Cycles Wire frame Shader Staff Pick

  • April 11, 2012
  • Blender 2.6x
  • Render: Blender Internal
  • Creator: agus
  • License: CC-BY
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I came up with an idea how to make a node setup to render wire frame in Cycles with adjustable thickness.


== UPDATE ==

I added another method based on the parametric (barycentric) coordinates of the triangle using the Geometry node output.

Unlike the UV method it DOES NOT need the UV map, but it will shade the edge of each triangle so if you subdivide the mesh a lot the wires will be tiny.

So you have now two node setups for quads or triangles.

Enjoy! Agus.


  • gregzaal profile picture

    wow genius method

    Edited April 11, 2012
  • Mats Halldin profile picture
    Mats Halldin

    Yes, this was brilliant. Wish I got started with Cycles. :(

    Written April 11, 2012
  • riemenschneider profile picture

    O yes, thanks a lot:).

    Written April 11, 2012
  • avbear profile picture

    Wow! How to render wire frame in Cycles?

    Written April 14, 2012
  • agus profile picture

    Blender Nerd: Yes i came up with this idea after a huge dinner :), don't ask why just happens

    Edited April 14, 2012
  • zerba profile picture

    Is it ok if I try to make an add-on for this? I'll give you full credit for it. This is such a cool idea, but I think it would be easier to not have to go through the whole process everytime.

    Edited April 14, 2012
  • agus profile picture

    Of course you can, and I am thankful you want give me the full credit, but if you do the add-on, you are also part of the credits, okay :)

    Let me know when you finish it, i certainly will use it !!

    Written April 15, 2012
  • Bizla profile picture

    And so will I :) great job on figuring this out, I havnt tried it yet but im about to :)

    Edited April 19, 2012
  • TowerCG profile picture

    Is the addon done yet? I want to download! :D

    Written May 13, 2015
  • Belich profile picture

    !! thats awsome, great idea

    Written April 17, 2012
  • ramaswamy profile picture

    really cool... good idea....

    Written April 19, 2012
  • BhaWin profile picture

    sweet, a wireframe render solution. Addon would be great.

    Edited April 19, 2012
  • Cluster.One profile picture

    Excellent shader, only one drawbak: it don't render 1 edge of the tris (the diagonal in the UVs)

    Written April 19, 2012
  • cnd profile picture

    I suppose that the RGB separator is used to get the y,x,z coordinates of a point in the UV-Map. Right? How can I look at those values? Why are they between 0.1 and 0.9 if I choose a wireframe thickness of 0.1?

    Written April 19, 2012
  • agus profile picture

    You right, x and y (or R, G in the separator node) are u and v respectivelly, In your case, all what is between 0.1 - 0.9 for u and v will be masked out (black)

    Edited April 19, 2012
  • johnnydwicked profile picture

    This is awesome stuff. :D

    Written April 19, 2012
  • CapedSam profile picture

    Genius idea. I can't wait to use this in an animation.

    Written April 19, 2012
  • jafem profile picture

    cool i must download and try it myself :D

    Written April 23, 2012
  • Belich profile picture

    if i remember right, was there a tutorial about this? i cant find it

    Edited June 17, 2012
  • Jibberish profile picture

    Awesome! Worked perfectly in Blender/Cycles 2.63 Thanks!

    Written July 28, 2012
  • ronigavsh profile picture

    Very very nice

    Written October 08, 2012
  • dbishopn profile picture

    Nice node! thank you for sharing!

    Edited October 09, 2012
  • Glewisguy profile picture

    I'm having some troubles with finding a WireFrameMask node? I have to search for it and when trying to add it in it just gives me an error about not being able to find it! I'm running 2.64, could someone help?

    Written November 23, 2012
  • hentosama profile picture

    I read the faq and the included txt files where do i put this file to install in blender 2.66 thx! i need wireframes for a nonprofit artistic project :D

    Written April 16, 2013
  • kbellis profile picture

    Agus - thank you so much; very cool and quite clever!!

    And FYI, I got pointed here from Greg's tutorial, and had gotten pointed there from this thread:

    Kind regards,


    Written April 26, 2013
  • fracto profile picture

    Excellent! I made the whole process and it works correctly but for one detail: the lines that define the mesh shown me some thicker than others. How can that be?

    Written May 17, 2013
  • contmike profile picture

    This is just mindblowing :O True genius!

    Written June 14, 2013
  • Alfisko profile picture

    Really ingenius, but there is a problem with very quads or triangles that have huge aspect ratio (are much longer than wider). The shorter edge is much thicker. It's because the distance from the other shorter edge of the face is much longer than the distance between the longer edges and thus the same value of 0.1 and 0.9 provide bigger thickness. Is there a way around that? I can't think of a solution when you approach the wireframe material like this.

    Written July 03, 2013
  • Bizla profile picture

    is there a way to switch the colours around, they seem to be locked :/ Even in black/cream this is fantastic though

    Written July 19, 2013
  • jlrazr profile picture

    Great shader! Thanks for sharing.

    Written September 29, 2013
  • iloveaphextwin profile picture

    Please forgive my ignorance, but is there any way to easily use this in my project. At the moment the only way I can see is to import my models into this file. Sorry I'm a total n00b.

    Written November 12, 2013
  • Brandonliebenberg profile picture

    Dude, you are a F#cking legend. Thanks for sharing this. You rock

    Written June 05, 2015
  • KevinBoyette profile picture

    What would cause some of the lines to render thicker than others?
    This is a small part of my model. Simple box with a bevel (not bevel modifier). The rest of the model is fine, but this one box shows thick lines. I can't figure out what's causing the issue.

    Wireframe Shader Issue

    Written May 08, 2017
  • HDGrass profile picture

    Edit: Worked it out. Just use two UV maps. Make Default "UVMap" your unwraped UV's and then a second one the reset UV Map. Use a UVMap input node on the UV Frame mask {instead of texture coordenate input node} and select the second UVMap for the UVMap input node. Then bake :)" remembering to add a texture node". As blendswap doesn't host images i may dust off my photobucket and post images if there is intrest.

    I am only intending to use this for alpha build placeholder art bling to spice stuff up :) but i'll feature a credit in full release builds under 'Alpha Phase Credits' heading.

    And Thanks. This is a great node setup either way :).

    OLD : - Can this work with a unwraped UV for baking or is there some nodes magic im missing:? For topologie wireframe, not the triangulated one. Really don't wanna manually gimp 300 models worth O'h colour bakes :S

    Written May 14, 2017
  • jrf2 profile picture

    Hey, this looks great. I sell models on TurboSquid and they ask for thumbnails of the wireframes of the model. It is okay if I use this to render those thumbnails? (I'm not quite sure how the license applies) Of course I'll credit you.

    Written July 06, 2017
  • psychoboy852 profile picture

    Thanks! Great shader

    Written February 05, 2019
  • pather profile picture

    NO matter what I do, I always get triangles... I did try almost everything, well apart from a human sacrifice, but stil triangles... Is it just me, or what the heck is happening? Blender 2.81

    Edited January 24, 2020
  • edwhardhitten profile picture

    I posted here what I done with it. YOu can download the .Blend file. Thanks to Angus.

    Written November 22, 2022