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2009-09-25 - VRM history now in a git repository

VRM history in now in a git repository here, changes now will be available there, and only official release will be available on the download page.

2009-06-09 - Moving to vrm.ao2.it

VRM is moving to vrm.ao2.it, please update your feeds and bookmarks, I am going to remove the site from the old address soon and redirect to the new location.

What is VRM

VRM is a python script for blender for rendering a 3D scene to a 2D vector image.

The original idea of VRM is from Nikola Radovanovic, he coded a rudimental version of the script some years ago. I decided to take over the development and wrote a completely new version of VRM to learn something about rendering pipelines, while hoping to produce something useful for the blender community.

See the project page for other infos about helping the development of the script.

Where it can be useful

VRM aims in producing scalable 2D graphics from your 3D models and scenes.

That means that you can have very high quality printing. An essential thing in architecture works or scientific papers (think about including a render of your model in a LaTeX document).

It can be also used to produce scalable graphics for the web, so your picture will be shown the same regardless of user screen resolution. Handy for handhelds :)

Well, if you can think to other uses, let the author know :)

Alternative solutions

The most competitive alternative to VRM is Pantograph from Severn Clay, it produces very good results, but its internal structure is less flexible compared to VRM with regards to adding more export formats.

There is also an older script similar to VRM (it is more advanced in some areas, I have to admit), it is called Sflender by Emilio Aguirre, but I do not like it very much for few main reasons:

  • It exports to SWF which is not exactly the more free and open format in the world.
  • Sflender code is quite messy, and it in not easy for people other than Emilio to put hands on it to improve and extend its functionalities.

Another solution would be to use GL2PS, I proposed a patch to blender that integrates it, but it does suffer more or less of the same problems of Sflender (even if I think it has a more robust approach). Anyway, you can find the patch updated to blender 2.42a here, append LLIBS+=' gl2ps' to your user-config.py to link against libgl2ps.

The solutions above did not let me satisfied, so I decided to write VRM keeping its code as much readable and simple as possible. For now only writing to SVG format is supported, but given the flexible structure of the script, other formats can be easily added. A good idea would be to add support for any hub format of VectorSection.

Hemm, to be fair I have to mention also commercial programs that make vector renderings, I am aware of:

But I do not think that any of them will work with blender in an easy way.

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