Is Cartooning Faster than Realistic Rendering

Here's the deal:

I'm building a game and have rendered everything I need except the actual scenes with my characters. But the sets are all built. Unfortunately, testing photorealistic rendering has proved that there's just no way I can use the realistic mode for my game. I have a beast of a computer but the render time are just too long. So, I'm thinking about cartooning instead or using a kind of comic strip style and changing my lighting to suit the style.

But here's my question:

What is the fastest style to render in?

I'm thinking cartooning would be faster because the colors and shaders are "flatter," so to speak. But I don't know. Some insight would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 13,580

    Fastest decent style, IMO, is PWToon (3dl). It's fast, it looks neat. Big tip to speed up workflow is don't use lines on floors and tables, or maybe backgrounds generally.

    This is because Normal based outlines naturally 'flood' black on flat surfaces mostly perpendicular to the camera. And rather than fuss with trying to adjust it... best to keep outlines for figures and specific props, IMO.

    Other toon stuff (LineRender9000, Oso Toon) take a bit more time and work to design/process/etc.

     

    3dl without toon style and very simple lighting is fast, but it (IMO) looks terrible.

    3dl with bounce light and various systems takes a lot longer to render. I love Iray, but it takes longer to render than pwtoon.

    Check out my DA gallery for numerous examples of PWToon renders: https://www.deviantart.com/willbear/gallery/

     

  • AllycatzAllycatz Posts: 4

    It depends on the shader but more cartoony styles tend to be faster since they have simpler algorithms and if you go for the full flat color look you're not going to have as many textures taking up memory.

  • GOD-sSs-ENDGOD-sSs-END Posts: 65
    Oso3D said:

    Fastest decent style, IMO, is PWToon (3dl). It's fast, it looks neat. Big tip to speed up workflow is don't use lines on floors and tables, or maybe backgrounds generally.

    This is because Normal based outlines naturally 'flood' black on flat surfaces mostly perpendicular to the camera. And rather than fuss with trying to adjust it... best to keep outlines for figures and specific props, IMO.

    Other toon stuff (LineRender9000, Oso Toon) take a bit more time and work to design/process/etc.

    3dl without toon style and very simple lighting is fast, but it (IMO) looks terrible.

    3dl with bounce light and various systems takes a lot longer to render. I love Iray, but it takes longer to render than pwtoon.

    Check out my DA gallery for numerous examples of PWToon renders: https://www.deviantart.com/willbear/gallery/

    Thanks so much for the info. Could you give me a percentage difference guess on render times? About how much faster is the cartoon style compared to photorealistic???

  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 11,571

    So it sounds like you are making sprints to create 2D animations in Unity / UE4? Why not use Unity's 2D animation in it's 2D Game Engine & something like Moho to create your sprites? DAZ 3D isn't the best for that task. Unity also has tools that you can use without Moho to make sprites & such.

    If you are making a 3D game with 3D meshes in the game, then in the game it's not going to make a hoot of difference if you go to all the trouble of creating toon characters with the same shading and lighting environment used. You have to, in the game, choose a lighting scheme that is simpler with simpler shaders and not necessarily a toon shader. You'll hear a lot about 'baking lighting' and such. And all that really does is create multiple texture sets that get switched out by the game engine according to the viewport view held by the current location of the camera. That's what 99.9% of games do, even console games. 

    There are all kinds of of lighting & shading tutorials written in the Unity & UE4 web sites Learning/Tutorial sections and that's the place to go to look. For most hobbyist game makers they are only allowed to publish to the mobile platforms anyway and at those screen sizes all these new realtime rendering environments that look so much like iRay that you don't even have to bake lighting for &  that you hear about aren't even noticeable, mostly, at those screen sizes.

    If you want to do Toon Style then you want to use Toon Shaders. I know Unity offers Toon Style shaders & you can buy Toon Shaders from Venders in the Unity Asset Store. The lighting algorithm chosen is going to also be a big contributor though. Unity & UE4 don't have PWToon & such directly available.

     

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