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AnimeX: Post Processing Based Anime and Manga Stylistic Rendering Pack

Hello everyone,

Actually, this asset pack was firstly released in July. After a round of feedback collection, the 2nd version is updated now:
https://www.unrealengine.com/marketp…rendering-pack

Price: $39.99

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Introduction

Stylized rendering is also very popular in games to archive some artistic pursuits. Anime/Manga style is one of the basic and typical non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) styles.

The cel shading used is a layered model: two layers for basic color and one layer for highlight, which is commonly used in anime. The light-shade boundaries can be specified by the custom threshold. The global brightness and shade falloff can be specified accordingly.

The outline drawing covers the features of silhouettes, creases, and boundaries. In the legacy version 1, the three types of outlines are separately extracted. In version 2, creases and general silhouettes are covered by one extraction method; silhouettes with suggestive contour is an extension which is suitable for characters.

Procedural and texture hatching are also supported. The hatching density, direction, threshold, and pattern can be specified.

Generally, it can be compatible with common shading materials used in the photo-realistic rendering, that is, no specific texture or extra material is necessary. The style rendering can be switched by the custom stencil values of the target meshes.

Brief tutorial

  1. Project settings > Engine -> Rendering -> Postprocessing -> Custom depth-stencil pass, choose Enabled with Stencil.
    84fb5f16d885f8fa8b71e168564108b4361e07dd.jpeg
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  2. Add mesh objects and set light sources.

  3. Add a post process volume, then Rendering features -> Post Process Material -> Array + -> Asset Reference, drag the material/instance into the blank.
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  4. For each mesh object, set the custom stencil value, default value 7 ( = 1 + 2 + 4) for enabling all basic effects. For a character, setting 15 for enabling all effects.
    dfb8f7dda6cb2bdd304dbbd2da43ea1b1db9740a.jpeg
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    ​ Note that the effect impact can be switched on or off individually for each object by setting the custom stencil value, so that the hybrid rendering effects can also be realized in the same scene (as shown in the following figure).


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  1. Face light supplement (FLS): just drag the BP_FaceLight into the scene, and specify the default skeletal mesh variable to the target character. This effect is optional by users preference.576b2b512a3c611610995d2e3ade70add6faf8ce.jpeg
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    ​ The effects comparison between FLS on and off is shown in the figure below.


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  1. For auto global light intensity estimation, please refer to the sample BP_Light_Intensity_Estimation. The parameter value of (global) light intensity can be set manually as well.

Hints

To switch on the expected effect, the custom stencil needs to be set to the sum of the necessary mask values for each object.

In version 1, the default stencil masks are [TABLE=“border: 1, cellpadding: 1”]

Cel shading
Silhouette
Crease
Boundary
Hatching
Character

1
2
4
8
16
32

For example, setting custom stencil = Cel + silhouette + boundary + character = 1 + 2 + 8 + 32 = 43, is suitable for a character mesh.

In version 2, the default stencil masks are simplified: [TABLE=“border: 1, cellpadding: 1”]

Cel shading
Outline (crease + boundary)
Hatching
Silhouette (suggestive contours)

1
2
4
8

Commonly, setting custom stencil = 7 for each object is OK. For a character, 15 is recommended to enable the suggestive contour for better details conveying.

The stencil masks can also be customized, if the default values are used for other things and the rules are commanded.

For using mobile version (V3), please first drag BP_MainLightInfo into the scene. As mobile post-process materials cannot acquire the g-buffers, a full PP solution does not work well. Thus, some base-pass materials are made as the solution. Since the variety of base-pass materials can be divergent, the materials provided in the pack can be regarded as templates. You could customize your own material by modifying them.

Introduction to mobile materials/material templates:

  1. M_Anime_Template_Cel, cel shading only, recommended to use with MI_LineDraw_PP, compatible with OpenGL ES2
  2. M_Anime_Template_Dithered, cel shading with dithered alpha mask, compatible with OpenGL ES2
  3. M_Anime_Template_ES2, cel shading with silhouette drawing; the quality may not as good as M_LineDraw_PP, compatible with OpenGL ES2
  4. M_Anime_Template_ES3, cel shading with silhouette drawing; the quality may not as good as M_LineDraw_PP, compatible with OpenGL ES3

Limitations of V3:

  1. Only support 1 main directional light
  2. Outlines may not always work as same good quality as the PC version for arbitrary geometries.

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So fcking amazing!
Cant wait to buy it!

Impressive! Expecting your future NPR works!

To be honest, it is very amazing. do a very good job. easy to use and good effect. Can’t wait for more NPR effects.

Greate effect for NPR style games. Keep up the good work!

Considering adding painting style shading with patterned outline strokes in v3 as an extensive update.

I have bought the app. The result is very impressive. Hope the author could update new features.

Is partial transparency supported?

Yes. I’ll update it when having some new ideas. Planning to add painterly shading effect additional to the cel shading.

Not sure. My hair is rendered with dithered transparency. Order-independent-transparency (OIT) itself is a troublesome problem. The outline drawing does not include the transparent pass, while cel shading can include it.

StarBig‘s NPR has perfect **edge detection that ** includes a variety of mathematical methods ,you deserve it !

interesting

Brilliant work!

It’s amazing

Referring to the Demo maps shipped with the product. What is happening in the “mobile” map vs the regular demo map? My project is mostly mobile.

a very good job

have been a fun of XStar product since college time. XStar is such a talented specialist in graphics and his masterpiece definitely worth buying.

Version 3 updated: strengthening the extension for mobile platforms, compatible with OpenGL ES2. I will write down the details about V3 update later in the top post.
As mobile post-process materials cannot acquire the g-buffers, a full PP solution does not work well. Thus, I made some base-pass materials as the solution. Since the variety of base-pass materials can be divergent, the materials provided in the pack can be regarded as templates. You could customize your own material by modifying them.

Good work! How can I have such a skill?

UE4 has the limitation to the mobile PP materials, and thus the mobile cel shading may not be achieved by fully post-processing. Hoping the latest update with base-pass material templates will be helpful to your future projects.