Toon shading

I thought i would have a look at toon shading in Maya. My animation has 2D and 3D scenes but it is all set in the same world – just different parts of it. The worlds are separate and the characters don’t actually meet one another or cross-over from one world to the other, so they remain separated parts of (supposedly) the same world. They are connected by the characters – who look the same/similar, but the worlds look very different and the animation itself will look very different. The 2D and 3D may be too different though – and perhaps using a toon-shader will make the divide less jarring for the audience. This would make the whole animation have a 2D look. The 3D toon shaded parts would still move very differently, more realistically, while the 2D is more cartoony. They would still look a bit differently as well, but would ideally gel better. For the brainwashing sequence i could still use normal 3D stuff and toon-shaded stuff, stop-motion and live-action and create this crazy glitchy mess of different mediums.

To add the toon-shader i selected the faces of the mesh that i wanted to colour and then went to rendering then from the top toon-assign fill shader-light angle two tone. Then i used the hypershader to just adjust things easily there. (3) (4)

In the above gifs i have rendered with one light in the scene, so i added another light pointing at Pinkguy from another angle (with identical intensity) and it looks like this: (5)

I also added a line around Pinkguy in Maya to see how it looked (and put Pinkguy against a white background so i could see the line better and because he would be in a white environment anyway), and because i wasn’t a fan of the double light/double shadow thing that was going on with this one I went back to one light but upped the intensity.

To add the line i went to rendering then from the top toon-assign outline-add new toon outline. (6).gif

I think the shadow is too intense compared to the light areas, so i rendered out a version with less of a difference between them: (7).gif

I think this last one looks brilliant! The shadow is not too intense, and the line is not too thick or thin. I may still play around with the shadow and line later and try some different stuff out, but for now i think this is pretty much the look i would want to go for to match my 2D style. (8).gif

For a first exploration into toon-shading I think it was a pretty good day!

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