Point all normals away from the 3D cursor or origin point

I want to tell Blender to point all the normals away from the origin point or 3D cursor so I can take a modified sphere and project dupliverts easily onto it… As of now, it does the usual where it bases it on the direction of the faces around it. Any suggestions or tips? I can’t seem to figure this one out.

Stupid question: Why don’t you use duplifaces instead of dupliverts? With duplifaces, the duplicated object is automatically aligned with the normal of the face where it appears.

And if that’s still not what you want, make the duplicates real and add a “Track To” constraint to make them point wherever you want.

“Real” here means “linked copies” like with [ALT D] so it’s not heavy stuff. You can do some mass-constraining from the Object menu and it takes zero CPU as long as you don’t move the target. (BTW, it’s quite fascinating to animate the target and to look at all those duplicates doing their synchronized dance.) :smiley:

Maybe I didn’t quite explain correctly… This is what is happening:

For reference, this is sort of the effect I’m going for:

I see… And I say “No can do”… At least neither with dupliverts or duplifaces if you deform the sphere. Both methods use the geometry of the sphere to orient the duplicates so, if the sphere isn’t perfect, well, the orientation won’t be perfect either.

Any way, I don’t think that’s the way the effect is achieved. The sphere remains a sphere, it’s only the “sticks” which grow out of it (according to the music, I guess). And that can’t be accomplished either without making the duplicates real. You need individual objects to be able to change their individual sizes.

IMHO, you better start to learn to script Blender. All the work needed to animate hundreds of tiny objects like that is borderline insanity. :eyebrowlift:

Normals have nothing to do with the origin point of the object. They are just a representation of the direction the face is pointing. The only way to get all the normals to radiate precisely from the origin point would be to make all the faces radiate from the origin, and that would be an undistorted sphere. In fact, your second example picture looks like an undistorted sphere to me, just with variable length particles emitting from it.

I’ve had experience programming with Python and specifically with scripting in Blender. I guess I’ll get to work on some kind of system. I have a few ideas of how to approach this…

With the geometry you posted above, “away from the origin” will be inside the mesh for some of those faces, or parallel to the face itself, either of which will likely cause all kinds of problems when you want to emit things from those faces. You may discover that what you’re asking for isn’t really what you want.

K Horseman is correct. If you actually write a script that changes the normals then you are changing the way it will render. What Kaluura suggests with the TrackTo constraint is the way to go.

Here is a visualization of the TrackTo in action. The cones represent the normal direction. They all face the TrackTo target. The normal orientation is overridden by the TrackTo which can be positioned at the location of the 3D Cursor.

What is going on in your posted image, above, is a mirrored displace pattern. It is a hemisphere that is mirrored or the UV mapping for the displace is mirrored.


268_trackto_noise_ball.blend (107 KB)