you can see, there are a few that are misaligned, and I’m not sure why that is. Here, it would be easy enough to manually rotate these three, but I’m not sure that would be feasible in all cases.
Here’s how I accomplished this: I selected lengthwise edges on the mesh:
Then I duplicated the edges, separate the duplicates from the mesh, and convert them into paths. After this, I create a path shaped like the desired profile (in this case, an ellipse), and apply a bevel to the wall-hugging paths using the profile as the object.
So, my questions are:
What’s the best way to do what I’m attempting to do?
Why did some of the paths end up oriented wrong?
Why does this behave so differently when starting with a UV sphere? (I have some intuition about this, but I want to be certain)