I want to create 2D looking anime characters, how do I go about doing it?


sorry I wasn’t sure where to post this.

I’m new to blender but I have used it before.

I want to create a model like these here:

Supposedly this was made in blender, it’s interactive so you can rotate around it. How did they make it look so much like 2D? Is there any tutorials anywhere?


Here are some other ones, but their made in other programs.


(this one has a unity3d demo)

This is a very stylized and specific look, I can’t find any english tutorials on how to make something like this from start to finish. I’m guessing alot of it might have to do with the texturing side rather then the modeling, but I’m not sure.

I want this look for a game project I’m planning, can anyone give me any advice or tips on how to achieve this here?

What I can tell you is that its using a “toon” shader, which basicly detects the edges of the mesh parts and adds that black outline in, making it look like its drawn with inked outlines. that, in combination with great painted textures. Unfortunately, its a topic i dont have much experience in myself, as i haven’t had time to mess with it much. but i will be watching this thread very closely to see if anyone knows of a tutorial or a method to do this properly without it looking funky. (and hope the technique translates to unity, haha)

Hey, thanks for also being interested!

check out this 2D drawing I just found.

jk it’s 3D!

check out the expressions

I so want to make something like that, I wonder if it’s possible in blender here.

anything in 3d should be possible in blender. the limitation will be in the rendering/shading, it would have to be an extremely good 2d shader, its probably written for the purpose of anime production. i would LOVE to put characters like that in a game. haha

Ok, so this thread got me in the mood to figure this 2d thing out, so I found this tutorial. Loaded up one of my game characters with completed texture, and followed the tutorial for the node setups. got this:

Not perfect by a long shot, but its better than my own brief experiments from the past. lol

I can see from this that the actual design of the model is very important to get the proper look. the eyes on this one gave me hell because of how i set them up for animation. It will take some experimentation to get this look right.


Went and played around with freestyle in blender internal, i think its actually a bit more pleasing of an effect with the more defined lines

I’m still new to blender, so I can’t contribute any testings but I found some interesting articles.

The team who made the new Guilty Gear game did an interview on how they achieved their 2D character looks, if you’re interested here’s a trailer of it.

and the translation here.

It’s all very complicated to me, I don’t understand much of what their doing.

Also, I found this person he has a really nice demoreel of anime 3D things:

And this thing.

lol the english anime voice

Thanks for the link also, that node setup is really confusing lol didnt know blender had something like that. I like the effect you got out of it, I’m going to have to try replicating (currently watching some modeling tutorials).

it appears that in that AnigoAnimation video they are using blender internal and freestyle. which makes more sense than trying the cycles method. 2d animation cell shading style is as far as you can get from realism, and cycles is a realism engine. BI is the way to go it seems.

We are starting a new game project this week that will be 2d, using rendered character animations as sprites. I think i’ll experiment with model design and freestyle set up, see if i can find something pleasing. I’ll record a tutorial if i find a good combination! lol

Quick and easy real-time toon.

  • Use GLSL
  • Use material shader.
  • Use OpenGL render animation.

Source/example material setup for starters. I hope it might help. toon.blend (115 KB)

Thats an interesting approach mziskandar, everything is on the table right now, because i myself have wanted to learn how to make the realistic 2d “drawn” style renders the OP posted. i will experiment with your file.

Moderators: This thread might be better off if it was moved to Materials and Texture or better yet Lighting and Rendering subforum,


I searched the terms you gave me, it seems this was a recent tutorial!

Can’t wait to try it I’m going to have to find an anime model somewhere

I agree to move the thread, I didn’t know what it took to achieve this at first but i kinda do now.

Some more experimentation:

Still can’t get the material settings quite right to give that fully cell shaded effect, but it appears that its a little easier with an untextured model, Miyu here isnt quite finished yet so is a very good candidate for experimentation! Will continue experimenting with this method later on.


Just spent a few days getting super frustrated with blender, uninstalling it just to reinstall it and try it again. I used cinema4d along time ago and the interface here takes so long to get use too. After you know where things are it gets better though but my gosh lol

Anyway, I found a group dedicated to this stuff who have already achieved super results. I was testing myself and I think it comes down to texturing the model really well and then have everything lit and the tone shader with refied. The GLSL opengl rendering shader also works as some people have used it in the group and they generated objects hovering above the model that are easily rotatable to generate shadows I think.


The latest result is so great I need to learn this program alot more, I hate to use hotkeys though so I tend to click around for everything in here.

oh, but the hotkeys are your friend. you can reconfigure them in preferences, but i would suggest learning the defaults, as that what anyone is gonna tell you if you ask how to do something.

seriously though. hotkeys = efficent time management = money. haha

Yeah, actually I kind of warmed up to the hotkeys, they make sense now to me atleast the basic ones, I watched this tutorial that really eased you in to them. and helped me learn the interface.