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Simple Set-up

Create quick light shading setup for your characters.

About the Author

Adam Phillips

Adam Phillips




Video Transcript

Hello, welcome back. In this video, we'll apply basic Volumetric Lighting to a simple character drawing.

As you saw in the previous video, the first step is to bring in this Volume Object node, plug it in under the drawing layer, and assign the Object ID. Actually we can just leave this one set to the default, which is 1. Next bring in the Normal Map and plug the Volume Object node into it. Then bring in the Light Shader node. Into its top input ports, plug the Normal map into the middle one and the Volume Object down, into the right port. And finally, plug that Light Shader into the main scene composite. And now switch to Render view.

So we don't see any effects on the character yet, because there's one crucial step we didn't do. We haven't assigned that character Volume ID into the Normal Map. Still in the Render view, open the Normal Map properties, then click the object drop-down. In more complex setups, you'll see your Object IDs listed here, but this is a simple scene and it only has one. So choose that from the list.

Now this Volume Creation section has Size, Elevation and Smoothness values and you can control the bevel with these.

As you start playing around with these values, it's fine to see just the light rendered on the character, if you like, but again as I mentioned earlier, if you want to get a sense of how the software is interpreting your input, you can plug your display node in under the Normal Map and this will show you the Volume of the object.

As you can see, this Normal Map applies a uniform bevel around the perimeter of the drawing. And you can start to see some of the limitations now.

Like these, if I zoom in, these little slender fingers have the same bevel as the limbs and torso. And it would be best if these had a smaller bevel.

The solution here is to create separate Volume Objects and Normal Maps for the finer character parts. Although that gets tedious pretty fast. Especially on organic, frame-by-frame characters like this one.

But anyway, in an up coming video we'll look at doing this for a Cut-out style character.

Next: Types of Light