Normal Editing and 3D Modeling Discussion

Hello everyone, I wanted to discuss methods on Normal Editing 3d models by using blender and then exporting it to Unreal Engine 4. What I am trying to achieve is an anime styled type of shading. I have a cell shade postprocess material in which have implemented within the world in Unreal. The postprocess material was not as expected since the result shading on my character was not so great. The image below shows the issue I had:


My Original Intention was to have the light correctly shade the entire face; since the anime shading/art style has the entire face lightened and the neck below shaded. I have done some investigation to see if there are any fixes possible so I won’t be stuck with this kind of awkward lighting on my character. From my findings a method called “Normal Editing” basically helps fix my issue by forcing parts that should be shaded or not. The image below is what the result of my attempt on normal editing my character:

As you can see the picture in the left shows how the normal edits have changed the shading on my character’s face to a more distinguished light or shaded area instead of a gradient type of shading. The picture on the right shows the final result placed with all the textures and materials. However, there seems to be a weird division between the shaded and lighted areas on my character’s face. I am not sure If I have mastered normal editing well since I am very new to this. (If I did something wrong please address the issue).

In order to achieve this form of shading I used the modifier tools given in blender. The two modifiers I used were “data transfer” and “Normal edit”. I had to duplicate the character’s face and use “data transfer” to transfer the shading data of the duplicate to the final mesh. The duplicate face I have created was in charge of Normal Editing the regions in which are supposed to be lightened and shaded. The image below shows the the duplicate (on the left highlighted in red) along side the final version of the mesh (right, highlighted in blue). Once I have a satisisfying shading for the duplicate model I simply pass along the shading data by using “data transfer” thus resulting in the image above.
However, even after the whole process of manipulating the normals to get the correct shading; this is what it resulted, once it was imported to unreal engine 4. As you can see, the lighting on the face has extended as expected from normal editing; however I did not achieve the pure anime shading I was striving for. Perhaps I am skipping an important step which is why I cannot get the result I want. I would like to have a discussion in which we share ideas and methods on acquiring the type of shading I am looking for. Thanks

Try to use a sphere to transfer normals. I tried the same method as you (but with maya) and have the same result. I didn’t try with transfering sphere normals, but I saw that the results are great.