Characters for my film (advice needed)



These are some characters from a film I’m working on. I’m going for sort of a Disney/animated-look, but done in 3D. The hard part is doing stuff like thie wolf character’s fur. When rendered, he seems to have kind of a clay or plastic like appearance. Is there any way to make him less…shiny??? My problem is that I’m trying not to use textures unless I absolutely have to. One reason is to keep the traditional look of 2D animated films. The other reason is to save on time. One of the areas I’m NOT good at is texturing, so I’m trying to surface these characters JUST with base color attributes. Bad idea? What would some other possible solutions be? I just want these characters to look cool, so any advice is greatly appreciated!



Here’s the second character…


Depending on what exactly you want it to look like, you can try gradients in the color and diffuse channel to soften him up.
Have you taken a look at the unReal shader? You can get a nice 2d/3d look with that.
This is a bear I made for a project that had an illustrative look to it, I used the unReal shader and a few basic color maps.

But since you say you aren’t good at texturing, isn’t that a good excuse to try?


I am sorry, I can’t help you with your texturing problem, as I am still very new to Lightwave.

But, I do want to say that I like your characters, especially the wolf. I think that you have done very well with getting the Disney kind of style.

I am looking forward to seeing the short.



You’ve nailed the style with your first (human) character.

Keep us up to date with how you progress the look of these with texturing/colouring… I’m about to start work on a short in the Warner Bros. animation style, and I’m probably going to run into the same issues.

I was looking at using the Unreal cel shader too, but this thread has also caught me eye. Might be worth it for the extra speed.

How were you intending to do the backgrounds/environments?


Are you saying you want to make it look cel shaded or go for a look where the characters still have some kind of 3D appearance?


The first character looks great! Got any more shots of him?


Thanks for the responses…


Attached is another shot of the first character (non-rendered).


I think I want to go with a 3D NON cel-shaded look. I’ve looked into cel shading for this film and I’m not too excited about the results I get. I think I’d be aiming more for a Disney/animated look, but done in 3D without cel shading. However, if I could find a quick way to do it that also gave me good results, cel-shading MAY be a possible option.


Right now I’m thinking of doing most of the backgrounds as digital paintings of some sort. Probably done in Photoshop or Painter and then mapped onto 3D cards to create depth to the scenes (multiplane effect). For scenes where the camera moves, the BG would be 3D with 2D Illustrated textures applied.


Thanks for the comments.


I’ll try that gradient thing and see what happens. I didn’t know you could do that. Thanks.



O yeah, that is definitley bang on Disney.



I’m basically OK with how the human looks. It’s the wolf that’s really giving me the trouble. As it stands now, does he pass as having fur? Or do I need to do something else to him? I’m adding a bunch of pointy things (like they do in 2D animation) that hopefully will show that he’s furry. Would something like this help?



He looks like a wolf to me and his fur looks like stylized fur. The final result depends greatly on what your vision is.


Well…Stylized fur is what I’m going for, so that works. Thanks for the replies. I guess I just needed to make sure that they really were looking the way I wanted them to. Sometimes, you can fool yourself…y’know?

Thanks again,



First, I gotta say I love the eyes on that human – they look expressive! :slight_smile:

Second, here’s a treasure trove of information on animation techniques:

When it comes time to pose your character in the “Disney” style, you’ll be glad you read these notes:

Walt Stanchfield worked and taught at Disney for decades, and his notes are a gold mine of information. :love:


Vertex painting is also a way to go…mayb,tutorials on newteks site…


Dude I love the bear. How did you get the light brown part. Model or texture map …
Lastly did u add the shader on top of the texture (if u use a texture).


I look forward to seeing the progress on this project. A lot of people tend to focus on creating fancy textures on models and forgetting about the overall character. At this early stage I can see the personality of the human character. Fantastic! :thumbsup: I think the idea of trying out different shaders is the way to go by the sounds of it. Have you tried the Orennayar shader plug in? It may not be the exact type of shading you’ve been looking for, but you can achieve some nice effects with it.

Remember, the simple things in life…


Please keep us updated with your progress on these guys! I really want to see them come to life :thumbsup:


Man, I love the 1st shot of the human. Really nice.


It’s a texture map with the unReal shader set to use texture, I believe. It’s been awhile :slight_smile:


Thanks everyone for the replies. I’ll definitely keep you all updated. I’m about done with the wolf character and then I can start animating the first scene. I plan to make the film episodic so hopefully it won’t be too much longer until the first installment is online. This is a story I’ve had in my head for six years now and I’ve been looking for a way to do it as a film for just as long. Finally I’m able to do it. It’s pretty exciting.

I’ll look into vertex painting and the Orennayar shader plug in. Thanks! Oh, and thanks for the comments and links Celshader!