Rendering a Wireframe Overlay

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  • Software: Blender 2.76
  • Difficulty:

Whether you're showing off your model's precision topology or breaking down a VFX shot, rendering a wireframe overlay is a common task for 3D artists. While there are multiple ways of rendering a wireframe, in this lesson I will demonstrate my preferred method using OpenGL viewport rendering.

Wireframe as an Overlay Pass

The benefit of rendering your wireframe as a separate pass for compositing is that you have the flexibility to change the wireframe color easily, as well as overlay the pass on top of an existing render. Therefore, we'll render the wireframe as a white-and-black pass that will function as a mask. post_image_01

OpenGL Viewport Rendering

Since Blender's viewport is designed to work in real time, it's essentially the fastest rendering solution we have in Blender. So if we could somehow get a wireframe visualization setup in the viewport - that's the result we would be able to get. (Spoiler: Yes, we can do this in the viewport!)

CC Attribution

Image: "Free to use texture/background" by tanakawho

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Digital artist and member of the CG Cookie crew! Every day I teach/learn stuff in the wide world of computer graphics. I've been doing digital art professionally for the past 8 years, from feature films to major amusement park rides to TV commercials to CGC edu. When I'm not on the computer, I'm building real life stuff...or playing my Switch.