Sunday, 30 September 2012

Blender 2d Filters

After looking at UDK's post prepossessing chain in the last post I remembered that blender had something similar but I had never properly used it before. I remember mabie using it ounce to invert the screen colors when a player died or something cheesy like that.

Yesterday i took another look at the 2d filter option and noticed that there was a coustom 2d filter option. I googled it and turns out it looks for a post proses glsl shader. Has to be hand coded unlike the visual editor in udk. I looked of example code but couldn't find any and tried some GLSL scripts but couldn't get them to work. 

I tryed messing around with the pre built shaders in blender(Sadly didnt find a way to look at the code for the built in filters). My goal was to find an edge detection shader whitch would draw outlines whilst i was searching online. I realised that the buit in sobil filter gave the objects a white outline but messed aboutout the rest of the colors and made the bg black. So I also applyed the desatureate filter and finaly the inverse color filter. This made a black and white image with a black outline. 

This proved that an outline could be achived and i just had to look harder. 

So I Googled some  more today and found a few useful places for shaders. Only some of them work on my ATI graphics card though. 

Found this awsome wave filter video and through following links and stuff found some more:

Found this guy who has 3 basic 2d opengl filter tutorials for blender on his blog, useful stuff:

I looked up how some filtes worked in other 2d packages heres gimps dilate filter explained:
To sum up what i learned from that page. The filter looks at everypixel on screen space ounce the inital game render frame has taken place then it analises each pixel and performes n action upon it depending on its sarounding pixels. In this example it uses a 3x3 grid

Here is a comparison between the original image and the filtered one.

Then i keped finding more there was a page which had some a couple links that lead to loads of nice filters. Here are soem of them(Most of them are by martinsh thanx these are awsome):

Another example of screenspace Ambient Occlusion but it looks like a sketch ish.

Depth of field:

And this Awsome watter shader:

And finaly the last thign i found was an old post on blender artist containing the code i needed to produce an outline around objects.(And it seemed like th simplist pice of cade i found)

Friday, 28 September 2012

UDK Post Prosess

I had an educational play in udk last night to test the edge detection but found out the examples i have seen is insted a really complex post prosess chain. I tryed to recreate the node set up like the image but at a point decided to watch a tutorial on the basics first. 

This is the tutorial i followed to set up post prosses chain:

I got a hang of what was being explained and then went on to the next more indepth tutorial and edited them to used an overlay material with the sketchy overlay iv been using on the post man test. UDK crashed before i managed to get a screenshot of the work and turned out i didnt save stuff right so had to star again but it was last and i was tyerd, when i try it again il post it then but the things u can do with this chain seems realy powerfull and i will definetly play with it some more :D

Meeting with Ryan

Had a meeting with Ryan Locke on Thursday and think it went well. This is him >>

The main thing he made me think of is why! Why should i do this project? What is the reason i like trying to make 3d stuff look 2d. 

We talked about Okami and how brave a move it was to go for the art style as it was initaly intended to be a realistic game but the style really suited the story that was being told. My project has to have a meaning and a direct link to why that style is used in the scene I decide to create.

Video shows a comparison between the origonal okami style and the water color style.

We also talked about Journey on play station network  and how we both bought it on relece and enjoyed the experience from start to Finnish. 

I showed my post man and monkey tests and he seemed to like them.
He sed to Narrow down to a few, mabie 3 styles for the final pice. 

He also said i should keep looking up tests and examples that other people have done in the field throwought the project and i have a few new blogs and stuff to post and will do soon.

We also talked about possible engines to use for the final pice, he recomended UDK (Unreal development kit) or unity3d. And we discused that the kind of thing i need for this project is post prosess effects whitch is only avalible in the pro version of unity but comes as standerd with UDK. Im still keeping the Blender game engine open as a test option but have grown to be comfortable with the code element of unity over the summer. (See Flee Free on Google Play game i made over summer)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

3D animation like 2d painting

The Bear Who Loved Vodka:

Backgrounds are made from 2D planes in 3D space with alpha layers and hand painted texture on them. 
The characters are made in 3D with some kind of edge detection for the outline and a ramp shader the shading/ highlights. 
Some elements whitch move in the background are made in 3d with eather the same edge detection shader or simple drawn on black lines at the edges.
The slight use of paint texture makes this animation look like the pixar concept images.

^not the best example but will do^

The snow man quick studdy

I remembered in last weeks class tutorial last week that I should have a look at this short film again , its  a bit out of season but still relevant. 

Based on a children's book the film was released in 1982, and its a bit longer than i remember , mabie I think more of the iron brew version.

Made with hand drawn pencil drawings with layering effects.

Notes/ observations:

Things only get animated when they need to. ie, backgrounds stay still and lines don't wobble , similarly when characters stay still there is only 1 image unlike other newer animations which put an extra frame to wobble back and forth to, to keep the sometimes off-putting movement consistent.
When a character dose move however they shading seems jumpy and messy but this adds the style which give this film its charm. When things are moving they almost have a new light source intensity and position every frame this is inconsistent but a key part of this style.

Level of detail: As would be expected thing in the background have less detail and as they appear smaller in 2D they also appealer to have a thicker outline. But it is just the same thickness.
At the part where they are looking at the motor bike the outline gets much darker and bolder when they get closer.

Solid drawing: Although it tyres to keep the illusion of 3d sometimes there is the odd frame which is the wrong shape or sizes but again this s gives the film a childlike charm.

Backgrounds: when James and the snowman are flying in the air the things they see towns and hills and lakes. All these things have a very weird perspective and camera moves on them and some are drawn very primativly as they do not require as much screen time and a few lines can pass for a tree. These are all indevidualy drawn which is what gives the effect of weird perspective.

When they are aproching the dance in the woods the trees move in a parallax fashion with 3 or 4 layers of detail but these images are static and are only being moved not redrawn every frame. because of this it makes it very difficult to deduce a method to replicate this inconsistent style of fully animated to limited animation.

I may revisit this film later on and look again for things which jump out at me to be relevant but that's all for now.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Media Tests

As this project aims to recreate art styles its only natural that i get the old art supplies out and try a small scale test on the inverse.  Use Traditional media to represent a 3d render.

Here is the render made in blender with an ambient occlusion

And here is the outcome of my media tests some are different colors coz i wanted them more lively and coz i didn't have enough colors.

Working doc

Thought i shoudl put up the working word doc for this project soo ... here it is

Alastair Low Honours Project Proposal
Brief outline of project-
Use simple modelling techniques along with shaders in a game engine environment to make achieve a non-photo realistic, hand drawn/ painted look to the game.
Look into game engine Software:
Unity 3d
Other software out there another examples of similar projects(Reserch how others have tried to achiev similar results)
Shader example for xna (


Prince of Persia


Veiwtiful joe


Zelda skyward sward

Monet mystery f the orangery

Killer 7

Unfinished swan


Tiny and big

Joshi story

Rock of ages

Team Fortress 2

Shadow of the Cholosis

//Mac and Cheese
//Abney and teal

Roobarb and custard

Explore the differences between animated and static textures to achieve hand drawn animation styles and determine which feels more natural. Is this disorientating to the user?
Experiment with depth of field blurring and lessening of detail.
Possible questions-
- How can simple modelling techniques and shaders be used to make real time game renders look like concept art or traditional hand drawn/ painted styles? (question)
Art Styles to explore:
Etchings/ lithographs
Sketches(pencil chalk , pen and ink)
water colour (metal gear solid concept art work)
pointillist(Pixels are in essence a pointillist representation using additive colour theory appose to paintings using subtractive theory)

Talk about games as art:
- counter argument to project aim games are developing their own styles and should not resort to post-modern approaches to imitate existing styles .
Possible outcomes of the project:
A game showcasing the styles in real time
- a digital book , telling a story like a childrens picture book?
- a tablet based experience(limited shader resources?)
- A short experience
- A tech demo showing a hand ful of traditional styles.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Previous hand drawn 3d work.

This post will recap on some work iv did in the past relating to this topic.

My girl friend did a game design project in college and i decided to make make a 3d environment which tried to match her concept art style:

Quick 3d side scroller with pencil textures:

2nd Year low poly 3d modelling class at Abertay:

This was one of the final renders i made for Ken Fees class:

It has a kind of borderlands sketchy feel to it. 

Heres a few concept sketches and wire frames for this scene:
Orthographic sketch reference:
Wire frame of ornothopter:

Wire frames of the female character:

2nd year Group project:
Pencil textured 3d boy:
... need to find image

Zelda models from someone elses concept sketches:

origonal concept art(not mine link here)

My 3d version

Origonal Concept()

My 3d Version:(my favrate of the zelda series I did)


My 3d Version:

If i find other stuff il post it later.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Test time

Iv been working on some ideas and thought I should post them before I start posting loads of research and stuff. Here is some Tests iv been working on:

The first test shows a 3d character rendered onto a series of sprite sheets then swamped between when the player presses a button. 
please excuse the jumpy video, the screen cap software dosent work the best on my laptop.

character model and shader found here:
Coded in javascript in unity 3d

Heres one of the sprite sheets:

Mail Box South East:
And the first faild attempt at this sprite sheet coz it was really inificant (is was like 7000px wide :P thought unity could handle it but turned out not really):

The second test shows a shader test iv been wanting to try for ages. Made in blender, i just used the basic monkey mesh, unwrapped it and drew a few sets of squiggle shading over the entire mesh then made a shader node step out using a ramp to separate the shadows and display the animated shading as found in hand drawn animations.

Squiggle animation sheet for monkey sketch shader
(really quick and rough just to test i could animate shadows)

And this is the Shader node set up for the monkey in blender

Any Qestions please ask ! :D