Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday Diversions: Toonage

I really love the toon renderer in Brazil r/s -- Invariably, whenever I'm just messing around with Brazil r/s, I find my work drifting into experiments with NPR and toon renderings.

I'm a long time fan of cartoons of all kinds and love the different styles that have developed with different cartoons/comics/illustration/etc. Our original cartoon shader development was done for a game called "Looney Tunes Racing." Here's a couple of screencaps of characters from the in-game cinematics:

The type of toon shading required for this job was pretty minimal, with very little use of what we call, "multi-level paint" and very simple, non-weighted line-work. Loony Tunes did do more complex styles too, but the bread and butter of the work produced was kept simple and designed to be done quickly and to be outsourced as much as possible.

By continuing development of the Ink & Paint shader (which now ships in 3ds max) into what is now "Brazil Toon", we have continued to add more and more features and controls in an attempt to mimic the types of things that we were discovering in the design of various cartoons. Eventually, it kind of turned into a game to take a real cartoon and see how close we could get to the original style. So for today's diversion, I'll share some of those:

This image shows an anime background plate with a 3d character (courtesy of Rune Spaans) rendered over top. Note the day-for-night lighting, the decoupled shadowed/lit colors on the character's skin and the matching of the style of the line-work as well as the various colors of the line-work. Total setup time on this character was about 5 minutes.

Here again is Rune's character rendered over top of an anime background plate. This time the character has 3 level paint falloff, highlights on the skin, and gradients in the some of the ink-work.
Here Dagan Potter does explodingdog's Red Robot with solid, simple colors, and a stylized, hand drawn look to the inking.

In this, I wanted to play around with something like Frank Miller's Sin City graphic novels: White shadows in black environments, shocking use of colors, very bold and stylistic linework.

Here's an architectural watercolor effect achived with a combination of in-render effects using blurbeta plugins, Gooch shaded Brazil Toon, and some post work for the paper texture. The model is by Aris Vidalis .
Gooch shading and transparent Brazil Toon rendered side by side with a line-work only version of a technical illustration (background passthrough mode). The shading and rendering on this image was done by Robert Boothman. This image demonstrates the ink control that can be used to achieve highly stylized looks. These objects are rendering in background passthrough mode so that the background paper image shows through.

Model by Daniel Martinez Lara. The image uses Multilevel Paint in combination with volumetrics, complex lighting/shadowing, and post render effects on a large format frame (original render is 2k). This image shows off some more advantages of working with a hybrid in-render/shader approach - you can easity combine 2d and 3d elements, speeding workflow and gaining complex environmental interactions with minimal effort.

P.S. also check out the images on the Blur Studio/Spongebob Squarepants Artist Spotlight