Wireframe? Where's my wireframe?


I wrote this just to share a personal work limitation I found in blender.

Although it is a pretty amazing piece of software, one major fault I found in it is the unability to produce decent wireframe renders.
First, it only allows you to render the whole wireframe including the hidden edges of a solid mesh. And then it leaves one or two edges out (maybe there is already a way to correct this but I didn’t find it).

I know I’m not the only one to feel this as there’s other people who already tryed or to render plain wireframe without hidden edges, or toon renders with the ability to control the inner edges appearence.

I think this is definitely something to be reviewed for blender 2.35!
Maybe it is only about a little revision in the edge options in the render settings…

Anyway wether you’re trying to produce a nice looking 3d diagram or that 80’s sci-fi computer look, you’ll have to find somewhere else how to do it :smiley: .

Thanks for your patience

Not certain exactly what you mean. Wire frame renders are pretty easy to produce.


Toon edges on the other hand leave a lot to be desired.


So, how did you do it GreyBeard?

Guess: Duplicated meshes, scaled -0.00x duplicated mesh, wireframed original, shadeless duplicate.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s the only solution I found by myself and confirmed in the forum.

I simply don’t find it adequate and good enough. It should be straightforward.

But enough of pessimism, your render looks good, how was it done?


  1. Create a duplicate and don’t move it.
  2. Give it a material with the colour you want for the wire frame and select wire in materials
  3. turn on Ztransp give it a small Zoffs eg. 0.002.
  4. render

Note: Zoffs is right beside Ztrans. You can make either or both materials shadeless if you want. The whole process only takes 10 sec. The Zoffs makes it so you don’t have to scale the object and ensures the wire is rendered.

I simply don’t find it adequate and good enough. It should be straightforward.

If you don’t find it adequate, why not just write a python script? Personally, I seldom render wires and when I do its usually in optimal mode from the 3d window.


And if you want in progress shots without having to make a different copy of the mesh everytime, just make an instanced copy and move it to a different layer where you can just show it whenever you need.


Those are certainly good suggestions.

I think I’m gonna try them.


The lines will also be drawn to match those in the realtime 3D perspective. Sometimes certain edges will be removed because there’s not a great enough angle between contiguous edges to warrant their visability. To always have the mesh display ALL edges, select your object and press the “Slower Draw” button under the Edit Buttons (F9). Notice, though, that entering and exiting Edit Mode will reset this.

Also to acheive hidden line removal, follow GreyBeard’s steps, and then set the Alpha value (right below R,G,B sliders) to zero. Make sure NOT to enable Ztransp or RayTransp. The ‘inner’ object will take on the color of the environment, and will block the backfaced lines.