When you select an object in blender a yellowish ring appears around it. And no matter how much your rotate your view or the object, the outline will only appear on the visible outline of the object. It does not appear on every edge. object when first selected rotated view
How can I get this effect on any object like an object modifier(but it doesn't have to be of course)? I also want to be able to change the width and set the material. I will be rendering this with openGL as an animation. Some objects rotate in my animation and I want them to be able maintain an outline.


2 Answers 2


You would have to render a Freestyle pass with the Line Set Silhouette selected on the left and Crease selected on the right, and change to Logical AND on the right.

This would trace a border stroke around the visible perimeter of the object, like tracing the alpha edge.

You'd have to composite this over your OpenGL render, as you can't generate Freestyle render passes when doing OpenGL renders.

enter image description here

In order to make it easier to composite over your OpenGL renders, it would be helpful to make the background and cube the same colour (let's pick pure white), and then make the stroke a black colour. To do this uncheck Transparent in the Film panel of the Render settings section. Make the world a solid white colour and the cube an emission shader with 100% white. Then make the stroke colour in Freestyle a 100% black.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ It worked, thanks, but how do I get it show up in OpenGL? I know you explained it but confused on how to composite it over! I've went into the compositor and clicked use nodes, before rendering it. Now what? p.s. does this also work for cycles? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 23:56
  • $\begingroup$ You'll have to render out 2 separate image sequences. One with OpenGL and one with BI or Cycles to get the Freestyle pass. For the Freestyle pass, just set the material to a simple white emission, just something that renders fast, and then try to output a black and white image (black stroke on white background, or white stroke on black background). Then you can comp them together after that. If you keep the stroke black or white, it's easier to colour to taste in comp. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 1:51

This is the closest workaround to get a 2D mesh of the outline or silhouette of a mesh object. in response to the duplicate question that links to this question Obtain 2D Mesh Outline from 3D Mesh.

1) in render panel tick Freestyle and Freestyle SVG Export

2) in freestyle panel untick border

3) render

4) look for /tmp folder (or Output folder)

5) import the svg as curve in blender (you must have the SVG to curves plugin installed)

6) Convert all the curves to mesh

7) Join all the meshes

8) Remove doubles

9) Outline mesh ready

As you can see this method it's pretty cumbersome and not useful when there's lots of objects you want to get the outline of

enter image description here.


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