Comic Book Page

How to get that "cel shaded" look in Poser 5


Go from this...

...to this.

Normal Poser 5 Render

Cel Shaded Poser 5 Render


This tutorial is based on some experimenting that I did in Poser 5 after reading this thread on Renderosity.

I am not a Poser expert by any stretch of the imagination. This tutorial is based on my own experimentation with Poser 5. It is entirely possible that I have some incorrect information in here.

I'm not a professional artist either. I originally picked up a copy of Poser (before it had any numbers attached to it) because I'm a comic book fan with abosulately zero artistic ability (as I'm sure will become fairly obvious in this tutorial). It seemed like it would be a great took for designing characters with. It has grown by leaps and bounds over the years.

Early on in the experimenting which this tutorial is based on I decided to use a model that wasn't an anime/manga style model. My original goal in experimenting with the cel shading style was to see if I could produce something with Poser 5 that would look at home in the pages of an American comic book. To this end, I decided to use the Michael 3 model. I also wanted to see if I could get a cel shaded style render that would work with texture maps. The obvious choice given the desire to produce a comic book style image was to do a Superman image. (Superman is copyright DC Comics.)

I spent no effort on trying to get an great likeness of Superman. I tried to get reasonably close with the costume but I didn't worry too much about the hair style or morphing the face or body. Again, the goal was to see if the cel shaded or comic book style look could be done inside of Poser 5.

Since I'm using Poser as a hobbyist, there have been times were many months would go by during which I neven even touched Poser. So, on the belief that people of various skill level will be reading this, I've decided to go into some detail on all of the steps. For tasks that are just variations on a theme, I'll only go over those steps at a high level. As a result, things might get a bit repetative in places.

The only knowledge required for this tutorial is the ability to read and the some basic knowledge of Poser 5 (such as how to launch it). For more advanced users, please don't take any of this a being insulting or anything of the sort. There are enough aspects of Poser that confuse the heck out of me that I want this tutorial to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.

Also, forgive me if I disgress a bit here and there about how I put the image together and why I made some of the choices I did. I'll try to stay on topic but I want to go a little into these areas and on how I figured out somethings on the off chance it might help someone else.

At various points in the tutorial, you might notice the name of the project change. I saved the tutorial at various stages under different names. I use compressed files with Poser 5 since the project files can get huge. Just for the heck of it, I've logged the size of the project file at each Save Point. I've done renders with the various cameras (Main, Aux, Face, Right Hand) to show the progress made at some of the Save Point.

Here are the camera settings I'm using:

Main Camera Aux Camera Face Camera Right Hand Camera
Focal100 mm
Perspective100 mm
hither0.134
DollyZ9.000
DollyY3.100
DollyX0.000
zScale100%
yScale100%
xScale100%
Scale100%
zOrbit
xOrbit
yOrbit
Focal100 mm
Perspective100 mm
hither0.134
DollyZ0.000
DollyY5.000
DollyX0.000
zScale100%
yScale100%
xScale100%
Scale100%
zOrbit
xOrbit
yOrbit
Focal100 mm
Perspective100 mm
hither0.134
DollyZ-6.500
DollyY0.000
DollyX0.000
Roll
Pitch
Yaw
Focal100 mm
Perspective100 mm
hither0.134
DollyZ-5.000
DollyY0.000
DollyX0.000
Roll
Pitch
Yaw

I encourage you to follow along with the tutorial as I will not be providing the project files at each stage. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the project files contain the geometry and other information about the various models used. Distributing this information about the models would be wrong. If that wasn't enough of a reason not to provide the project files (and truthfully, it is enough of a reason), another reason not to provide the project files is that they get insanely large. And finally, I'm providing step by step instruction on how to create the project files. Providing the project files would only discourage people from following along with the tutorial.

A lot of this came from me just fumbling around in Poser 5. Believe me, if I could make this work, so can you.



Step 0: Launching Poser 5 and Setting Up the Workspace


Step 1: Setting Up the Scene


Step 2: Creating and Applying the Texture Maps


Step 3: Creating and Applying the "Ink" Maps


Step 4: Creating and Applying the Transparency Maps


Step 5: Setting Up the Lighting


Step 6: Understanding the Nodes


Step 7: Setting Up the Cel Shading


Step 8: The Final Render





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