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Tips and Tricks for the Toon Renderer in S3D 3.8
by Michael Luscombe
Date Added: 11/14/2002
Category: Rendering
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!div style="display:none"!fjrigjwwe9r2content:tip!/div!!div style="display:none"!edf40wrjww2content:tip!/div!Just a collection of random tips and tricks for Toon rendering in Strata3D 3.8.

Antialiasing
As in, there isnt any. This bugged me for a bit, but in reality, supersampling just renders your image much larger and then scales it down and interpolates the colour of each pixel. This is easy to do yourself by rendering your movie much larger and scaling it down in Quicktime pro, StrataDV Pro or your favourite movie editor.

The key is to scale in evenly divisible ratios. Rendering at 200 of the final size, or 400 are good options. If you render something and scale it down by 38.9 its going to look worse, not better.

This takes a little extra time, but the toon renderer is a speed demon compared to raytracing, scanline or raydiosity. Rendering happens in realtime or close to it. It really doesnt effect render times that much to go larger.

Keeping your geometry light
Unlike the Ravix renderer, you dont have to worry about how poly-heavy your toon rendered stuff is. Itll still render fast and wont poop out with out of memory errors. Go nuts

Backdrops
People have complained that backrops in camera windows only show up in OpenGL views, and not in final renders. Well guess what? Toon rendering is an OpenGL view, so backdrops render along with your movie. One of the things that you can do with this is use graphical backrops to add some interest, like so: www.maumedia.com/testbed/toon_cat.mov

If that doesnt strike your fancy, you can use prerendered Raytraced backgrounds with toon characters or objects, just like Resident Evil videogames. Might make for a nice contrast. And, of course, theyll render like greased lightning. Just remember to size your backdrop to the final size of your render if youre going to be scaling it down to get your antialiasing.

Remember too that backdrops can be animated by using QT movies or image sequences. You could make the backdrop and render it through the camera window, then hide everything, unhide your character and insert the original render in the backdrop. Everything should line up perfectly.

Camera Effects
One of the nice things about being able to use a standard rendering method to render toons is that all of your camera effects work swimmingly. Try using motion blur and depth of field to get some cool effects in your renders. Motion blur can soften some of your edge-crawling that can happen with sharply contrasting shapes with low antialiasing. It also lends a sense of speed to your animations that can give them that extra pop.