How can I achieve this inked sketch effect?

Hello everyone!

Let me preface this by saying that I’m a complete beginner when it comes to Blender, as in - I just clicked on the Blender icon for the very first time ever yesterday.

I’m trying to achieve an inked sketch material. I’ve created one that I’m 90% satisfied with already (Principled BSDF>Shader to RGB>Color Ramp>Material Output). This is the result:

(BTW, model was not done in Blender but in Sketchup. I’m not that quick of a learner :slight_smile:

So, I’m just looking to add a little bit of roughness/pen strokes to the material. This blender material looks exactly like what I’m trying to achieve, but after downloading it I can neither open, nor link/append it for some reason (I’m using Blender 2.81 and 2.77, didn’t work with either).

I’m thinking some kind of procedural wood texture added as a bump map and somehow occluded to appear only at the edge of the black and white areas would do the trick, but I don’t know how to do that.

BTW, I’ve looked at a few tutorials online for toon/sketched materials, but none of them are what I’m looking for. They are either too cartoonish, or the inking is too heavy and unrealistic.

Thanks in advance to anyone who could help me out with this!

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nice work!
I couldn’t open or append the file either.
maybe you could use another color ramp node with different size (so that the shadows are different), and blend them together pluging a sketch texture node to the mix factor. I’m not shure, but maybe that way you’d get a sketch-like shadow gradient like the reference.

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I think all the files on that site are corrupt. I tried downloading a lot of different ones and they all come up as random garbage. I came to this conclusion after opening 2.44 and saving a file.

file --uncompress untitled.blend properly displays:

untitled.blend: Blender3D, saved as 32-bits little endian with version 2.44.0000

whereas the files downloaded from this site just show:

inked_sketch.blend: data

Can you post a blend with your technique? I’d love to try playing with that effect with your setup as a starting point.

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Thank you very much for your suggestion, arquer, I’ll give that a try!

Sure thing, obsurveyor. Attached is a .blend file with the material in question. Keep in mind that it is very light sensitive, so if it looks wrong, adjust your lighting. Ink Sketch Shader.blend (573.3 KB)

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It does look good.

You’re on the right track. Maybe not wood exactly, but bump. Use a bump map node and plug it into the normal input of your diffuse shader.

If you’re looking for advice on procedural wood, I’m no good with that, but I wouldn’t try to do it procedurally anyways. Your bump is only going to show up very abstractly, and you have a lot of obvious easy seams, so a UV mapped texture would be fine. You could look for any of many CC0 bump textures online. Since my 2D sucks, I might render some flat panels as normals, convert to bump with njob, and paint those over the surface.

If you want procedural, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding plenty of examples of procedurals by Googling. (Just when I do that, I mostly find stuff that I think sucks, and go back to image techniques.)

You probably don’t need to limit the bump to only exist near the color ramp border, because you’ll find that your bump is very subtle anyways. (You’ll actually want to pump the bump strength through the roof, probably, or switch to glossy->colorramp.) However, if you want, you can isolate that exact border region with a duplicate of your color ramp, by changing the white marker to black, then placing a new white marker in between your two black markers. So then you can run a diffuse BSDF, use its output into your bump modulation color ramp, then run a new diffuse BSDF with your modulate bumpy normal, and plug that into your output color ramp.

(The place I’ve been doing things like this is to modulate bump strength on hair, using specular shaders to grab a first pass, no-bump specular to limit the bump on a second pass, so that the bump doesn’t come through in the highlights, trying to get glossy comic book looks.)

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Thank you very much for you suggestion, bandages! You were really right about the procedural wood, it does mostly suck.