Cel-Shading is it good or bad?

carpathic

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I think it can be a good way to bring ideas onto the gaming market that might otherwise involve too much extra programming.

Ie. you could play on a WII for instance...also indie games could use this when photorealism will just take too much time.
 

Thaius

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Cel shading is just another visual style. There is nothing wrong with it (anyone who hated Wind Waker just because of the visual style is near the top of my moron list), and it is not inherently good either. It's a matter of using it for the right purposes.
 

Avatar Roku

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Three examples of why it's good (though I'm not sure if the third one is actually cell shading, I just put it in that group in my mind):

As others have said though, it does have to be used right.
 

Avatar Roku

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Thaius said:
Cel shading is just another visual style. There is nothing wrong with it (anyone who hated Wind Waker just because of the visual style is near the top of my moron list), and it is not inherently good either. It's a matter of using it for the right purposes.
Agreed. Apparently, some magazine or another, a full year before Wind Waker came out, said it was awful and "a boring easy kiddy game." Based solely on the art style. People are actually that stupid.

Side note, I love your avatar. Mushy wushy friend!
 

Signa

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Aylaine said:
Depends how you use it. Okami is a wonderful example of it being used beautifully, for example.
Agreed. Okami probably was the best use of Celshading yet. As for the question in the title: Good, but IMO overused. It's a style that adds a lot of character to a game, but it feels like half the time it gets used, its adding character to an empty game. The celshading needs to enhance the charm and character of a game, not replace it entirely.
 

Blue Musician

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Well, I currently think celshading gets more close to reality. I mean, is it me, or I see things celshaded? Also I do like it.
 

Enigmers

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Veldt Falsetto said:
Gorgeous if done right, see Tales of Vesperia or Wind Waker.

Hella ugly if not...no examples in mind
You ninja'd me. The cel-shading in ToV look astounding, it looks alright in Borderlands, but it's the kind of thing that gets old fast if it tries too hard.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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MadeinHell said:
what do you think of cel-shading tech?

I think it's a chunk of code that, in simple terms, reduces the available palette of the rendering engine to give a visual effect similar to cel shaded animation (where shading effects were done on seperate cels from the rest of the work, hence the name)... I think that because I know that's what it is.

It's a stylistic choice which, when suited to the theme and atmosphere of the game, can work well.
 

Lord Krunk

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Cel Shading is awesome. Also, why didn't you mention Okami or the Jet Set Radio series?
 

Sakurazaki1023

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Aylaine said:
Depends how you use it. Okami is a wonderful example of it being used beautifully, for example.
Okami is very high on the list of games with great art, period.

Personally, I enjoy cell shading when it is used well and combined with a good art style.

Tales Of Vesperia and The Shin Megami Tensei Series are the only other ones I can think of right now though.

Crackdown was also really good with it's textured-cell art. It's stylish, and is ensured that the game had a massive draw distance which was great for gameplay.
 

War Penguin

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I like cell-shading. It makes the game stylized and interesting. However, even though I've never seen it, if it goes wrong, it can go really wrong.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Doctor VonSexMachine said:
It looks like really cheap rendering.
In a way it is... Essentially instead of using gradient shading it works like a duotone, tritone or contrast burn - instead of a full range of shadings (gradient) every shading above 'x' value is given the 'light' version of the colour, every shading below 'y' value is given the 'dark' version and values between X and Y get 'normal'. So, for example instead of having every possible shade of red it gets reduced to 'red', 'dark red' and 'light red' (not the same as pink before RvB fans chime in).

Of course you can use more than the traditional 'tritone' approach but if you push it too much it stops looking cel shaded.
 

mocruz1200

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blurredplacebo said:
TF2 is probably the best looking cel-shaded game I play on any regular basis
Avatar Roku said:
Three examples of why it's good (though I'm not sure if the third one is actually cell shading, I just put it in that group in my mind):

As others have said though, it does have to be used right.
tf2 isnt cell shaded.....
 

TheRocketeer

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I think cel shading has a lot of potential. A lot of people got their back up against it initially because their first exposure to it was Wind Waker, whose problem wasn't cel shading but overall ass-ugly art direction.

But there are some games that use it very well, such as the popular Borderlands. One of the big benefits of cel-shading is that it can be used to effectively prop up a stylized, gorgeous world that doesn't require the processing power that a more realistic look would require.

Metal Gear AC!D 2 comes to mind; that game was on the PSP, but it was very pleasing to look at because its cel-shaded style gave the game a lot of visual flair without needing to tax the developer's resources trying to pack in more pixels and cut down on jaggies. The Dark Cloud series for the PS2 was very nice to look at, as well, and is probably my earliest real acquaintance with the technique. The characters and about half of the game was cel-shaded, but the world was generally in 3D. It made for a pretty striking, enjoyable visual style, and I really enjoyed it. Okami certainly benefitted immeasurably from complementing its focus on old Japanese calligraphy and painting with a world that is itself presented in such a style, and it managed to be beautiful, fun, and entirely unique.

I think as graphics improve, cel-shading and techniques like it will become more and more popular. Development of graphics tech is already well, well beyond the point of diminishing returns, and more and more money and hardware is used to less and less real effect every day. Once just looking realistic finally starts to become the status quo for any game, a much greater focus will need to be placed on art direction and style rather than pure power if a given title wants to stand out from the herd.

This won't necessarily mean cel-sahding, specifically, will be the go-to technique, but it certainly is a familiar and fairly proven option for giving a world a totally different, unique style without fruitlessly chasing the will-o-wisp of graphical photorealism.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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TheRocketeer said:
This won't necessarily mean cel-sahding, specifically, will be the go-to technique, but it certainly is a familiar and fairly proven option for giving a world a totally different, unique style without fruitlessly chasing the will-o-wisp of graphical photorealism.
I would totally play a game done in halftone or, even freakier, pointilist style.

Although, if you want to get technical, all RGB imaging is pointilism.