Chapter 59: Light Shading Effect

Cut-out animation allows for great advancements and time saving in production, but it has certain limitations. One of the main advantages of using a cut-out puppet is the ability to reuse your characters without having to redraw them and you can modify your animations very quickly. This speeds up the process quite a bit. One of the disadvantages of cut-out animation when wanting to retain the time saving factor and ability to quickly modify an animation, is the fact that you cannot easily create tones and highlights. To do so, you must draw all the highlight zones for each frame by hand. Following that, if you want to modify your animation, you have to redraw those zones. This slows down the process. There are a few tricks for doing simple automated highlights, but the results are not always convincing.

The Harmony Light Shading effect provides a proper solution to this issue. It allows you to add a few nodes to your original puppet rig and obtain a customizable lighting effect on your characters. It can be applied to any object in your scene, not only on cut-out characters. The light shading effect allows you to define your volume zones as well as your light source and animate its position.

This chapter is divided as follows:

About Light Shading
Light Shading Nodes
Light Shading Setup
Light Shading Properties