Maneki Toon — The Tools
Maneki Toon is integrated in Autodesk Maya (and soon in The Foundry Katana), as a plug-in consisting of a set of materials, procedural patterns and lights able to produce NPR/PSR looks with the ease of PBR techniques. It is designed to work optimally with the 3Delight path tracer and its unique rendering capabilities such as high-quality outlining, scalability, sub-pixel displacement, unlimited resolution and performance. Maneki Toon tools are 100% compatible with the Maneki PBR ones, this effectively allows pushing visual style to hybrid photo-surreal results.
Toon is a material designed to achieve the style of Japanese Anime (アニメ). It features our Quantized Toon Shading paired with advanced outlining controls which also support real displacement. Quantization fully supports hatching & gradient-based shading. Furthermore, it employs powerful techniques to "stylize" the look of diffuse/highlights/shadows, shading typical of classic hand-made NPR looks. On top of this, advanced physically-based rendering features are available, such as (soft) reflections, anisotropy, subsurface, incandescence, occlusion, image-based lighting (IBL), and, last but not least, additive area lighting, including a special technique to achieve artistic additive rims and gradient lighting, which allow to produce the hybrid looks we refer to as "PSR".
Toon Transparent is a special material designed for tinted transparency and refractions. Its main purpose is to be used for surfaces which exhibit such effects, in particular it is needed for the cornea of eyes (paired with Toon Eye) but also for glass-like surfaces such as windows and alike. It features a powerful AOV pass-through technique, so that the tonal regions are properly refracted in the correspondent AOV: an essential feature for re-coloring.
Toon Eye is a specialized procedural pattern for Anime-style eyes that provides parametric controls for all aspects of Anime eyes: color, shaping, iris, cushion, bounce, pupil, border and fibers. It also outputs iris and cornea displacement (respectively for the inner eye and the outer refractive shell) for realistic representation of the eye at different camera angles. It is designed to be used in conjunction with Toon Transparent and Toon for the refractive (and displaced) cornea that wraps the eye itself.
Hairs in Anime are typically represented by polygon/subdivision surfaces rather than curves. Toon Specular is a specialized procedural pattern for the representation of specular highlights in Anime-style hairs, and provides parametric controls for all aspects of the highlight of Anime hairs: color, shaping and offsets, jittering and randomization. It is designed to be used in conjunction with Toon.
Toon Light is a custom Maya light shader that works in "additive" mode (meaning without changing the tone regions quantization). Together with Maya area lights, allows to locally add artistic illumination on top of the basic toon shading look. Both spot, point and directional light shapes can be used to achieve the following range of effects in the Toon material: additive rim effects featuring a powerful "shadow masking" technique to reproduce 2D-like artistic rims, distance-based additive gradient lighting and finally localized additive delta lighting.
Toon CC Light is a special Maya Light that allows to globally peform color changes to all objects in the scene without changing any material settings. A Toon CC Light effectively represents a new color variation (or, if you like, a "color palette") for the scene you are working on. This light is global and shape-less: it can color-correct any of the Toon material color components (the tonal diffuse range, specular, additive, incandescence, outlines etc.) additionally it can color-correct based on total brightness for each quantized tonal region and also based on camera distance. CC Lights can be used as-is in Maya or they are used as sync devices, together with light-linking, with Composer Sync.
Composer Sync is an utility script for re-coloring purposes. It works in conjunction with Maneki Composer for Nuke: it takes as input its
Diagnostic is an utility shader aimed at diagnosing and evaluating a large number of geometry and lighting properties. Amongst its plethora of diagnostics and visual shape inspection modes, the user has access to color, shading information, ambient and reflection occlusion, motion vectors, reflection lines, surface curvature, light overhead, and many many more.
Layered Texture is a utility shader that provides the user with the ability to stack a large number of textures with user-set blend modes. It features a compact UI, the ability to easy turn on or off any of its large number of inputs and blending modes familiar to anyone used to applications such as Photoshop.
Blend RGB is a special utility that takes as input a single color texture containing a "RGB mask" (plain color data) and outputs three blended (over/added) user-defined colors. It is typically used in conjunction with Toon to define the tonal range changes of colors on a single geometry based on UV isolated areas on the input texture.
Color Set is a special utility that takes as input any Vertex Color Set available on the geometry being shaders and outputs it as a color. Typically users paint in 3D the color sets onto the geometry. Such output can be then used to drive any quantity in the shading network, in particular color set can be used to drive the outline width scale and threshold for fine-tuning outline look. Also, since colors are interpolated, this makes the method "resolution independent".
MatCap is a simple utility shader for "material capture". It's a complete material that includes baked-on illumination, and as such, it is mostly useful as an aid during modeling since it will not react to illumination and shading of its surroundings. It can also be useful as visual shape inspection tool or for non-photorealistic rendering. It was popularized by applications such as ZBrush.
Randomizer is a powerful utility to randomize colors/textures via HSV controls. Randomization criteria is based on a several types of "manifolds" such as geometry ID, asset ID, face ID and Maya set membership. HSV randomization can be performed over a single color or over multi-colors. Randomization over a fixed palette is also possible.
Texture Switch is a simple utility used to switch textures based on a numeric index which can be optionally keyed. It is useful to switch textures upon user-defined conditions.