Table of Contents

Intro


When showing the stl parts to a project it is important to give an idea, which part is which.
This is an example render setup with four cameras. In this post I will show how to render each camera and combine the resulting images.

There might be better ways of doing this inside Blender. If you know how, please point me in the right direction. In this post I describe how I achieved this with scripting inside Blender and an additional library.

Preparation

If you are using Blender with a bundled Python, use the next section as a guide, otherwise you should be able to use pip directily.

Locate Blenders Bundled Python

In the Blender Python Consolerun

>>> import sys
>>> sys.exec_prefix

It will show you where the bundled Python is on your disk:

'/Applications/Blender.app/Contents/Resources/2.80/python'

Then go to this folder with a shell an cd into bin, and then run (as taken from https://pip.pypa.io/en/stable/installing/) :

curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -o get-pip.py
./python3.7m get-pip.py

Which should output something like this:

Collecting pip
  Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/30/db/9e38760b32e3e7f40cce46dd5fb107b8c73840df38f0046d8e6514e675a1/pip-19.2.3-py2.py3-none-any.whl (1.4MB)
     |████████████████████████████████| 1.4MB 3.9MB/s
Collecting wheel
  Downloading https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/00/83/b4a77d044e78ad1a45610eb88f745be2fd2c6d658f9798a15e384b7d57c9/wheel-0.33.6-py2.py3-none-any.whl
Installing collected packages: pip, wheel
  Found existing installation: pip 10.0.1
    Uninstalling pip-10.0.1:
      Successfully uninstalled pip-10.0.1
Successfully installed pip-19.2.3 wheel-0.33.6

Once this worked as expected, you can run the following to install Pillow

./pip install Pillow

Which should output something like this:

 Collecting Pillow
 Using cached https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/8f/f3/c6d351d7e582e4f2ef4343c9be1f0472cb249fb69695e68631e337f4b6e9/
 Pillow-6.1.0-cp37-cp37m-macosx_10_6_intel.macosx_10_9_intel.macosx_10_9_x86_64.macosx_10_10_intel.macosx_10_10_x86_64.whl
Installing collected packages: Pillow
Successfully installed Pillow-6.1.0

Setting up the cameras

Add four cameras with the following names (the script is hard coded to use these, you can change this to your requirements):

  • front
  • left
  • right
  • top

The Magic

Import an STL file, move it into place and select it.

Then, paste the following script into a new file inside blenders text editor view and hit Run Script.

It should render your object from all four cameras and save each, as well as a combined image.

import bpy
import sys
from PIL import Image

def renderAndSaveCamera ( cameraName, fileName):
    bpy.context.scene.camera = bpy.data.objects[cameraName]
    bpy.context.scene.render.filepath = './' + fileName + '-' + cameraName
    bpy.context.scene.render.image_settings.file_format='PNG'
    bpy.ops.render.render(use_viewport=False, write_still=True)

if len(bpy.context.selected_objects) == 1:
    selected=bpy.context.selected_objects[0]
    
    print('creating render for ' + selected.name)
    
    renderAndSaveCamera("front", selected.name)
    renderAndSaveCamera("left", selected.name)
    renderAndSaveCamera("right", selected.name)
    renderAndSaveCamera("top", selected.name)

    # combine cameras and save

    combinedImage = Image.new('RGB', (bpy.context.scene.render.resolution_x*2,bpy.context.scene.render.resolution_y*2))

    im=Image.open('./' + selected.name + '-front.png')
    combinedImage.paste(im, (0,0))
    im=Image.open('./' + selected.name + '-right.png')
    combinedImage.paste(im, (0,bpy.context.scene.render.resolution_y))
    im=Image.open('./' + selected.name + '-left.png')
    combinedImage.paste(im, (bpy.context.scene.render.resolution_x,0))
    im=Image.open('./' + selected.name + '-top.png')
    combinedImage.paste(im, (bpy.context.scene.render.resolution_x,bpy.context.scene.render.resolution_y))
           
    combinedImage.save('./' + selected.name + '-render.png')
else:
    print('Please select a single object')

Hint

For true isomorphic camera settings in blender, see https://www.blender3darchitect.com/architectural-visualization/create-true-isometric-camera-architecture/