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Has anybody had success getting Cycles(Blender's engine) to have an MMD-like look? I'm talking about using shadow ramps and sphere mapping so that, for example, TDA's Miku model looks like it's intended to. I've had some success but I've found it's way more difficult than it should be.
In particular it just seems like there's no way to set up a shadow ramp using a pre-existing texture(it's not a big deal but it would be a little bit easier than making one each time with the color ramp node), or to tie any kind of variable to the amount of light hitting an object.
In particular, tying variables to the amount of light hitting a surface would make it much, much easier. I could map a color ramp so that the color of the object is altered depending on the amount of light hitting the surface, where 1(fully lit, or, lit past a certain point)=the top of the texture, 0(no light, or ambient only)=the bottom. But it seems Cycles doesn't have the capability to do this, am I correct?
I'll go ahead and post the best result I've had at making a shader that mimics MMD's shadow method. I've also learned how to use sphere maps(aka matcaps) in cycles, which apparently wasn't possible before 2.66 or so, but that's googleable so unless there's interest I won't post that node setup.
As to why I'd want to do this, I think if I could set up something that looks like MMD then I could use that as a base to create something more advanced for NPR work, and also because when using a model I like to at least be able to achieve its exact intended look using existing files.