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Archigram
01-13-2017, 08:21 AM
Hi LightWave experts--

I am trying to update an old animation to high def with better anti-aliasing. To make it, however, I used a Japanese plug-in called unReal Xtreme that is no longer updated for Mac (I am working on a Mac Pro running Sierra and LW 3D 2015.)

Can anyone suggest another way to get the look of the attached screen shot? I want contours to be thick lines, interior geometry to be thin lines, and objects to be solid, though white, like the background. You may notice that the contours are a little buggy but that was OK for this piece.

Thanks for the suggestions!

mummyman
01-13-2017, 09:05 AM
There's a lot of options in LW 2015 for edges now, under object properties / edges. You can use edit nodes on edges too. So you hopefully can try something that way.

Greenlaw
01-13-2017, 09:15 AM
Isn't that something that could be done using LightWave's native Edges panel options? I guess it depends on how the object was constucted.

If you haven't used it before, Lino made a pretty good tutorial for the Edges panel, including the new Intersection Edges option, here:

Intersection Edges in LightWave 2015 (https://www.lightwave3d.com/learn/article/cel-shading-intersection-edges-in-lightwave-2015/)

For the heavy outer shading, you can use the Silhouette option and turn it up as thick as you like.

You can also do that sort of thing in post by manipulating the alpha channel. (I think that's what I did for the LightWave objects that appear in Scareplane (http://littlegreendog.com/2014/03/01/brudders-in-scareplane-2014/).)

Archigram
01-13-2017, 11:08 AM
Thanks guys-- I will take a look to see if the edges options have improved. At the time, it was impossible to get a true anime-style contour. I will repost after checking things out.

Archigram
01-13-2017, 12:30 PM
OK -- even with the new edge options I still get basic silhouette problems like this. I tried playing with intersection edges angle in the obj prop panel, render lines in the render options, and render lines in the surface panel. I've tried every permutation in the edge panel of checked and unchecked.

Any ideas? The geometry of the objects that don't render properly seems to be the same as those that do but is there something I should look at?

thanks

mummyman
01-13-2017, 12:34 PM
Do you have After Effects? Under "Layer" there is something called "Auto-Trace" which will give you a mask around the alpha shape of your object, like your first image. Then you can run Vegas, or Stroke to get a path line. Maybe something like that?

jwiede
01-13-2017, 12:53 PM
OK -- even with the new edge options I still get basic silhouette problems like this. I tried playing with intersection edges angle in the obj prop panel, render lines in the render options, and render lines in the surface panel. I've tried every permutation in the edge panel of checked and unchecked.

Any ideas? The geometry of the objects that don't render properly seems to be the same as those that do but is there something I should look at?

thanks

Do you have any odd smoothing values on the surfaces (even Default) for the cross-shaped object/section? You definitely want "hard" 90- & 45-degree edges, from the look of it.

Also, I'm wondering if perhaps one of the 1.0 lines is drawing after/"overwriting" the 5.0 silhouette line, perhaps trying disabling "other lines" or others one by one to see if you can pin down what's going on that way? You could then perhaps use nodes to filter the problem line entity from drawing over/after the silhouette line. Just tossing out some ideas.

Good luck!

Archigram
01-13-2017, 03:14 PM
Do you have any odd smoothing values on the surfaces (even Default) for the cross-shaped object/section? You definitely want "hard" 90- & 45-degree edges, from the look of it.

--Nope, I had smoothing off. Just tried a range of values with smoothing on (from 40-100) and got no changes in the lines.

Also, I'm wondering if perhaps one of the 1.0 lines is drawing after/"overwriting" the 5.0 silhouette line, perhaps trying disabling "other lines" or others one by one to see if you can pin down what's going on that way? You could then perhaps use nodes to filter the problem line entity from drawing over/after the silhouette line. Just tossing out some ideas.

--I've tried all the flags alone and, with silhouette on, all 2 and 3 flag combos.

I've also checked the geoemtry -- no non-planar surfaces or un-merged points.

I'm a rookie with node editing...
Alternatively, isn't there a shader that could work like the one I originally used? it drew a flattening anime-like contour around an object. And not around each object layer, as edges does.

Many thanks again for the help, it is appreciated.

JoePoe
01-13-2017, 04:41 PM
Archigram (Field of Dreams?? or just a coincidence? ;))

Are you after an animation or a still?
If a still, you can do two renders and blend them inside LW in the render window using the Alpha as the mixing parameter.
(in order to avoid an annoying little white outline the interior lines were rendered with an unpremultiplied alpha.)

135611

.... of course also fairly straight forward to do in Pshop, so I'm assuming it's for animation...

Archigram
01-13-2017, 05:32 PM
Animation yes

mummyman
01-14-2017, 12:13 PM
Animation yes

The auto trace feature in AE handles animation. Might be challenging...as it gives you a ton of masks. Not just 1. But it might work, if you have AE

Archigram
01-14-2017, 12:23 PM
I should have AE no doubt but don't.
I've been looking at a LW tutorial on cel shading with the Node Editor. The answer is in there somewhere, you can make outlines. What I need is probably quite simple-- some incidence mapped gradient output or something -- but if anyone can draw it up for me I'd be grateful!

Archigram
01-26-2017, 08:32 AM
OK Folks, if anyone gets this far down the thread, I've figured out a solution to my particular problem. It may only work with Isometric or Orthogonal cameras.

1.Make a clone of the objects you want to outline.
2. push it further away from the camera, but exactly aligned with the original object.
3. turn on edge render flags as needed on both objects but make the lines thicker on the clone.
4. Voila, you get perfect outlining!

fishhead
01-26-2017, 08:59 AM
Cool that you found a workaround for your problem... But isnīt it a bit tedious to push the object and keeping it correctly aligned in that way?
Wouldnīt you come to the same or very similar result if you take a copy in Modeler of your object - scale it up slightly along the normals or even better use thicken and then delete the original surface and the newly generated sides. Next step select the new outer "shell" name the surface differently and flip normals, parent this new "shell"-object to the original in layout.
That way you could tint the "shell" using the surface material any way you want and would always only see the inside of the thickened object which would result in a permanently visible outline without needing to activate edge rendering for the Shell...
Would that work for you?
I hope I was able to get my idea across...

Archigram
01-26-2017, 12:47 PM
Hey that sounds ingenious -- but as my object count is very high, built into in large hierarchies, I'd sort of have to start all over. It seems like it would have the advantage of working better with a perspective camera though. Many thanks for the suggestion.

paulhart
01-26-2017, 01:13 PM
This is clearly one of the areas that I hope Lightwave/Newtek will address with the next release. They have stated that they are aware of the Japanese industry and it's needs. Unreal Extreme is in need of an updated approach, better documentation and Lightwave knows it. I appreciate the "work-arounds" but that is all they are, just ways of beating Lightwave into doing something that other software programs handle more elegantly and cleanly. Lightwave should "shine" in this arena, take over the animation/anime marketplace with NPR featured tools. Here's hoping.

Archigram
01-30-2017, 10:53 AM
I spent some time looking at Blender as an alternative for a future project. The degree of control over rendered lines there is awesome.

paulhart
01-30-2017, 11:06 AM
Yes, Blender line control and options are excellent. What I am waiting for is the Viewport project to be included in Blender 2.8, which should shift to a more interactive intuitive process. My problem with Blender currently is that it is a post process, so I have to render, wait, then check, and adjust. The one thing I like about the current Lightwave node based lines is that I can use VPR and see a relative close approximation in real time. I too am waiting on both software packages for a best solution.