How to get '2D Line Style View' from 3D models

June 27, 2018

(UPDATE: added references and speedup tips)

I was working with a customer who was using a 3D model for layouts in Forge Viewer, but wanting the 'look-and-feel' of a 2D drawing.

Here is what the 3D file normally looks like...


And here is the 2D line style result...


Let's take quick look at how I got there.  I took the following steps:


  1. change background color to white
  2. change to Orthographic mode
  3. change to top view
  4. fit to view
  5. line-style effect (see Reference: edging, cel, graphite, pencil )
  6. image brightness = 1


viewer.setBackgroundColor(255, 255, 255, 255, 255, 255);
viewer.impl.setPostProcessParameter("style", "edging");


For bonus points, I can also create that 'isometric look' too, with a single line, like this...


which looks like this...


And that's it.



For tips on speeding up the rendering performance of post-processing:

  • Turn off Ambient Shadows
  • Turn off FXAA (Anti Aliasing)
  • Turn off ghosting

Oddly enough, these each make quite a noticeable difference in performance. Turning off anti-aliasing reduces the line-thickness and the dithering artifacts on the edges.

To overcome the aliasing artifacts, use the getscreenshot() method and take a very high resolution canvas snapshot.

Source Code

You can find a complete example on GitHub here:

Feel free to add any issues you find to the Github issues repo.

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Michael Beale

Michael Beale works for Autodesk Cloud Rendering team and focuses on client/server mashups that make the web-browser appear super-powered.