This project preceded my “Forest of Thoughts” renders recently posted in Finished Projects. While the subject matter differs, the stylistic principle remains the same, essentially to create something sketchlike and 2d in Blender without post processing.
block01cube: Thanks. I have to experiment with the technique some more as far as cleaner lines are concerned. As this is all mesh you’re seeing here this can be combined with any form of shading.
Sonix: Thanks again Tim, I appreciate it
FrozenMist: Thanks! That “makes us think” part is good, even if it’s just to wonder how something was made.
xarton: Cool, I will explain further below.
BgDM: Thank you very much BgDM. I’ll post some details below.
[Kothe]: Thanks. This technique (like all techniques) works better with some models than others.
Hippie: Thanks so much. No alpha mapping, just good 'ol mesh work
jimww: I appreciate the kind works jim. I’ll explain in a moment.
Modron: Haha, I feel one coming on
Okay everyone, here’s how it worked in this one…
You have a mesh. You duplicate the mesh a few times. You decimate the mesh after removing all faces. You then manually select vertices and delete them, cleaning up most of the loose ends. Now you select remaining vertices and extrude the edges. Once again you have to clean up stray vertices. Now repeat this for the other mesh. Use shrink/fatten to modify the vertices before extrusion maybe, maybe do some vert smoothing. Next you overlap the modified meshes, joining them even if you want and doing further vert cleanup. Subsurf needs to be high. I have it high (on 5) for this (bringing the mesh to about 3 million vertices), since the vertice disbursement at this point doesn’t lend itself well to autosmoothing. You might try “flattening” the meshes a bit. Next you create a material with little or no spec and have some textures modifying the color and alpha, so some of the background “paper” mesh (in this case a subdivided and subsurfed plane) can show through slightly the mesh. Have all materials partly translucent and have a light behind the mesh. In this one I had shadows off on the plane, whereas in Forest of Thoughts I had shadows on (and multiple low power ray traced lights to cast overlapping shadows onto the paper). For the paper I used a very small cloud/voronoi texture (several channels with texture warping). Additional color comes from lighting, which in this case was slightly yellow.