Mesh Onion Skins

Mesh Onion Skins is a Blender add-on that helps to create and analyze object or character animation. Onion skinning, in computer graphics, is a technique used in creating animations to see several frames at once. This way, the animator can make decisions on how to create or change a frame based on the previous frame in the sequence.

How does it work? Mesh Onion Skins add-on has ‘GPU’ and ‘Mesh’ draw modes, that you can choose from.

  • ’GPU’ mode is designed to be fast in term of viewport performance and less in time creation, but it is not present as a mesh data, therefore less possibilities in their data manipulation.

  • ’Mesh’ mode, basically, makes duplicate objects of the corresponded frame and applies to them several properties at the specified frame range. All duplicated objects (onion skins) are stored in the newly created collection and can be found in the Outliner. Stored collected data can be rendered with EEVEE or Cycles, or can be served for other purposes.


Supported Blender version: 2.83+



  • Open Blender and select Edit->Preferences

  • Click Add-ons category and then ‘Install…’ button

  • Select the downloaded archive file

  • Check the ‘Mesh Onion Skins’ option in the add-on dialog



I try it. Good work gost.

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Just tried it! Very nice work, thanks for the addon. :blush:

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This addon is giving me a headache.
It constantly gives me an errors and can’t see onion skin at all…

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Thanks for a feedback. There is a simple solution in your case. You can go to line 1179 and change it like that:

    except (IndexError, AttributeError) as e:

and keep the indentation as it is in a file. I wonder what kind of material slot do you have for your HYLDRYN_BODY object. I hope it helps. I’ll gonna update it very soon.

Now updated to 1.0.1 version.

Mesh Onion Skins 1.0.5

  • Added New ‘GPU’ Draw mode that much faster than previous one. Credit goes to iBrushC, due to his work development turned in the right direction. Thanks to his findings based on this documentation. You can find more of iBrushC work at his github page Old ‘Mesh’ mode preserved, mostly, to render onion skins in EEVEE or Cycles, for instance, or for other purposes.

  • In the draw frame method ‘In Range’ added new option ‘Action Range’, that includes all frames of the current animation range in the onion skin creation process.

  • In the draw frame method 'Keyframes’ added new option ‘All Keyframes’, that includes all keysframes of the current animation in the onion skin creation process.

  • Added new ‘Keyframes’ option in the View Range section, that helps you to preview onion skins in a range of frames that contains selected number of keyframes.

  • Various small fixes.


Mesh Onion Skins 1.0.6

  • Fix depsgraph update issue
  • Fix weren’t drawing skins of objects in overridden libraries if View Range being turned off (‘GPU’ mode only)

Please, don’t hesitate to report bugs if you find any. Stay safe and happy animating :slightly_smiling_face:

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Mesh Onion Skins 1.0.7

  • GPU Mode:
    • Added support to linked proxy rigs.
    • Now is possible to operate with multiple armature rigs in Pose mode.
  • Added new Preference settings that helps you to change several properties that will be loaded by default in startup file, or in files that does not contain scene settings for the add-on.
  • New operators to save and load Preference settings.
  • New operator ‘Show Preference Settings’ that opens the Preferences Editor with the add-on settings.
  • Code cleanups, optimizations and various fixes (update is recommended)

Mesh Onion Skins 1.0.8

  • Added support of Sculpt mode, that can be used with the Keymesh add-on. Only Solid Viewport Shading is working with the GPU draw in that mode. Please, use the latest version of Keymesh add-on located on the page of the developer

By the way, to avoid annoying undo issues in the Sculpt mode, I strongly recommend you to use Blender 2.92+ version. :nerd_face:

This looks really useful for creating smooth animations.

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Please, use the new download link from Github page:

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Mesh Onion Skins 1.1.2

  • New feature Settings Presets, helps you to quickly save and load predefined properties that suits best to a particular phase in the creation or analysis of the animation.
  • New feature Auto Update Skins, that updates onion skins on changing keyframe or animation. It triggers after insert, delete or change keyframe, switching active bone if the corresponding keyframe filter is enabled,
    basically if there is any difference in the current action of the object. Also, to reduce updating time, this feature has some properties, that allows you to fine tune the amount of frames to be updated.
  • Some small fixes.



This is amazing, thank you very much for making this fantastic addon.

I was wondering if can you please add the option to see the “before and after frames” in outline mode?

For example the “Onion Skin Renderer” for maya has this option.

Here is another example.

I know that if i set the “Draw Mode” to “Mesh” and set the alpha of the colors to “0” i can have the outline, but then i lost the colors of the before and after frames, which in that case would be the only thing missing.

Thanks again.


Hi, Thank you for your feedback, it is a pleasure. Indeed, it would be nice to have such feature. I did a bit of research on that topic and come to conclusion that it might take a while to develop that… meanwhile I have to defend my country from the invasion, so I’m pretty busy at the moment and only spending some free time to maintain the add-on for the upcoming blender releases. I took into account your kind request, will see what the future holds, take care :slight_smile:


Thanks for the reply. I wish all the best for you and your country.

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