Lightwave 9 toon shading question


This question is not posted to start a Lightwave sucks thread !
Anyhow, I have used super cel shader, and unreal, with generally wonderful results, but still lacking in some areas! I just upgraded to LW 9, and I’m just wondering if any of the beta testers have discovered any better toon shading improvements in LW 9 and possibly any improvements to the edgetracing???

Currently in LW8.5 you can sort of create some decent sketch effects with hand painted photoshop textures in my expereiments, so with the new surface editor in LW9, I wonder if any tricks can be pulled there for sketching/toon effects?
Thanks folks


Bump this thread, I want to know if there are any changes and improvements in this area. I have posted multiple threads on this issue before and would love to see some development and improvement in the area of Non-Photographic Renders, Cel Shading, etc. Seems like some of the “brighter folk” with the nodal tools should be able to contribute to this also???
This also includes the “plug-in” gurus out there… UnReal, others??? Version 9 is here!!


In terms of the existing cell shading tools I haven’t seen any change n V9. I only use BESM and outline rendering though.

I’m sure someone who really understands the utility and math functions in the nodal shading system could probably come up with anything they wanted.


I believe they added a sketch image filter from tlu. I think they have a video of it on their website.

I’m currently working on my 2nd npr short, and I’m really becoming a believer that hand painting the textures is the way to go. It adds a certain humanity that a computer-generated effect lacks. Of course, it also adds a lot of time to the process.

In terms of edge-tracing, take a look at the latest version of Unreal, if you don’t already have it. This plugin keeps getting better and better.


Plotz: I’m sure the node shading system has opened the door for some incredible results even though Newtek hasn’t seen fit to exploit this possibility.

ColinCohen: I’ve used the unreal plugin, but like you, I work with hand painted textures, this approach is certainly good for props and buildings, but for me its a bit “hit and miss” with human models unless you design your models to be cartoony, I’m still trying to get something in between.


Just a question to answer your question:: Have you looked into G2 at all ??


The “Sketch” filter for the version 9 doesn’t seem that impressive to me. Hopefully they’ve been working on other NPR solutions (and not a tweeked version of SCS, either).

ColinCohen:The current versions of unReal Xtreme2 are getting better, but the new versions of ToonTracer currently have bad problem with increaing/decreasing the Pen size (the lines will blur really bad if you use any setting that isn’t 1 pixel), which is why I still use the “test6” beta that was released in 2005 for my outlines instead. :shrug:


You should take a look at these threads in Newtek Forums:


I have to say I’m not very impressed with Sketch filter either but I’m quite sure that Nodal will open the doors for some truly excellent Cel shading and hopefully other types of NPR too. I’m crossing my fingers that something akin to Maxons Sketch’n’Toon module might appear in LW or as a plugin. As yet though there’s no Toon node or anything that straightforward.


I’ve seen some nodal toon images in the newtek forum. But I haven’t seen anything that couldn’t have been done now with gradients.

I’m using beta 6 of Unreal 2. Yeah, it can be hit and miss sometimes. On some objects, it works beautifully, on others it can be a mess. But it has some great features, like depth-based ink lines.


I’ve sen what G2 can produce, but I’ve achieved similar results with the surface editor and hand painted textures, I think the G2 sketch samples looks a little too lifeless for me, and I can only imagine how bad it might look once animated, and for me that’s the trick.
Its easy getting a still image to look more 2D, but once you animate moving objects, especially the human form, textures can move all over the place, and shadows tend to look unnatural and painfully CG-looking. Don’t get me wrong, I understand completely that I’m working in CG and not pen and paper, but I’ve seen some brilliant toon/cel shaded work, with all its own feel, produced with xsi and other packages ( and I don’t mean Appleseed, this film is good, but the metallic look is getting tired and dated.)
Up to this point I’ve done plenty of cel shaded scene tests with getting that right effect and look, some of my testing could add up to a short film, but I’m hoping that with LW9 I can finally get a look thats more organic in feel,where the technical aspect doesn’t distract from the story.
I suppose one way or another I’ll do another film no matter what Lw9 presents.


I’ve just tried beta 12 of Unreal, and I think this is its best version yet in terms of ink line quality and consistency. It does have a problem with pen size (among other problems), but you can increase the size playing with “Rotation” option and the “Bold Line” option.

Now, everything is in the pixel filter and many options are envelopable. Also, I’ve banging hard on it all morning without any crashes.

Does anyone know what Paint Mode is used for? All I get is an all-black model. And what the column labeled with an “E” in layer’s list is for?


Recently, I’ve gone back to the new beta version as well and it is a much improvement over the betas previously released this year. (Thank God)

The “Pen Size” is still a big problem (where the pen blurs if you increase or decrease the size beyond 1 pixel), but it’s a lot better than previous versions (although the other settings are still a pain).
You can diminish the problem somewhat if you keep the Pen Size of all layers consistant and if you use “Classic” Antialiasing instead of PLD Antialiasing.

Another thing a really dislike about the current version is that exporting the lines out as a separate TGA file is less refined than the “test 6” beta.
(can’t export layers out individually = total pain in the @ss :sad: )

EDIT: Oh, and Paint Mode (as far as I can tell) just “fills” all Surfaces that are in the layer as a single solid color; it’s a cool feature and can be used for some interesting effects (similar to the iPod advertisements). The reason why your model was black is because that’s the Pen’s default color (you can change it any color you want).

“E” opens up the Graphic Editor, which I have never used in ToonTracer.


No, not the “E” button. In the Layers list, there’s three columns: two with paintbrushs and one labeled “Group.” The only difference between the two brush columns is one has a “E” above the paintbrush.

And if you set Rotation to “1.0”, you’ll see your lines get thicker.


Oh, that “E”. Not too sure on that one, but when it’s clicked on, it behaves similarly to if you turn the layer’s “Eye” of the Layer List off (the line will not render).

As for Rotation, I disagree: the line doesn’t get thicker, it only appears to get thicker because the lines are becoming very blurred. The Rotation setting is based off a setting from the previous version of ToonTracer called Angle; what it did was rotate the Pen clock-wise, which was supose to thin or thicken the Pen based on the angle that it was rotated at.

Unfortunately, the Pen settings (aside from Size which is better than it was, but still has issues) seem to really blur the lines if they are changed beyond their original ‘default’ settings. :shrug:


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