Negative Extrusion?

I’m not sure how to word it, so I’ll just explain my problem. I have a solid object that I have been modeling (a flashlight) and I am trying to make a ‘power symbol’ indentation on the on/off button. I had two separate objects, the flashlight and the symbol shape (a C with a line through the open part), which I then joined together into a single object so I could access them both in edit mode at the same time. But how do I extrude the power symbol into the button so that it ‘removes’ instead of adds? I need to attach my power symbol to the top of the button face I assume, and then extrude down into the button. That’s where I’m stuck.

Thanks in advance.

When you extrude “out” you move the mouse away from the centre of the object. To extrude “in” move the mouse towards the centre of the object.
You might also want to look at clicking the mouse to end the extrude, then hitting the G key (grab) while the edges are still selected and moving the mouse to reposition them.

Oh, I understand that much, I worked with Inventor a few years back, but I’m just now getting into modeling again. Here’s a link to the blend file.

When I extrude towards the large flashlight, It just creates an external extrusion of the symbol, rather than removing once it passes through the object.

Thanks for helping me out.

Ps. The issue is that the power symbol isn’t actually embedded in the plane that makes up the top of the button. I know that much. I’m just not sure how to integrate the two.

First of all you need to tidy up the mesh with remove doubles (vertices) and recalc normals.
Many people would just use a texture and apply bump or normal map for this kind of thing. If you want to physically model it, delete the surfaces (whole circle) and extrude it inward in “steps” of concentric circles which make the edges of the symbol (the circle). Then it will be easy to select just the faces you need for the pattern to extrude them either inward or outward as you please.

Ahh, well if I remove doubles I lose the sharp edges I made and everything goes back to being rounded. I can use Shift-E to crease it back to being sharp, but then the object takes on the original vertical faces and is no longer smooth, even when set smooth.

Progress is being made, however, as I see how to make the indentation now. Thanks for that. I’ve look at your tutorial on normal mapping, I’ll have to consider that as well.

Trouble with normal mapping as in my tutorial, is that you’d still have to build the thing in the first place.
Would it be satisfactory for you to combine meshes with CTRL-J?

Perhaps. I like the way it looks with the concentric circles, but then again I kind of like how it looks with the power symbol as a slight protrusion on the button. Either way I’ve learned something. It was really more the method that I was having problems with. You sure have to think differently when modeling at times, huh? It’s just that certain mindset.

Thanks for your help!

Just use the boolean command to make the power symbol indent.

You have the C shaped power symbol with the line, put it in the correct location so it intersects with the power button, then select the torch, then the power symbol, and hit W,3 for a ‘difference’ boolean.