Hello fellow stylized render users. Currently Blender Internal is in a bit of a development standstill, despite a vast user base. Many would love to see some enhancements, which occur occasionally, yet there is much room for improvement and new features.
Myself and few other artists, proposed to fix current toon shader and ultimately introduce a new kind of shader that is not yet available in other render package. X-toon. It has many great abilities that open to wide shading area not possible before.
Link to paper and video demonstration: http://hal.inria.fr/inria-00362888/en
The main idea of eXtended-Toon (X-Toon) is to allow users to add 1 more dimension to the 1D color ramps to produce 2D color map (either vector or raster), extending the capability of the standard shading process. 2D map is a map of colors, extremely lightweight, making it possible to run in real time preview and be used in Blender Game Engine.
Quote: “The main question to answer with this technique is: What should I put on the vertical axis of the X-Toon texture?” [Pascal Barla, X-toon researcher]
The vertical axis of the 2D color map can be assigned to almost anything, extending pynode in an intuitive manner.
We have been hard at work researching different toon styles and have formulated some conclusions of parameters and use cases. A draft proposal has been compiled for your reading pleasure.
Draft proposal: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/User:LightBWK
Old proposal with few use cases: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D1fuDh964WNb2Yrkh9249hSxZLzmuTfheRzgf4DILoo/edit
We have also branched out to #blendercoders IRC channel to inquire about the viability of the coding:
The essence of the conversation (kaito is Ton):
“<kaito> this depth-based toon control is very easy to code
…<kaito> also a good reason to keep blender internal working ”
With that, we would love to see this feature added to Blender’s already decent arsenal to help make it more of a stylized/NPR powerhouse, especially with Freestyle finally merging. We are seeking coders who can run with this idea, as it has already been given a green light by Ton. In the grand scheme, this will help keep BI alive by advancing its already capable yet neglected features.
Bonus, an early hacked X-toon for you to play.
UPDATE: May 17 2013
This thread has evolved quite nicely, and we would like to rename the feature set to…
Blender Extended Expressive Rendering (BEER)!!
We realized that “Toon” was a bit exclusive of other styles, so in order to be Inclusive, I think this is a much better term, and funner!! Thanks @Light BWK for that!
Also Please check out the WIKI: