Digital painting render styles

There's a broad range of render styles, there's no right or wrong about which you should use!

Each type of art render style has their own artistic qualities, strengths and weaknesses which ultimately lends to the type of art piece you want to create. Each style also can also suit a certain type of audience, or message.


Main Points

Compressed range

Compress the value range to retain details of image.

Key weighted

Compress dark and light areas to seperate them with a quick drop off range. Use saturated edges.

Cel shading

Flatten light and shadow areas completely with small difference in colour. The terminus has a hard edge.

Wrapped light

Light wraps past the terminus & has softer shadows.

Minimal

Use just enough tone to depict shadow or light Non representational Render focuses on style and not subject form.

Under Rendered

Clusters of diffuse light around the bright areas with No terminus for a stylized look.

Hybrid Cel Shading

Use flat colours but add more tone to either the light Or the shadow for more details of form.

Questions to ask yourself

  • How can the render style support the idea?

    How can the render style support the idea?

  • What forms are a priority for this style?

    What forms are a priority for this style?

  • Do details closer to light have less definition?

    Do details closer to light have less definition?

  • Do shadows follow the angle of the light?

    Do shadows follow the angle of the light?

  • Does each light source differ in temperature?

    Does each light source differ in temperature?

Things to remember

Work Big to Small

Work big to small across the image & consider the forms.

Bounce Light

Light that bounces off a surface loses energy so when it hits another surface will not be as strong.

Avoid Over Exposure

Create distance between colour & value of subject and the light source to avoid over exposed lighting.

Lost & Found Edges

Adds rythm, variety & interest. Important edges are harder. Soft for motion. Saturated edge for vibrance.

Depth Effects

Use atmosphere to create space between elements. The contrast of objects gets less furthar into the distance.

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