The pantograph was a special tool invented in the 1600's to copy diagrams. Today, with the advent of tools such as CAD, computer-based tools have become the norm for designing and drafting. But where does Blender fit into this? Simple. Blender user rocketship has created a new plugin renderer called PantoGraph which can render your models not to a typical image file, but as Scalable Vector Graphics.
When one renders to PantoGraph, it generates a sleek vector version of your model. Vectors are a special method of defining imagery which use shapes rather than pixels, and therefore can be scaled indefinitely without loss of quality. As you can imagine, this is an extremely useful feature when drawing diagrams and designs.
The latest version of Pantograph supports:
- Hidden- line rendering
- Solid colors (with- and without alpha) only
- The ability to use simple closed, convex volumes to do a boolean â€œcut-awayâ€
- Control over lineweight and color for:
- Hidden lines
- A simple GUI that allows the saving of pens and pen settings
rocketship has done his best to ensure that PantoGraph produces precise images which require very little in the way of post-processing. One of his inspirations was Edward Tufte's concept of "Smallest Effective Difference," and rocketship has tried to make PantoGraph produce a degree of useful subtlety which is not present in existing non-photorealistic (NPR) renderers. If you ever use Blender for architecture, or any other form of diagramming, consider giving PantoGraph a look. (To do post-processing on your new vector images, I highly recommend Inkscape, a terrific free SVG editor.)
PantoGraph v. 0.4 was just released, so this is the perfect time to check it out!