|02 February 2018|
Using Maya for Woodblock Print Style 360 Panorama Illustrations
Hi everyone. I am very new to Maya (loving it so far!) and I am creating an environment. The goal is to render out masks so that I may use each mask as a digital "woodblock" in Photoshop. One or more layers of digital "ink" (essentially just a flat color with a particular "inky" texture to it) would be applied to each woodblock (aka mask) and together they should form an image reminiscent of woodblock prints in the vain of Hiroshi Yoshida or Oscar Droege.
I want to use the 3D environment as the location for a narrative, told from multiple 360 degree panoramas. Each 360 panorama is essentially just a very distorted two by one image that gets wrapped on the inside of a sphere with the camera at the center when viewed in an appropriate viewer, like the one on ArtStation or Facebook. This is why I want to use 3D instead of just illustrating it myself, because it would be incredibly laborious and tricky to construct a full 360 degree panorama for each camera position in the narrative. I have made one attempt though, you might want to check it out so that you know where I'm trying to go with this (ignore the outlines, I think I prefer the look without outlines): https://www.artstation.com/artwork/NRErb
Here is the unwrapped and distorted version of the above panorama:
I have been getting familiar with Maya and now I am pretty confident that I can deal with the modeling part just fine (given enough time). Where I am stuck is actually getting the appropriate masks. I have been banging my head against AOV's, render setups (/render layers) and shading networks, but I have to admit that these things have turned out to be a good bit less intuitive then modeling.
Where I want to get is that I want to basically hit render and get, say 30 or so different 360 panorama images. On each of the images, I would like to have nothing but a black and white mask (like an alpha mask) of each area that will need it's own color in the final "print". For now, I'm not even worrying about objects with multiple colors (say a light gray rock with dark green moss growing on it, where the moss isn't it's own object). A couple of cell shades per object would already get me much closer to my goal. I would be happy if I could essentially use a cell shader (isolated cells representing dark versus light areas on an object with a sharp edge transition) and render out each cell of each object individually.
Say I am rendering only one tree and the tree consists of two objects; one is the trunk with the branches and the other is the foliage. Let's say each of the two objects has three tones of shade cells, then the render should yield six images, one for each of the cell shades present in the tree that was rendered. I hope that explains where I want to get.
Later, I will have to deal with reflections, (semi-)transparent objects and objects that actually have more then one color, but I'll deal with one thing at a time.
I am a complete beginner to all things hypershade, so I would love some pointers in the right direction. Right now I am using this plugin for the cell shading: http://lesterbanks.com/2017/11/arnold-cel-shader-tool/
What I can do is assign colored cells to each material (in the image below, all objects have the same material), but that isn't giving me the alpha style masks that I'm looking for (I don't really need a beauty render because I want to do all the texturing in Photoshop).
How would you guys approach this? I don't know how tricky a task this sort of thing is to someone who is actually knowledgeable with shading, but I'm hoping that someone here can devise a good solution to my conundrum and walk me through it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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