I am making a node setup in Cycles stylized after the toon shading in Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and I have two questions. Using the "normal" node, how can I have the first normal input (the first sphere in the node) automatically point to the nearest light, and when the nearest light changes, smoothly animate the movement of the normal direction? Second, how can I make a light that illuminates all the vertices in it's range, not just the ones pointing towards it?

This is my node setup. enter image description here


Unless you have special reasons to use Cycles, I would consider using EEVEE for, at least, the main passes of your work, because of the Shader to RGB node.

The Shader to RGB node, which really can't be implemented in a path-tracer like Cycles without calling the whole renderer twice, allows you to take the actual light-response of a surface, capture that color, and then use it in any way you like further down the pipeline.

In that workflow, you could, for example, choose to forget coloring by Normal, and actually light a pure-white diffuse version of your model, and maybe a black highly specular version of your model, and so on.. by using different shaders all in the same node tree.

You can then grab the tones from those shaders as RGB, put them trough thresholds, quantize them, use them as masks for textures, do half-toning with them, tint them with colors that are not actually in the scene .. almost anything.

Not your style, but there's an example here of half-toning and tinting. A search on 'NPR' and 'Shader to RGB' turns up plenty of examples, some good, some not-so-good...

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. The RGB node works well. I have a question though. How can I make an object lit by only one light at a time? Having multiple lights on the object ruins the cartoon look/ $\endgroup$ – chirpywiz711 Feb 17 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ @chirpywiz711 On the whole, you're right .. (maybe you want some light from the World for ambience). By coincidence, I've just watched this for the first time. It's very thorough about the advantages and limitations of EEVEE for toon rendering, I've linked you to the lighting section, but you'll probably need to take in more to have it make sense. Some features of shading have been improved since this was made, and I'm sure you'll wind up with your own ways. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Feb 17 at 22:15
  • $\begingroup$ @chirpywiz711 also.. there are lots of very good ideas in the BNPR Show series. You can pick your way through the show notes to find the bits that are relevant to you. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Feb 17 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ @chirpywiz711 .. one approach to multiple lights $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Feb 17 at 22:33

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