Quick Tips

  1. Do not use version 2.01 of the Super Cel Shader if you can help it -- it has a memory leak, and enough celshaded objects can crash LightWave. From what I've heard, the culprit is the preview window. Install an earlier version if you have one.

  2. (For what it's worth...I don't remember having a problem with Super Cel Shader 2.01 when I celshaded for a hobby, and had few celshaded objects per scene. A production environment doesn't need the grief, though -- especially if it will use a lot of celshaded objects in a scene --Jen).

  3. When you first open up the "Options" panel for Super Cel Shader 1.00, the four Paint Brightnesses look like this:

    1. 0.4
    2. 0.4
    3. 0.7
    4. 1.0

    If I don't have much time to celshade an object, the first thing I do is change the numbers so that the four Paint Brightnesses look like this:

    1. 0.7
    2. 0.7
    3. 1.0
    4. 1.0

    ...these settings look more "cartoony" to me.

  4. Cel shader plug-ins play only a partial (though essential) role in making your 3D work look hand-drawn. These factors also count:

    1. Design
    2. Model sheet
    3. Model
    4. Poses/composition
    5. Lighting
    6. Character Animation (to cement the illusion)

    ...a celshaded piece that excels in all these factors will both wow and dazzle your audience. :-)

    (Even if you only have one or two of these factors in your celshaded piece, you will be ahead of the person who did not know about any of them -- Jen).

  5. The celshader who can draw has the advantage over the celshader who cannot draw.
  6. When building characters, I prefer to model my MetaNURBS cages with splines. Compared to the point-by-point method, splines yield smoother and more elegant meshes. This in turn results in smoother and more elegant Cel-Look Edges.
  7. Use diffusion maps to directly "paint" shadows onto your character (ex: the underside of the nose and lips).
  8. Use bump maps to add shading detail that holds up when the lighting changes dramatically (ex: muscles, knuckles, tendons; maybe cheekbones, too).
  9. Color maps work fine, too -- use them for eyes, lips, decals, tattoos, "detail" ink lines, or any color detail that you want to directly "paint" onto your character (such as an intricate pattern for a scarf).


-- Jennifer Lynn Hachigian