mesh shell / offset (?)

Sometimes when artist generates normal maps from hi-poly model to low-poly, maps don’t come out right. xNormal has solution for that called “cage”. Cage is just like low-poly model (same amount of vertices/edges/polys) but it’s bigger in volume (it is kind of offset outwards from original low-poly model).
Is there an easy way to create outwards offset copy of original low-poly model other that pulling each vertex manually?

here are some link on that subject:


[Alt]+[S] in Edit mode would do the trick?

Not unless the model is perfectly symmetrical all the way around, like a rectangle, circle, cube, or sphere. No, there currently is no offset tool in Blender.

:frowning: is there a workaround for offset?

Not really, there is an offset script somewhere that only works on single edge loops, and sometimes not even then, much less a whole model. I agree that this feature should be in Blender though.

Well, LotRJ, I really don’t understand what’s your point: take Suzie, select and move half of the head vertices to introduce disymetry, then use [Alt]+[S], the result looks cool enough according to my point of view, especially if you don’t need a lot of offset. In any case, it seems to me that [Alt]+[S] works along the normals of the model, so the offset should be right, whatever the shape of the orginal model.

But even considering I’m wrong there, there are other tools available within Blender: actually, one other trick is to use the Scripts > Mesh > Solidfy Selection in Edit mode, de-activate Skin Sides and specify a low Thick value like +0.05… This definitely should do the trick, as it is meant to, AFAIK.

Thank you guys, will try all of those methods.

Alt-S is dangerous since there is nothing to guard against intersecting faces in the scaled version.
It can work reasonably well on predominantly convex meshes, but sharp concave regions will have a high chance of error.

make solid script is superior, although there are some cases where the result seems unstable, resulting in wonky vertices.
this is usually not encountered when using small offsets so for this application it should not be a real issue.