Rendering cartoon-like with Ai Toon shader

Maya’s Ai Toon shader renders the cartoon-like image.

This article is an introduction to using Ai Toon shaders.

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Rendering Results of Ai Toon Shader

Here is a comparison of rendering results with the Ai Toon shader and the Ai Standard Surface shader.

The left side is the result of applying the Ai Standard Surface and the right side is the result of applying the Ai Toon shader. Both of them are same geometry. How do you think them? The Ai Standard Surface looks realistic and the Ai Toon Shader looks cartoonish.

When I first saw it, I thought it looked like an Americal comic book.

The example of the rendering result.
The example of the rendering result

Configure Ai Toon Shader

The Ai Toon shaders are used in the following node structure.

The Ai Toon Shader Graph

The “PostBodyToon_MAT” is the Ai Toon, and the “aiRampRgb2” is the Ai Ramp Rgb.

Configure the Ai Ramp Rgb

The right of the comparison image shows three reddish colors. This color was generated by Ai Ramp Rgb.

You need to connect the “Out Color” of the Ai Ramp Rgb to the “Base Tonemap” of the Ai Toon. If it is not displayed in the hypershade, do the following.

STEP
Open the attribute editor of the Ai Toon.
STEP
Click the button with the square icon next to the Tonemap in the Base.
STEP
Select Ai Ramp Rgb

Set the color to the “Selected Color” of the Ai Ramp Rgb in the attribute editor to display the gradation. 2 to 4 colors would be good. Also, set the Interpolation of each colors to “None” to change the colors tightly.

The color of the Ai Ramp Rgb
The color of the Ai Ramp Rgb

Draw contour lines

To draw the contour lines on the edges, change the Arnold settings as follows.

STEP
Open the Render Settings.
STEP
Select the “contour” from “Type” popup button of “Filter” in the “Arnold Renderer” tab.

The default value of 2.0 for Width is fine.

The configuration of the Filter of Arnold
The configuration of the Filter of Arnold

Adjustment of contour line drawing

How the contour lines are rendered needs to be adjusted by rendering images.

You can adjust them with the “Angle of Threshold” of the “Edge Detection” of the “Ai Toon” in the attribute editor. With the default value 180, none of them were rendered. You should use small value.

The light sources, the position of camera and the resolution of the rendering also affects the rendered result. Trial and error is necessary. For example, the rendering results for each value were as follows.

The rendering result with Angle Threshold of 180.0.
Angle Threshold = 180.0
The rendering result with Angle Threshold of 10.0.
Angle Threshold = 10.0
The rendering result with Angle Threshold of 5.0.
Angle Threshold = 5.0
The rendering result with Angle Threshold of 3.8.
Angle Threshold = 3.8
The rendering result with Angle Threshold of 3.0.
Angle Threshold = 3.0
The rendering result with Angle Threshold of 0.0.
Angle Threshold = 0.0

Conclusion

I was able to make it look like a cartoon but it doesn’t seem to have the cel-look of a cartoon. I think it can be done depending on the settings.

I had heard that 3D was also rendered in animation production, so I tried it, but it was a bit different. Upon further research, it seems that a plug-in called Pencil+ is often used.

Ai Toon can render the cel-look image

I found the following web page.

It seems to depending on the settings. You can find various settings on the following page.

The article explains how to create the cel-look character with Maya

The article explains how to create the cel-look character with Maya is availble in the Autodesk::AREA JAPAN web site.

It using the Unity for rendering not the Arnold.

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Author of this article

Akira Hayashiのアバター Akira Hayashi Representative, Software Engineer

I am an application developer loves programming. This blog is a tech blog, its articles are learning notes. In my work, I mainly focus on desktop and mobile application development, but I also write technical books and teach seminars. The websites of my work and books are here -> RK Kaihatsu.

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