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We give a general solution to the question of when the convex hulls of orbits of quantum states on a finite-dimensional Hilbert space under unitary actions of a compact group have a non-empty interior in the surrounding space of all density operators. The same approach can be applied to study convex combinations of quantum channels. The importance of both problems stems from the fact that, usually, only sets with non-vanishing volumes in the embedding spaces of all states or channels are of practical importance. For the group of local transformations on a bipartite system we characterize maximally entangled states by the properties of a convex hull of orbits through them. We also compare two partial characteristics of convex bodies in terms of the largest balls and maximum volume ellipsoids contained in them and show that, in general, they do not coincide. Separable states, mixed-unitary channels and k-entangled states are also considered as examples of our techniques.