Tutorial: Scribbly Lines with the Edge Node

Usually, the Edge Node generates straight lines.
But sometimes we want them to be a bit scribbly.

In this tutorial, you will discover how. (Below there’s also a download link.)


First of all, set up the Edge Node as always.

(If you don’t have the Edge Node, you can download it from Blender NPR. There’s also a tutorial and an explanation how it works.)



Now add a new (Blender Internal) texture. It will be used as a displacement texture for the lines.

It really does not matter where you add the texture, because we will only use it in the compositor.
For example I added it as a world texture.


The red rectangles show, where I changed the default values.

Set the type to “Clouds“. Set the cloud type to “Color” and the noise type to “Hard“.

(You can also try different settings. For example noise type “Soft” and Basis “Original Perlin” seems to give even better results.)

Also uncheck any influence check box, so the texture does not do anything outside the compositor.

LineSquiggle03Click here for full image size.

Now add an Input>Texture node and set it to the texture we just created.

By default, the displacement would only displace upwards and to the right. So we subtract a value of about 0.2 from it using a Color>Mix node with the Blend Type set to “Subtract“.

Add a Distort>Displace node. Connect the displacement texture to the “Vector” input and the lines from the Edge Node to the “Image” input.

You can now use the scale input of the texture node, to control the displacement size / frequency (see the “Frequency” labelled node), and the X-/Y-Scale of the Displacement node (the “Strength” labelled node), to control the displacement strength.

You will now notice transparency around the image border. To get rid of it, you can use a Filter>Inpaint node and set the Distance to something like 20. (This is optional, because you usually use the lines as a kind of mask, so the transparency does not matter.)

To change the line thickness, you can now add a Filter>Dilate/Erode node.

And then you’re done!


LineSquiggle04The image on the right shows a comparison of default EdgeNode lines (left) vs the distorted ones (right).

You can download this as a finished node group here.

If you use this somewhere, it makes me happy if you tell me about it. (E. g. in a comment.)

CC0 Download licensed CC0.


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