How to create Cartoon characters

how to create digital cartoon and how to make cartoon drawings step by step and how to make cartoon drawings on computer how to create cartoon character in 3ds max
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Dr.MohitBansal,Canada,Teacher
Published Date:26-10-2017
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Creating a Cartoonish Scene In this chapter, we will cover the following recipes in detail: f Setting up the environment and lighting f Creating skin, teeth, and other body parts f Creating the hair material f Creating the dress material f Compositing the scene Introduction Although Cycles is a render engine which uses accurate lighting and material system, it can also provide great cartoon looks. We just have to know how to tweak the materials and the lighting. Let's see how in this chapterCreating a Cartoonish Scene Setting up the environment and lighting The first thing that we will do is setting up the lighting. We will be using a combination of the sunlight and environment lighting. Getting ready Let's open thechapter05_empty.blend file. As you can see, this time the interface is slightly different than usual. Due to the nature of the image, a vertical layout should be better for this particular scene. We will start by setting up the lighting and the materials for the environment. How to do it… To create the various materials, we will be performing the following steps: Lighting and render settings 1. Add a Sun light and place it behind the camera. The direction has to be similar to the camera's, but the angle to the ground shall be bigger. 2. Set Color to RGB 1, 0.98, 0.9 and the Strength value to3.500. 3. Make sure that the Shadows are active and set the Size value to0.050. 4. Go to the World tab and set Color to Sky Texture. Set the sphere lighting so that it comes from the top left, as shown in the following screenshot. In case we want to be really precise with this, we can use the Sun Position plugin that we used in Chapter 4, Creating an Exterior Scene. 5. Set the Strength value to1.300. 130Chapter 5 6. Activate the Ambient Occlusion option and set the Factor value to0.25. 7. Let's go to the Render panel now. 8. In the Sampling panel, set the Clamp value to4.00. The number of samples for the final render should not be less than 600 samples, while 50 samples will be fine for the preview. 9. In the Film panel, activate the Transparent option and set the Exposure value to1.30. 131Creating a Cartoonish Scene 10. Set the Light Paths panel as shown in the following screenshot: Sea 1. Select the Sea mesh and add a new material to it. Name itSea. 2. In the material node editor, delete the default Diffuse BSDF node and add a Glossy BSDF node. Set the Roughness value to0.020. 3. Add an Image Texture node and a Texture coordinate node. Load theSkyRefs.jpg file. For this texture, we will use the Reflection coordinates. 4. Add a Mapping node and place it between the SkyRefs texture and the Texture Coordinate node. Set the Location value to XYZ 1.7, 0, 0. 5. Add a Gamma node and place it after the SkyRefs texture. Set the Gamma value to1.200. 132Chapter 5 6. Add a Color Mix node and connect the Gamma node to its Color2 socket. Set the Color1 value to 0.03, 0.42, 0.61. Leave the mode to Mix and set the Fac value to 0.500. Connect the Color output to the Color input socket of Glossy BSDF. 7. Add a Noise Texture node and set the Scale value to50.000, Detail to2.000, and Distortion to1.000. 8. Duplicate the Noise Texture node and change the Scale value of the new node to 200.000. Mix the two Noise Texture nodes with a Color Mix node. Leave the mode to Mix and set the influence of the first Noise Texture node (Scale is50.000) to 70 percent. 9. Add a Voronoi Texture node and set the Scale value to40.000. Leave the mode to Intensity and mix it with the previous two textures using a Color Mix node in the Add mode, Fac is0.500. Remember to plug the Voronoi Texture node into the Color2 socket. 10. Add a Wave Texture node. Set the Scale value to7.000, the Distortion value to 15.000, Detail to50.000, and the Detail Scale value to2.000. Mix it with the previous textures using a Color Mix node in the Mix mode, with Wave Texture inuence fl of 30 percent. 11. Connect the last Color Mix node to the Displacement socket of the Material Output node. 133Creating a Cartoonish Scene Floor 1. Select the Floor mesh and add a new material named Floor to it. 2. Add a Toon BSDF node and mix it with the default Diffuse BSDF node using a Mix Shader node. 3. Set the Toon BSDF mode to Glossy, the Size value to0.225, and the Smooth value to0.100. 4. Add a Fresnel node and connect it to the Fac value of Mix Shader. Set the IOR value to1.900. 5. Add an Image Texture node and a Texture Coordinate node. Load theChessTiles_ COLOR.png file and use the UV coordinates for it. Add a Bright/Contrast node and place it after the Image Texture node. Set the Contrast value to-0.040 and connect the Color output to the Color input of Diffuse BSDF. 6. Add a Voronoi Texture node, and set the mode to Cells from the drop-down menu. Also, set the Scale value to750.000. 7. After that, add a Color Mix node and connect the Voronoi Texture node to the Color1 input. Set the Color2 value to RGB 0.7, 0.7, 0.7. Leave the mode to Mix and set the Fac value to0.350. Finally, connect the Color output to the Color input of the Glossy Toon BSDF. 8. Duplicate the Image Texture node and make it single user by clicking on the small number next to the file path. Load the ChessTiles_DISP.png file and connect the Color output into the first Value socket of a Multiply node in the Multiply mode. Set the second Value to0.400 and connect the node to the Displacement socket of the Material Output node. 134Chapter 5 Balustrade 1. Select the Balustrade mesh and add a new material named Balustrade to it. 2. Add a Toon BSDF node and mix it with the default Diffuse BSDF node, with an inuence fl of 30 percent for the Toon BSDF node. 3. Set the Roughness value of Diffuse BSDF to1 and mode of the Toon BSDF node to Glossy. Also, set the Size and Smooth value to0.400. 4. Add an Image Texture node and a Texture Coordinate node. Load theBalustrade. jpg file and use the UV coordinates. Plug the Color output of the texture into a Gamma node and set the Gamma value to1.200. Finally, connect the Gamma node into the Color input socket of Diffuse BSDF. 5. Add a Mapping node and place it between the Texture Coordinate and Image Texture nodes. Set the Scale value to XYZ 15, 15, 15. 6. Duplicate the Image Texture node and make the texture single user. Load the Balustrade_SPEC.png file, and connect the Color output into the Color input of Toon BSDF with the Glossy mode. 7. Duplicate the Image Texture node again, make it single user, and load the Balustrade_DISP.png file. Add a Bump node and connect the texture to the Bump node's Height input socket. 8. Set the Strength value of Bump to0.100. Connect the Normal output to the Normal input of the Diffuse BSDF and Toon BSDF nodes. 135Creating a Cartoonish Scene Dust Particles 1. Select the Dust mesh and add a new material namedDust. 2. Mix the default Diffuse BSDF node with a Transparent BSDF node using a Mix Shader node. Set the Color value of Diffuse BSDF to RGB 1, 0.81, 0.53. 3. Add a Noise Texture node and set the Scale value to2.000, the Detail value to 16.000, and the Distortion value to5.800. Plug the Fac output into a ColorRamp node and set the color stops as shown in the following screenshot. Finally, plug the Color output of ColorRamp into the Fac input of Mix Shader. How it works... In this previous sections, we used some new interesting techniques. First of all, we can see the Light Paths settings for the rendering are quite low. This is because we do not need a strong Global Illumination for the kind of cartoon look we are going for. Also, we deactivated caustics for the same reason. This will require some further tweaks in some of the materials that we will be creating, especially for the transparent ones; but it will allow us to optimize the scene a lot. 136Chapter 5 Something quite interesting to talk about is how we created the sea material. First of all, we used a simple plane and generated the sea surface using only procedural textures. Moreover, we mapped a texture using the reflections coordinates. This is a great way to fake reflections over a surface. Water is usually almost perfectly transparent and its color is given by the environment such as the sky and the bottom of the sea. In our scene, we do not have much to give a proper color to the sea; but using this technique we could easily fake this. The peculiarity of the reflections coordinates is that the textures change depending on the angle from which we are looking at the mesh, and it would look exactly like a reflective surface. Of course, this is not as accurate as real reflections, but it is perfect for our scene. Here, we are using the Toon BSDF for the first time. This is particularly good for obtaining a cartoon shading style. We can adjust the Roughness value of the specularity changing the Size value, while the Smooth value sets the overall smoothness of the highlights. There is the possibility to also use this Shader as a diffuse value, but it still gives some problem with the edges between light and shadow as it is under development. Furthermore, we are not aiming for a totally toony style. So, we do not want to overdo the effect. Finally, for the dust particles, we used a single mesh instanced by a particles system. If we would like to change the size or the position of the dust particles, it would be enough to select the emitter cube and go to the Particles menu. There, we can find the settings concerning the size, rotation, and so on. There's more... The nice thing about using a procedurally-generated sea is that it is quite easy to animate if needed, unlike a sea that uses image textures. It will be enough to add a Mapping node for the textures and animate the rotation or Position values. To insert keyframes, it is enough to press the I key while the cursor is over the value that we want to keyframe. Another alternative is to use the ocean modifier. This is a much more accurate way of creating sea animations. But, it is also much more demanding in terms of resources as it will create a lot of polygons. Creating a big water surface with this method can be quite problematic for certain hardware. Creating skin, teeth, and other body parts In this recipe, we are going to create some organic toony-style materials such as skin and teeth. Getting ready It is now time to set the various materials for the body of the girl. Select the mesh named Head, and add a new material to it, naming itskin. It is a good idea to solo the mesh to have a faster viewport real-time preview. 137Creating a Cartoonish Scene How to do it… To create the materials of this recipe, perform the following steps: 1. Add a Translucent BSDF node and mix it with the default Diffuse BSDF node using a Mix Shader node. Set the Roughness value of Diffuse BSDF to1.000. Label the Mix Shader node asDermal. 2. Add a Layer Weight node by navigating to Add menu Input, and connect the Fresnel output into the Fac input of the Mix node. Set the Blend value to0.550. 3. Add an Image Texture node and a Texture coordinate node. In the Image Texture node, load thebody_unscatter.jpg file and use the UV coordinates. 4. Add a Color Mix node and plug the texture into the Color1 socket. Change the mode to Color and the Fac value to0.250. Set the Color2 value to RGB 1, 0.52, 0.38. Finally, plug the Color output into the Color input of Diffuse BSDF. 5. Duplicate the Image Texture node and the Color Mix node. Make the texture single user and load thebody_subder.jpg file. Also, set the Color Mix node's Fac to 0.500 and the Color2 value to RGB 1, 0.44, 0.41. Connect the Color output into the Color input socket of Translucent BSDF. 6. Add a Toon BSDF node and a Glossy BSDF node, and mix them using a Mix Shader node. Label the Mix node asSpecular. 7. In the Toon BSDF node, set the type to Glossy in the drop-down menu. Then set the Size value to0.300 and the Smooth value to 0.250. Also, set the Color value to RGB 0.35, 0.33, 0.3. In the Glossy BSDF node, set the Roughness value to0.050 and the Color value to RGB 0.6, 0.6, 0.6. 8. Add another Mix Shader node and plug the Dermal node into the first socket and the Specular node into the second socket. Label itSkin. 9. Add an Attribute node and typeNails in the Name field. Copy one of the Image Texture nodes and make the texture single user. Load thebody_LIPS.jpg file into it. Mix the two nodes with a Color Mix node. Set the mode to Add and the Fac value to1.000. Plug the Color output of the Attribute node into the Color2 input and the Color output of Image Texture into the Color1 input. Label the node as Lips_Nails. 10. Plug the Lips_Nails node's Color output into the Fac input of the Dermal and Skin nodes. 11. Add a ColorRamp node and place it before the Skin node's Fac input. Set the colors as shown in the following screenshot. 138Chapter 5 12. Add two Color Mix nodes and place them between the Diffuse BSDF and Translucent BSDF nodes and their Color inputs. Set them both to Mix and plug the previous Color information into the Color1 socket and the output from the Lips_Nails node into the Fac input. 13. Set the Color2 value to RGB 1, 0, 0. 14. Add a Noise Texture node and use the generated coordinates for it. Set the Scale value to250.000. 15. Add a Bump node and plug the Fac output of the Noise Texture node into its Height input. Then plug the Normal output into the Normal input of the Diffuse BSDF, Toon BSDF, Glossy BSDF, and Translucent BSDF nodes. 16. Set the Strength value of the Bump node to0.020. 17. Apply the skin material to the Body and Legs meshes. 18. In the Head mesh, add a new material in the second material slot, and name itTeeth. 19. Add a Translucent BSDF node and mix it with the default Diffuse BSDF node using a Mix Shader node. Set the Fac value to0.300. 139Creating a Cartoonish Scene 20. Set the Color value of Translucent BSDF to RGB 0.8, 0.62, 0.55 and the Color value of Diffuse BSDF to RGB 1, 0.92, 0.89. 21. Add a Glossy BSDF node and mix it with the previous BSDFs mix using another Mix Shader node. 22. Set the Roughness value of Glossy BSDF to 0.005 and the Color value to RGB 0.8, 0.8, 0.8. 23. Add a Fresnel node and plug the Fac output into the Fac input of the last Mix Shader node. Set the IOR value to1.800. 24. Select the Eye.R mesh and add a new material into the first material slot. Name itEye. 25. Add a Translucent BSDF node and mix it with the default Diffuse BSDF node with a Mix Shader node. Set the Diffuse BSDF node's Color to Pure White and the Roughness value to1.000. Then set the Color value of Translucent BSDF to RGB 0.8, 0.1, 0. 26. Add a Layer Weight node, and plug the Facing output into the Fac input of Mix Shader. Set the Blend value to0.850. 140Chapter 5 27. Add a new material into the second material slot and name itIris. 28. Add an Image Texture node and a Texture Coordinate node. Load theeye.png file and use the UV coordinates. 29. Set the Roughness value of Diffuse BSDF to1.000. 30. Add a new material in the third material slot and name itPupil. For this Shader, set the Diffuse BSDF node's Color to Pure Black. 31. Add a material into the fourth material slot and name itCornea. 32. Delete the Diffuse BSDF node and add a Glass BSDF node and a Glossy BSDF node. Mix them using a Mix Shader node. Add a Fresnel node and plug it into the Fac value of the Mix Shader node. Set the IOR value to1.400. 33. Add a Transparent BSDF node and mix it with the previous BSDFs mix using another Mix Shader node. 34. Add a LightPath node by navigating to Add menu Input, and plug the Is Shadow ray socket into the Fac value of the Mix Shader node. Remember to plug the Transparent BSDF node into the second socket of the Mix Shader node. 141Creating a Cartoonish Scene 35. Add a Noise Texture node and a Bump node. Plug the Fac output of Noise Texture into the Height input of the Bump node. Set the Scale value to25.000 and the Detail value of Noise Texture to0.000. Set the Strength value of the Bump node to0.020. 36. Plug the Normal output of the Bump node into the Normal input of the Glass BSDF and Glossy BSDF nodes. 37. Select the Eye.L mesh and the shift select the Eye.R mesh so that the last one is active and the Eye.L mesh is selected. The active mesh will be outlined with a brighter orange line. 38. Press Ctrl + L and click on Materials. 142Chapter 5 39. For the Eyelashes.L and Eyelashes.R meshes, use the node setup shown in the following screenshot: How it works... When creating computer graphics, we have to always keep in mind that when it is possible to fake something to make it easier and faster, it is a good idea to fake. This is true when creating realistic images and even more so when we are creating cartoon style images. Here, we have the possibility to achieve believable results and different styles without looking for perfect realism. We used this method a lot while creating the Shaders for the body of the girl. We did not aim for realism; on the other hand, we tried to achieve believable and captivating results using any trick and cheating, we could. Let's look in detail at what we did for each material. Skin Realistic skin uses SubSurface Scattering (SSS). This is quite a heavy Shader to compute, which is even more problematic in Cycles because at the moment it can only be achieved using CPU. As we said earlier, we are not aiming for realism but believability; so, we can use some tricks. As we have seen in Chapter 4, Creating an Exterior Scene, SSS is a Shader that lets the light enter an object and be scattered inside it. It takes into account the thickness of the object. This means that the scattering will be more visible where the mesh is thinner and it will become weaker where the is mesh getting thicker. Let's take a look at our own hand, looking at it with a strong light behind it, preferably the Sun. We will notice that the scattering effect is stronger at the edges of our hand. Simplifying the concept behind SSS a lot, we can apply a translucent effect only at the edges of our mesh. Of course this will be cheating and it will not be a realistic and accurate skin, but it will do the job for the style we are aiming at in a fraction of the time. To achieve the effect, we used a layer weight to balance between Diffuse BDSF and Translucent BSDF. The Facing output gives a sharper edge than the Fresnel one. To obtain the specularity, we used a combination of a Glossy BSDF and a Toon BSDF. 143Creating a Cartoonish Scene Finally, we wanted to have a different kind of specularity on the lips and the nails. We used a combination of an image texture and vertex painting to obtain the map needed to mix the BSDFs. Eye Here, we used a technique similar to the one we used to create the skin, in order to obtain a fake SSS effect for the sclera. For the cornea, we used a combination of a Glass BSDF and a Glossy BSDF as we wanted the edges to be more reflective and less transparent. This is similar to what we did to create the fake SSS effect, but this time we used a Fresnel node in order to obtain a much smoother transition. We also got rid of the shadows using a Light Path node. Usually, it is a good idea to do this as shadows do not work so well in spaces so small as the eye. But, in this particular scene, it is really important as we are not using caustics and the shadows from the glass would be fully black. There's more... Remember that we can use nodes as the Color Ramp after a Layer Weight node or a Fresnel node, in order to further tweak the mixing of two BSDFs. We can, for example, make the transition sharper or smoother by moving the color stop. We can also change the colors themselves, so that we will always have a mix of the two BSDFs even at the two extremes. Also, remember that we can mix not only BSDFs, but also virtually whatever we want. Look at the following screenshot for reference: 144Chapter 5 See also On the Internet, there are a lot of different versions of fake SSS for Cycles. At the following link, you can find a version which used a more complex setup than the one we created. It is really good for studying http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/56029http://www.blendswap.com/ blends/view/56029 Creating the hair material It is now time to deal with hair. We are going to create a fairly realistic look for it, which will create a nice contrast with the rest of the materials of the scene. Getting ready Before we start, let's have a quick look at how to deal with hair particles in Blender and the options for Cycles. Let's select the Hair mesh and move to the Modifiers menu. We can see that there are three particles modifiers. As for any other modifier, we can deactivate the usage of the modier fi during rendering by clicking on the camera button, or in the viewport by clicking on the eye button. Deactivating the Viewport Visualization option is really useful as having hair particles can be quite heavy. Also, doing so can help us make the viewport faster. To modify any other option, we have to go to the Particles menu. There, we can see that we have three different particle systems. A really important tab for the rendering is the Render tab. Here, we can choose the material we want to use for the hair. Another really important thing is the Steps value. This value determines the number of segments into which every strand is divided. The value we enter is then elevated with a power of two. If this value is too low, our hair will look blocky and lack the organic look. On the other hand, it is important to remember that higher values will require higher rendering times. The Step value for the viewport is different and can be found in the Display panel. While it can be useful to set it a bit higher when tweaking the hair in order to see what is happening, it is a good idea to keep this value quite low in order to avoid making the viewport really slow and heavy. Finally, in the lower part of the menu, we will find the options regarding Cycles rendering that we explored in Chapter 3, Creating an Interior Scene. How to do it… To create the hair material perform the following steps: 1. In the Render tab, make sure that the Steps value is set to7. 2. In the Cycles Hair Rendering tab, let's set the mode to Accurate. This option will work for any hair particle system in our scene, so we need to set it only once. 145Creating a Cartoonish Scene 3. Change the Shape value to-0.60. In the Thickness panel, set the Root value to 0.09 and leave the Tip value at0.00. Make sure that the Close tip option is active. We need to change these options for every particle system. 4. Let's move to the material node editor now. Add a Glossy BSDF node. Set Color to Pure White and the Roughness value to0.005. 5. Duplicate the Glossy BSDF node and set the Roughness value to0.09. Also, set the Color value to RGB 0.8, 0.65, 0.46. Add the two Glossy BSDF nodes using an Add Shader node. 6. Mix the output of the Add Shader node with the default Diffuse BSDF node using a Mix Shader node, with 30 percent of influence for the Add Shader node. Also, set the Roughness value to1.000 of Diffuse BSDF. 146Chapter 5 7. Add a Translucent BSDF node and set the Color value to RGB 0.8, 0.57, 0.39. Mix it with the other Mix Shader node using another Mix Shader node, with 40 percent inuence fl for the Translucent BSDF node. 8. Add a Hair Info node and a ColorRamp node. Connect the Intercept output of Hair Info into the ColorRamp node and set the ColorRamp node as shown in the following screenshot. Connect the ColorRamp node into the Color input of Diffuse BSDF. How it works... The settings for the hair are the same as we saw in Chapter 3, Creating an Interior Scene. Here, we wanted the hair tip to be closed; so we left the Close tip option active. Also, the hair has to be much thinner, hence the value of0.09 for Root. For the material, using the Hair Info node is really important as it allows us to change the color along the length of the strand, using the Intercept output together with a ColorRamp node. We also used two Glossy BSDF with different Roughness values in order to obtain both the soft and sharp reflections over the hair surface. Finally, we have a Translucent BSDF to get the light to be scattered inside the hairs. Sometimes, it could be a good idea to use a black-and-white Color Ramp with the Intercept output from the Hair Info node in order to have a weaker translucency closer to the root of the hair. As in this scene we are not using caustics, the hair will be generally darker. So, we could leave a solid color for the Translucent BSDF. 147Creating a Cartoonish Scene We can create some really crazy things using the combination of a Geometry node and the Hair Info node. With some math, we can combine the Tangent Normal output from the Hair Info node with the Parametric info from the Geometry node, and use the result to mix different colors for our use. In the following screenshot, there is an example that shows how to use this method to create strange, colored reflections on the hair. Instead of a Color Mix node, we can even use a ColorRamp node to mix an even higher number of colors See also On the Blender Cookie website, there is an astonishing tutorial on how to create realistic looking hair. It also covers the particles creation phase. It is not a free tutorial, but it is a great resource to know everything about creating hair in Cycles and Blender:http://cgcookie. com/blender/cgc-courses/styling-and-rendering-long-hair-with-blender- and-cycles/. Creating the dress material Let's now create the clothing of the girl in our scene. We will create different kinds of materials such as the fabric for the dress, the leather for the boots, and other kinds of materials for other accessories. 148

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