How to create cut-out cardboard style meshes from textures with alpha channels???


I want to make a scene where there are a lot of 2D sprites /textures that look like they are cut ou of a piece of cardboard. There must be an easier way then to model this, right?
So here’s an example of the sprite with absolutely no thickness:

And this the effect I’m after (but more accurately cut out):

Does anybody knows how to make this kind of effect???

Thanks in advance!


You can’t create any kind of thickness from alpha textures. Even if you add a Solidify modifier to the mesh, you will still not see a “rim”, but just the front and backside.

What you could do is to vectorize the bitmap to an outline in e. g. Inkscape, import that into Blender as curve, extrude with the curve tools and work from there. This will at least spare you the effort of having to manually model the cutout shape:

Maybe you could use the alpha channel to displace a high-poly plane, and then use the boolean modifier to cut it to the thickness you want?

Or would that be too messy?

Thanks! I’ll try that. How did you do the sides of your models? Is it a texture or real geometry?

Those are just diffuse and bump textures, so, any extreme closeup might reveal the fake…