Engineering blog
06 Jan 2021

What is Non-Photo Realistic Rendering?

You’ve heard of photorealistic rendering – but what exactly is non-photo realistic rendering (NPR), and why does it matter?

What is non-photo realistic rendering?

This is a relatively new area of computer graphics that uses digital art and other technologies. Unlike photorealism, it focuses on animation painting and drawing rather than pixel imaging. An example would be characters in a 3D video game. 

Applying Imagination

With photorealism, the application of artists was somewhat restricted. Non-photorealistic rendering, however, opened the gates to the world of gaming and animation. It is a digital canvas for artists who want to exhibit their imagination in a more comprehensive way.

Applications for non-realistic photorendering

  • Comics and animation

    An industry that has benefited greatly from this type of rendering is comics and animation, with enhanced flexibility and precision. Giants such as Disney and Pixar have heavily utilized it to create blockbuster films.

  • Commercial products

    This rendering is finding its way into product imaging, where photorealistic rendering cannot be used. It is being used in industries to create user manuals for parts where imaging cannot work. (For example, a user manual for refrigerator.)

Categories of non-realistic photorendering

  • Pen and ink illustrations:

    This category uses line art, outlining and cross-hatching to create artworks.

  • Painterly rendering:

    Its styles include impressionist, expressionist and pointillist.

  • Cartoon rendering:

    It uses effects like shading and distortion to achieve cartoon-like effects.

  • Technical illustrations:

    For technical manual imaging, it uses edge lines and matte shading.

  • Scientific visualization:

    Splatting and line drawing techniques are used to add precision to scientific visualization.

This style of rendering is getting better, as we have access to faster and more efficient processors. These illustrations use strokes, textures, tones, outlines, scaling and indication to deliver what we see in many video games and cartoons today.


BluEntCAD has a team of experts in non-photorealistic rendering techniques. 

Taking into consideration view angles, boundary definitions and interior outlines, we deliver the finest quality renderings. Need something rendered? Contact us today!

Maximum Value. Achieved.



Your Citation

CAD Evangelist. "What is Non-Photo Realistic Rendering?" CAD Evangelist, Jan. 06, 2021,

CAD Evangelist. (2021, January 06). What is Non-Photo Realistic Rendering?. Retrieved from

CAD Evangelist. "What is Non-Photo Realistic Rendering?" CAD Evangelist (accessed January 06, 2021 ).

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