Sketch & Toon - Lightwave


[color=SandyBrown]ThirdEye: Thanks for clearing that up…it always comes back to $$[/color]


[color=SandyBrown]Celshader - agreed, thats why I said “Time & Money:slight_smile:

I thought about the companion offer as well but just for celshading alone I know I havent truly scratched the surface based on what you have been able to do with it, so that’s the “Time” part.

Secondly, I need “Money” as well to be able to explore and experiement with other options regarding “S & T” that I personally feel LW would either make difficult or an less than desireable experience.

Hopefully when I actually do get the $$ Newtek might have already suggested cough, cough that they would at least explore the possibility of expanding on its own “S & T” features.

Here to hoping :beer: LOL[/color]


I realize that that’s what maxon’s trying to do, and as I said I think S&T is probably the best NPR tool available, but I’m still incensed – furious – that so many NPR artists turn their backs on the study of traditional media. The best NPR renders out there either come from 3D artists who know how to draw, or 3D artists supervised by traditional animators.

I have not yet seen proof to the contrary.


It is a bit expensive yes. But it all depends on your requirements for your final image and workflow.

I know many LW users who shelled out $1000 bucks for motion builder to fix a particular need. In my mind this is no different. I had a need, LW couldn’t cut it. And I want to clarify. LW couldn’t cut it for the style of image I wanted to create. I don’t want to argue the quality of other works coming out of LW. Yes alot of the images are outstanding no argument from me at all. In fact, I have learned alot from cel shader, shade01, Larry and others. Their dedication to teaching and to cel art in LW is outstanding. BUT LW isn’t capable of producing a style I am working towards personally.

And something else I want to put out here is the workflow. I spent alot of time in LW trying to learn cel shading to create a style of image I had in my head. To be honest I got frustrated. Why? The tools for me as a newbie at the time didn’t favour experimentation. In Sketch and Toon you can see the results of inklines in real time in the open gl window. And there are a ton of presets you can study from to. To a beginner these small things were and still are gold to me.

So in the end I invested some money in c4d and sketch and I am glad I did. I ended up selling my bass guitar and amp along with some reference/learning material to do it. That money could have/should have been better spent on paying some bills, but damn it I want to create some art so I just did it.

I am not saying everyone should sell their personal stuff and go buy sketch and toon :slight_smile: I will leave that to each of you. I am saying that it is a choice. And that if LW is to expand its NPR horizons, it will need to do some catching up to the competition.



That’s more than fair. Come to think of it, I’ve spent a lot more than $1349 on drawing classes, how-to-draw books and DVDs since 2000. Maybe I shouldn’t be so cheap on software.


Until recently there’s been no development into the toon shaders for LW. I believe Unreal finally issued a new version?

Celshader saying that the software is 5% is ridiculous. If it’s that low you don’t need a toon renderer. Seriously. I could easily do a few passes and load the passes into Photoshop with some filters and end up with a toon ‘render’.

I won’t comment much on styles and such because as far as I’m concerned I’ve seen very little that is that ‘unique’. I see different applications of mixing shading and edge styles but from my standpoint its the final composition that really makes the piece.

From my experience if you want the utmost control on edges, shading then S&T is it.

From an early test on a product shot (sorry the AA was off a little):
This image highlights the custom hatch shading where I actually applied my own hand drawn hatch (did a quick number in Alias Sketchbook)

Second tests I did was comparing edges and raytrace renders:

And an unfinished WIP:
Here I wanted to see the shadows and color reflection blending and dealing with heavily triangulated objects.


duderender - Damn you :twisted: Its bad enough that I dont have it as it is. But those renders just makes one salivate at the possibilities with S & T.

There were two images from the S & T gallery that stood out for me. I’d love to be able to get these looks and others with “ease” in Lightwave.



What I know I wouldnt like already though is the modeling workflow of C4D…Im just very accustomed to the Lightwave way of modeling things…but oh well I learned how to model in Max and Maya so whats another app :shrug:


Bingo. You nailed it with the Photoshop reference – that’s one way to “celshade.”

Shade01 does not use any celshaders for his NPR work. In 1999 I worked on a project where most of the celshaded work had 0% Diffuse, 100% Luminous surfaces – no celshaders used at all (though we did use Edges).

I speak from about seven years’ worth of experience, here. I spend most of my time modeling and about 5% of my time surfacing my celshaded characters. The key to controlling the look of the render, for me, is in the LightWave modeler, not the celshader.

I could not easily do my work without the LightWave celshader, but I’d be a fool to say that the celshader alone is responsible for the look of my work.


You can do the above in LightWave – if not with the HalfTone shader, than with front-projected halftones selectively blocked by the BESM shader. Perhaps the unReal shader can selectively block textures as well, based on lighting.

It’s not as easy as S&T must make it – but it’s $1349 cheaper than S&T.


goes without saying that a tool will NOT get the work done with added extra-taste to it in your place.
I hope nobody will disagree about the fact that the quality and appeal of the final result are down to the individual, the only thing I disagreed with is the “tools won’t make a difference” tinge to some statments.

while for some things, like for modeling a base cage alone, we’re at that blessed stage in the industry’s evolution where pretty much anything will get the job done, and you’ll be solely responsible for the result, for some other things tools still determine how wide (not how far) you can push it.

a simple example is crosshatching, try to do that without a shader that will read and extend the ink geometry (ink is infact pseudo-geometry in most shaders) properly.

I agree with you though on the fact that people should push their artistic background at least as much as they populate their toolbox.


Now that was funny LOL…because at the end of the day right now thats my only option.

(Changes name from [color=SandyBrown]KidMesh to HACKMesh) :slight_smile:


Or you could always go back to this style ( very cool alert )

which by the way is an awesome animation.


Alright, I hate replying in these forums cuz of the ‘loopholes’ everyone seems to find to benefit the argument.

I thought we were speaking of cel shaders specifically and I was directing my reply to that. I wanted to highlight the fact that S&T is less sensitive to geometry. The fact that you’re spending 5% in shaders and 95% in modeling is IMHO a wrong balance. Of course geometry is required and I would more expect to see like a 60/40 between geometry and shading.

I think is more to the workflow that Bigback brought up. Again, I think your specific 5% of balance is purley to your technique and others shouldn’t be influenced by that. Think of it this way, if you take 100 hours for a piece of which 5 hours was spent only in the “shading” aspect, what if I was to show you that that same piece could be done not only in less hours but of those hours more time was afforded in the actual shading process? I suppose that is what I’m eluding to with S&T. And also consider the breadth of customizability. From what I hear in other Lightwave artists seems to echo that LW is quirky as hell in its geometry to get a decent shaded look.


God, I wished I had been here to get into this thread sooner. :rolleyes: (guess that’s what happens when you’re out looking for work instead: you miss everything going on online)

Anyways, heard someone mentioned the new update to Unreal Xtreme 2 (which is currently in beta 4 version) and thought I’d share my thoughts on the new version’s Toontracer plugin, since I’ve been testing it for the last week now.
Even though the plugin is slightly unstable (since it is beta), the new Toontracer is a hell of a lot better than the previous version in it’s line options and, more importantly, in it’s line antialiasing. The later was a huge pain in previous versions (not at all as good as LW Edges) and made it damn-near worthless to use; thanks to the new TTBooster plugin, however, this problem has been solved and now gives great results. :slight_smile:
(note: I haven’t been testing the celshader part of the Unreal plugin as of yet - I’ve kinda gotten distrustful of the celshading plugins over the past couple months and instead rely on tweaking the Defuse and Luminous channels to create my celshading)

As for Sketch and Toon… I admit it’s impressive, but I don’t believe it’s the “can-all, be-all” of celshading/NPR shading. From my NPR experience (which isn’t nearly as extensive as Celshader’s, but hey, I’m learning :smiley: ), good celshading really comes down to three things (in my order of importance):

  1. Knowledge/refence of the traditional 2D medium/animation.
  2. Knowledge and experience in modeling 3D objects/figures/models/etc.
  3. Knowledge of shading in 3D models.


I recently began a project which demanded NPR…it’s a series of Japanese words and phrases which need to be written in a brush stroke manner over the course of several seconds.

Needless to say, S&T did wonders on the job and the client was extremely happy with the results. The fact I was able to build everything in Illustrator and import the strokable splines in C4D (which are animatable at any point in time) made things easy to achieve, and allowed me to experiment until I landed on the right look I was going for. Now in the end, what matters in all things 3D and design is time, money spent and results.

S&T and C4D has paid for itself numerous times over in the past 6 months, and has allowed me to exploit certain features I only dreamt about before.

I know we can achieve results given time and there are great examples out there.

I guess we all just have to find the right formula which fits our workflow and needs. I love work-arounds as much as the next artist…but sometimes results speak for themselves.


note: some of you in Austin, may have seen the ZEN commercials I recently did using the same technique.


[color=SandyBrown]ArtisticVisions - its funny you mentioned the “Unreal beta”…I just finished chatting with Shade01 and BigBackComics earlier this evening about that plugin. I will agree that it isnt the “end all be all” but damn those ink tools are awesome minus the desktop crashes lol.

Here is a quick sample using the unreal celshader and ink tools via the boost plugin. Now I really want to dig deeper and pimp this thing but it crashes so much right now im scared to keep tweaking stuff :argh:[/color]

[color=SandyBrown] Policarpo - Awesome stuff man! that is really cool :thumbsup:[/color]


Just some quick and dirty samples…based on your phone cord mate.

What LW needs is the ability of going where you want to with NPR…

I wish the developer of Unreal would just start charging for the tool so he could implement all the wonderful things you need from it…

I know there was a thread on the NT site which broke down a hack for achieving an NPR effect, but in all honesty, it seemed like a lot of work to get good results…and didn’t really seem fitting to deadlines and such…but it might be worth looking at nonetheless…the artist always overcomes their tools I say. :slight_smile:


My guess is he would have done that already if the SDK were open enough.


If you are comfortable with modeling in LW then why change this? Just use CINEMA / S&T as a standalone renderer. As for price, just ask if they can make you an offer for both.


Yep, I did that with Dynamics and S&T and Maxon was more than happy to offer a discounted purchase price. Maxon is flexible with prices.


For you illustrator types (with S&T):

Here’s a quick illustration with hatching and a “line”. No need for ridiculous 2pt poly chains. Just a spline with a centerline style applied. The lines vary with thickness based on screen.