noob: Put a dent in cylinder

Hi fellow blenderheads,

I’m at the point where i’m starting to almost get frustrated with this cylinder even. I’m trying to make “dents” in the outer edge of a cylinder without making flat spots on the cylinder.

When i say flat spots I have a low-poly starting cylinder and when i start knifing/looping it always ends up with a flat spot there, I don’t have any examples of what i was trying because i trashed those and started over. I thought i would post here because it will most likely save me some time… I’m sure the answer is much less complicated then I’m making it.

I’ve attached an image of a showerhead that shows what i’m trying to do, or something similar, look at the bottom part, where you can spin it to adjust the spray.

After typing all this, I’m thinking i used too few verts in the cylinder to start with maybe… I’ll keep trying some things, but if anyone can show me some tricks/help me wake up while keeping good topology, i would appreciate that. It’s all about the tricks. :RocknRoll:




I’m not sure what your tryring to do, but the knife tool isn’t going to move vertices around for you
so of course you’ll be left with a flat spot

Well naturally… this is what i’m trying to avoid. I’m trying to put dents in the outside of the cylinder WITHOUT those flat spots that occur - I was just saying i was trying with the knife and failing.

Look at the picture I attached, where you would adjust the spray of the showerhead by twisting it, the “dents” for the fingers are what i’m trying to make while still keeping a nice cylinder.


Is this what you are looking for?
If so, the best way I could think of to do it would be to make two loop cuts around the cylinder (ctrl-r).
After that, you can select the faces between the two loops and extrude (e), and scale along the normals (alt-s).
That should give you something like the image I posted.

If you are actually modeling the shower head however, I suggest using more than one mesh/object.

(this is with subsurf on, if you want a sharp cylinder, then you could just add extra loops near the corners, or sharpen the edges with shift-e)

Oh, duh! I see what you are talking about now! The grips for the fingers.
in that case, I’m pretty sure a simple extrude will work…sort of like this:

I am using more than one mesh object, and yes, i’m modelling the showerhead. The dents however that i’m looking for are the bottom most ones, on the chrome part. There are three dents per showerhead, you can only see 2 in the picture shown.

A slight tangent from the topic - could you explain what “scale along the normals” means? I understand the basics of faces and normals etc… but when would you use alt+s and not just “s” ?

I’ve attached a new example, sorry about the confusion guys.



No problem mate, I edited my post, I hope it helps.

To answer your question about scaling, when you scale along normals you are scaling…well, along normals. Haha here is an image to help…

The normals are basically the direction the face is aimed at, when you scale along the normals, as opposed to just normal scaling, you’ll get different results.
In a cylinder, scaling along normals will make the faces go directly inside.
The usual way of scaling will result in something like this…

Scaling along normals however, will give you something more like this:

So, scaling along normals is just a different way to do things. You can do other transformations along normals as well, for example, if you use the move tool with the transform orientation set to “normals” you will move relative to the direction the face is.
I hope that helps.


thank you for your clarification there, scaling along normals is the option i’ve wanted many times, thought was built in, but wasn’t sure what it was called… this will help a lot in mechanical modelling, among other things.

you solved my dilemmas, thanks