TutorialsUsing Blender figures in Ipe
Blender is a 3D editor that is able to render realistic 3D figures. It has several ways to render an image. Most of the time, scenes are rendered to a raster image. However, Blender includes a renderer that renders lines, called Freestyle, which can export to SVG. This creates a nice way to import the figure into Ipe, so that it can be edited manually. What is more, we can import the raster version of the render as a background image in Ipe, so that you get the shading as well, for a cartoon-like look.
This tutorial assumes basic Blender knowledge.
- We're assuming you're using Cycles to render, so switch the render engine to Cycles Render. Set up your scene normally and render it, resulting in a PNG file.
- Go to File > User Preferences..., and in the Add-ons tab, enable the Render: Freestyle SVG Exporter add-on. (You can make this permanent by clicking Save User Settings.)
- Now, in the Render panel, enable Freestyle and Freestyle SVG Export. Under Output, set an output path for the SVG file.
- Render normally. You should now see the Freestyle lines (rasterized) in the output. Furthermore, Freestyle will have put the SVG files in the output directory you set in the previous step.
- Convert this SVG file to Ipe using
svgtoipe, and open it.
- Do File > Insert image, and select the PNG image you created in the first step. (That is, the one generated with Freestyle off, so it should not contain the rasterized lines.) This image should be aligned exactly with the lines imported from SVG, because the image has the same size as the SVG. Select the image and put it behind the lines.
- Optionally, you can now edit the vector lines. For that, you'll first need to ungroup them a few times. It is also helpful to add the default stylesheet to the Ipe file, to restore the default page size and get access to the default colors and line widths. You also probably want to scale the entire figure to fit on the page.