NPR for architectural visualization with Blender 2.50 and FreeStyle

The integration between Blender 3D and FreeStyle render, which is capable of create great NPR images is one of the features develop as part of the SoC 2008. It is still in development by Maxime Curione, but now the development is aimed to use FreeStyle with Blender 2.50. This a useful feature for architectural visualization artists, especially if you don't want to make presentations using realistic renders. With FreeStyle we can create animations and renderings with a cartoon or sketch style.

A few days ago a test build was posted at with FreeStyle integrated with Blender 2.50, and I decided to check it out and see how it works. If you want to test it yourself, just visit graphicall and download a test build for your system.

This is the scene used to test FreeStyle with Blender:


To use FreeStyle as a render, we have to open the render options in Blender and make a few changes at the render layers options and the Post processing. The renderer works as a render layer and have to be checked to appear at the render window. Along with the render layer option, we must pick style from the library that already comes with FreeStyle. Press the “Add Style Module” to be able to choose one.


The next step is to mark FreeStyle at the Post Processing panel.


And after that, all we have to do is render the scene. For the scene used at this example, this was one of the results:


Just change the style module to get different results at the render window. Another great option to work with FreeStyle is animation. With this test build I couldn't generate animations with a range longer than fifteen frames. After a few renderings, Blender always crashed.

This is a small test animation I manage to create with only a few frames, it's not a fluid camera move, but shows what we will be able to do when the feature is fully implemented and stable.

For architectural visualization artists using Blender 3d, this will be another great feature to produce artistic images. Maybe with the use of composite nodes, we can recreate the effects and styles produced by commercial tools like Piranesi, a common tools used by architects to create NPR renderings.

Blender 3D Architect Pro


  • Benjamin Bailey

    Awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully it won’t take me too long to adjust to Blender 2.50. I’ve already played with an earlier build of a Freestyle/Blender build, and tried some renders with it. I sure hope that Freestyle will be able to cover pencil sketch, charcoal sketch, ink, splotchy ink, randomized (for animations – giving living movement to still lines,) and texture backgrounds to each line style (canvas, watercolor paper, cotton, rough stone…) etc. etc. etc. Freestyle could be SOOOO cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • iamblender

    someone can tell me where can I find the movie Plumiferos?

  • gaetan diotte

    I’ve downloaded a few 2.5 builds and none of them have the Freestyle buttons anywhere on the menus. What have I done wrong?

  • Yannick

    I had the same problem and after a little searching I found Freestyle here:
    Unpack and use the blender in there.

  • ndigit

    Thanks for the useful tutorial. As simple as it is, it covers everything needed to get freestyle up and running ๐Ÿ˜€

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blender 3D Architect Newsletter

Receive free assets, news, and resources for architecture

We respect your privacy and do not tolerate spam and will never sell, rent, lease or give away your information (name, address, email, etc.) to any third party. Nor will we send you unsolicited email.