Falloff in Blender 2.6

Posted by Chris Plush on June 9th, 2012 | Comments (15)

Getting Started

Ever wondered how to get the glowing edge effect for cartoon renders? It’s called falloff, and here’s how it works in Blender 2.6. To download the finished piggy model, click here.

Now first enable GLSL so we can preview this in the viewport(although it’s not necessary, it will still render the same). To enable GLSL, go to the side menu of the 3D View and scroll down to the Display panel where you’ll find Shading options. The side menu can be accessed by pressing the plus sign at the top right of the 3D View. Change the shading to GLSL, and in the 3D View change to Textured View(alt+z).

Once this is changed, go to the material settings and enable Ramp in the Diffuse panel. You’ll see some new options available including a color slider. This is how we add falloff(scroll down for instructions on using nodes instead of ramps too).

Changing the Ramp Settings

Change the Input type to Normal so that the color will be added to the rims of the model, and change Blend mode to Add so it adds to the brightness. Now there are 2 default lines on the color slider(located at the left edge and right edge). These are called color stops and can be selected either using the number select next to “Linear” or by left clicking on them. We want to change these two color stops so that our color slider goes from a solid white on the left to a transparent pink on the right. Also, so that the falloff isn’t too broad I would move the second color stop to the left to a position around 0.7, but experiment with the position of both color stops until you get something you like.

Using Nodes

Using nodes will almost always be the better way to go. Nodes adds falloff to the edges even when they’re dark, whereas falloff fades away in dark areas when using ramps and can result in strange looking gray color around the edges. To achieve falloff using nodes instead of ramps, go to the node editor and enable Use Nodes in the header for material nodes. Then copy the nodes below.


That’s all there is to it. I turned off specularity and I added a cloud texture with a little Nor to it for bumpiness. This makes the effect really stand out. Falloff works in the game engine too and was used extensively in Yo Frankie, thanks to venomgfx for showing me how it’s done. The picture below uses ramps, but you may have a better result with nodes.

– Chris Plush (blengine)

  • http://Website Talha

    nice! any way to do it in cycles, because i dont think cycles has ramps yet 🙁

    • http://www.cgmasters.net Chris Plush

      I just added instructions on using nodes.. not sure if it works in cycles but there might be some kind of node setup that’s compatible

    • http://benlind.carbonmade.com Ben Lind

      Cycles does have ramps so yes you can do it.

  • http://Website Lyle Walsh

    Awesome, short and sweet

  • http://Website blenderesque

    Awesome stuff i really like the “toony look”
    You forgot to mention that you switched off specular and applied a texture though, that really adds to the effect.

    How about the effect psops.tv used in the Fanta add for tv?

  • http://Website Rayq

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and awesome good sir 🙂

  • http://Website Brigadewing

    This is my take on the same model but with Cycles. If it is about Falloff, Velvet shader is your friend 😀


  • http://Website Dejan


  • http://Website Bryan Gubitosi

    Wow this is really cool sorry to ask I am new at using nodes but I can’t seem to find where you got that “Add color” node (left to right 3rd one). I tried to find it but couldn’t find where you got it from

    • http://www.cgmasters.net Chris Plush

      Hey, it’s actually a Mix node but the mix type is changed to Add.

  • http://www.facebook.com/blenderWorks tarik bagriyanik
  • Daniel Lobo

    Well, I know that the topic is old, but I decided to return to this subject, because I did not find answer on any other site about falloff with Cycles Render. Then I found the answer working and decided to share if someone needs. Follow the image below node scheme.

    • Robert

      Thanks for sharing!