Vectex: SVG vector texture plugin for Blender

(mgmalheiros) #1

Hello all!

I’ve just released the first version of this vector texture plugin for Blender:

The version is 0.9, it is still beta, but seems to be quite stable and usable. I still miss some minor features, that I plan to add as time permits. It is GPL licensed.

Its main goal is to be a robust texture plugin for rendering text, signs and any other type of vector art, without the need for an explicit conversion to a bitmap image. Correctly used it can both give a better quality and use less memory than a bitmap.

The site above has the source code, a binary for Linux and the documentation. I’ve also uploaded a very simple animation demonstrating the ability to generate texture details on demand. Alternatively, the same is available on YouTube, although in very poor quality:

For serious use I suggest reading the documentation as the memory usage demands some care. The main features are:

  • SVG support for paths and basic shapes, using solid colors.

  • Makes possible to render an arbitrarily detailed texture, calculating only the needed parts of it (called tiles) in the best resolution for the final Blender output.

  • Uses the Anti-Grain Geometry (AGG) library for very fast and accurate rendering.

  • Tiles are cached and kept in memory as long as they are needed or the memory limit is reached. It is also possible to see how much memory it is using.

  • Tiles which are of solid color are stored efficiently as a single RGB, both reducing memory usage and increasing the performance.

  • Implements trilinear texturing (mipmapping and bilinear texture interpolation).

  • Can apply a color code to the texture for the identification of different detail levels.

  • It is possible to define the base color (paper color) as where the SVG illustrations is drawn onto.

  • Has a simple text entry for specifying the SVG file.

  • Multiple instances of the plugin can be run independently in parallel, with different textures and settings.

Any feedback is appreciated. It also would be nice to have developers contributing binaries for other platforms.


(TweakingKnobs) #2

thats hot , keep it up ,can i use it in windoze ?

(mgmalheiros) #3


For sure it will run on Windows or Mac, but I don’t have such environments at hand, so I expect other developers to compile the plugin for different architectures.

I guess for compiling it in Windows it would need a base installation of MinGW plus some tools as make, gcc, g++ and bash. But I have not tried it…

(joeedh) #4

Welcome to the world of blender coding!

As a general intro, this page has info if your interested on working on the core code:

And us devs like to hang out in irc://

Anyway, really cool plugin! I can try to build a windows version here. I’ll post a link in this thread if I’m successful. This definitely sounds like the coolest texture plugin ever :slight_smile:


(forTe) #5

I’ve tried downloading the source, but consistently get an incomplete/damaged archive (SHA1 test proves this). It might be a google, thing, not sure…

(joeedh) #6

btw, your archive is missing some of its data. I had to download expat myself. I think the rest is there, but I’m not sure, so you should reupload it.


(krupa) #7

this looks wicked, shame the archive’s down, but im sure thatll be fixed soon - gonna try and compile on mac…

(bullx) #8

lovely, keep this up , please.
thank you 4 your work.

(mgmalheiros) #9

Thank you for the comments!

In fact, both archives were broken, I don’t know why. But I’ve reuploaded them and double checked the downloads. Seems to be fine now.

If anyone suceeds in compiling for Windows, Mac or other platforms, please tell me and a I will upload the new binaires.


(pildanovak) #10

this is amazing! really a cool plugin. I’ve rendered maybe hunderds of logos in blender in various architecture visualisations, and this is really something which would help. thanks a lot!

(krupa) #11

hello peeps, i tried to compile on mac os x with xcode, it seemed fine but i think produced an error - i have a text file of the output that i can send to anyone who might be able to decipher - ive probably just not got something installed, but im not at all good at this sort of thing…

christian krupa

(mgmalheiros) #12


Really thanks for the welcome! I hope to contribute more to the Blender community, and this first little project was the way I found to learn a bit more and maybe create a useful tool.

I’ve read a lot about development, but I did not see that page, thank you.

Hope to stay in contact with the developers, and I’ll try the IRC channel as I get some spare time.


I hope it is useful. The Blender interface for texture plugins sometimes is a bit limited, but should be enough for a short-term necessity. Maybe when the core developers revamp the plugin API it could be made more easy to use.


I’ll take a look at the log, maybe it is just some simple thing missing.

Regards to all,

(krupa) #13

this looks great, ive downloaded the source and tried to compile on my mac, to no good result - ive communicated with Marcelo about it and he has helped where he can, but im wondering if anyone more literate than I could have a go,its only a little download and if you know what oyu are doing im sure its a cinch… im getting ‘missing symbol’ errors and dont have the knowledge to work it out…Marcelo says its mostly fine from the output ive sent him, but its just the last ‘linking’ stage…

(forTe) #14

Got an OSX build for ya:

(Simple little page, just threw it together…)

If you’d like to take it to your google page feel free. If you’d like me to keep the page up as a mirror, I can, or I can take it down once you move/repost the file if you’d like. Just let me know whatever you want me to do.

(krupa) #15


(krupa) #16

Well it seems to work, just about, but crashes whilst rendering quite a lot…

also I cant seem to map cubic, just flat… the file box is a little short - I had to adjust a directory structure to get to my texture folder in a project and typing the location of the texture I assume is just a temporary solution before a file selector… is there any chance that a later version might also be able to load sequences?

really good effort though,

thanks Marcelo and Forte !


(mgmalheiros) #17

Hello all.

Got some spare time to find a Windows machine and tried to compile the plugin, with success. I’ve done a few tests and it seems to be ok. It is available as usual at .

For the developers, I used both the MinGW and MSYS environments to compile for Windows, but needed link against Expat version 2.0.1, changed the Makefile to link directly to the MinGW support libraries (libcrtdll.a and libstdc++.a) and finally replaced the use of the Blender memory allocator by the standard malloc/free. I’ll add such changes in the next released version.


Thanks for the help! However, it seems there are still stability problems with it; I’d like to help to fix them before publically releasing a binary for it. Did such crashes happened with you?

Could you please recompile it including the “-DDEBUG” flag in the makefile to see if there is any hint about the source of such crashes?


Can you describe when is it crashing? Does it render at least the example static and animated tests?

About the file name entry, I know that it is very limited, but because of the Blender plugin API it is not possible to have a larger space, and therefore right now it is not possible to use a file selector for it. I’ve already tried! :frowning:


(krupa) #18

Hi Marcelo, nice one for that, ill try it on windows too in a bit…

on the mac version, it crashes when rendering , it has rendered a couple of nice frames - but the closer I got to the object, rectangles wouldnt be rendered - not the image tiles, random size and positioned ones and then it seems to freeze - you have to force quit…

I didnt realise there are test files - ill try them too…

shame about the file entry, just have to put my files in lower folders… - is there any future possibility of having file selector or image sequences?

muchos gracias

ps the windows version seems to work a bit sweeter than the mac one - really magic!


(karpov) #19

definitively usefull
…Superstar !

(PapaSmurf) #20

yea! works great. wiki updated.