I’ve been tinkering with the idea of using “multi-pass” + “masking” + the Compositor to produce a non-photorealistic type anime/manga look for character renders.
It starts by using the line art method described on this page: Inking Toon Renders
and combining it with a ‘Freestyle’ line render to mimic a loose hand-drawn style.
Render out color flats of the model (shadeless)
Next, create a gray scale ‘falloff’ effect to give the character a sense of shape.
A Hemi light is used on a white Lambert diffuse material to simulate a “half-Lambert” look on skin surfaces. On other surfaces, such as clothing, material nodes are used to multiply the Lambert against itself to increase the falloff amount ( sort of a “half-Lambert squared”)
We want to combine the color flats with the gray scale falloff renders but not by simply multiplying them together - instead, a copy of the color flats is inverted, masked by the falloff and then subtracted against the original flats.
Render a shadow pass, ambient pass, occlusion pass, indirect pass (Cycles).
The ambient, occlusion, and indirect passes are combined, then masked out by the shadow pass before being multiplied against the character.
(continued, next post…)