Blender tip #1: Blender 2D

You might be thinking that I made a mistake on the title, but I assure you, I have not. For my first quick tip, I will demonstrate how Blender can be used for two dimensional images. But first…


If you are accustomed to using blender, you will know that making simple models can be easier in blender than it is in other programs. instead of having to draw images, you can make use of blenders toolset. You can give 3D models a 2D look which is useful if you are creating a graphic novel, or an animation that has a cartoon style.

Also, you can make use of blenders volumetrics and animation features. One guy even rigged a 2d image in blender! See him here


How? simply adding in the 2D shapes, such as circles and  planes and modifying them. For my example I made a pie chart. Although very simple, it can be used for animations, etc… Set every material to emission so there is no shadows. Also you may want to use a orthagraphic camera so there is no perspective.Blender 2D

You can see that I used volumetrics to get this result. For refrence, here is another angle:

Blender 2D (b)

You can do much more than this, such as create Logo’s, Titles and much more.

Toon Shading

Now, Cycles has a built in “Toon” shader, which allows for results similar to those you would find in a cartoon. Multiple people have used methods like this to create the illusion of a 2D image. This allows for much more flexibility when making a comic book style animation, Or a comic book.

Here is my basic example:

Blender 2D (c)

But you can do much more with this. On the Blender Artists Forums I have seen countless examples of graphic novels and characters that look 2D

How Is It Done?

  1. Create a ground plane and place your chosen object.
  2. Add a sun lamp and set strength to 2-3 and size to 0.001
  3. select your object and replace the diffuse shader with a toon shader
  4. play around with the settings until you like it.

It should look somethng like this:2017-09-03

Freestyle Shading

Freestyle shading is available in the Blender Internal renderer and Cycles. It allows for cartoon like images. All it does is outlines the outside of the image to make it look cartoonish. Here is the result:

Blender 2D (d)

Personally, i am not very good at this, but many people have created results that look nearly 2D.

How Is It Done?

in Render settings (The first one with the picture of a camera) simply check “Freestyle” and that is it.

2017-09-03 (6)

But if you don’t like any of these, there is always the good old grease pencil, which allows for drawing in blender. You can use all of blenders animation features and still get a simple 2D image.

Thanks for Reading,



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