Rendering Wireframe Using ToonShader

Introduction :

Well, everyone knows the old method of rendering wireframes in maya through vector rendering, and rendering creased line, one set back to that was that it would tend to render each quad divided into 2 tris..  Well my major problem was with Maya 2008 64bit doesn’t support vector rendering plugins. 🙂 so i thought id try something new.. i mean there has to be another solution out there.. hunted the net for sometime.. and came across this Highend Wireframe Tutorial, but in the modelling stage the model would not have UVs so this is not an efficient enough method, so after fiddling around with the toon shader i gots it 🙂

Steps :

Step 1.
Select all your objects and apply a toon shader outline.

Step 2.
In the PFXToonShape Turn ProfileLines – Off, Border Lines – Off and Crease Lines – On.

Step 3.
In the Crease Lines tab, Hard Creases Only – Off and Crease Min/Max Value to 0.

Step 4.
Adjust the Crease Line Width depending on how far or near ur model is to the camera.

Step 5.
Render Using Maya Software.

The renders are very low cost, and don’t require any uv information, and if you smooth the mesh, the toon shader will automatically update itself with the new mesh topology. 🙂

And here is some stuff that i rendered in the same technique.
This is a truck from the SWAT KATS series that i had made around Oct-Nov 2007.

Scripts :


I have made a script for this purpose called crToonWireframeRen 2.0 that lets u add the wire-frame and makes the settings that are required. What u get is a render ready version of the wire-frame on any selected meshes.

It is quite helpful and can be found below, or by looking into the scripts section of this blog.

Images :

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  • chris le says:
    (October 11, 2008 at 6:48 pm)

    thank you!!

  • Daniel Lee says:
    (November 1, 2008 at 10:17 pm)

    Finally a wireframe that works for me. Thank you.

  • circassia says:
    (December 12, 2008 at 3:56 am)

    Very short and pregnant explanation.

    see ya

  • Nakul Mohindar says:
    (January 3, 2009 at 1:56 pm)

    Thanx man!!!! 🙂

  • Ritesh Kumar says:
    (January 3, 2009 at 1:58 pm)

    sir have u rendered this in Maya Software or Mental Ray?? or any other Render Engine??

  • Dae Sung Han says:
    (February 3, 2009 at 4:43 am)

    freaken awesome. render times are great even when you account for the polycount and lighting/rendering.

  • vijay ahire says:
    (February 7, 2009 at 9:06 am)

    thanks savio
    to helpfull me this tutorials

  • Rupesh says:
    (March 3, 2009 at 1:00 am)

    Hi Savio

    Good Work Yarr Keep It Up .

  • yogesh more says:
    (May 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm)

    awsom work sir .. bt i would like knw how to render object with occulusion + wireframe

  • vikas shokeen says:
    (August 29, 2009 at 9:28 pm)

    Very Thanks Great Man 🙂

  • Ruben says:
    (October 7, 2009 at 4:49 am)

    Hey its not working, i click add wireframe button and all objects get the outline but then i render and its not work? Do i have to render in software? Please email me Thanks.

  • Ruben says:
    (October 7, 2009 at 4:55 am)

    Im getting all black render, i haveno dome either. im rendering in Maya software

    • Crunk says:
      (October 7, 2009 at 7:50 am)

      hi, ruben, pls check if ur default light is on in the scene. if not turn it on. if your still having a problem try it in a fresh file or try and mail me your current file.

  • Mirco says:
    (February 12, 2010 at 7:39 pm)

    hello is Mirco here.
    How do you install your scrip in maya ?
    i would like to try to use it . 🙂

  • Martin says:
    (October 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm)

    Thanks very much! easy instructions and even easier in a script :), nice effect too.

  • ijas says:
    (November 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm)

    How do you install your scrip in maya ?

    • Crunk says:
      (November 7, 2010 at 8:07 pm)

      u can drag and drop the file from the windows explorer into the maya viewport… or u can just source the script into maya, using the script editor window. does that help?

  • Gowri says:
    (October 29, 2011 at 2:19 am)

    hi ..I actually tried doing this for my model to render a wireframe on shaded mode.When I apply toon outline it just applies to the literal outline of my model as per its functionality and not the whole wireframe equivalent lines right? If toon outline doesn’t show the entire wireframe with any changes in its settings then what is the advantage of using this method.kindly explain.also let me now how to get the enitire wireframe visible on render


    • Crunk says:
      (December 10, 2011 at 8:57 am)

      hi, sorry for a late reply, been shifting, well the toon outline purpose is to render objects to look like old cartoons, which had outlines around them, if u are stuck or not getting the wire-frame to work, u can use the script, it is very simple to use, and gives the required results fast.

  • Sam says:
    (November 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm)

    cool man thanks for the info. very helpful. been looking for something to this

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