Functions

The Skin Vertex add-on creates a mesh with only a single vertex on the position of the 3D Cursor. This mesh comes with the mirror, skin and subdivision modifier with some of their options exposed in the operator menu or redo panel.

Adding any primitive in Blender will use the 3D Cursor for its initial position in the 3D Viewport. This is internal behavior that is also used by the add-on for the purpose of being analogous. This being said, you need to prep some stuff in order to make it easier for you to use the 3D Cursor to place objects in the scene.

In the 3D Viewport, press the Shift+Space hotkey to open up the menu shown in Figure 2 then select Cursor.

Go to the Properties editor window and in the Tool section, you can find the settings for the 3D Cursor. Go ahead and turn on Surface Project, this will let the 3D Cursor snap to the surface of any object in the viewport when you left click on them.

Using the 3D Cursor this way will let you quickly create symmetrical detail using the Skin Vertex add-on or just simply place any mesh on the surface of an object.


Upon activation, the Skin Vertex operator will immediately create a mesh named "Skin Vertex" with just a single vertex. It will initially look like a sphere but these faces are generated by the skin modifier and the mesh is in fact just a single vertex.

To modify the result, you need to press the F9 hotkey after clicking the operator to bring up the redo panel and change the value of the properties shown there.

Here are the redo properties of the add-on and what they do:

Mirror Axis

Here you can select the starting mirror axis for the mirror modifier that will be added to the Skin Vertex mesh object. You select one by just left clicking on one of the axis or use multiple axis by pressing shift then left click, you can also use the same hotkey to remove from this selection.

Skin Radius

This lets you set the initial radius of the skin modifier. In edit mode with a vertex selected this is done using the Ctrl+A hotkey.

Subd Level

This determines the starting level for the subdivision modifier added to the resulting mesh object.

Use Active Origin

If an active object is present, its origin point will be copied over to the resulting Skin Vertex mesh object. This is useful for placing symmetrical basemeshes over your main design object.

Clipping

This is a mirror modifier option and will prevent vertices from going away from the symmetry line when being moved or grabbed.

In Figure 8, the vertices are being moved towards the x axis but will not move because clipping is on and the mesh is being mirrored in that axis.

Smooth Shading

This is the smooth shading option from the skin modifier added to the Skin Vertex mesh object which will use smooth shading on the generated faces.

If you want to extrude the vertices use the hotkey E then move the extruded vert to anywhere you like.

However, when clipping is on using this hotkey will not let you move the extruded vertex away from the symmetry line.

In this case use the hotkey Ctrl+E and position the mouse cursor away from the center line and in the place you want it extruded normally.

This will generate a vertex on that position connected to the original vertex you selected for extrusion and negating the effects of mirror clipping in the process.

Also watch this YouTube video tutorial on the skin modifier by The CG Essentials, this will let you use this modifier better as this is one of the more advanced modifiers in Blender.

Using Skin Vertex For Random Flow

If you want to use this for Random Flow, be sure to apply the modifiers first because Random Flow needs actual faces to work.

You can use the W specials menu using the hotkey W in object mode with the Skin Vertex object selected and go to the Convert To submenu and select Mesh.

This will apply the faces generated by the skin modifier so it can now be edited or used by the operator.

If you to re-establish the mirror, you can use the Auto Mirror operator present in both Random Flow and Creative Flow.

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