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File: blaz13.jpg (840 KB, 1024x614)
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Is there a clever way to "flatten" a 3d render? I've had some success using completely solid lighting domes and some fancy postwork filters, but I was wondering if there was a way to render it differently to aid the process? I appreciate it's odd asking for way to make a 3D render "less 3D" but any help with this would be appreciated.

For example: BlazBlue appears to be using 3D models for the characters and animations, yet they look pretty much entirely 2D. How did they do this?
Look into NPR. Most engines have some sort of toon shader. Please post such questions in our questions threads next time. Thanks.
but those are actually 2d sprites tho? the only 3d there is the background
>BlazBlue appears to be using 3D models
BlazBlue is actually sprites drawn over 3d models. The games you wan to look into are Guilty Gear Xrd and Dragon Ball fighter Z
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>BlazBlue is actually sprites drawn over 3d models
Ah. So it's postwork? Well, okay, I can do that anyway.
>Guilty Gear Xrd
And by the looks of that it's clever shaders for each pose of animation?
>toon shader
and they all suck in my experience, not flat at all in the sense that I mean. "Subtle removal of the z-axis somehow" is more what I'm aiming at.
Guilty Gear Xrd's method of modelling has been very well documented, Arc Sys had a talk on how they do it:

Aha! thank you.
The autism and awkwardness in the Q&A part at the end is unwatchable. Why are there always only colossal dweebs in the audience?
Yes, it's called 'orthographic projection'.
It's called being a weeb - a terminal condition
Blazblue sprites are 2D through and through.
You're thinking of Guilty Gear. Look at the recent Guilty Gear games.
In every con the stupid autists are the only ones who are socially dense enough to go onstage and make a spectacle of themselves.

More socially adjusted people either can't rightly think of decent questions or simply aren't that into it.
>"Subtle removal of the z-axis somehow" is more what I'm aiming at.
Believe it or not, years and years ago Poser users did exactly that with high contrast lighting to simulate cel shading.
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Pic related is a 3d model rendered in blender with cycles. The issue with using blender's cycles engine is that it's default settings are intended for photo realistic rendering. In order to flatten the image you'll have to change a lot of settings. I'll try to remember everything I did...
>set the all light sources sizes to 0.
Multiple lights can by used, but anything with a size more than this will create smooth shading and blurred shadows.
>use toon shader.
Anything else will diffuse shading. The only exception to this is the transmission and translucence shaders, but they introduce noise so you'll have to render more samples for the same results. Zeroed emissions shaders can be used for "true black" shading, but don't light anything with them.
>set light path bounces down to 0 for every type of bounce.
That said, if you wish to use translucence/transparency you'll have to set transparency bounces to at least 2 (higher values for these two settings do not affect shading, but introduce the need for more samples). I turned off caustics as well, but I doubt they would ruin the 2d effect.
>Every object, and I repeat, every object needs to be visible to ONLY the camera rays.
These "cycles settings" are found at the bottom of the "object" tab for each object. It is probably best to do this this the World object as well; however, you'll need to allow diffuse rays to see the World object in order for the ambient lighting to work.
>Set ambient lighting to high strength and light objects to low strength.
This one is important. Without ambient light your models shadows will be completely black. No light bounces means only surfaces facing light sources will receive light. exact ratios will depend on your aesthetic, but you need to use ambient lighting.

Pic related uses an orthographic camera; however, I've found that a very small FOV, distant perspective camera ends up looking better. I was trying for an old disney princess cartoon aesthetic. Its a work in progress.
That skirt seems a tad short to my eyes.
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Turns out it works pretty well...
Pic related is freestyle render of a 17k quad model with x2 subdivisions. The images stated render time is only for the freestyle portion of the image (free style overwriting metadata of renders is a known bug apparently). 2min for just the freestyle.
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Pic related is the same model, but with an alternate low poly layer for the freestyle rendering (ie freestyle uses the base 17k). With a lines modified to curves. It cut the freestyle render time down to 20seconds... Just shoes how shitty freestyle is at computation (my computer isn't the best as well).
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Pic related is the same 17k base model used to render the freestyle lines, but without the curving (notice the chunky tit).

You should see it from behind ;^)
Thank you, I'll give that a go too.
>a very small FOV, distant perspective camera
and that is very helpful indeed for the other methods I was experimenting with.

It does appear that the copying the arcsoft method is the way forward for scaling the effect.

Thanks /3/ that's amazing.
Np, but I also need to make a minor adjustment to the process of >>634930

Don't change the world object's visibilities. I had only been using the toonshader set to diffuse so I didn't notice that the world object needs to be visible to whatever types of shading you are using. If you decide to use the toonshader set to glossy, the world object would have to be visible to glossy rays. If you use a transmission/transparency shader, the world object would have to be visible to those as well. If it isn't visible to those rays, than the ambient lighting wont effect those shaders (Same thing goes for lamp objects don't change their visibilities).

It is probably best just to not mess with world visibilities at all since it really doesn't effect render times significantly, if at all.

Were also meant to be in a different thread, but I guess they are kind of related.
>If you decide to use the toonshader set to glossy, the world object would have to be visible to glossy rays. If you use a transmission/transparency shader, the world object would have to be visible to those as well
Got it, thank you. This method certainly produces a "quick fix" and makes my existing postwork easier. I'll play with the settings, see if I can "perfect it". It makes the Toon mats etc a lot more useable, too, which is also ace. I always found them to generate too much of a posterized effect before. I've had some success emulating the arcsys basic approach on a sphere, so that is ace too. I figured it would be a big job with lots of faff, but really once you have either road map it's fairly straightforward.

Thanks for the options /3/ most appreciated. Shame it's for a lame weebshit thing, really, but if I get it going, it has endless wider applications. If I nail it at some point this month, I'll share the winning recipies.
>I always found them to generate too much of a posterized effect before.
Yeah, the posturing of this technique is essentially controlled by the smoothness slider of the toonshaders. 0 smoothness means perfectly sharp delineation between "lit" faces and faces only lit by ambiance. No need to mess with colour ramps. Just layer a two or more toonshaders with their scale's set to the different values.

the materials used in >>634930
are all just two toon shaders(different scales, but both set to 0 smoothness) and a mix shader.

On a side note, I've found that the toonshader is a tiny bit buggy in blender (well I read it in a forum somewhere and found it to be true during my own fiddling). If you are setting it to diffuse, than the combined totals of the other two settings (scale and smoothness) shouldn't be above 0.9; glossy toonshading can go to a combined total of 1.0. Going above this seems to make mesh shape visible in renders regardless of the mesh edge's smooth/flat setting.

Personally I prefer the sharp delineations. Cycles does a pretty good job of anti aliasing so the the lines come out crisp rather than jagged. So I've always used 0 smoothness anyways, but if you don't like the posturizing than you might need to keep those numbers in mind.
Aha! I see what you mean. That makes unwanted things a lot more controllable, thank you.

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