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Edge rendering with an edge!


Coen Spoor writes: "In this tutorial you'll learn how to use the default edge render option in Blender in a more flexible using the Compositor. How to control the amount of edges shown and how increase or decrease the size of the edge."

About the Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I don't think Freestyle will get into trunk very fast, at least, that? the feeling i get. Plus, the reason behind the tutorial is that I'm dedicated fan of the compositor and what you CAN do with it. :)

  2. I prefer to create a material properties from the normal of the objects, it makes they more living, and I'm looking forward to see freestyle in the trunk.

  3. Thanks. Coen! Appreciate it! Thanks for showing this, because I can use this technique right now, in fact. I hear people talking about Freestyle, but hey, Freestyle is not here in a stable Blender 2.5x release right now! And who knows how long it'll be before Freestyle is officially integrated in a stable Blender 2.5x release? I also like this because I want to get better at using the compositor, because it's a powerful ally that I've seen many people take advantage of to improve their final results. I love the compositor and I'm gradually gaining how to master it. Anyways, thanks again! :)

  4. @tommy i hope it doesn't get taken out, freeestyle is my favorite project but it actually would work very well in conjunction with the default edge rendering. one main reason why is because freestyle is so slow has trouble rendering big scenes. one day the memory consumption and stuff hopefully will be minimized (after it gets into trunk)

  5. Animation Master allows you to create a toon line from the materials properties box.
    So this gives you a chance to decide what colour you want your object to be and if you want it to hava toon line,(thickness and colour are also included) very simple for the user.
    2D animation is still very popular and we need to recode the toon edge system.

  6. Thanks for this tut Coen. Examples how to use get the best from the Node Editor is always good to see.

    But also agree that in this case, Freestyle project will be awesome feature!

    Looking forward to see all these excellent projects (unlimited clay, particie vortices, new child particle options for hair, ....) available as Add-ons.

  7. Thanks everyone for the positive feedback!

    And I fully agree to the awesomeness of Freestyle. And when it comes to using nodes in the material or straight in the compositor: in the compositor the edge is placed 50% inside and outside of the edge/object, via materials it will always be 100% inside the object, which isn always what you would want(occludes the object to much with higher thicknesses)

  8. Thank you Coen. Your tutorial comes in handy to me, because I don't know about what is freestyle, first because all I here is that is not ready, so I choose not to used it, and second, when somebody mix techniques with the software, I see the potential of each feature in it. The edge is something I was looking to find more information, and you just delivered it. Thanks.
    Good luck to the freestyle feature. It will be welcome in its time.

  9. I remember some (long?) time ago a japanese user (the same who made the "Maid-san", FEDB was his nick I think) also made a quite good edge rendering using nodes and the edge renderer, he called it triple-edge, but can't quite remember now the setup, I wonder how different the 2 aproachs are, and which is better?

  10. Thanks for the tutorial, but the audio was really bad and the image was very blurry. Not something typical for vimeo.
    Look forward to the next one.

  11. The truth of the matter is that Blender needs an overhaul anyway in the edge department including and more important in my opinion an upgrade to the regular wire mesh rendering that allows Blender to do a wire over mesh that doesn't look as poor as it works today and that allows better control of the wire thicknesses.

    Many other 3D programs have had simple hidden line removal for ages and Blender still doesn't provide that capability without a plethora of problems.

  12. thank you for this bart!
    i never figured ut how to use edge in a way that looks good, i currently use the sharp filter inn the render nodes to get some cartoon edges, but its quality strongly depends on ao, and i nearly have to set it up for new everytime i press render hehe

  13. Thanks for the tut! Having control over edges proves to be quite helpful- my only problem is that when I increase the value of the Erode Node, instead of making a clean line, it's opacity goes down and looks transparent, as if it's been blurred. Any help with this?

  14. Yes, I'm having problems rendering polygon hair using edge. I'm using png's with alpha already embedded. With the textures, it renders almost completely black. How do you seperate using edge on one object then not on another?

  15. Whoa! Not, only did you create a function that A LOT of people have been clamoring for, you're also VERY good at explaining! =D

    I'm still learning Blender and had never worked with Render Layers before.
    It took a while for me to figure out I had to click "Use Nodes" to make them appear
    and I also couldn't find a simple way to combine layers (both of which you showed in your video).

    After watching this video, I actually understand how this stuff works. =)

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