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robertoortiz
08-05-2013, 11:35 AM
Hi guys,
I was thinking that it would be cool if NT developed an Non photo realistic render engine from the ground up that could run an a spearate app from Lightwavwe.

An NPR engine that could be plugged in into other apps besides Lightwave. (like Maya, Max etc)

It seems in my view that everyone is focusing in photo realism, so why not go for the maket that could use a decent NPR engine.

What do you guys thinK?

And what would be your requirements for a next gen NPR render engine?

Looking forward to your ideas and comments.

-R

hrgiger
08-05-2013, 07:37 PM
I don't see any real value in this. First you have to ask yourself if in your view everyone is focusing on photorealism, then why make a product that nobody is really focusing on? Other renderers already do NPR so what would be the appeal of having a standalone? Also, LW3DG has just added two products to their lineup and we don't know how much that will affect progress in LW, how would this affect work on the renderer in LW if they set out to create a standalone?

Maybe if they decided to take the entire render engine and make it standalone one day I might understand that (although it would need more features if it wanted to compete with some of the other renderers on the market now) but just a NPR? I don't see it.

Titus
08-05-2013, 09:35 PM
Freestyle, now integrated into Blender is a great NPR renderer. The cool thing about it (aside from being GPL) is that the style is programmable.

geo_n
08-05-2013, 10:26 PM
Lw 11 added some really good features for npr rendering. For cel shading I think lw is very very good value.

paulhart
08-06-2013, 11:52 AM
I have championed this idea, not as a stand alone renderer concept, but as a full implementation within Lightwave. It has gotten better with the recent release, in that using the Line Render function with the VPR set in one window does allow the changes to be seen. Cel Shader did a demo of some of this that is worth looking at. The line quality is just a little bit limited for more creative sketch effects and true NPR. Sometimes I want it to look like pencil, and I want a watercolor effect for the color, both of which are hard to replicate anywhere. wrote to Rob when he went to Japan and pushed for some collaboration with the Japanese code developers to make some of this stuff native to Lightwave. Take a look a UnReal Extreme, current beta. A wide array of options, but inscrutable documentation and you can't see it live in VPR so all of the possibilities of varied line quality, sketch effects, etc. are hit and miss, and I just get tired of the tweaking. Other programs have built in NPR line solutions, or robust plugins, SketchUp for gosh sake?? Cinema 4D, Max. I pushed Rob to notice that the animation industry (which currently dominates the cinema world) can use this, the ArchViz section screams a need for this, and Product Viz needs non-photo realistic alternatives to catch a jaded audiences attention. It should be built-in, well documented, with presets and examples, and be visible on screen via VPR to allow creative adjustment and real time feedback.
I am tired to thrashing this old nag on these forums without feedback from Newtek or any movement. I tend to use Blender Freestyle and composite the results together if needed. Lightwave has so many of the tools in place, put this one in solidly and "rock the world of CG" is my wish.

VonBon
08-06-2013, 01:11 PM
I still think that the surface based Cel-Shading methods are not the best way to get NPRs.

I think that a set of Lights or Light designed for NPRs would be best.
A surface has properties but the Light determines the shading and at times, the perceived color

WilliamVaughan
08-06-2013, 01:24 PM
I think the power in the current node editor allows for amazing NPR renders currently in LW. Instead of focusing on an NPR renderer, I'd suggest the userbase focus on creating a collection of presets that could be used as starting points for NPR renders.


For example... This is a straight render out of LW from years ago:
http://www.pushingpoints.com/wp-content/gallery/characters/william.jpg

no post... no external plugins...

I believe with the new(er) edge options and the node editor you could develop just about any look you'd want... with the current tools.

paulhart
08-06-2013, 03:09 PM
I very much appreciate William Vaughan chiming in. In the quote from his post below, I would have Bold and Italic the word "Userbase" as I can't do it directly in his quote. He (William) is a brilliant contributor (Thank you!) and I have personal grown by his efforts, and I have had the pleasure of actually being in a workshop with him years ago. I love the render that he includes, it is inspirational, and it has a distinctly personal style aspect that I also relish, but I do not believe that this is "preview-able" in the VPR window and responsive to real time tweaking. I would welcome being proved wrong. I also want to be able to animate these aspects while maintaining some increased degree of temporal cohesion, ie. "not flashing." Some of this factor is useful for the hand drawn aspect, too much is distracting. The test short "Paperman" is a vital example, a must see and target for many.


I think the power in the current node editor allows for amazing NPR renders currently in LW. Instead of focusing on an NPR renderer, I'd suggest the userbase focus on creating a collection of presets that could be used as starting points for NPR renders.

For example... This is a straight render out of LW from years ago:
http://www.pushingpoints.com/wp-content/gallery/characters/william.jpg


The point being that this is proposed (by William, well meaning and valid, but off center from my point, sorry) as something that the Userbase should do, rather than being an area of emphasis by Newtek. NO! It should be front and center, featured aspect, videos, promotion, etc. If there are presets, Newtek should collect and refine and include them with discussion and documentation. UnRealExtreme (or other) development should be helped, documented and again "previewable" via VPR, and maybe brought "in-house" like Jovian Color Picker (of which I had the paid version before it came in-house). SVG creation and reprojection, is partially a solution to "Paperman" line development, unrelated to the shading model, also worth emulating. It should be an area of emphasis by Newtek, directed to the attention of the Independent animators and film makers, big house animation, ArchViz and Product Viz. It annoys me when I Google this area of discussion I end up finding my own posts going back 3-4 years. I have never had Newtek tip it's hand to any of the posts. While I grant the need for "cards kept close until release" some response to this would seem warranted. Again, I am very grateful to William for his post and image, and I agree that a "new NPR render engine" does not seem to be what is needed.

After finishing the posting paragraphs above, I went to do some show-and-tell, to help make the case.
I opened a test file of 2010 (yes, back then) and just re-rendered it and screen captured the results to share. These are intentionally geometric solids for the purpose of the test and the animation was 20 frames to test the temporal cohesion aspect. The point being that I am able to see and tweak the texture aspect in VPR (don't think I could do that at the time??) and I was using a ramp shader with texture maps applied to the gradient, still something other software I use don't implement as elegantly. But going into the Node Editor for the UnRealExtreme lines doesn't go through the VPR engine, so repeated renders are necessary, and tweaking UnReal with translated partial documentation is "sketchy" at best. Below is the render and VPR window. 116162

WilliamVaughan
08-06-2013, 03:44 PM
The node flow used in the image I posted does work in VPR real time allowing for real time feedback of edits... which is pretty cool. I used to use the self portrait in my LW lectures when teaching procedural textures and the node editor. We also created a Dr Seuss animated short called Marvin K Mooney that used this look and there was no buzzing in the animated shots... Seuss Enterprises had us remove the site and movie, though told us we could show it privately which I have done on occasion when lecturing.

While Paperman is an amazing NPR style, it required quite a bit of hand drawn line work as seen in the making of here:
http://www.itsartmag.com/features/paperman-breakdown/#.UgFqgpK1F8E

This is something that I believe could be achieved with LightWave and Nuke or After Effects. When I toured studios in Japan I saw some amazing work that involved a mix of 2d and 3d that was even better than Paperman imho.... and that was ten years ago.

Code Hunters is another example of blending 2d with LightWave... one of my favorites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmeP1YkaeTo


All this said... I'd be more than happy to welcome any new features/presets the LightWave Group has to offer... but I believe the Users have the tools available today and I would rather the development team work on bigger issues that need more attention... especially since we can achieve stunning NPR renders with the tools we have. There are deficiencies in the software are far more important for the team to focus on... but this is truly just my opinion.

I would compare it to an auto rigger... All the tools currently exist to create a rigged character but when auto riggers are developed it takes the heavy lifting away from the users and allows them to just focus on the art. The problem with auto riggers is that when rigging... there is no one solution fits all setup.

The power of the Node Editor is that it has all the tools needed to create stunning NPR renders of all flavors...... it just requires some heavy lifting from time to time.

hope that makes sense. I also hope that it's clear that I'm not opposed to new tools and I hope this thread gets users creating NPR renders as I'm quite fond of that area of 3d art.

WilliamVaughan
08-06-2013, 03:59 PM
116163

did a quick screen grab showing similar sketch surface in VPR window... hope that helps

paulhart
08-06-2013, 04:15 PM
I did make an addition to my earlier post before your latest... such is the nature of forums.
Glad to hear that the texture is real-time trackable, too bad the Seuss squashed you homage to the style.

Thank you William for tracking this thread, your perspective is always valued. I have been very attentive to the "Making of Paperman" and the scope of the task, so I know that there is no easy "make pretty button." I had viewed every available "making of" I could find. I deeply appreciated the link to the movie Code Hunters which I had not seen??? While I personal get tired of guns and destruction themes (my bad, sorry) the rendered scenes and overall look were absolutely spot on, excellent. If anybody wonders about the Lightwave contribution, check out this video (LINK (http://vimeo.com/7438117)) which includes Lightwave as part of the pipeline but the re-projection of hand drawn lines are featured prominently. You certainly are aware of "bigger fish to fry" but the quadrants of the industry I mentioned contain a lot of monetary weight (ArchViz, ProductViz, Animation).
__________________________________________________ ____________________
Sorry, but this just seems to be one of those bones I can't stop chewing, thus this addition.
It baffles me why William Vaughan's NPR renders, (and Cel Shader for that matter, and Code Hunters, etc.) aren't featured is as a section in Newtek Lightwave promotion, along with videos, presets, examples, applications, as an accomplished fact. Give examples for each of the fields that I mentioned earlier. Personally [/rantmode] it feels like a "knife the back" that the outstanding render work by William is not featured prominently in the categories and promotions of what Lightwave can do. Yes I want more development, but his work already represents and outstanding contribution. Why does it come to surface in threads like this instead of being listed in the features page?? Defies understanding. The new management should be able to make amends, thus kindly removing the "knife." [/endrantmode] If it isn't apparent, this is an homage to his, Cel Shaders, and others work.
Pardon the [/zealotmode] as it is not meant in any hurtful way, just a course correction??

paulhart
08-07-2013, 05:42 PM
Calmer voice in the light of day.
I appreciate Robert Ortiz and the various topics he has brought to discussion. I equally appreciate William Vaughan, Cel Shader, and others for their tireless contributions. I realized that the very idea that Robert felt compelled to create a thread such as this kind of makes the point. If indeed, as William and Jen have demonstrated, this is greater capability, why is it not promoted to the ArchViz, ProductViz and Animation houses. Why isn't Code Hunters featured, with links to "making of" and then examples and directions to achieve similar. There was recently a wonderful Japanese animation featured briefly in the June email send out, Japan-based SUNRISE, Inc. Gorgeous stuff, but it should immediately be put in a featured section of NPR capability with Lightwave. The May email, wonderful section by Japanese Artist Naoya Kurisu whose use of LightWave to create anime-style artwork with 3D elements delivers breathtaking results. Now go to the Product>Lightwave, excellent web display, outstanding features, total thumbs up, NPR not even mentioned. modo has an NPR kit, it has it's limits, but it is featured and looking at it you say, " I can do that with this program, great."

Google non-photorealistic rendering and look at who is featured. I went through three full pages and gave up, no mention of my dear program. These are either part of a package or easily purchased. People from the three fields that I mentioned do a search, go there and say, "ah, this program will do what I want," they come to Lightwave and they scratch around, and if!! they are persistent there find some bread crumbs leading to a "that's possible, if you know what you are doing." Robert Ortiz himself is demonstrating that "he doesn't know" otherwise he would not have started this thread.

Go to Newtek>Gallery, click on the categories to the right. Beautiful work abundant. Architecture, not a single NPR style render, yet they are a key piece of many professional presentations and are part of the Gallery on other software programs. Artistic, one piece by Steve Mcardle, that is well done and begs promotion and explanation. Character, is a fine area and YES, the works of Naoya Kurisu, are outstanding, but I had to go looking for it and it is not featured or explained as part of the Lightwave NPR capacity. And, notice that, that splendid work by William is not included, perhaps he chose not to submit it, but he does have two good examples in his wonderful style, no lines anywhere to be seen, but it was an artistic choice by him?? Non-Photoreal, finally, good!! a short page of examples, but if I am an Architect, LWCad devotee, my category is devoid of examples. If I am a product developer, again no direction. Enough.

I apologize if my intensity has been a bit of a "thread killer" and I hope this response is more measured.

WilliamVaughan
08-07-2013, 10:04 PM
I forgot to share these NPR renders from a short the students created using LightWave:
http://www.3dworldmag.com/2013/03/26/cg-courses-2013-dave-school/

The first three images in the article are straight LightWave renders. We were going for a traditional art style and I think they pulled it off quite nicely. I'll try and make time to pull together many more samples as I have boat loads. I'm a big fan of NPR renders.

Lets not forget the old school Halftone shader: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x31k-Bb7ZIo

I have a George Washington done up in halftone that I quite liked... will have to give it a look to see if I can find it.

WilliamVaughan
08-07-2013, 10:10 PM
116196116197116198

Found a few... if you'd like I can continue to add as time permits...

robertoortiz
08-07-2013, 10:45 PM
Hey guys,
I have been following the thread with great delight.

As luck would have it, I have been doing a TON of NPR LW renders for work.
(And that would explain why I have been absent from this thread)
As soon as I get to work I will upload some samples.
EDIT
I found some samples of some of my older work at home.
Ok the work is LW + Illustrator, with a ton of post work in Illustrator.

I need some sleep. I will explain in the morning my wishlist for the LW NPR renderer.

nickdigital
08-07-2013, 11:46 PM
I agree, I don't think a standalone renderer is the way to go. So much of NPR is based on modeling techniques, animation tricks and what surface options are available to the program, that you might as well just buy the whole program. I think getting presets would be a strong way to go. I saw a demo of Cinema's Sketch and Toon and the very easy ability to change render styles and the individual settings was very appealing.

As for not seeing more examples of work, it must be a full-time job to seek out examples of quality work, NPR and non-NPR alike. My guess is that the gallery is very dependent on people submitting work or the LWG having relationships with users they can call upon for artwork. It's probably very difficult to know about all the quality work that's being produced. I'm not giving excuses, just playing devil's advocate. And to be honest, submitting artwork to the LightWave gallery is very low on my to-do list when I'm done working on a project.

Also it may not be possible to share the artwork freely with the LWG. There may be issues with Licensing. I know I deal with this. Being able to speak and share visuals during Siggraph is not a trivial process for me.

dwburman
08-08-2013, 12:22 AM
I'm also a fan of npr renders. A good set of presets would be welcome, but that need is across the board in LightWave. You can get a lot of good looks in your shading in LightWave if you know what you're doing. There are even a few shaders in the surface editor shaders tab (although the docs for BESM are practically non-existent). My personal feeling it's that the inking part is where LightWave is lacking, but LW11.5 made some HUGE improvements in that area with nodal control of edges. We can finally control line thickness and color and opacity. Unfortunately, we don't have the ability to move/offset the lines so they aren't perfectly straight (could do that in post or heavily subdivide the object and distort it) or define a stroke texture like brush bristles. It's been a long time since I've used unreal, but I remember it giving lots of control over where lines were drawn, allowing you to turn off and on inklines with more control than a single toggle for the entire object, so some surface borders would have lines while others would not. I suppose you can control that in LW now with texture maps/gradients/weight maps, but that's more work than selecting some options in a UI.

Having a specialized UI to bring many different options to users would be a nice start. :)

nickdigital
08-08-2013, 12:35 AM
This standalone is pretty cool.
http://vimeo.com/m/6149680

bazsa73
08-08-2013, 12:57 AM
Could we have first a subpatch wireframe renderer?

Hail
08-08-2013, 01:39 AM
Could we have first a subpatch wireframe renderer?

Don't we have this already?

djwaterman
08-08-2013, 02:04 AM
Go here (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?136625-Marty-the-Monkey-LW-11-6-nodes) to see some primo toon shading with nodes. A proper preset repository is really what's needed, for both NPR and PR, and as already stated, that's got to come from the user base who have tested them in the proper environment. Currently we have Preset central and the Benelux Lightwave resource, either could be built upon to be more dependable, not just a repository of crazy sh-t that may or may not work. But the content has to come from the users and then be moderated for quality.

hrgiger
08-08-2013, 08:05 AM
Don't we have this already?

Not natively that I'm aware of. There is a polygon coloring free plug-in that will do it but its not so much a rendering feature as a surfacing one.

WilliamVaughan
08-08-2013, 08:08 AM
Not natively that I'm aware of. There is a polygon coloring free plug-in that will do it but its not so much a rendering feature as a surfacing one.

True. Would be nice to not have to create a custom object to create SubD Wire Renders.

robertoortiz
08-08-2013, 08:46 AM
Go here (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?136625-Marty-the-Monkey-LW-11-6-nodes) to see some primo toon shading with nodes. A proper preset repository is really what's needed, for both NPR and PR, and as already stated, that's got to come from the user base who have tested them in the proper environment. Currently we have Preset central and the Benelux Lightwave resource, either could be built upon to be more dependable, not just a repository of crazy sh-t that may or may not work. But the content has to come from the users and then be moderated for quality.

Wow that link was amazing, and your idea for a repository is really needed.

I think we should try a new approach for NPR rendering.
We tend to see NPR as a shading issue.
Just shade the model, set the line edge parameters and click render.

I think we should try to see the issue as a designer might.
First some background,
I work with a team of Graphic Designers and I have learned a lot from them about what tool they are looking for.
For them
Typography,
Color and
Layout
are the bread and butter of their work.


Precise control over the output of these items is essential.

Right now, if I want that type of control for 3D developed content I need to use 2 programs.
Lightwave and Illustrator.

On the example below you can see a simple model I did of pocket watch.
It is easier for me to do the watch in Lightwave than to sketch it from scratch in Illustrator (I can do it, but it would take me longer, and I would be limited to a single position of the watch)
The next image is the final image, post processed in Illustrator.
Why Illustrator?
In order to gain the control of the final output that I needed for my final render, I needed to convert the image to Vector in Illustrator.
This conversion allowed me to edit the line style and widths of the object, and to add smooth vector gradients that I designed to the final render.

So what is the problem with this approach?
Well it only works for stills.
We have is that we are in the process of developing 2D animated content with our characters.
The characters will be animated in Toonboom, but the backgrounds/ machines will be done in Lightwave. (And no, we are not dropping Lightwave)

It would be cool if I could have the sort of control I get in illustrator over Lightwave timeline.
I could control things like Color (Pantone true color, Gradients) and the
Layout (line with and style). My designer friends would be allergic to a nodal interface, (which it not a BAD idea for non-designers) but they would welcome a post render process using WYSIWYG interface ( The same way ChronoSculpt allows to edit baked mesh data over a timeline )

Hell this sort of thing would be something a lot of designers could use. To be able to import 3d models into a vector environment and control its final render over a timeline. The This reason I suggested doing a stand renderer

Titus
08-08-2013, 10:24 AM
Those are excellent examples! But I'll love to see them in motion, that's where NPR breaks.

Titus
08-08-2013, 10:32 AM
12 years ago I wrote a constant shader to create this toon effect in LW. At that time I was doing NPR with PRMan.

robertoortiz
08-08-2013, 02:11 PM
12 years ago I wrote a constant shader to create this toon effect in LW. At that time I was doing NPR with PRMan.
Titus that is a really cool render.
What happened to that project?

Titus
08-08-2013, 04:35 PM
It got canned, like many others. My clients usually don't value any research efforts.

paulhart
08-09-2013, 04:00 PM
For the past three(3+) years I have been contributing to the NPR development on Blender, particularly on the Freestyle branch, which was recent merged with the main trunk. There is a very long thread on that forum (BlenderArtists.org) which tracked it's development with examples, from it's beginning as part of the GSOC2008?? It is a creative line rendering addition to the current render engine and fully supports selective line styles, where they are applied, color transparency, x-ray, etc. as part of the parameters window, all of which can be rendered as a separate pass with ease. Still needs polish, presets, and more artist friendly directions. Recently on a related forum (BlenderNPR (http://blendernpr.org/), my gosh?? it's own forum) the latest highlighted topic is BEER. I know, distracting anagram, but it is a development project to create a node/layer shader system component to more easily implement any imagined NPR shader style. Well worth a look, and there is separate thread of more intensive algorithm discussion for code geeks, elsewhere, if needed. As an artist, I just appreciate the potential, the openness of the discussion and the forward movement. Much of the shading is currently already available in Blender, and maybe Lightwave, but spaghetti node trees aren't for the faint of heart, and this shader system allows more creative tweaking on the fly.

robertoortiz
08-09-2013, 04:20 PM
For the past three(3+) years I have been contributing to the NPR development on Blender, particularly on the Freestyle branch, which was recent merged with the main trunk. There is a very long thread on that forum (BlenderArtists.org) which tracked it's development with examples, from it's beginning as part of the GSOC2008?? It is a creative line rendering addition to the current render engine and fully supports selective line styles, where they are applied, color transparency, x-ray, etc. as part of the parameters window, all of which can be rendered as a separate pass with ease. Still needs polish, presets, and more artist friendly directions. Recently on a related forum (BlenderNPR (http://blendernpr.org/), my gosh?? it's own forum) the latest highlighted topic is BEER. I know, distracting anagram, but it is a development project to create a node/layer shader system component to more easily implement any imagined NPR shader style. Well worth a look, and there is separate thread of more intensive algorithm discussion for code geeks, elsewhere, if needed. As an artist, I just appreciate the potential, the openness of the discussion and the forward movement. Much of the shading is currently already available in Blender, and maybe Lightwave, but spaghetti node trees aren't for the faint of heart, and this shader system allows more creative tweaking on the fly.

Wow thanks for that.
I have to agree that a jumble nodes is not something that is artist friendly.

I have been thinking about how I would implement an new intuitive NPR UI, and I have to go back to the ChronoSculpt UI.
I like this UI a lot because it keeps things as simple as possible.

To make this work I think you only need the Objects seen by the camera and a timeline.
Select the objecct you wish to have special NPR rendering and I would apply NPR default shaders
(I would have individual shaders for Line/ Flat Surface/ Gradient)
I would activate VPR and see the 3d models in NPR models.
BUT
I would allow the user to select the lines produced by the NPR shader and allow the user to edit its attributes. (Color,Width,Style, Bezier Lines Type etc)

Also I would allow him to select the NPR surfaces and allow him to modify them. (Color, Gradients, Gradient Direction and Style)
WYSIWYG all the way.
Double Click the line or Surface and , change its attribute.

And I would allow for these parameters to be saved in the timeline. Hell I would allow for the Vector lines t produced by the NPR engine to be modified (X,Y,Z location) in the timeline, if the user wished to do so.
Then I would go to the to the timeline and allow for the selection of surfaces OR lines, (like you would in Illustrator)
BTW for the line and NPR surface editing I would copy the HELL of the Illustrator UI for this kind of workflow since it very intuitive..

And here is the irony of this situation.
From the point of view of an artists, it is is easier to Lightwave to copy Illustrator like 2D functionality is it UI that it is for Illustrator to try to do 3D.

And you know what would be the icing on the cake?
If this NPR engine could save output files in vector formats

Rayek
08-09-2013, 06:51 PM
You might be interested in these svg output scripts for Blender. Import into Illustrator as true vectors.

http://www.blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?282824-SVG-output-script
http://www.geocities.jp/blenderyard/freestyle/svgwriter_b26/README.html

Also, with FreeStyle you could convert higher resolution versions to vector quite easily with something like VectorMagic (which does a much nicer job than the built-in Illustrator converter).
http://vectormagic.com/home

paulhart
08-09-2013, 07:19 PM
(Such are the ways with Forums. Rayek has provided the links needed before I completed typing, I have provided the jabber)
I know that SVG output of frames and animation is possible, with Freestyle. The most recent developer (T.K. [Tamito Kajiyama], who took hold from Stťphane Grabli) is still working on it as part of the main trunk. He wrote a script that output SVG, single frames and animation. The lines are not "Illustrator ready," in all cases, but all of the segments are there. He plans to return to it later, so more of the line variations can be output to SVG. Great stuff. The "monster" thread is (LINK (http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?89986-Freestyle-for-Blender&highlight=Freestyle)) and it has all kinds of NPR gems on the different pages, but it runs for years, as I said, long thread. The first thread for BEER (LINK (http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?290829-Blender-Extended-Expressive-Rendering-%28BEER%29-Extending-Blender-Internal&highlight=Freestyle)) came before the most recent summary version, with lot's of discussion, some of which goes right past me.
Back to Lightwave. The original line rendering has been there forever, and the recent node tweaking with V11.6 is great. The video by Cel Shader is also good. None of this approaches the ease of Sketch & Toon, which has no plans of a Lightwave port that I know of. There are various plugins, both within Lightwave and acquirable through third parties, and in the right hands, good work can be done... now how about the rest of us. I know my limits and I am more artist than coder.
The idea of double-clicking on a line is wonderful. Currently implemented in modo, it selects all of the line segments in that loop, very fast and intuitive. Shift-select or other variants of selection with the ability to edit that line, in real time, WOW! with the VPR preview, WOWwow. I am still after the elusive watercolor shader effect and only know of one developer who has made gains. He is part of a team in Germany, but the progress is slowwww, it is stand-alone, and is not available currently, despite my periodic email communication. Check out this page, (LINK (http://www.stefanhabel.de/filmakademie_rnd/aqtree.html) David Maas is the person on the team that I have communicated with in the past) but you will have to use your Google powers to see some of the beautiful work that was done so far, in the development. There are some links to Films on the lower left. Great stuff.

robertoortiz
08-10-2013, 06:56 AM
Ok let me continue my requirements for what i think an NPR for next gen Lightwave should do.


Lets talk Saving output files to Vector.

The mistake most program do creating output that will be rendered as a vector file is that is is a post process.

That is that first the NPR image is rasterized and then post converted. In other words you are not getting the NPR you saw in the interface.
And at worst the post process tends to concentrate mostly in solid colors and lines.
You lose valuable things that come for free in vector illustration.
True Vector Gradients
Transparencies
Line Types
Vector Text
Layers

In my humble opinion the best way to address this, is to treat vector as an object type in lightwave.

Ans here is the kicker, (wait for it)
It allows for the implementation of a next gen spline tool in LAYOUT.

The way I would make it work is that you only see the splines generated by this tool while rendering in NPR.
The vector out put is more easy.
Only the content created by this next vector tool is generated as a vector. What ever convent on the screen that does not have the NPR shader applied on it is rasterized. (most vecotr format allow for a rasterized layer)
And for free you get the foundation of a next gen Text engine.

OnlineRender
08-10-2013, 07:29 AM
I would take a look at the new blender rendering also

robertoortiz
08-10-2013, 07:34 AM
I would take a look at the new blender rendering also

I know, and thanks for the suggestion.
but we are NOT moving to Blender.

Rayek
08-10-2013, 11:14 AM
I know, and thanks for the suggestion.
but we are NOT moving to Blender.

No-one is saying you should - considering Blender has a great mdd cache import modifier now, and the very capable NPR Freestyle, you could treat it as a "stand-alone" NPR renderer plugin/external renderer of sorts. The workflow is simple and fast.

It does beg the question: why start all over and re-invent the wheel? I am just being pragmatic when I say the beginnings of solutions exist now (free and commercial).

So much work and time has already been invested in FreeStyle, and the fundament of good vector output already exists as well. With some sponsoring I am certain someone in the Blender community would be willing to improve the vector output to the level that is envisioned by you. It would also become accessible to anyone with an interest to render to NPR vector output, not merely Lightwave users.


Though I do see the advantages of having a dedicated vector NPR plugin built-in Lightwave, I am not too sure there would be enough momentum to actually see a project like that completely through. It's a lot of work indeed.

I do like your thoughts and ideas - the way I see it is that FreeStyle plus the mdd cache modifier would offer a very good option to render NPR to anyone - extending this to better vector output is but one step away, and work has already been done there.

Rayek
08-17-2013, 12:32 AM
In the back of my mind I knew I had seen another option, and only just now did I recall it.

JOT! http://jot.cs.princeton.edu/

Open source, and the source code can be downloaded. This is actually very cool, and it is a real shame no-one ever continued development. 2002!
A blender exporter is available, but it would be kinda cool to have JOT developed in a more open and accessible tool. The code is available for anyone to refine it further.

http://ragnarb.com/toolbox/jot-exporter-for-blender/

Quite intriguing.

robertoortiz
08-17-2013, 10:56 PM
To help the conversation move along I wanted to post some of the best NPR rendering in recent memory.

Making of:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZJLtujW6FY

Full short:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xx5d23_paperman-full-animated-short-film-vo-hd_shortfilms?search_algo=2


the short is the perfect marriage of cg animation and 2d

WilliamVaughan
08-18-2013, 07:56 AM
I ran across this super old cel shade project that was created over 12 years ago... totally forgot about it until today...

http://youtu.be/zeceDLxUEyI

robertoortiz
08-19-2013, 02:32 PM
I ran across this super old cel shade project that was created over 12 years ago... totally forgot about it until today...

http://youtu.be/zeceDLxUEyI

Wow thanks for sharing that.

As soon as I get a break I will try these.

BTw I found this online today:
Paperman shot breakdown:

http://www.itsartmag.com/features/paperman-breakdown/

and here is a white paper on the subject:
http://elrond.informatik.tu-freiberg.de/papers/SIGGRAPH2012_1/content/talks/277-whited.pdf