I'm rendering shapes in Freestyle. Nothing fancy (think flowerpots). I want a white object and white background, and of course black Freestyle outlines. No textures.

It's working fine, but I wonder if there's a faster way to do the renders. Since my planned output is so basic, is there a way for me to - I don't know - turn raytracing off, or use less of it, or turn off other options or features so the rendering routine has fewer things to do and takes less time?

Right now, I have no lamps in my scene; im the World tab, I'm using a white horizon color and environment lighting with energy level 10.

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    $\begingroup$ Freestyle itself doesn't render anything other than the lines themselves. The shapes etc. are handled by the render engine selected at the top of the blender window (BI/Cycles). Which are you using? $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    May 22 '16 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ I'm using Blender Render. Truth be told, if I could only render the black lines and nothing else, that would be fine. Think that's realistic? $\endgroup$
    – TIA
    May 22 '16 at 20:55

Disable everything else

As you thought, ther are lots of things you can avoid to render if you are looking for just the freestyle edges.

You just have to disable all the elements you can find in the Include section of the Layer panel you can find in the Render Layers tab (except Freestyle obiuvsly, if you are using Blender Render)

![enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks Carlo, this actually worked really well. I unchecked all the boxes and it re-rendered in about 1/5 of the time. The only hiccup was that I got the regular default background instead of the white one. So I re-checked the "sky" box and rendered again. Finally got it! And it rendered in about 1/4 of the time. I'm in business again. $\endgroup$
    – TIA
    May 23 '16 at 5:48

The speed of Freestyle is determined by the complexity of your models and render resolution. It runs on CPU only, and cannot use multiple cores. Other than making your models simpler and topology cleaner, there is nothing in particular you can do. If your models are high detail sculpts, re-topologize them (but I assume they are not from your description).

It is possible that certain strange topology issues can bug it out and make it take a long time. And if you are getting very serious slow down (more than a couple minutes render time), it's possible you are running out of RAM and going into pagefile. If you share a screenshot of your models, your render times, and your RAM amount we can determine more.

Alternatively, you can use less Freestyle and mix it with other lining techniques in order to speed up the process. For example, if you replace your Freestyle Silhouette/Contour lines with solidify shell method of lining, and only use freestyle on the internal lines (note that you may need to use layers and have 2 version of the model. One with the shell, and the other without that FS runs on): https://blendernpr.org/solidify-modifier-contouroutline/

There are also compositor based edge nodes: http://blendernpr.org/edge-node-v1-2-4-july-2015/

  • $\begingroup$ I'll grant that some of the slowness is because of my limited computer hardware. I don't even have a dedicated graphics card, so the CPU is trying to do all the rendering by itself. (But, all the more reason that I'm looking for shortcuts to make the renders go faster!) Thanks for the info. I'm seeing some good answers on here so far. $\endgroup$
    – TIA
    May 22 '16 at 21:22
  • $\begingroup$ Freestyle can only render on CPU, and only on a single core. So you're not missing out on FS speed by not having a GPU. $\endgroup$
    – Ascalon
    May 22 '16 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. Obviously a GPU would speed everything else up, but it's interesting how Freestyle has that particular bottleneck built into it. $\endgroup$
    – TIA
    May 22 '16 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ It's because all GPU rendering is essentially multi-core. So it only works for things that can be broken down into lots of different parallel problems. But like most physics sims, FS needs to solve problems one at a time as it needs the result of the previous calculations for the next in the series. It may be possible to make an outliner like FS that is multi-core, but it would be an entirely different engine. $\endgroup$
    – Ascalon
    May 23 '16 at 2:54

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