So there's this Toei anime from 2003 called Air Master and it had a very unique outro in which the main cast would sprint through their hometown. I'm fairly confident that it's environment CG, given that all the visible details and idiosyncrasies of the background (i.e. the road details) follow perspective without any noticeable human error.

Here's a preview. You can watch the full outro in a higher resolution here: https://youtu.be/svEG-_vJyvU

I'm trying to find out if there's some sort of material or render layer configuration I can use to replicate this effect as closely as possible.

If I grant that this is CG, the sequence appears to use alpha textures in conjunction with some sort of backface culling technique. The most puzzling aspect is the gradient visible behind all the objects, indicating that the alpha channels of the materials are able to visibly negate everything behind whichever object it's applied on relative to the camera, sort of like an alpha mask. That or the animation uses non-alpha textures and the placeholder color is simply replaced with an alpha channel, though I'd much prefer the former.

Here's the material set-up as well as the scene in the solid viewport.

enter image description here

I've also included the render:

As you can see from the render, I was able to get a wireframe version of my scene with the edges solid white and the background transparent.

My goal is to both eliminate the back-facing polygons and object visibility through the material while maintaining the alpha channel.

  • $\begingroup$ Might be easier to render with the solid material and white edges than to try to to do that, but that means you have to use the same color as the backdrop. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ Related: How to render a mesh transparent with a color on its edges only, with nodes? $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 3:42
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You already have the Geometry Input Node, just use the Backfacing as a Factor in a Mix Node together with transparency. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 9:56
  • $\begingroup$ This particular effect does not look like 3D CG to me.. much more like rotoscoping from live footage.. either manual or automatic. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Commented Jun 14, 2021 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


I found out that you can get this effect with freestyle rendering. It's exactly what I was looking for.


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