How to create 2D-like Art in Blender 3D

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2.5 D.  The ever-fleeting look that no one ever seems to get quite right.  It is something that I have been striving to achieve ever since Freestyle came out for Blender back in the late 2000s.  Achieving the look is hard work, but as I talked about in this post, it is definitely possible.  There are tools offered in modern programs that allow us to achieve a 2.5 D look, and in Blender’s case, it’s free.

History of Render Engines

There are three rendering engines that come with Blender; Internal, Cycles, and Game.  The Game engine states its purpose right on the tin; it is a game engine, made for anything from running physics simulations to creating full on First Person Shooters.  The Cycles render Engine is the newest (and arguably most powerful) render engine.  Using complex mathematical formulas based on real physics, Cycles simulates light bounces and absorption, giving it the ability to be much more physically accurate than its integrated counterparts.  Cycles is so powerful that it has practically replaced Blender Internal as the main rendering engine.  However, there is still one thing that Blender Internal surpasses Cycles at; rendering NPR pieces.  Non Photorealistic Rendering, or NPR for short, is the creation of works that aren’t founded in reality.

Blender Freestyle

Blender Freestyle comes with both Blender Internal and Cycles.  When enabled, It automatically generates pen/pencil-like strokes on the edges of your mesh, resulting in a much more stylized image.  An example of this can be seen below:

No Freestyle


On certain renders, it might not work as intended, but when configured correctly, it can produce some pretty interesting results.

In order to enable this feature in Blender, you need to navigate to the Render tab(the one with the camera icon), scroll to the bottom, and check “Freestyle”.

I will be releasing tutorials in the future on how to configure Freestyle to achieve the best look possible.  Until then, stay tuned by subscribing to this blog!

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