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Is there a way to make a render with freestyle in cycles and use it as a wireframe?

No matter what technique I use, blender always gives me a stretched wireframe. And by that I mean the wireframe is not equal because the thickness of the wires depends on the scaling of the polygons (if you use the image editor for example).

Is there a way to make a render with equal wires like freestyle in the blender internal render engine does?

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Update

As of this commit (will be in 2.72), freestyle is now natively supported in cycles.

This means that you can set up the freestyle lines how you would in BI, then render them straight in cycles:

  1. Select your object and enter edit mode (Tab)

  2. Mark everything as a freestyle edge by selecting everything (A) and pressing CtrlE> Mark Freestyle edge:

    enter image description here

  3. Enable Freestyle in Properties editor > Render settings:

    enter image description here

  4. Enable Edge marks in Properties editor > Render layers:

    enter image description here

  5. Render.

    enter image description here


Original answer:

You can use two scenes, one which will render the lines in freestyle, and one which will render the scene in cycles.

  1. Create a linked copy of the new scene by pressing the + icon in the info header and selecting Link Objects:

    enter image description here

    This way moving objects around in one scene will update them in the other scene too.

  2. Enable freestyle in Render settings > Freestyle, and adjust the line thickness as desired.

  3. For each object, enter edit mode (Tab), select all (A), and press CtrlE>Mark Freestyle Edge:

    enter image description here

  4. Disable everything except Freestyle in Properties > Render layers > Layer:

    enter image description here

  5. In the compositor (be aware that nodes added to the compositor are scene-specific), add a new renderlayer node and set the scene to your BI scene:

    enter image description here

  6. Combine with an alpha over node:

    enter image description here

When you render, both scenes will be automatically rendered and combined.

Example .blend

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  • $\begingroup$ is there any way to see the result in cycles rendered viewport? Only when I actually render the scene can the freestyle lines be seen. $\endgroup$ – rob Oct 14 '14 at 11:38
  • $\begingroup$ @rob Freestyle isn't supported in cycles viewport render yet :/ $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Oct 14 '14 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ Is the Cycles workflow still supported in v2.78? Just tried it (all the way up here in the year 2018) but can't get the lines to render. Wondering if I'm missing a step... $\endgroup$ – Alex Aug 27 '18 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ Just realized the Freestyle lines are calculated after the rendering is done, and that they can take a while to appear. Problem solved! Thanks so much for posting this answer—a 6-year span between then and now detracts nothing from its value to me :D $\endgroup$ – Alex Aug 28 '18 at 0:03
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One way is the wireframe modifier:

  1. Add a wireframe modifier, then disable Replace Original and set the Material Offset to 1 (0 uses the first slot, 1 uses the second, etc.).

    enter image description here

    Also make sure Relative thickness is disabled

  2. Add a material for the wires in the second material slot of the object with the modifier by pressing the plus icon:

    enter image description here

Result:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I know that aproach but I tend not to use it, because I want the wires to be on of the object like a shadeless texture, but thanks anyway. $\endgroup$ – Vladimir May 10 '14 at 22:54

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