Orthographic Rendering

But watch out because the world is about to look weird

The Blend.

Become a better Blender artist in 5 minutes each week.

By Samuel Sullins

The Blend

Do you ever use orthographic rendering?

Oh, really? That was a good answer.

I just had a talk with expert Blender artist Evgeny (who, among other things, just finished a project where he created one render a day for 100 straight days.)

Evgeny makes frequent use of orthographic rendering.

But what is that? 

That’s the topic of today’s Blend: Orthographic vs. Perspective rendering.

Today’s Technique

In 3D, there’s two different ways for you to view your scene.

First, there’s perspective. In perspective mode, things get smaller the further away they are, just like they do in reality.

Blender uses perspective by default.

Perspective is normal, the way you’re seeing the world right now. Nothing weird about it at all. Notice how the grid gets smaller as it trails into the distance, exactly like you’d expect.

The other option is called orthographic (also known as isometric.) In orthographic mode, things in the scene don’t get smaller the further away they get. Everything is shown as the exact same size, regardless of how far away it is.

Here’s the same grid in orthographic view (in Blender, press 5 to toggle between perspective and orthographic)

Notice how nothing gets smaller? Nothing shrinks into the distance anymore. It’s unnatural, weird, and strange.

But also allows for some cool effects. You can render in orthographic by going to your camera settings and switching the menu at the top to Orthographic.

There’s also a little Orthographic Scale value that will appear. That lets you adjust the “zoom” of the scene.

Weird as it is, this effect can be used for some neat results. Take a look at this render:

Low Poly Pick

Today’s render is by Evgeny of Pelopoly.

It’s rendered with an orthographic camera. A very different look, but still extremely interesting.

All credit to Evgeny.

Nothing gets smaller according to distance. Everything is shown at its exact size.

Somehow we can still tell what it’s a picture of. Because of the shadows and lighting, maybe?

The environment details are also cool in this render, since I’ve never seen anything like them.

That lizard is cool.

Samuel’s Selections

Can't think what to blend?

Try something…dead. A squished bug or a fish floating in the water.

P.S. Just released my latest (and possibly best) fiction, read it here ↓

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