Variable Line weight

Continuing the discussion from V6 Goal: Make2d overhaul:

Hello Greg,

I’m just joining in so forgive me if this has been addressed already. As you know line weight is critical for many reasons when outputting a drawing package. I know I spend most of my time setting line weights on a drawing package. Now I work in the film industry and we still use traditional pencil designers as well as cad based. Construction has grown accustomed to pencil drawn plans that have both variable line weights as well as graidient hatching.
In an effort to bring my cad drawings closer to the more traditional look I’ve found a few work around but they are very time consuming. What I’m wondering is if it is at all possible to generate 2d lines that are assigned to layers of preset line weights and that are set by distance. In other words, closer objects get the heavier line weight and further objects get the lighter line weight as if they ar generated based on a gradient or z depth . This would be similar to how occlusion renders are done using distance from camera as a way to set the distance.
Now I know there are many out there that wonder why on earth would anyone do this but in the film industry our drawings are not only seen as construction documents but art work. I get a lot of compliments on my drawings because I make them look more hand drawn but as I said, it’s time consuming.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.


Hi Scott,

First of all, can ask you to show an example of such a drawing? As they say, it will tell more than a thousand words. After your elaboration I’m very curious what they look like.

Secondly, what should be determined is how to handle curves that stretch from front to back. How will those be classified?

@GregArden you must have some sorting in depth to allow for finding hidden and visible lines. (Or am I too naive?) Can that be crudely dumped (via a test command) to sets of layers or named objects (a name as number to indicate z depth or array of 2 coordinates representing boundingbox in viewplane)? That way it’s easy to experiment with possible grading of lines based on depth.


Hi Willem,

Yes I can provide an example but not until Monday when I’m back in the office.

Yes you are correct about how to handle the curves. I think it’s something based on a range to camera. 0-1’ is heavy, 1’-5’ is medium, 5’- 10’ is light. Of course the range would need to be adjustable or perhaps it’s based on a percentage. I do t really have the answer but it would be helpful and a time saver if it’s even possible.


Here is an example of line weights and how I use them.