My latest attempt at a high quality toon workflow, made for the ForFansByFans.com MikuExpo2019 FanArt merchandise contest. If it gets enough ratings, it’ll be available on shirts and stuff. You can go rate it here if you want.
Here’s an overview of the setup/workflow:
The Shader is Cycles ToonKit OSL nodes. Using ToonKit 1.3 in Blender 2.8 nightly. Had to render at 4500x5700 since this needs to be print sized, but even that wasn’t too bad thanks to ToonKit. About an hour on a 3.4ghz quad core. 32 samples.
The Line Art is Freestyle. It needed a bunch of cleanup in post, which was done by hand in Krita.
The body was originally made with ManuelLab addon using the Realistic Anime base, but has a loooot of custom sculpting, and almost a complete rework of the face.
The clothing was originally made in Marvelous Designer, then brought into Blender, re-topologized, and then simulated using the new 2.8 cloth sim and some wind. The new cloth works great! 30 frames to get into pose and then 30 to rest. Takes about a second per frame per item, so only a few minutes total. (UPDATE: Lots of cloth details a couple posts down.)
- The body is rigged with the Auto Rig Pro addon, although I’m not really using most of the ‘pro’ features. Rigify would have worked too. I added a lot of corrective bones based on DanPro’s excellent tutorials, especially this one and this other one.
Here’s a quick pic of the knee correctives.
- The twin tails are modeled as vertical cylinders, then spread out and twisted with an armature and Simple Deform - Twist modifiers (driven by bones on the armature via drivers.) Then its attached to a curve via Curve modifier for actual posing. This setup keeps it easy to avoid terrible intersections by keeping everything mostly parallel. And it’s a lot easier to build than a full armature setup that would produce similar results.
The hair uses a lot of Bevel node to avoid bad shading.
The rimlight is artificially boosted by using a very glossy specular gated based on facing to only effect edges, and then added to the rest of the shader. You can do this in regular Cycles GPU nodes too.
The glow is just compositor glow. There was some other post cleanup work done on the bangs and face lineart. I did it in Krita because I was in a hurry to meet the contest deadline, but i think it could just be done with Grease Pencil now in 2.8. Will try that on the next project.
I guess that’s a good info dump. If anyone has questions about any of this, just ask!
Here’s a couple earlier test poses I went through (not complete of course, but fun for the cloth sim). Not the final shader/effects on these.