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Rendering Contours with Nodes

Daniel Kreuter demonstrates how to set up contour rendering.

Daniel Kreuter writes:

Rendering contours in Blender had always been kind of a challenge for me because there are no tools for this (excepted by the Freestyle render engine). I really wanted to find a way for this and so I came up with the technique which I explain int the video.

You can download the .blend file here.


  • Kemar McInnis

    Awesome, thank you for taking the time out to develop this tut. I will most definitely use this sometime in the future.

  • endi

    The "edge" pass does exacty this. But this method is more controllable of course.

    • ArrowheadVenom

      Yeah, I saw this and thought, "doesn't the edge pass do pretty much the same thing?" This is pretty interesting, though.

    • Jeff B

      It would be great if you had access to the edge pass like other passes for the Node Editor. Would make the built in method of doing contours a little more flexible.

  • A7

    The great thing about this method is that it works with cycles too, since that has both Z and normal passes.

  • Brian Lockett

    Excellent! Now I can have rendered contours with Cycles. Thanks, Daniel!

  • ByronK

    Thanks for this. The results are beautiful!

  • Yves Perera

    this is a useful tutorial ! thanks ^^

  • tone3d

    Nice. Was trying this 6 years ago when there was no Cycles yet :) Needed badly a nice toon-ish render and finally combined edge render with yafray (not yafaray back then) like I described here (me as 'Glootamin'): Results (also posted there):
    I guess it's not such a bad direction - if developers would consider it implementing ... somehow ...

  • tushantin


  • Jonathan

    Nice tut! Just one complain, your O.S. haha

  • Kirill Poltavets

    Thank you, Daniel! It's very useful!

  • Ömercan Yazici

    This is really useful for animation in 2D style... Thanks :D

  • Willie

    Amazing. Thank you dear sir.

  • Carsten Wartmann

    Nice. You don't like Viewer Nodes no? ;-)

  • Jeff B

    I want to thank you for doing this because it made me experiment. I found your method a little frustrating because the line quality wasn't what I liked.

    I think I found a more flexible way. I created another scene in the blend file called shadeless that was a full copy of the original scene. I had a white shadeless material override all the materials and turned on the edge option. Then in the original scene in the node editor mix the output from both scenes.

    What I like about this method is with the BI edge option you can pick the color of the edges. With your method I couldn't find a decent way to change the color of the outline. With this method you could have a separate scene for each outline color and have separate objects have their own outline colors.

    This is my work around to not having the edge pass available outright. Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward to doing some NPR renders now!

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