I’ve been experimenting with toon/anime lighting for a game through modifying vertex normals manually and I’ve been able to get good results:
So far so good. However, I’m only able to make lighting look good from the front and back and things quickly fall apart when the light source rotates:
I found it impossible to adjust normals in a way that preserves the look I’m going for without creating some strange shadow artifacts and I hesitate to raise the poly count.
I tried baking normal maps to store the normal data for different light directions but that gave inaccurate results compared to modifying the normals manually.
Is there an alternative way to store the vector of vertex normals similar to shapekeys that will allow me to achieve this? I’d rather not have to swap meshes altogether because I want to have the ability to interpolate between different normal settings.
In case it matters I intend to use UE4 as the game engine.