Rendering retro B&W

I want to model some scenes in the style of the old Cyan game Cosmic Osmo (screenshots below), but I have done very little with 3D modelling so far, and nothing non-photorealistic before, so I am rather lost. I found a couple of 10+ year-old threads here on BlenderArtists (this post in particular looked promising), but Blender has changed so much, and the links to .blend files are now dead links, so that didn’t help much. Those also predate FreeStyle integration, which sounds like it may be a better way to go than compositing without FreeStyle.

Any pointers?

At, try a search for screentone or halftone rendering techniques. Not exactly the game shading you’re looking for, but perhaps they will get you started.

Thanks, that is a pretty good starting point! I had seen that tutorial before, but I did not even considering looking into it for this, because the final result looks totally different to what I’m going for.

I ended up using FreeStyle for the hard outlines, instead of the compositing from the tutorial. The dithering doesn’t look quite right, but it’s pretty close. I changed the ColorRamp node in the material compositor from “Ease” to “Linear”. Now it seems that I only need to tweak the control points on the ramp to get the dithering look I want.

(Be sure to click to view the image full size, because the downscaling of the inline preview looks very different from the actual render.)

Is that a brick texture with scale driven by a normal?

No, it’s generated with some compositing fed with the View texture coordinate. The tutorial I used is here: I’m using the Blender Internal version.