Cel-Shading is it good or bad?

The DSM

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I like it,it makes a change from ultra realistic graphics.

I think Borderlands did it well but probably the best recent example is Tales of Vesperia.

I love that game.
 

Hellion25

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If used correctly it can be beautiful. There was that little spurt a few years ago when every developer was putting out cel-shaded titles, thanks to the success of the style in Jet Set Radio. These days you tend to see it used more sparingly and, when it is, it is usually attached to titles with some solid merit. Good examples of its use in my view are;

Jet Set Radio
XIII
Wind Waker
Tales of Symphonia
 

Claptrap

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It was cool in borderlands, But after the first 10 minutes you dont notice it anymore, So it kinda loses the point.
 

psivamp

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lacktheknack said:
It really depends how stylized the game is.

It works for Prince of Persia, it REEEEEEALLY works for Evil Genius, but of course it doesn't work (for long) if you attempt to make it look realistic or serious.
I didn't like the cell-shaded Prince of Persia actually. Maybe it would have grown on me if I hadn't hated playing it so much.

XIII's over-the-top comic book style with insets and onomatopoeia was an amazing use of style IMO.

OT: It isn't good or bad intrinsically, it depends on the level to which it is taken and how well it fits the content. A cell-shaded squad-based modern war game would probably not work well, but on the other hand, it works quite well for games that are purposely over-the-top or draw from comics/graphic novels. Also, cell-shaded games age a little better because they're not expected to evolve at the same rate...
 

Avatar Roku

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mocruz1200 said:
tf2 isnt cell shaded.....
Oh, you're right. Just checked, it's certainly stylized, but it's not cell shading.
tghm1801 said:
I HATE cel-shading.
It's disgusting and lazy.
I mean, if I wanted to watch cartoons I'd turn on Cartoon Network.
That's a rather closed-minded view. You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but you're going to tell me that you think [http://jamniczekzombie.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/okami-beauty.jpg] this [http://www.e-telier.be/uppergames/screenshots/38_4050-okami10.jpg] game [http://gamesarentnumbers.com/m/okami.jpg] is [http://www.binarymoon.co.uk/files/images/okami.jpg] lazy [http://image.com.com/gamespot/images/2004/news/04/27/okami/okami_screen001.jpg], just because they went with cell shading?
 

captaincabbage

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I reckon it really depends on the application, tho generally I reckon it can make a game look really distinctive and interesting, like Ultimate Spider-Man or XIII
 

Dexiro

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It has to be done right!

I used to love any cel-shading when i was a kid, but now it makes my eyes hurt sometimes trying to figure out what's going on behind all the weird rendering.
 

Lullabye

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AS far as games are concerned, I can deal with cell shading in games that are not trying to be realistic, like Ookami and such.
As for the whole "it's lazy" argument.
Well, playing the DBZ games, it doesn't feel lazy, it feels right. I wouldn't notice the shadows and such if they were subtle and softly done while moving around at mach speed beating the crap outta other people. I thin the sharp contrast in colors can actually be more effective at establishing atmosphere than realistic lighting/shading.
 

SilkySkyKitten

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If done correctly (ala Jet Set Radio, Auto Modellista, XIII, Okami,...), cell shading looks absolutely beautiful and actually helps the game age less quickly in comparison to non-cell shaded games.

If done incorrectly, however (ala *insert all cell shaded licensed cash in games here*) it looks terrible, feels like a lazy excuse to be "artsy", and makes the game age more quickly than non-cell shaded games.
 

The Infinite

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Cel Shading is incredible when it's done right. It has this timeless quality where it will always look good. Wind Waker, Dark Cloud 2 and Okami are just a few examples of games that look bloody amazing and does Cel Shading perfectly.
 

Fightgarr

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Of those games you listed in the OP, only one of them was cel-shaded: XIII. Borderlands uses outlines to help define a more comic-y graphic style, but doesn't use cel-shading. Rage certainly isn't cel-shaded. Even Evil Genius, there are noticeable gradients between tones: it is not cel-shaded.
These aren't cell-shaded, they have a particular art style, but are not cel-shaded. Same goes for games like Prince of Persia(2008). Okami was cel-shaded along with 2D art style elements added in, so isn't entirely a cel-shaded game.

Cel-shading is a great way to introduce a simpler art style, getting around hardware issues while still making the game look marginally good. They age fairly well and have allowed the Wii to have some pretty good-looking games. I think cel-shading worked well for the Tales games, it worked for a good many Wii titles, and I think it should continue to be used as an alternative to hyper-realism. On the other hand, I like that games like PoP and Borderlands are taking on a non-cel-shaded, but illustrative style as opposed to realism. It's good sign of artistic diversity and I support it in full.
 

Audioave10

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It doesn't work well on PC games made with high graphics settings available. Many have changed
their INI files in Borderlands and say it looks much better without it.
 

Gindil

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Rauten said:
You want cel shading done right, you have to play JSR and JSRF. Hell, I think JSR may have been the first game to use it? And it looked AMAZING. Simply gorgeous.
Ya know what? This right here ended the thread. It was this, and Fear Effect that were the first and best examples of cel shading done right.

Everything else just can't compare to a fun and unique game about skating in a new world.
 

MadeinHell

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Lord Krunk said:
Cel Shading is awesome. Also, why didn't you mention Okami or the Jet Set Radio series?
1. I didn't play Okami and except for RAGE I decided to showcase only the games that I actually played thus seen in real life.
2. I completely forgot about Jet Set Radio xP. Don't know why because now it's FRIGGIN OBVIOUS :/.

Hey now that I started thinking of more games that kinda slipped my mind when I created the topic. The game that is bashing my head the most is currently "Torchlight", mainly because I'm not sure if it's cel-shaded or not. If it is than it would be a sign for me that cel-shading has one main advantage over all other types of graphical stylisation. I's easy on the hardware...
I mean... I can run Torchlight on my regular gaming PC, I can run it on my cheap-ass netbook, and I'm pretty sure that with a bit of effort I would be able to run it on my cellphone... so...

 

Meggiepants

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Jan 19, 2010
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I actually really like cel shading. I think it really lengthens the life of a game graphically. The simple clean lines continue to look nice for quite a while. A few people have mentioned Wind Waker and that is an example I would have to agree with. I look at some of the other older Zeldas and they just don't hold up as well.

Even so, I recognize cel shading doesn't really work in a lot of circumstances. Fallout 3 would have looked awful cel shaded. Metro 2033 would have lost a lot of its appeal if it had been cel shaded. Most games that are going for realism don't really work cel shaded.

I like the mix up of styles though. If all games were one or the other they would be less interesting.