Recent work on this project has produced a wonderful revelation. I’ve been working almost exclusively in Maya for this project, and this is a big deal for me because I’m traditionally a 3ds Max guy.
One of the hurtles we had created a work around for was the toon shader and how it reacted to lighting scenarios. I discussed this in my previous blog post “Have it both ways.” Since we don’t have a R&D team we make our developments on the fly. I recently discovered you could use 1 image file and then duplicate it in Maya and alter its color gain to create the various levels of shading in the toon shader.
Then I took it a step further. I started tinkering around and discovered something that simplified our production by reducing our render passes.
I realized you could take a toon shader and plug that in as the color value of a standard shader, thus having your cake and eating it too.