Break the Rules! Create a Toon Reality

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  06 June 2014
Break the Rules! Create a Toon Reality

(I thought of this recently while looking for a good toon shader)

You know what my frustration with 3D is? It is that 3D animation is based too much on real life. It's too perfect, and that's a problem. Consider this: create a simple cube in 3D and animate it rotating. Now orbit the spinning cube with a camera and render it. What do you see? Aside from the razor sharp edges of the cube (unless you smooth them) you basically see real life. You see something we can all relate to and find feasible in terms of the accuracy of the perspective and the accuracy of the rendering of the cube. Even if you toggle the camera's features, your brain still registers real life because you can toggle the settings on a real camera (after all, a camera in Maya is based on a real camera).

Now repeat the exact same exercise using traditional animation. Everything has changed! I don't care how good the artist is, your brain will notice any and all imperfections and subtle inaccuracies in angle, perspective, shadowing, movement, etc. No doubt, that "cube" you drew won't be an exact cube in every frame. And the camera motion of the 2D animation will not be exactly the same as a camera in real life.

Because no part of the 2D animation can possibly exist exactly in real life, your brain informs you that you are not looking at anything of this world. You have entered into a completely new world, and you should relax and enjoy the vacation.

So what's the point? In order to fully leave reality in a 3D animation (which IS the goal (or my goal) for toon animation in my opinion) you have to ruin things and break rules. Maya needs to have an option of using "Toon Physics", "Toon lighting", "Toon shadowing", "Toon camera", "Toon world environment".

That means your camera zooms, pans, orbits, etc. will not be perfect nor will they mirror real life. They will mirror the imperfections of the human hand, as is 2D animation. You will not have perfect cubes, perfect spheres, perfect angles, perfect perspectives, perfect inbetweens from keyframe to keyframe, etc. Maya will behave as if everything it renders was drawn by hand. In fact, instead of "Toon Render", you might call it "DBH render" (aka drawn-by-hand render).

Include options for cross-hatch shadowing, jittery rendering (like jittery 2D animation), imperfect "hand drawn" inbetweens (with a randomizer function). Use "hand drawn lighting", even for ray-tracing, ambient light, global illumination, etc. Treat it as if light is being painted, not simulated with real world physics.

Break the Rules!
Break the Rules!
Break the Rules!

Heck, I don't even want a "true perspective" grid to model on (you can keep the Front, Side, Top cameras the same though). But when modeling, I'd want to look through an imperfect "toon perspective" camera for the perspective view. No Circle vector would be a perfect circle. No straight line would be a flawless straight line. And of course you'd have options to toggle how "imperfect" these attributes are, but nonetheless, if you work in a "toon world", you will render a true "toon animation".


Thoughts?

Last edited by scottcjohnson : 06 June 2014 at 12:41 PM.
 
  06 June 2014
Honestly? My initial thought is, just as was the case with your previous thread, you're imagining an issue that doesn't actually exist.
__________________
leighvanderbyl.com
 
  06 June 2014
To know your profession is to know how and when to break the rules.
You are only confined by your own limitations.
 
  06 June 2014
Originally Posted by scottcjohnson: (I thought of this recently while looking for a good toon shader)

You know what my frustration with 3D is? It is that 3D animation is based too much on real life. It's too perfect, and that's a problem. Consider this: create a simple cube in 3D and animate it rotating. Now orbit the spinning cube with a camera and render it. What do you see? Aside from the razor sharp edges of the cube (unless you smooth them) you basically see real life. You see something we can all relate to and find feasible in terms of the accuracy of the perspective and the accuracy of the rendering of the cube. Even if you toggle the camera's features, your brain still registers real life because you can toggle the settings on a real camera (after all, a camera in Maya is based on a real camera).

Now repeat the exact same exercise using traditional animation. Everything has changed! I don't care how good the artist is, your brain will notice any and all imperfections and subtle inaccuracies in angle, perspective, shadowing, movement, etc. No doubt, that "cube" you drew won't be an exact cube in every frame. And the camera motion of the 2D animation will not be exactly the same as a camera in real life.

Because no part of the 2D animation can possibly exist exactly in real life, your brain informs you that you are not looking at anything of this world. You have entered into a completely new world, and you should relax and enjoy the vacation.

So what's the point? In order to fully leave reality in a 3D animation (which IS the goal (or my goal) for toon animation in my opinion) you have to ruin things and break rules. Maya needs to have an option of using "Toon Physics", "Toon lighting", "Toon shadowing", "Toon camera", "Toon world environment".

That means your camera zooms, pans, orbits, etc. will not be perfect nor will they mirror real life. They will mirror the imperfections of the human hand, as is 2D animation. You will not have perfect cubes, perfect spheres, perfect angles, perfect perspectives, perfect inbetweens from keyframe to keyframe, etc. Maya will behave as if everything it renders was drawn by hand. In fact, instead of "Toon Render", you might call it "DBH render" (aka drawn-by-hand render).

Include options for cross-hatch shadowing, jittery rendering (like jittery 2D animation), imperfect "hand drawn" inbetweens (with a randomizer function). Use "hand drawn lighting", even for ray-tracing, ambient light, global illumination, etc. Treat it as if light is being painted, not simulated with real world physics.

Break the Rules!
Break the Rules!
Break the Rules!

Heck, I don't even want a "true perspective" grid to model on (you can keep the Front, Side, Top cameras the same though). But when modeling, I'd want to look through an imperfect "toon perspective" camera for the perspective view. No Circle vector would be a perfect circle. No straight line would be a flawless straight line. And of course you'd have options to toggle how "imperfect" these attributes are, but nonetheless, if you work in a "toon world", you will render a true "toon animation".


Thoughts?


I think that you are on to something big!

not really, but go ahead and break the rules three times...

 
  06 June 2014
I think what people are missing is why 2D is and will remain absolutely beloved, especially by younger audiences. The core reason, in my opinion, is because it is 100% unreal, completely imaginary and thus completely creative.

Anything less than 100% unreal will inevitably trigger your brain (whether consciously or unconsciously) to compare elements to real life. And who wants that? (namely in terms of toon animation). OP is my solution towards this, any "big idea" would be implementation and the results it yields.

When you play Flappy Birds, users were totally lost (and addicted) into the frustration. They were lost and addicted to Angry Birds prior to that. And this is the new generation, 2D isn't going anywhere. I argue neither game would be nearly as addictive nor enjoyable in current 3D technology.

Until you completely fool the mind that it has entered a new world, you will never truly compete with 2D in its area of strength. Thus 2D Mario will always be more beloved than 3D mario, 2D Mickey will be more beloved than 3D Mickey, and on down the list.

2D Pokemon >>>> 3D Pokemon, etc. (currently)

I believe this change will happen, and Paperman is merely the first step.
 
  06 June 2014
Now see - my 6 year old disagrees with you!

He LOVES 3d and all things Pixar (he's watched Cars and Toy Story in the 100's of times) and anything along those lines.
He likes 2d ok too-but if he has a choice between a 2d cartoon and a 3d one
its 3d in a HEARTBEAT.

So face it-this is all about you.

Last edited by circusboy : 06 June 2014 at 03:20 PM.
 
  06 June 2014
Sketch and Toon for Cinema4D does pretty much what you are asking:



For 3DMax there is Cebas FinalToon:

http://www.cebasstation.com/?pid=productinfo&prd_id=136

I'm sure there is a similar solution for Maya as well.

What you are talking about is called "Non Photoreal Rendering" or "NPR".

It isn't exactly a new concept either. NPR has been around for a few years.

There are many academic papers on the topic, and various NPR softwares and plugins available to buy today.

Good luck,

Artsyboy
 
  06 June 2014
Originally Posted by scottcjohnson: I think what people are missing is why 2D is and will remain absolutely beloved, especially by younger audiences. The core reason, in my opinion, is because it is 100% unreal, completely imaginary and thus completely creative.

Anything less than 100% unreal will inevitably trigger your brain (whether consciously or unconsciously) to compare elements to real life. And who wants that? (namely in terms of toon animation). OP is my solution towards this, any "big idea" would be implementation and the results it yields.

When you play Flappy Birds, users were totally lost (and addicted) into the frustration. They were lost and addicted to Angry Birds prior to that. And this is the new generation, 2D isn't going anywhere. I argue neither game would be nearly as addictive nor enjoyable in current 3D technology.

Until you completely fool the mind that it has entered a new world, you will never truly compete with 2D in its area of strength. Thus 2D Mario will always be more beloved than 3D mario, 2D Mickey will be more beloved than 3D Mickey, and on down the list.

2D Pokemon >>>> 3D Pokemon, etc. (currently)

I believe this change will happen, and Paperman is merely the first step.


I think this might have something to do with Colorado edibles or something similar.
I could very well be mistaken but I just have to wonder.
 
  06 June 2014
You're on LSD aren't ya

Joke aside, just as there's nothing that stops you from smashing and breaking a guitar on a concert, there's nothing that stops you from breaking all kind of rules in cg. You only have to master the fundamentals and work hard to get that crazy. (aka Van Gogh, Dali, picasso syndrome...)
__________________
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex & more violent..." Einstein
 
  06 June 2014
Originally Posted by scottcjohnson: I think what people are missing is why 2D is and will remain absolutely beloved, especially by younger audiences. The core reason, in my opinion, is because it is 100% unreal, completely imaginary and thus completely creative.

Anything less than 100% unreal will inevitably trigger your brain (whether consciously or unconsciously) to compare elements to real life. And who wants that? (namely in terms of toon animation). OP is my solution towards this, any "big idea" would be implementation and the results it yields.

When you play Flappy Birds, users were totally lost (and addicted) into the frustration. They were lost and addicted to Angry Birds prior to that. And this is the new generation, 2D isn't going anywhere. I argue neither game would be nearly as addictive nor enjoyable in current 3D technology.

Until you completely fool the mind that it has entered a new world, you will never truly compete with 2D in its area of strength. Thus 2D Mario will always be more beloved than 3D mario, 2D Mickey will be more beloved than 3D Mickey, and on down the list.

2D Pokemon >>>> 3D Pokemon, etc. (currently)

I believe this change will happen, and Paperman is merely the first step.


But you're completely ignoring the fact that toon shading renderers already exist.

Just like you completely ignored all the people in your last thread who were trying to explain that you didn't really know what you were talking about.
__________________
leighvanderbyl.com
 
  06 June 2014
One of the things that has always seemed to me as a hindrance to creating a "Toon Reality" in 3D is the constant eyeing of 2d toon endeavors. You cannot compare them, you probably shouldn't compare them and 2d toon should probably not be the main focus of the creation of "Toon Reality" in 3D. You don't want "Toon Reality" in 3D to be an extension of 2D, you want to create something new non-photorealistic with these 3D tools at hand.
Having written this, I doubt if that makes much sense (but no, I'm not on lsd either).
__________________
unofficial Softimage community
 
  06 June 2014
Originally Posted by artsyboy: Sketch and Toon for Cinema4D does pretty much what you are asking:

For 3DMax there is Cebas FinalToon:

http://www.cebasstation.com/?pid=productinfo&prd_id=136

I'm sure there is a similar solution for Maya as well.

What you are talking about is called "Non Photoreal Rendering" or "NPR".

It isn't exactly a new concept either. NPR has been around for a few years.

There are many academic papers on the topic, and various NPR softwares and plugins available to buy today.

Good luck,

Artsyboy


You miss the point when you limit it to the rendering stage. Here's the test, ok? Look at every "toon" solution out there, and tell me if you can tell whether it was done in 3D?

The examples you posted are obvious.

If you limit it to the render stage, it's really just a cheaper job of hiring an actual artist to paint over 3D or actual film (but the artist can be more creative).

Let's take the donut example in the Cebas FinalToon link you posted, ok? If you strictly do that in traditional 2D (toon) the donut will not rotate and fall accurately. It will rotate and fall according to the artist's interpretation.

But the 3D version you showed rotates and falls according to dynamics (most likely) or even if keyframed they are way too computerized and not "hand drawn natural" movement.

You can't just focus on the render nor the textures, everything matters. From the geometry, to the animation (ie: is linear animation perfectly linear?)

OP does not just mention render. So, for example with lighting, it's not just the rendering of the light, it's the fall off, it's the accuracy of light shining on each surface, it's the accuracy of the shadows. As long as that mirrors real life, any toonness is compromised and you're reminded of real life.
 
  06 June 2014
I know it's old, but if you watch "A Waking Life" no one is fooled into thinking it's strictly animation even if they only saw a slice that was strictly animated. Everyone knows "actual film was painted over" the action mirrors real life too well, despite the creativity and rendering.

No confusion there between that and an Anime or something, even if A Waking Life had zero film footage shown and was strictly animated. The same is true for "toon render" (or focusing only on the render) and the OP, which analyzes the entire process at every stage.
 
  06 June 2014
Re-assembling the rules. Toon Texturing. But its not new either.
Like this.
 
  06 June 2014
Originally Posted by leigh: But you're completely ignoring the fact that toon shading renderers already exist.

Just like you completely ignored all the people in your last thread who were trying to explain that you didn't really know what you were talking about.


Wonders if this will count, I'm sure this is CG but not sure if all of it was so I could be wrong, oh and prepare for your minds to be polluted...........

 
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