Table of Contents

This page provides information on the Contours tab in the V-Ray Appearance Manger.



Contours is a global cartoon-style effect that adds outlines on all objects in the project. This includes both simple, solid color shading but also outlined borders on the edges of the object(s).

The Contour effect is available only when the engine is set to CPU. It is currently not supported for GPU.

For more information on Contours, see the Courseware section.




UI Path

||Appearance Manager|| > Contours tab



Global Parameters

The following parameters take effect over the global Contour effect, as well as over individual contour attributes of each V-Ray material.

Width Units – Specifies whether all of the Contour parameters are considered in pixels, or in the project units.

Hide Inner Lines – Determines whether lines are created for parts of the same object with varying surface normals (for example, at the inside edges of a box).

Compensate EV – When enabled, the Contour compensates the Line Color brightness to adjust for any Exposure correction from a camera.

Visible in Reflections/Refractions – Makes the outlines appear in reflections and refractions. Note that this may increase the render times.

Trace Bias – Depending on the scale of the project this parameter determines the ray bias when the outlines are traced in reflections/refractions.



Contours – Enables cartoon style outlines over all rendered objects in the project.

Line Color – Specifies the color of the outlines.

Width – Specifies the width of the outlines.

Opacity – Specifies the opacity of the outlines.

Normal Threshold – Determines when the lines are created for parts of the same object with varying surface normals (e.g. at the inside edges of a box). A value of 0.0 means that only 90 degrees or larger angles generate internal lines. Higher values mean that smoother transitions between face normals can also generate a line. Setting this value to 1.0 fills curved objects completely.

Overlap Threshold – Determines when outlines are created for overlapping parts of the one and the same object . Lower values reduce the internal overlapping lines, while higher values produce more overlap lines. Setting this value to 1.0 fills curved objects completely.



Split Inner Lines

Split Inner Lines Enables separate control over the inner edges.

Color –  Specifies the color of the inner lines.

Width – Specifies the width of the inner lines.


How to Set a Contour Effect

To assign a global contour to the whole project, go to the Appearance Manager > Contours tab.

Enable Contours and then you can select line color, width, etc. The effect is applied to all objects in the project.




Some of the global parameters have an effect on all materials with Contour attribute. These parameters are Width Units, Trace Bias, Hide Inner Edges, Visible in Reflections/Refractions and Compensate EV.

In this example, two materials have Contour attributes and there is a global Contour effect in the project.

Changing the Width Units from the Contour tab of the Appearance Manager is applied to all contours in the project.

This project has its Project units set to mm, so changing the Width Units make them appear enormous.


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