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Normal overlays / face orientation and Recompute Outside / Inside to reset normals do not work
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System Information
Operating system: Windows-10-10.0.17763 64 Bits
Graphics card: Intel(R) HD Graphics 620 Intel 4.5.0 - Build

Blender Version
Broken: version: 2.81 (sub 1), branch: master, commit date: 2019-08-10 16:47, hash: rB22cdadaa32c7
Worked: (optional)

Short description of error
The normal display and face orientation overlays do not represent the actual normals of the mesh, but only the precomputed normals.

Furthermore, the Recalculate Outside and Recalculate Inside normal functions in the Alt-N normal editing menu do not work.

It's worth mentioning this bug is in 2.8 stable that's currently on the website as well.

How to reproduce in the default startup file

  • Enable the normal visualization overlay and/or the face orientation overlay
  • Select the default cube and go into edit mode
  • Edit normals using the Alt-N menu
  • Observe how the normal overlay does not update to the updated normals
  • Use the Recalculate Outside / Inside function
  • Observe how the normals do not reset after using the function



Event Timeline

Philipp Oeser (lichtwerk) triaged this task as Needs Information from User priority.

Not sure if I understand correctly:

  • what exactly is not updating? ("The normal display", "the normal overlay")

in the following file I can see CustomSplitNormals update on all tools [also Flip, Recalculate Inside, Recalculate Outside]:

@Hidalgo Lakhdi (frarf) : does this fail for you in above file as well?
@Hidalgo Lakhdi (frarf): not sure why Recalculate Inside, Recalculate Outside would actually need to reset CustomSplitNormals? (isnt it just there to flip? [thats what they do here...])

regarding the face orientation overlay: this seems to be using gl_FrontFacing, and yes, that doesnt seem to do it for only reversing CustomSplitNormals... this I would need to look at further, but lets first get the misunderstanding about the mssing update out of the way... could you shed some light on this?

Seems to have been an idiotic mistake from my part - I was using the tools incorrectly. For anyone who's reading, Reset Vectors is what you use to clear custom normals, not Recalculate Outside. It's a little obtuse, and it could warrant a rename (like Reset Custom Normals) but it's mostly a mistake from my part. I'll remove this bug report.

Now I have a separate issue though. When I click anywhere on the viewport in the .blend that you sent me, Blender crashes. Bizarre. I'll let you decide if that's worth a different post, though.