Algovincian Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR)

algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366
edited July 2016 in Art Studio

Figured the new year is as good a time as any to start formally posting my non-photorealistic rendering (NPR) work again. I've built up a substantial amount of 3D content over the past year and it's time to render it! What better way to make further progress than to actively use the tools I've been developing on a wide variety of content? 

This thread will serve as an archive of my work, with this first post being an up-to-date index. I'll try to force myself to post at least one scene per day, rendered in one or more NPR styles. The goal has always been to develop reliable tools & technology to efficiently produce non-photorealistic renders of 3D models in various styles (pencil sketches, cartoons, paintings, line art, high contrast black & white, etc.):

January 2, 2016 - Nosferatu

January 3, 2016 - Mermaid

January 4, 2016 - Clown

January 5, 2016 - Opus Magnum

January 6, 2016 - Executioner

January 7, 2016 - Assassin

January 8, 2016 - Dragon Slayer

January 9, 2016 - Banshee

January 10, 2016 - Eldritch Seeker

January 11, 2016 - Doppelgänger

January 12, 2016 - Noodles in the Forest

January 13, 2016 - Lycaon the Werewolf

January 14, 2016 - Millenium Falcon

January 15, 2016 - Zombie

January 16, 2016 - Skeleton

There is also an older thread on non-photorealistic renders from April of 2015. The thread was started as a general thread on NPR and it is open for others to post their renders as well. In addition (for those interested), there are numerous posts throughout the entire thread containing detailed information about the technology I've been developing and my workflow. Many things have changed since then, but the base concepts still apply: 

http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/54697/non-photorealistic-renders-npr

If anyone has any specific questions, feel free to ask and I'll be more than happy to try and answer them.

- Greg

Post edited by algovincian on
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Comments

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366
    edited January 2016

    Let's start things off with a scene featuring Nosferatu for Genesis 3 Male, by RawArt:

    http://www.daz3d.com/nosferatu-for-genesis-3-male

    The scene also makes use of an oldie-but-goodie, One Tree Hill, by Stonemason:

    http://www.daz3d.com/one-tree-hill

    The sleeping bats in the scene are just several instances of a single plane with a photo applied (and a corresponding opacity map). It was a quick & simple way to add them into the scene. The NPR rendering style makes this less of an issue and I might be able to address the flat look by adding a displacement map, but I think I'd eventually like to put real 3D bats in there. Anybody know of any bats that include good sleeping poses?

    - Greg

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  • DestinysGardenDestinysGarden Posts: 2,225
    edited January 2016

    The sleep of reason produces monsters. Outstanding image. I have read through your linked thread, so I have a fair idea how your processes work. Fantastic ideas.

    Did you want a good bat with sleeping poses, or a bat with good sleeping poses? Either one is going to be hard to come by unfortunately. I believe this is the best bat model here at Daz. The easy pose wings means they should just fold up like an umbrella. The textures could do with some updating, but for your purposes, this will probably suit, and get away from the "flat bat" look.

    http://www.daz3d.com/bat-silverkey3d

    I look forward to seeing more of your pictures.

    cheers!

     

    Post edited by DestinysGarden on
  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366
    edited January 2016

      

    The sleep of reason produces monsters. Outstanding image. I have read through your linked thread, so I have a fair idea how your processes work. Fantastic ideas.

    Did you want a good bat with sleeping poses, or a bat with good sleeping poses? Either one is going to be hard to come by unfortunately. I believe this is the best bat model here at Daz. The easy pose wings means they should just fold up like an umbrella. The textures could do with some updating, but for your purposes, this will probably suit, and get away from the "flat bat" look.

    http://www.daz3d.com/bat-silverkey3d

    I look forward to seeing more of your pictures.

    cheers!

     

    Thanks for taking the time to respond, DG - I'll definitely check out the bat you linked. Glad you enjoyed the image! Here's two more of the same scene rendered in different styles:

    - Greg

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  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,181

    Greg, Excellent post processing effects, as usual.

    At first glance, the 2.5D bats was a little odd, but in reviewing it more, they add a little something. I know you aim to automate all your post work, but maybe a different kind of warp (warp+liquify?) could be interesting.

  • Your renders really are amazing. The stained/old paper effect really compliments the gothic/horror style of Nosferatu. 

     

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366
    Tobor said:

    Greg, Excellent post processing effects, as usual.

    At first glance, the 2.5D bats was a little odd, but in reviewing it more, they add a little something. I know you aim to automate all your post work, but maybe a different kind of warp (warp+liquify?) could be interesting.

    Thanks, Tobor. Truth be told, I don't really like how they look, but it was a quick fix and I wanted to test the billboard cutout approach. Being able to setup these scenes & render the analysis passes as quickly as possible is always on my mind. Thought that maybe it would look decent once algo'ed since the bats are small backgound elements, but in this case I don't feel it really works.

    I did grab a bat from another site that I really like the looks of, but the FBX file isn't importing properly. I've either got to sort that out, or re-rig it myself. Not enough hours in the day . . . sigh.

    - Greg

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366
    edited January 2016

    Let there be color!

    Creating this character (WIP) has been so much fun! I still want to work on the tips of her fins, but I'm really diggin how she's looking. I was going for a pissed-off expression - like "how dare you lay eyes on me!" She looks (to me) like the possessed child, Regan, from the Exorcist - woot lol.

    Lorelei Mertail for Genesis 2 Female(s)
    http://www.daz3d.com/lorelei-mertail-for-genesis-2-female-s

    Sea Nymph Hair
    http://www.daz3d.com/sea-nymph-hair

    Anemone for Genesis 2 Female(s)
    http://www.daz3d.com/anemone-for-genesis-2-female-s

    - Greg

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  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366

    Your renders really are amazing. The stained/old paper effect really compliments the gothic/horror style of Nosferatu. 

     

    Thank you, devilsatdusk15. I'm a huge admirer of Da Vinci's work. That style is an obvious attempt to emulate his manuscripts. Which reminds me, I've been meaning to re-run the scene for my logo with the current algos . . . thanks for jogging my memory!

    - Greg

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,239

    Just one word... amazing.

  • Let there be color!

    Creating this character (WIP) has been so much fun! I still want to work on the tips of her fins, but I'm really diggin how she's looking. I was going for a pissed-off expression - like "how dare you lay eyes on me!" She looks (to me) like the possessed child, Regan, from the Exorcist - woot lol.

    Lorelei Mertail for Genesis 2 Female(s)
    http://www.daz3d.com/lorelei-mertail-for-genesis-2-female-s

    Sea Nymph Hair
    http://www.daz3d.com/sea-nymph-hair

    Anemone for Genesis 2 Female(s)
    http://www.daz3d.com/anemone-for-genesis-2-female-s

    - Greg

    I really like how she turned out.  There is almost an evil quality to her that is somewhat terrifying, but riveting.

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366

    Just one word... amazing.

    Glad you like the images, Mustakettu85. I recognize your name from the 3Delight Laboratory Thread: tips, questions, experiments thread (I've been lurking there for quite a while). The topic interests me, since all the shaders I wrote for the analysis passes are 3DL.

    - Greg

  • RAMWolffRAMWolff Posts: 7,635

    WOW... totally impressed! 

  • RAMWolffRAMWolff Posts: 7,635

    Just one word... amazing.

    Glad you like the images, Mustakettu85. I recognize your name from the 3Delight Laboratory Thread: tips, questions, experiments thread (I've been lurking there for quite a while). The topic interests me, since all the shaders I wrote for the analysis passes are 3DL.

    - Greg

    Any interest in seeing if you could get them working in iRay?

  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,181

    Thanks, Tobor. Truth be told, I don't really like how they look, but it was a quick fix and I wanted to test the billboard cutout approach. Being able to setup these scenes & render the analysis passes as quickly as possible is always on my mind. Thought that maybe it would look decent once algo'ed since the bats are small backgound elements, but in this case I don't feel it really works.

    Though the bats are the only such elements, they seemed to impart a Dali-esque cubist look, which lent something extra to the art. However, if it's not the look or feel you wanted, then they gotta go.

    I also use some custom filter sets (written in .NET using various image manipulation libraries), 9/10ths of the work is hand post, and I never really know how the image will turn out until it's done. Quite often, it takes on a life of its own, and is fairly different from how I originally intended it. Sometimes these little things pop out as happy accidents!

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366
    edited January 2016

    Here's 2 renders, including a full-color painted style, for today's post. Featuring:

    The Clown Clan by RawArt
    http://www.daz3d.com/the-clown-clan

    Carnival Carousel by Jack Tomalin
    http://www.daz3d.com/carnival-carousel

    Wonderland Mad Hatter for M4 by Bobbie25
    http://www.daz3d.com/wonderland-mad-hatter-for-m4

    All "old" content, but all excellent!

    - Greg

     

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  • Really very nice - how did you do the sketch thing ? yes

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366

    I really like how she turned out.  There is almost an evil quality to her that is somewhat terrifying, but riveting.

    Thanks, Mom! That's what I was going for - a beautiful little mermaid that looks like she wants to tear your eyes out lol.

    As the tools I'm creating get more & more polished, I'm trying to transition to creating art and telling stories (as opposed to simply being stuck in the weeds of the technical aspects eternally). Appreciate you stopping by to look and taking the time to comment.

    - Greg

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366
    RAMWolff said:

    Any interest in seeing if you could get them working in iRay?

    There is interest, but I'm not sure for a couple reasons:

    1. Despite the many talented people (Esemwy, Tobor, SnowSultan, and others) who have been kind enough to share their findings on LPE/canvases in DAZ Studio, I'm not sure that I can render all 8 of the different analysis passes using LPE/canvases using Iray in DS.

    2. I'm hesitant to spend too much time trying since any attempts may be moot given the grainy/noisy nature of output from Iray. I have experience in HDR photography, and I've made use of many HDR concepts and techniques in my algorithms. One of the analysis passes I'm currently rendering in 3DL is an ambient occlusion pass, which can be grainy/noisy (especially if one of your goals is to minimize render time). This is amplified by the HDR processing, which is an issue I've had to address. I worry that all analysis passes rendered in Iray would have the same issue.

    - Greg

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366
    Tobor said:

    Thanks, Tobor. Truth be told, I don't really like how they look, but it was a quick fix and I wanted to test the billboard cutout approach. Being able to setup these scenes & render the analysis passes as quickly as possible is always on my mind. Thought that maybe it would look decent once algo'ed since the bats are small backgound elements, but in this case I don't feel it really works.

    Though the bats are the only such elements, they seemed to impart a Dali-esque cubist look, which lent something extra to the art. However, if it's not the look or feel you wanted, then they gotta go.

    I also use some custom filter sets (written in .NET using various image manipulation libraries), 9/10ths of the work is hand post, and I never really know how the image will turn out until it's done. Quite often, it takes on a life of its own, and is fairly different from how I originally intended it. Sometimes these little things pop out as happy accidents!

    I know exactly what you mean, Tobor!

  • ToborTobor Posts: 2,181

    1. Despite the many talented people (Esemwy, Tobor, SnowSultan, and others) who have been kind enough to share their findings on LPE/canvases in DAZ Studio, I'm not sure that I can render all 8 of the different analysis passes using LPE/canvases using Iray in DS.

    Honored to be in that list!

    I wouldn't even try with Iray. 3DL is a perfect Renderman-compatible renderer for this, with a lot more flexibility for "painterly" and drawn looks. Daz will likely never do away with 3DL completely, or else they'd have to remove tons of content from their store. Recently, I've started to use 3Delight Standalone and rendering to RIB from D|S. I can't even pour myself an ice tea before all the base passes are done.

  • Really very nice - how did you do the sketch thing ? yes

    Sorry for asking what you have been asked probably a hundred times. I had a look at your links and I see you've been at this a while.

    I'll just say it looks great and if you ever turn it into a product it would certainly be something I would buy. I hope we can see this in Daz :)

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366

    Really very nice - how did you do the sketch thing ? yes

    Sorry for asking what you have been asked probably a hundred times. I had a look at your links and I see you've been at this a while.

    I'll just say it looks great and if you ever turn it into a product it would certainly be something I would buy. I hope we can see this in Daz :)

    No need to apologize. It's my own fault - it's too complicated! lol

    Thanks for stopping by and chiming in. One of the main reasons I started this thread was to step out of my bubble a bit - everyone's comments are truly appreciated.

    - Greg

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,239

    Glad you like the images, Mustakettu85.

    "Like" is a severe understatement.

    One of the analysis passes I'm currently rendering in 3DL is an ambient occlusion pass, which can be grainy/noisy (especially if one of your goals is to minimize render time).

    Point-based technique? It is not as "precise" as raytraced occlusion, but it is noiseless and (in the REYES hider) tends to be faster. Could be useful for NPR. The pipeline is a bit more complicated because the point cloud needs to be generated in a separate pass, but thankfully DAZ provided a very useful example render script for just that.

  • I can see a good market for 2D mobile games graphics, if you can save out transparent PNG files.

    in this render style, it's very attractive, just a serious a images a walk cycle, idle, Die, Jump then sell them

    to 2D mobile games developers it could take off without needing DAZ to market anything, there are a few sites that

    sell the mobile graphics assets be a vendor there. Or make your own games who knows where it could lead?

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366

    Glad you like the images, Mustakettu85.

    "Like" is a severe understatement.

    One of the analysis passes I'm currently rendering in 3DL is an ambient occlusion pass, which can be grainy/noisy (especially if one of your goals is to minimize render time).

    Point-based technique? It is not as "precise" as raytraced occlusion, but it is noiseless and (in the REYES hider) tends to be faster. Could be useful for NPR. The pipeline is a bit more complicated because the point cloud needs to be generated in a separate pass, but thankfully DAZ provided a very useful example render script for just that.

    Your expertise far outweighs mine when it comes to such things, Mustakettu85. The ambient occlusion pass that I produce makes use of the AO brick built into Shader Mixer. The shader is much more complicated than just that brick (for sure), but that's the base. I'm not sure what method the brick uses.

    Thanks for the ideas. I will definitely investigate this further!

    - Greg

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366

    I can see a good market for 2D mobile games graphics, if you can save out transparent PNG files.

    in this render style, it's very attractive, just a serious a images a walk cycle, idle, Die, Jump then sell them

    to 2D mobile games developers it could take off without needing DAZ to market anything, there are a few sites that

    sell the mobile graphics assets be a vendor there. Or make your own games who knows where it could lead?

    Exactly, Wayne! No matter what ends up happening, devlopment must continue.

    When I first started working with fractals, the goal of my work was to create sketches/paintings/etc. from photographs. The results were sometimes great, but they were hit/miss. Some things would look good, while others looked horrible because of one thing or another - the grain of the photo, the lighting of the scene, the focus, etc. These issues could be minimized by attempting to require that the scene be lit in a certain way, that the photo wasn't too grainy/noisy, that the objects be in focus, etc. However, it wasn't good enough (in my mind).

    The next step along the way was to use 3D renders as input rather than photos. It's a basic engineering approach to work on a simplified version of the real problem you are trying to solve, and that's exactly what a 3D scene/render is - a vastly simplified version of reality. This helped, but the same issues still existed.

    Finally, I got the idea to use 3D scenes directly as the source, which gave me complete control over the lighting, allowed me to make sure everything was in focus, etc. Keeping all of the infomation separate in the many render passes allowed the alogorithms to understand so much more about the scene being rendered. 

    Rendering a wide variety of assets from DAZ has flushed out many issues which needed to be addressed (and I'm sure there are more), but the technology is not limited to using DAZ. As it stand now, I'm using DAZ to analyze the 3D scenes, but that's not to say that work couldn't be accomplished another way in the future.

    The bottom line is you were so right, Wayne - who knows where it could lead?

    - Greg

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,366
    edited January 2016

    Here's another scene (WIP) designed to test interior elements (especially the much smaller scale of elements in the scene). I still need to add a mini dragon on the floor as the source of the flames for the coals.

    Also, I'm working on adding volumetrics into the mix (for the brightly glowing globe on the table). The volumetrics are accomplished as a separate render pass, which allows me to render it at a much lower resolution than the rest of the scene (saving a great amount of time). The shaders for the volumetric pass are complete, but I'm still working on the illustration of the volume effects.

    I'd like to mention that this scene includes so many of my favorite products from many talented PAs. Faveral's Opus Magnum has got to be my favorite indoor set. The number of props included is insane!

    Opus Magnum by Faveral
    http://www.daz3d.com/opus-magnum

    Noodle the Toon Cat by 3D Universe
    http://www.daz3d.com/noodle-the-toon-cat

    The Great Wizards for Genesis 2 Male(s) by Mec4D
    http://www.daz3d.com/mec4d-the-great-wizards-for-genesis-2-male

    Morphing Python
    http://www.daz3d.com/morphing-python

    - Greg

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  • RAMWolffRAMWolff Posts: 7,635

    WOW! 

  • I can see a good market for 2D mobile games graphics, if you can save out transparent PNG files.

    in this render style, it's very attractive, just a serious a images a walk cycle, idle, Die, Jump then sell them

    to 2D mobile games developers it could take off without needing DAZ to market anything, there are a few sites that

    sell the mobile graphics assets be a vendor there. Or make your own games who knows where it could lead?

    Exactly, Wayne! No matter what ends up happening, devlopment must continue.

    When I first started working with fractals, the goal of my work was to create sketches/paintings/etc. from photographs. The results were sometimes great, but they were hit/miss. Some things would look good, while others looked horrible because of one thing or another - the grain of the photo, the lighting of the scene, the focus, etc. These issues could be minimized by attempting to require that the scene be lit in a certain way, that the photo wasn't too grainy/noisy, that the objects be in focus, etc. However, it wasn't good enough (in my mind).

    The next step along the way was to use 3D renders as input rather than photos. It's a basic engineering approach to work on a simplified version of the real problem you are trying to solve, and that's exactly what a 3D scene/render is - a vastly simplified version of reality. This helped, but the same issues still existed.

    Finally, I got the idea to use 3D scenes directly as the source, which gave me complete control over the lighting, allowed me to make sure everything was in focus, etc. Keeping all of the infomation separate in the many render passes allowed the alogorithms to understand so much more about the scene being rendered. 

    Rendering a wide variety of assets from DAZ has flushed out many issues which needed to be addressed (and I'm sure there are more), but the technology is not limited to using DAZ. As it stand now, I'm using DAZ to analyze the 3D scenes, but that's not to say that work couldn't be accomplished another way in the future.

    The bottom line is you were so right, Wayne - who knows where it could lead?

    - Greg

    I understand what you're saying about the base image coming from a photo or a 2D render being hit or miss, if the lighting doesn't have the proper light and shadow it's going to be unpredictable, but a 3D render you can control where the light source is coming from and how dark the shadows will be. I was going to suggest getting into filter forge as they have a huge node base to process images fractals included, but it still comes down to the quality and consistency of the images you have to process. It looks look a layering system and I think it's the only way it will work, a color base them shadow which use some sort for fractal to shade the light and dark then an outline or edge layer, just theorizing Lol.What you're producing is brilliant I've never seem anyone get close to this, it's a wonder some big company hasn't swooped on this. Just keep doing what you're doing, when you crack it, it's going to payoff big time ! 

  • SpitSpit Posts: 2,156

    I love your rendition of Opus Magnum. It's stunning. And I agree with everyone in this thread about the wonderful 'thing' you've accomplished. My favorite style you've come up with by far, though, is your Noodles in the Woods. I could stare at that for hours and hours just soaking it in. Thanks for the pleasure you've given.

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