Onion Skin Renderer 1.0 introduction for Autodesk Maya


Onion Skin Renderer 1.0  grate useful plugin for autodesk maya it is created bat Christoph Lendenfeld he is good animator with some programming skills.

Onion Skin Renderer Compatibility

It is now tested and working with 2016 and 2017. But you have to have OpenGLCoreProfile active. To do that go to Display settings and on the second last dropdown choose OpenGLCoreProfile. If it’s not set you will get an error. This is true for both 2016 and 2017 but on 2017 it’s default.

How it works

This plugin is an extension to the standard viewport2.0 renderer. When Maya Renders a frame, a pass with the specified objects is created and stored. If you now tell the plugin to display information from another frame, it checks if that exists and if yes, draws it above the geometry.


  1. Independent of geometry complexity. Any polycount renders at the same speed.
  2. Relative Onion Display. It is easy to display the Onion Relative to the current position because it is all buffered.
  3. Actual display of the shape of the character on a different frame. Maya’s internal onions (ghosting) cannot display skinned meshes, so you have to parent locators to it. Which is fine for tracking arcs but not to see how the shape moves through the scene.


  1. Since the onions are buffered when the frame is rendered, moving the camera or any object invalidates them.
  2. Buffering alot of onions costs VRAM. If VRAM is full RAM is used which is a huge performance hit. That said, it shouldn’t be an issue on any modern cards. My 3gb VRAM get me about 700 frames buffered on a 1080p screen