The other images helped cause I wasn’t able too see the problem at first.
I spent the last 2 days doing searches and trying to duplicate the problem in Carrara 8 Pro so I could figure out what was going on.
The “flatness” is caused by the color(s) being too dark and it looks like the image is just flat, unless you examine it very carefully. I discovered this by looking at the plastic shader images and by various experiments to try and replicate them.
While experimenting I was able to get some test shaders and to have a dark flat look, but not to the level in your images.
Adjusting the Brightness & Specular settings of YAToon in the shader, and the Highlight and Shyness values of the shader may help.
Depending on how those were set I found would make shader have a flat dark look.
Just changing the top shader in C8 to YAToon isn’t making it as dark as in the images you posted with the version of YAToon I’m using. I had to adjust the settings I mentioned to get it flat and dark looking. So the version of YAToon for C7 you are using appears to be bugged.
The C8 version is 1.20 and has a Checker and Color Balancer files that are added to the Extensions folder. All the older versions don’t have versions of them. So the version you’re using may need to have a version of them added to it so it will show the shader will look right.
The creator of YAToon last year on the forum said that a 1.21 or 1.30 version would come out for C8.5 at some point. To fix some problems when using it with C8.5. So development and work on YAToon isn’t dead as far as I can tell.
You could try and contact the creator of YAtoon via Renderosity too, if contact via the YToon site doesn’t work.
Age of Armor made some free toon shaders for Carrara that you could try out I discovered while researching the problem with YAToon.
Love your Arnold, I remember seeing him and some of you work on my Carrara 5 Pro Handbook disk.
Also, since combining YAToon with ToonPro got mentioned the creator of YAToon did that for several images you can see on the Renderosity site.
Wish I could have found out some more and an exact fix to the problem.
I checked out the YAToon creator’s gallery. It appears that he never actually managed to blend Toon Pro and YAToon; he simply used YAToon and then rendered using Toon Pro’s line art function.
The issue with Toon Pro (if there is one) is sort of the opposite issue that YAToon poses, which is why it’d be great to get them working together.
Toon Pro is really only worthwhile as a shader if you keep it to 2 tones. If you keep it 2 tone, it’s great. The problem with Toon Pro is in it’s shading and response to colors. If you take a white light and change it to, say, dark blue or red, those colors will not show up in your render; they’ll only darken the existing colors that Toon Pro has decided will be your toon (2 tone) color palette. So if you change your light to blue, it’s the same as taking your white light and dropping it down to 80% or whatever.
Additionally, Toon Pro needs a definitive light source. If your character is in shadow, you can kiss your 2 or three or 6 tones goodbye. You get a single, dull flat color and that’s it. To me this is the worst thing about Toon Pro because it essentially eliminates its use as a standalone shader in Carrara. If you want your character creeping into a dark room lit by a reddish glow, you have to render that character on full blast under white hot lights and then take it into a secondary program (like PS) to bring in the darkness and the reds.
Personally I think it’s probably a stretch to believe that we can have YAToon and Toon Pro working in the same render as shaders. In my experience they pretty much demolish one another when you load them. But like I said, someone was talking about “transitioning” between shaders within a single set of keyframes via using some kind of slider designated specifically for a shading domain. Now, is that specifically for certain *kinds* of shaders? Dunno. But I’ll keep looking into it.
And just to really quickly extrapolate on why YAToon would be helpful and why it’s really not strong enough on its own—unlike Toon Pro, it’s 2 tone capabilities, IMO, are pretty weak. It has a very digitally/pixelated quality to it, especially when in motion. I was able to get around this issue by diminishing the specularity darkness almost entirely. I don’t have it in front of me, but I believe my Carrara YAToon numbers were something like…
I might have those mixed up and I can’t remember what any of them mean except for 83 is for brightness. If I missed two boxes (if there’s 10, not 8), they’d both be 100s.
Going this route gives a nice soft shade, but the other issue with YAToon is that it completely distorts the original color, whereas Toon Pro does a decent job preserving it.
So for instance, I would render something out using YAToon, and then I’d have to go into PS and like create a flesh colored filter and just slap it on some ghostly white skin. Not the best way to work unless all of your characters are wearing black.
And in all honesty, I pretty much gave up on the process. I spent a good two months experimenting with different styles between YAToon and Toon Pro, and in the end I decided that there was no way to get an effective toon shading for *motion* inside of DAZ/Carrara on traditional M4/V4 figures. Including using Toon Pro’s line renderer, which is death to anything creative you might want to do using existing, say, clothing.
For backgrounds and solid objects, Toon Pro set at 2 tones is amazing. But for M4/V4 tooned? I don’t much believe in it. I can create some nice images using Toon Pro or YAToon along with PS, etc, but for moving images, you need something else to assist these products.
I’ve tried AE’s toon filter with YAToon and Toon Pro each. Nasty results.
FlyingDutchman (everyone knows) did a great looking PWToon-to-Anime Studio Pro render. But when you get into the depth of time it takes to animate and render something; to have to do it over and over again for a single shot is pretty extensive. Imagine how long it takes to animate and render a scene in Carrara (even using motion capture), and then multiply that by at least three steps (if you have the right programs and filters), and that’s the kind of workload you’d be looking at. And, realistically, the only sure fire solution for animation would be:
Toon Pro Render
AE filter and blend
Rotoscope final character artwork
It’s either that or FlyingDutchman’s
Anime Studio Render
Final Blend Render
I made the decision to abandon Carrara Toon style animation and instead just apply what I’ve learned to still images, which I’m transforming into a motion comic in AE. To me, either motion comic or separating the pieces of an image into individual symbols for Flash style animation are the only two viable options. Anything animated solely in Carrara or DAZ in the “toon” style is probably going to leave you less than thrilled—which isn’t okay considering the amount of work that’s required to animate.
But like I said, toon shaders with some post tweaking is completely solid. This image is largely Toon Pro just doing it’s thang.