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Kid-Mesh
07-11-2003, 08:00 AM
Lo all,

I was hoping that some of you wavers with experience in celshading could shed a little light on this subject for me.
Usually during topics of Celshade and 3D animation you sometimes hear that the models need to be modeled in a certain way so the celshade looks correct.
I just dont understand what is meant by this , I could guess but Id proably be wrong for sure.
If someone could give an opinion or actually know what modeling techniques need to be employed when working on a model whos target is CelShade I would surely appreciate it thanks.

Cheers,

Fasty
07-11-2003, 08:19 AM
Good question, I'd like to see some other people's approaches too...

pelos
07-11-2003, 08:22 AM
yes is a good question, i have been thinking about that!!
:hmm:

Shade01
07-11-2003, 08:36 AM
Modeling for celshading means not modelling all the details on characters that you would add when modeling the same for realism. Smoothness of the model is key for holding the smoothness of the paint zones. You model to suggest the detail without actually adding it. If you are using Lightwaves edges for ink lines, the polygons have to bend in certain directions to gain predictability over how those lines will render.

Shade01
07-11-2003, 09:11 AM
Oh yeah, and it 'Cel' not 'Cell'

Celshader
07-11-2003, 11:16 AM
I second everything that Shade01 wrote above. I also have explicit technical information about LightWave Edges online here:
http://www.celshader.com/gallery/kara/about4.htm

I also strongly recommend modeling from an actual drawing, if possible. Photoreal artists don't tackle a photoreal project without substantial real-world reference; celshader artists can likewise benefit from hand-drawn model sheets and an understanding of what a drawing looks like. Study actual drawings and cels whenever you get the chance, and you will be better able to recreate the look of those drawings and cels in LightWave.

:love:

---

If it helps, here are the rough model sheets that I drew for a recent model:
http://www.celshader.com/images/bboards/f-head06-v2-small.gif
http://www.celshader.com/images/bboards/s-head01-small.gif

Here's the geometry I built from those model sheets, using reference images and a good anatomy book as additional guides:
http://www.celshader.com/gallery/lore/lore14.jpg
http://www.celshader.com/gallery/lore/screen04.jpg

...and here's a celshaded render of the head:
http://www.celshader.com/gallery/lore/

PHILL_JAMES2000
07-11-2003, 12:45 PM
i love using the cel technique to create sketchy, concept, models for initial presentations to clients, it stops them from thinking it's going to be the final product, as many clients do when they see something that's photorealistic...the main thing i have to remember is to not put in as much detail as i would normally...here's the latest thing i did;

http://www.angelfire.com/alt/mentionnonames/work/celstuff/exp-4m-1.jpg

http://www.angelfire.com/alt/mentionnonames/work/celstuff/exp-4m-4.jpg

plus some early cell stuff i did...

http://www.angelfire.com/alt/mentionnonames/work/celstuff/4.jpg

http://www.angelfire.com/alt/mentionnonames/work/celstuff/petal.jpg

http://www.angelfire.com/alt/mentionnonames/work/celstuff/swoosh.jpg

i'm no expert but i love the technique :D

Nemoid
07-11-2003, 02:38 PM
hey Celshader!
read your explanation of edges and it was very interesting!!

I was wondering about this: since in most anime work shadows have sometimes precise stylized forms,
how can I obtain predictable results of how these shadows behave?
what techniques can i use to make them fit better with the image I planned to do, expecially in animation?

Kid-Mesh
07-11-2003, 03:43 PM
"CELL" <--------Shade :blush: belive me when I say that I was sleepy and on my way to bed when I posted this.



Shade01 wrote : Modeling for celshading means not modelling all the details on characters that you would add when modeling the same for realism

See that it was what I was thinking at first and kinda figured that was it but to be honest I have been studying a lot of anime films that have blended the use of the 2D and 3D animation together.

For example "Spriggan" and "Vampire Hunter D Blood lust" both have employed the use of 3D for the characters and enviornments within and are very detailed which kinda throws that off for me. Im not saying your wrong by any stretch Im just pointing out that it looks like some production pipelines go against this idea.

When it comes to celshaded pieces "2D" there are several techniques that can be used and one that I like is using "black" outlines" on objects that are for the background and foreground objects if you are doing parallax scrolling but not putting any black lines on the characters themselves.



celshader wrote : I also strongly recommend modeling from an actual drawing, if possible. Photoreal artists don't tackle a photoreal project without substantial real-world reference; celshader artists can likewise benefit from hand-drawn model sheets and an understanding of what a drawing looks like. Study actual drawings and cels whenever you get the chance, and you will be better able to recreate the look of those drawings and cels in LightWave.

First of all celshader thanks for commenting, I love your site and that is were I have found a lot of my info :wavey:

In regards to your comment are you suggesting studying "2D" drawings as a reference to recreate the look and feel for "2D" in a 3D application (Lightwave)? I guess if your final target is to actually look handdrawn then I can see what you are getting at.

Regardless I appreciate all the comments thus far and seeing what people think or employ under this subject.

IMHO this is my take on CelShade using 3D. For the life of me I just cant understand way people pursue the task of making the final product look "handdrawn" especially when employing traditional techniques of 2D backgrounds and the "fake" camera movements one can use to implement shake, panning, dolling etc.

I have seen some horrible celshaded attempts because the person used a "2D" style for the characters but implemented 3D camera angles and 3D environments which pulls the viewer out of the experience and causes you to wonder are you watching 3D with 2D looking actors. Or for the uninitiated it makes them wonder "hmm something is different here and I just dont get it" Blood the last Vampire did that to me the first time I watched it.

I think that right now we are in a wonderful position to take the genre of animated films and continue to work within and also define new standards for celshaded animations, meaning look and feel.

The point is "Why go for the 2D look" ? unless that is what you want and if so then go all the way with it.

The korean animation "Wonderful Days" is and excellent example of celshaded 3D animation (when they arent trying to use the technique of photo-realistic images like what was done in Blood the last Vampire from production IG)

Anyway Im gonna stop ranting, I guess you just have to ask yourself "Am I going for a 2D look because this is traditionally a 2D medium?" or is it because that's what you( the artist) think people expect to see when it comes to celshaded films? or maybe your just a 2D artist who is trapped in a 3D world.

But being the Anime purist that I am I enjoy films that push the boundries of 3D with the limited use of 2D elements and still retain the richness of the celshade look but with a new technology feel to it. That is defintely my goal for sure.

I hope that in future more films continue to take this approach because it so much better than the look of 2D productions, IMHO of course. Although some of the current Disney films are already doing this and they look great.

Cheers,

Fasty
07-11-2003, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Kid Mesh
... or maybe your just a 2D artist who is trapped in a 3D world....

Oh man, mind if I quote you on that one? :beer:

I always wanted to be a 2d animator, but didn't think I could draw well enough. So now I suppose I'm doing a pretty crazy work-a-round!

I'm celshading my current cgchallenge entry and I'm still finding it quite hard to make it look 2D. The link's here (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=67457&perpage=15&pagenumber=1).

I'd love any advice anyone has as to how I can make it look more 2D.

modernhorse
07-11-2003, 04:10 PM
I think for me that's why I find celshading so promising. Because I love love love the look of 2D but have started too late in art to develop those 2d skills. But i'll keep trying.

Kid-Mesh
07-11-2003, 04:20 PM
Hey Fasty :cool:

First of all I really like the look of the celshaded stuff you have now and have had in the past like the little astro boy clip.

You current entry looks great but I think if you looking for a "All the way" 2D look. Then here is a suggestion. Just render out your backgrounds as lineart then actually paint them yourself because if you notice with all of 3D celshaded projects there is still just a hint of that "textured" look. Dont get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that but it kills the 2D illusion and traditional look and feel of what people are used to. Or You could remove any procedual textured effects and or textures and just lay flat colors on the background objects.

Secondly 3D lighting tends to be a dead give away to kill the illusion of 2D as well. Again dont get me wrong I think that how ever you choose to use it is up to you but light does give the illusion of depth or thickness to an object and 2D animation is supposed to look flat.

Anyway, maybe your not trapped in a 3D world as a 2d artist, it could be that your just happily lost :scream:

cheers,

Kid-Mesh
07-11-2003, 05:15 PM
Id thought Id share this article with you guys because it sheds some light on the production process of some anime production houses and breaks down almost all the tools used in this genre both 2D and 3D. The article also touches on the reason why its more beneficial to go totally digital and why some were reluctant to in the past.

And of course it boasts Lightwave as being the tool of choice in Japan and Hollywood for this genre as well.

Its a good read if your intrested

----> Production Article (http://www.ex.org/4.2/09-column_bts1.html)


cheers,

Shade01
07-11-2003, 06:52 PM
The most common 3D system in use in the Japanese animation industry is Lightwave 3D (NewTek, USA). (Also the most common system for production in Hollywood.)

Of course, not many people in the US would know that because they never mention it!!!!!

When it comes to celshaded pieces "2D" there are several techniques that can be used and one that I like is using "black" outlines" on objects that are for the background and foreground objects if you are doing parallax scrolling but not putting any black lines on the characters themselves.

I actually work the opposite way, I use outlines for the characters and none for the backgrounds. If you look at most anime movies, most of the background is painted and I like this style. I go through a lot of extra work to achieve this look.

http://www.ecreativityworks.com/ultraviolent/images/paintover.html

Even though I'm using 3d, I use a lot of traditional techniques in achieving movement. In shots where it's easy for me to do, I'll render the forground and background elements seperately and move the plates around in After Effects tp achieve that 2D parallax look.


On a side note this plugin http://www.toonshade.com/ is the most awesome thing I've seen in awhile. If you go to the tutorials section they tell a little about how they do it. Now someone go recreate this for Lightwave :love:

Kid-Mesh
07-11-2003, 08:33 PM
That shader doenst look too bad :p

But I think that Illustrate! by David Gould sets the standard.

Link-->Illustrate! (http://www.davidgould.com/)

Considering that Prouduction IG uses this with their 3D max pipeline I have to give it a thumbs up based on their current line up.

And for the fact that they had to create a custom shader for LW kind of bums me out because it actually tells me that the shader in LW is lacking to meet the standard that the Japanese try to adhere to or it's just not pipeline friendly.

To be honest I cant find a example of a team or individual who has pushed the SuperCel shader to its limits. Im just wondering what these other plugins like BESM or Unreal, etc do better than the SuperCel shader in LW. (Must be workflow)

For example if you are familar with Terrance Walker then you know that his first film "Understanding Chaos" was done totally with the SuperCel Shader but his second film "ShadowSkin" was done with BESM.

Not to put down BESM because I personally havent used it but if you were to compare the two the SuperCel Shader hands down blows it away. Now it could be the post process that Terrance might have done after applying BESM but I dont know, it just didnt make me want to explore using it.

I guess experimentation is the mother of invention in this case so that is what I have to do. But its odd to me still that when you hear Anime/3D CellShade you hear Lightwave....yet it is still a feature to be pimped correctly right out of the box so that leads one to belive that its the modeling tools that they like :shrug:

Go figure

Celshader
07-11-2003, 09:14 PM
Don't worry about shaders. Most of your time and effort will go into the modeling, pose, lighting, composition, character animation and design. A celshader plug-in is essential, but you can't count on a plug-in to create the illusion all by itself, no matter how advanced the plug-in. Me, I'll take a good model with the ancient AH_Celshader over a weak model with Illustrate! any day of the week. :D

Shaders only matter to me when I need a specific effect. If I need reflections on a celshaded surface, I'll use unReal. If I need the shade paints to respect the colors of the fill lights, I'll use BESM. If I need to isolate the characters from other lights in the scene, I'll consider BESM or unReal. If I need the shadow paints to have a drastically different hue than the key paints, I'll use BESM or unReal. 99% of the time, though, I just throw on Super Cel Shader. For "one-color" surfaces like the inside of a character's mouth or fake "ink lines," I'll even ditch the shaders and rely on 100% Luminosity with 0% Diffuse.

I'm not kidding when I say you'll spend more time modeling than surfacing on a celshaded model. I spent a week modeling Lore's head (http://www.celshader.com/gallery/lore/) and maybe an hour surfacing him, at most. I had SCS on him from the first test render and kept fine-tuning his geometry until the lighting fell in the "right" places for a comic-book character.

I still plan to tweak his surface settings, but I don't expect it to take a week! :D

Kid-Mesh
07-11-2003, 09:47 PM
Wow Celshader :bowdown:

That has a heavy disney look to it as far as colors and characters go. Thanks for sharing that bit of information even though I havent started the process trying to use the celshader how I want, I can relate to what your saying about the modeling. And now that you posted that pic the proof is in pudding, I will defintely take those points into consideration.

Oh and BTW that modeled head looks awesome with out the traditional black outlines :)

Shade01
07-11-2003, 10:56 PM
There's nothing wrong with Super Cel Shader but there's definite differences between the 3 shaders. I had wrote a synopsis of the differences between the 3 but the whole tutorial probably got lost in the hacker attack over at Lightwave Group. They all work well, but Unreal does everything Super Cel Shader does and more, so I just prefer to use that for access to it's extended capabilities instead of switching between multiple shaders.

I think Lightwave is used with celshading a lot because it does do it well out of the box. Sure, all the 3D apps have cel shading plugins but how many that are good are free? The Unreal cel shader is used quite a bit in the japanese production environment, and is actually becoming the standard cel shader used.

At the end of the day though, it's all about the artistic vision to be able to use the cel shaders creativitely for something of worth beyond just slapping on the shader and calling it finished.

Kid-Mesh
07-12-2003, 12:41 AM
At the end of the day though, it's all about the artistic vision to be able to use the cel shaders creativitely for something of worth beyond just slapping on the shader and calling it finished.


Very true, which is also evident when you look at the Illustrate site and see how everyone uses that shader. Its hard to tell what the default look should be.

In regards to Unreal, off hand do you know of any short clips or films that has intergrated that into their pipeline?


Cheers,

sqitso
07-12-2003, 05:55 AM
Just my personal opinion but I have to use Super Cel Shader. I know it doesn't seem to be as advanced as the others, but it is the only one a noob modeler like me can make work at all. I wish there was a definetive guide to making a cel shader work perfect every time.

Cellshader: I just ordered Lightwave Applied just for your cel shading sections. That to get the password to the bonus material :)

faulknermano
07-12-2003, 01:14 PM
i spend alot of time getting the right inklines to show on the modelling. shading, as jennifer said, is easier. besides, i could always retouch them later in post. :D

Facial Deluxe
07-12-2003, 02:00 PM
I love super cel shader, but I would like to have more options. Like some water color effects and others on lines and colors and so on.

Jonathan
07-12-2003, 02:08 PM
My approach to celshading is, non-traditional. Someone once said it was 2.5 D. Nontheless, I want to preserve the 3D whilst having somewhat of a 2D effect, thus yep 3D camera angles and completely cel shaded environments and characters. I'm not looking for a 2D or a painted look.

Lately however I've been doing alot of post processing in AURA to bring out my characters. This really takes the weight off the process as I can enhanced to characters and bring them to a new level and settled more into 2D, but not completely.

Here's a quick sample.


after render before post:
http://www.btinternet.com/~jonathan.west3/images/asia/before2.JPG

after post
http://www.btinternet.com/~jonathan.west3/images/asia/after.JPG

Facial Deluxe
07-12-2003, 03:03 PM
Interesting wrinkles, mind to explain the process a bit ?

Jonathan
07-12-2003, 03:17 PM
The process is quite simple, I render out my sequences and export to aura. Once in aura I composite my plates, using a warp brush to create wrinkles. The good part is that I can tween the effect to allow the wrinkles to grow and subside further controlling the animated effect. I've not perfected it yet, but I'm getting closer every day.

Once I'm competent with George perhaps I can write a script for creating spline based wrinkles using the warp function for my cel sequences, but right now I'm still learning to use it.

Facial Deluxe
07-12-2003, 03:20 PM
I see, I don't know aura, are you using some tracking while animating ? How are you doing when objects are overlaping ? Masks ? Really curious to see some movements.

adrencg
07-12-2003, 05:32 PM
Originally posted by Kid Mesh
That shader doenst look too bad :p


Not to put down BESM because I personally havent used it but if you were to compare the two the SuperCel Shader hands down blows it away. Now it could be the post process that Terrance might have done after applying BESM but I dont know, it just didnt make me want to explore using it.

Go figure

I had to stop using BESM because I found that if I had more than one object in the scene and BEsM was applied to one of the objects, LW would crash upon render --- and i had BESM looking nice (with a little After Effects post too). Damn

I ended up switching to Unreal and i like it. It's complex, but I use only the basic parts of it, along with LW's built in Sillouette edges, which rock all by themselves.

Mike

Infinity3d4life
07-16-2003, 06:58 PM
I would like to know more about the modeling aspect of toon/ anime modeling.. I can't seem to find an aproach that works when it comes to modeling and fitting the eyes into the sockets...
Especially on really toon style characters where the eyes may not be perfect spheres... Anyone want to share any approach that they might have??

On the shader subject i have gotten pretty good in a matter of days using just the SuperCel plugin.. Haven't really messed around with unreal, but the stuff that i see CelShader doing is just mind-blowing to say the least..

CelShader: Would you care to shed a little light on how you make or use a diffuse map to give ink lines that extra ummph...?

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