GUIDE: Different kinds of Shading.

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GUIDE: Different kinds of Shading.

Postby flux » Fri 25. Oct 2013, 18:38

There are several shading styles. As said in the standard recommendations, the light comes from up-left, but you have to take the volume in account to determine where the shadows are falling and where the highlights are going.

Even without shading, some small objects still looks good. Don't overdo, sometimes too much shading complicates the view.

Cel-shading (toon shading - : placing plain solid areas of shadow where it is needed.
Basically you have 3 or more colors : one main color, one color for the shadows, one color for the light part and one color for the highlights if there are any.
Most classically used, having a limited number of colors makes it easy to animate.
With a bit of skill it can give the best impression. You can use more colors for anti-aliasing ( between the shaded areas to make it smoother.

Realistic shading (using a lot of colors and anti-aliasing ( ... -213141706))
You have lot more colors to give a smooth impression.
Your outlines are shaded too, and you in-lines are usually lighter.
You can take care of reflections and complex lights.

More difficult to animate (not really in FO since we only have 3 images), very fitted for icons or SSC.
Need lot of skills and color coordination. Realistic items stand out from old FOstyle (in a "ToLS looks very good compared to the other areas" way).

One step further to realism : removing outlines.
Recommended only if you know what background color your item will be shown on, or for glass-like and glowing items.
This is not "classic" FO-style, but fits for the icons too. Recent areas have mobs and armors with very light outlines that approach this view.

Dithering : use only if you have a limited palette of colors.
Since you can use all the colors you want in FO, you usually won't do that.
Give a "retro" feeling or a granulous texture.

Bad shading :
Using the gradient for shading isn't realistic at all.
It makes your item look like a flash-animation drawing. It gives no volume.
It barely works for perfect spheres, that's it.

Pillow shading : making the center lighter and the parts outside darker.
No matter how many colors you use, this isn't shading. This is filling with gradual colors.
You aren't taking the light direction into account. Your item will glow weirdly. It gives no volume, and makes you look like a pixel-art noob.

Originally posted by RedError.
Posts: 250
Joined: Sun 20. Jun 2010, 00:31

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