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Personal MMD Shader And Style Development by headstert Personal MMD Shader And Style Development by headstert
So I looked at some VERY old stuff recently and I had to smile quite a bit when I saw what I was once so proud of... It now makes me feel like 'How could I ever be as happy with the outcome as I am now?'

Well, there was a lot of development in my pictures, and I'm kinda proud of what they are now and so I wanted to reflect the past a little at the example of Orin with the exact same pose and effects etc. from here:…

1) This is the most recent Shader option and nothing but the original render from the picture above. Done with N2+C Shader. I'm still super happy with this and it definitely is one of my top quality pictures compared to older ones. Nothing much to say about that.

2) Done with NCHL-Shader and Pmot - I used this specific shader from beginning of May 2016 to mid July. Personally for me there is only one reason to prefer N2+C over NCHL and this is the better usage possibilities of Normal Maps as well as light effects. But the results were of similar quality as N2+C I think.

3) Done with PmotSkin - My most used Shader out of all... Well it is simply the highest quality shader out there when it comes to simple usage. Just as easy as all of the other shaders, but better. Used it from October 2015 until May 2016 and parts of it were still used in more recent pictures where I used a combination of NCHL and Pmot like in 2. For long I was too dumb to get NCHL Shader working and I feel like an idiot when I think back to these times. But still, one of my most simplest but best pictures was done with Pmot, and I still think it has similar quality than that of recent ones.

4) Done with multiple shaders (Greener, Yo-Me, Adult and Figure Shader) - Well that is the 'Dark Past' I talked about... I don't think these shaders look bad, don't get me wrong, but they just can't compete at all with NCHL and N2+C as well as even newer ones like RayCast or N3+C (Which is able to knock my GTX 1060 completely out O.O But being able to use this Shader would be so worth it! *-*) I'm still happy with some things I did with this old 'Shader Mix' but I'd love to remake some of the things that I did back then. Unfortunately that isn't that easy for me because I'm a little too dumb for things from time to time. ^^

It's still weird to know, that it was normal for me to work with these Shaders for such a long time, especially with Pmot...

Anyways, concerning the future, I hope there will be a time, when I'll be able to use N3+C Shader effectively. Until then I try to get RayCast to work smoothly. And until then, I'm gonna have fun with N2+C Shader.

That's it so far. I think I might do something like this again in like a year or so... It's cool to see back in the past, and maybe I'll think the same things then about my recent pictures... xD

So what do you think? How much of an improvement did I went through? Any points in time where you think I should've stayed? I'm just curious. :3

Orin by MattRass


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wakuwalt7 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016
You had some relevant changes in your shading effect usage, from a more "doll-ish"
The first picture effect is the better of the 4 (maybe the 4th too, let's put that in the 2nd place of my fav versions).
Too bad that N2+C Shader is too big in filesize for my standars...

Personally i use a lot of Diffusion7 and Sv_SSAO effect combo for my pictures with some incursion of Adult Shader, recently i starting using a little of SShader in my recent pictures...
for me is a good combination...
headstert Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
When I use normal shaders like in 4, I also use SvSSAO and Diffusion, as well as a tonemap and SelfOverlay for contrast. Adult Shader is probably the best universal shader and I always used it when I didn't know which shader to use.
wakuwalt7 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2016
LostRey Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm almost a noob into digital art(and MMD), so maybe this won't be much useful.
But other than quality, I also wish to base this comment thinking of each model into the "Come with Me" picture, and keeping in consideration pose and the background:

1- Look very good; her face and eyes are clear and well defined, and the texture of her dress are well visible giving it a realistic feeling. I think this is really the most balanced and quality-wise shader.
2- This is a little too dark for her face(it should be some light for the flames, don't it?) but the contrast with the skin gives to her eyes a very cool light; however I noticed a sligthly drop of quality in her iris and on her dress as well. 
3- Pretty much the opposite of 2. There's maybe a little too much light in her eyes(who could be still good as a flame's reflection?) and the outline is quite blurry.
4- It has the same blurry outline of 3 but, you know, her face doesn't look bad at all. There's this warm light in her face that fits good with the flames around her and her eyes seems slightly lighter than 1 just because of this.
headstert Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're absolutely right about everything.

The light is what I care most about, which is one reason why I am currently working with N2+C because I have better opportunities to adjust the light on every single part.

2 has the problem, that it doesn't reflect light very good, but there are additional shaders that are based on this one to fix this issue. However in scenes without light this shader is in all its glory.

Even though I like contrast a lot, 3 is definitly too much in some situations just like here. When you get the right lighting, this overray is managable though

And for 4... well the good old shader mix is only good for specific parts of the model. Like you said, some shaders give good red reflections for warm light, on the other side there are many other shaders that won't do that.

For the blurry outlines, that is something I can't influence when I render without a background. There are certain effects that cause this, but I need them to smoothe textures.

Basically, with this I wanted to show, how this render would have looked like, if I did this picture a year ago (4) half a year ago (3) some months ago (2) in direct comparison to now (1).
TheOVJM Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's funny to read through the description for I can't understand anything. :D I have never even tried using mmd, so that is like quantum physics for me. (And to be precise I probably know more about quantum physics than about mmd. XD) But one thing I can say is that you have certainly improved! My eye is not too refined for these kinds of things, but I can still say that your pictures are top quality. :)
headstert Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, I needed over a year to understand what I've written now in 10 minutes. :D You're getting the hang of it after some time eventually.

Glad to hear that. To improve is my main target! :3
xHourai Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist Filmographer
Do you know that this is not a just simple improvement, It's actually a critical level up! ^^
I'd like to say something more but YOU wrote everytging already, gosh how you can find that much words to say... XD
headstert Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot! That means a lot to me. :3

I actually wanted to write much, MUCH more, but that would've taken way too long.^^ I guess words just come out once you're into it. ^^
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Submitted on
November 17, 2016
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