An extension of Gurson’s porous plasticity model capable of preventing pathological strain localization, and describing crack initiation and propagation under both shearing and tension is investigated. This paper separates the progression of shear failure and flat dimple rupture based on the assumption that these two failure mechanisms are governed by different characteristic length scales, a deviatoric and a dilatational length scale, respectively. A set of numerical analyses is presented which brings out the effects of these length scales on the development of e.g. cup-cone and slant fracture. Guided by the outcome of the numerical study, a set of tests has been designed and carried out for calibration of these length scales.