Unreal shader/tracer


Hey, i’m working on a project that i think i’d like to do all in cell shading. The super cel shader that comes with lightwave works, but i’m turning into a fan of the unreal cel shader and edge tracer more and more.

I have noticed that it likes to crash a lot, especially when coding to quicktime format (at least for me). So i’ve included a video i rendered in avi format…


I’d like to see some of the work you guys have done with these plugins or another cel/sketch shader to get a better perspective on how to use them before moving on to my next scenes. (especially since the unreal website is in japaneese).

I used hypervoxels, saslite, volumetric lighting, tree designer, leaves generator, and skytracer for this scene. Each frame took an average of 7 mins to render on mild Anti-aliasing.



I use unreal and I’d say it is a lot better than SCS in my humble opinion. It gives you more control over reflection and other surface attributes unlike the SCS.

Here’s what I did with unreal: http://www.mayhemproductions.org/

BTW. I couldn’t see the video, is the link functional?


I’m curious how you did that spikey corona effect on the torch! :thumbsup:


I don’t know, it’s been working on and off… sorry.

Damn university web server :banghead:

just try it again later or something…

/edit open

Btw, good trailer, i like what you’ve done with celshading…

/edit close


I placed a point light inside the head of the lamps, and set the lens flare options for higher intensity streaks than normal.


Ok. I’ll try it again.


One thing you should know about the unreal edge tracer is that it does not ( amongst other things ) support Motion Blur. So if you plan to use it for an animation project, i would strongly suggest you use LW edges instead. They work fine.


my stuff can be seen here.

grafikdon: was all the work on your side done in unreal? a lot of it looked hand drawn…or am i just an idiot?


Unreal edgetracer and celshader. i did use a soft filter and mild Anti-aliasing.

that’s all…


hey, how did you get that transparency effect to work so good, i’m still struggling with mine?? :shrug:


i just used particle blur and soft filter…

worked good enough, but it’s good to know, for future refrence…


OOh, my transparency.

Well (not to thread hijack) I used a lot of edge transparency, edge luminosity (through gradiant maps and incident angle) and white LW edges.

For those interested in what the hell i’m talking about,

(not sure if that will work with Deviantart image linking)


Great image david! I use a similar technique for transparency as well.


oh god, oh lord, oh wow…

shade01 complimented my work

i can die happy

Glad you like it man. workin on some new stuff to come out early next week.


David, the frame is realy beautiful. I liked it. Send other outputs of yours please.

I use unreal plugin which has the best cel shader solution for me. It gives good results near manga style,
in still images.
Unfortunately in an animation, you can realise that it is “3d”. But in the still images, you can not realise it is made with 3d technique. The main reasons are 1-Frame rate (In japan anime, frame rate is too low) 2-The shadows (In cel shader, the shadows of your character are always moving with your character. This gives a “3d” effect, not a classic 2d effect. So you have to work with 1 or 2 zones.)
I am still in a searching and thinking: How can i make my cel shade animation similar to classic anime animation? What is the true path? Maybe pose to pose technique can work. I dont know.
Maddness, i haven’t got experiences about hypervoxels and other nature setup much. I have some little tests only. But if you work with human characters, unreal is best for now. And if the plugin called “Linefx” comes (i think one day it will, i believe), it is going to be better :thumbsup:


AAA!!! Oh, God, that transparent glowing armor looks LOVELY! GORGEOUS! That just looks beautiful. :bounce:

Indulge me here, 'cause I think some minor tweaks could “up” the level of the rest of that render. There are broken ink lines here and there that I think could use a little retouching. The three cords of her belt buckle lose their ink lines where they intersect with geometry on the left-hand-side of the render. Get an ink line back onto it by either tweaking the geometry or texture-mapping a clean ink line onto the ends of the cords. The lower line that defines the belt disappears where it intersects with her hip…see if you can keep that line solid. Her left hand on the right side of the picture looks stiff – use bones or a quick-and-dirty morph target to relax that thumb and maybe the rest of those fingers.

The whites of the left eye are poking through on the right-hand side of that render…see if you can bring the eyelid/brow area forwards to cover it, for a more cleanly “painted” eye.

The top of the neckline of the grey armor is missing an ink line to separate it from the flesh tone of the neck. Either tweak the geometry or paint an inkline on with a texture map or black-surfaced geometry.

If the sword is made of bright reflective metal, find a way to increase the area or intensity of the light highlight bouncing off the sword, or even use a light purple highlight to depict a stylized reflection of the glowing purple armor. Maybe even a diffuse glow, like the glow they threw on the brightest parts of the swords in Escaflowne.

A white highlight in her eyes could help her look more alive, too – you can paint those on with texture maps.

Use a lighter or more saturated “shadow” color for the skin. Also, sharpen the transitions between light and dark zones. Soft transitions are tough to pull off in celshading, because they’re not a true 2D effect, and they risk looking “smudged.”

I think adding the missing ink lines can make the render look even more like a hand-drawn cel and less like a celshaded 3D model. If you have a different look in mind, though, you’re totally welcome to take my advice and pitch it out the window. That armor looks flat-out GORGEOUS, and if you can make the rest of the “drawing” as eye-catching as that, you’ll have a real showpiece.

I once read a story about an old Disney animator who pinned a note to his desk, asking the question: “Why would anybody want to look at that?” Now I know the full meaning of that critical question, thanks to this image. I want to look at that armor, because it’s beautiful. :love:

Thank you, david255, for sharing this. :thumbsup:


I’ve pondered that question, too. I say study the best of the best hand-drawn animated films and learn how to recreate those effects…but find your own style in the end.

Me, I’m all for 24Fps celshaded goodness. That means I need to study mostly Western animation for character animation techniques, because performance-based Japanese animation is hard to find. Akira had not only genuine lip-synch, it also had characters with unique ways of moving. If you reduced the characters to silhouettes, you wouldn’t mistake Kaneda’s swagger for the authority of the General or the psychotic anger of Tetsuo. Still, I haven’t seen anime performances that come close to what you’ll find in Pixar, Disney or Bluth. I’ve seen incredibly expressive and strong individual drawings in the best anime, but those drawings in motion often seem stiff compared to classic Disney. I blame budget limitations in anime more than anything else.

Where Japanese animation shines is its great variety, and I think it’s worth studying for artistic inspiration. What makes an anime drawing strong is the same sort of stuff that makes the best Disney drawings strong, though, so if you learn one, you should be able to create the other.



Well, the pose-to-pose technique has, for the most part, been working for me quite well. However, it’s still not a completely perfect system though; a lot of times, I find myself having to tweak the final images in post effects. Also, certain elements just look better if they’re drawn as opposed to being modelled and rendered (like speaking mouths, for example).

The main idea for celshaded “anime” to work, at least in my opinion, is to actually study actual anime (not just anime, but any 2D cel animation); pretty much what Celshader talked about in her post.

david225: Sweet God, man, that’s an excellent image! Love the effects on the armor. :thumbsup:


That’s it, well, damn…

/me needs to tweak more…


for anime effect there is no need of any cell plugin
and here is the proof : )


surface saettings
luminosiy 80%
diffuse 20 %
in advance tab -> diffuse sharpnes 150 %

& edges 0.5 px


JaQues^T that is a very good effect… looks really good…