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Sylvain Perat avatar image
Sylvain Perat asked ·

[TOON SHADER] Why the outlines doesnt work on object behind several transparent surfaces ?

Hi, it’s me again with an other question about the new toon shader. It’s still about transmission. This time, i would like to knwo how can i manage to have the outlines of an object behind several transparent surfaces to be drawn ?

I made a simple scene to test this out. I have 7 teapots, and 6 walls separating them. I also have a floor, a background wall and a directional light.

The toon glass shader applied to the walls is a default toon shader with 1 in specular weight and 1 in transmission weight.

With default depth ray settings, the last wall appears black. It’s normal, by default transmission ray depth is set to 10.

If I increase the transmission depth to 12, the last wall is not black anymore and i can see the last teapot.

So this is working as expected.

But the big problem is no matter what settings i use, i can’t manage to have the outlines of the teapots behind the second wall to be drawn.

I tried increasing specular and diffuse ray depth to 10, unchecking energy conservative, setting indirect diffuse to 1, setting indirect specular to 0, increasing angle threshold on both the teapot toon shader and the glass toon shader, but to no avail.

Any ideas ?

It seems that the outlines dont react well with specular and transmission, and that’s a bit problematic.

With my school we’re in the preproduction phase of or next year end of course animation, and i’m the « technical director », so i’m supposed to find how we’re going to render it. We wanted a stylized look, but we werent to happy with the default maya toon shader. So when we discovered that arnold just launched a new toon shader, we were supper happy about it. But now, after some tests, it seems we wont be able to use correctly specular and transmission with the outline feature. Or we could render a sequence twice, one with no outlines but with the specular and transmission, and one other with only emissive and outlines. We’ll need to do some tests.

Is there a way to contact directly arnold developers ? Like some sort of bug report system ? So that i can warn them of the different issues i’ve been having, to check with them if it’s a problem only on the MTOA plugin, or is it a bug of arnold itself, so they can try to fix it ?

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Sylvain Perat avatar image
Sylvain Perat answered ·

I dont think i have a common production example, i'm just a student testing things. It's true that 3 is actually good, if you make your transparent surface ( like windows) with a plane only ( and not with flatten cubes like i did in the first place :) ).

But let's say i want to do a transparent thick hollow sphere, like in the picture in the documentation about ray depth :


Then the outlines wouldn't be visible behind the center of the sphere :


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Lee Griggs avatar image
Lee Griggs answered ·

>that would be nice to have a parameter similar to ray depth for the toon outlines, to be able to set the limit of bounce up to you can see the outlines.

Do you have a common production example that would require this feature?

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Sylvain Perat avatar image
Sylvain Perat answered ·

I remember reading this, but because on this scene it was mostly about transmission (even though i have to set specular to 1 if i want to a have a transparent surface), i thought it was not relevant. And the toon shader itself, is working behind several transparent surface, just the outlines. But the outlines seems to actually stop after the third transparent surface. I replaced my walls by simple surface. Even though i dont understand why i can see the oulines of the fourth wall and not the oultines of the fourth teapot.


So it's seems its a hardcoded limit and not a bug. In that case, that would be nice to have a parameter similar to ray depth for the toon outlines, to be able to set the limit of bounce up to you can see the outlines. But maybe its a technical limitation ?


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Lee Griggs avatar image
Lee Griggs answered ·

From the documentation:

"The Toon shader is visible in Specular reflections (up to 3 bounces)"

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