View Full Version : Cel Shading HELP / Shadow Control

10-06-2008, 07:09 AM
Hey Guys!
I've been researching about cel shading for a few years, not only lightwave but in others softwares too. And, after projects like Kakurenbo and Freedom, its clear to me that lightwave its strong choice for cel shading films.
But I have question... researching on XSI, I get contact with Sakana's work a couple years ago. One of the best cel shaded animation I've seen.
He uses a technique, with vertex color maps, to control the shadows.

here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE-AnfhqZqg
and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWuC2SicwOE&feature=related
another video about the same subject http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peI18FqIrms&feature=related
Another mind blowing example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PdTS8a3Bbg&feature=related

and here the details (image from his blog)
http://img131.imageshack.us/img131/105/h071008ek2.th.jpg (http://img131.imageshack.us/my.php?image=h071008ek2.jpg)

Well, I pretty sure that Lightwave can do this too, right? Someone can show us how achieve the same effect in LW?

sorry for my bad english and thanks in advance!

10-07-2008, 12:24 AM
In LW you'd create a new weight map, paint values from -100% to 100% with the Airbrush tool, then in the material / shader you'd apply a gradient, and set it to read the Weight Map. Put any color anywhere along the gradient like pink for light areas and brown for shadow.

eh, I never said I was a painter =P

10-07-2008, 06:31 AM
Hey Toby,thanks for your reply! Its a good idea

Here it is some feedback that I receive from Jim M from spinquad forums.

10-07-2008, 02:15 PM
That's cool, but I have to ask - is it really better than just using incidence angle gradients alone? The weight map painting won't interact with lights.

10-07-2008, 07:31 PM
Not interacting with light is probably the point. Nothing says cel-shading like sliding shadows. :) Tho in the first video, he's using weightmaps to better control the shape of the shadow.

06-21-2015, 09:07 AM
Universal Normal Translator for SoftImage
(prev shown)
Does Lightwave have anything close to this.

Overview of the plugin

"Greg Punchatz 4 months ago
Ahhhh.. gradient mixer node with an incidence as its input :)"

Some notes....

stiff paper
06-21-2015, 10:08 AM
D-Creation has a plugin called NormalDrag. It isn't an editor, but it does correct normals for anime style renders. Look on this page:


07-06-2015, 05:45 AM
I was wondering as well about an alternative to the normal translator. Thanks for the post, I will try Normal Drag.

07-06-2015, 05:55 AM
yep, also read >


07-07-2015, 03:19 AM
wow, thanks for the link Erikals, I will name the video my vary favourite speech in the last year.
The entire workflow is very well contextualised and wow, the UV concept blowed my mind.

07-08-2015, 07:50 AM
I found the pdf giveaway, almost a step by step guide ;)

07-10-2015, 04:44 AM
I have been looking at normalDrag but it is windows only, I contacted indeed his creator and well, I could confirm there are no intentions to compile it for osx. I have nothing against windows but my current workflow involves rendering in the mac, and since it is a node I cannot do part of the work in windows.
Does anyone know the method for doing any of this manually? I have been reading through the scripting documentation but there is so much missing...

07-19-2015, 05:42 AM
I found 2 ways to edit vertex normals; meshlab (per vertex normal function), and blender: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TahPsCdh7bY
Unfortunately meshlab turns the quads into triangles on import. But blender + Blend 4 web seems the nicest
Hope this help u guys... now we need similar functions in LW, and for all platforms, not just windows...

this is good too:

07-19-2015, 01:34 PM
Blend 4 web allows modifications which are similar to Softimage´s native tools for editing normals manually, the Normal edit modifier gives some functions similar to Softimage´s user normal translator plugin, and by using the transfer vertex normal+lwo export you achieve a simplified version of the normal transfer features in Softimage (yet I did not manage to get that part correctly into LW). All together a good bunch of tools, still I will miss softimage because of it´s convenience, but the work can be done.

I had good results with the lwo exporter, but remember to select the right vertex normal map in the surface editor in order to see the newly created normals in LW

I really hope that newtek will implement those tools natively into LW, I think they will be a perfect companion for the wonderfull outline rendering features.

07-19-2015, 03:47 PM
I found 2 ways to edit vertex normals; meshlab (per vertex normal function), and blender: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TahPsCdh7bY
nice stuff! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

LightWave needs something like that... making normals, vector displacement, vertex normals is tricky business inside LW... http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/eek.gif

thank you for sharing! http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/king.gif

07-21-2015, 02:49 AM
Hi again, forget the transfer vertex normal concept that I described earlier, the last version of blender includes a data transfer modifier which behaves a bit like Softimage's Gator, and it is able to transfer user normals from a mesh into another mesh (Add data transfer modifier to the mesh, select a source mesh. and then: FACE CORNER DATA TRANSFER/ CUSTOM NORMALS).