Ghost Frames - Onion Skinning Tool

Hi all, I’ve been working on an onion skinning tool for my own personal use, and it’s working fairly well for me so I’m sharing it here.

It’s called Ghost Frames, and it’s pretty simple. It generates OpenGL renders of the viewport (from the active camera’s perspective) for either the current frame or a given frame range and sets them as a series of background images in the active camera view. (Note that you do not have to be viewing the scene through the scene’s active camera when you click the button, but you will only be able to see the images when you switch the view to the active camera).

Installation and usage is simple:

  1. Put the file in your addons folder.
  2. Enable the addon and set the path to where you want the OpenGL renders to be saved (they will actually be saved to a “ghost_frames” subdirectory for safety’s sake).

  1. Have an active camera in the scene (obviously, you’d want the camera to be looking at something meaningful, like your characters…).
  2. Open the Properties panel, find the “Ghost Frames” subpanel, and run “Ghost Frames”.

Here’s a shot of it in action:

I won’t be providing support for this addon, since I’m only sharing it in hopes that someone else might find it useful.


Thank you for sharing! Very useful!

Wow… Very very cool!

pretty cool works perfectly. thanks

Now you are on the podium with my favorite heroes… Thanks so much… I hope some one in blender foundation understand the importance of this addon for the animators :)… Pretty Good Job

i love you, and i hate that you did exactly what i wanted to do too, that was a project i had for a few months now haha, well done sir!, and you did it exactly the same way i was hoping to do it!

Great addon! Thanks!!

Just a small bug report: It didn’t work with “File extensions” turned off.

Ah, yes, it does reference file extensions. I never turn that off, so I didn’t account for it.

Hey, could you make it have an option to ghost only the selected mesh for when you’re animating with a background the back superposes over the animation and then you can barely see anything =), it’d be great, so far it works very nicely…
there also could be a “realtime” onion skinning i know it would be slow but it still would be useful that it would update your frames while youre changing things :smiley:
So much goodness man!,
thanks !!!

I’m glad you like it! Unfortunately I won’t be taking any feature requests for this addon. I’ll only be updating it as it suits my own personal animation workflow. If I find something about it annoying, I’ll likely add a feature to account for the source of annoyance :slight_smile:
Regarding a realtime option, I wouldn’t mind that myself, but even running the operator to generate just a few images takes a little while - even if it’s only second. A second spent waiting after every update to the animated object is still a long time to wait for “realtime”.

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This is great, good work. If you have any updates in the future please post here so we can know.

Great Job! Will definitely take a look at this later for my toolbox… :slight_smile:

Pretty cool ! Thanks

Give us the right link to download this amazing addon.

The link works correctly for me to get the download link

“Молим вас”? :wink:


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I had thought of this way of doing it, just nobody programmed it back then for me, Im glad you did!!

love you <3

Hey man, are you updating it to 2.77 soon?, it seems that the way BG images work has changed thus leaving it somewhat unuseable.

Ah, I didn’t realize it was broken in 2.77, I haven’t used it in a while. No, I probably won’t be able to update it any time soon. I have a lot of other things keeping me too busy at the moment.