Studio LLB has a quick tutorial on using the Freestyle line thickness modifier (distance from camera) to deal with level of detail issues. I saw this blend by DimitrisC and while I really liked it, I felt like it could be improved a little in terms of level of detail issues, because the part of the mesh furthest away from the camera turns into a mess of outlines and draws a lot of attention in my opinion. You can build the blend he provides from scratch following the tutorial on his blog, but I just wanted to play with the outlining so I used the mesh provided in the file. Note: I disabled the Node Editor effects in the original blend file.
Guide to images in the sequence below :
- Only the Edge feature (Render -> Post processing -> Edge)
- No outlining at all, for reference
- Freestyle without thickness modifier
- Freestyle with thickness modifier 'distance from camera' using an approximately exponential curve dropoff
That was a refreshingly easy exercise...Getting Freestyle settings right isn't easy, and Freestyle is pretty slow to render, which makes it frustrating when you are trying to explore a huge variable space.