Notice how the toon shading is responding to colored lights a lot better than the method I used in Archon Defender...
You can see the polygon paint technique gets quite exaggerated up close, I was going to fix this but I've come to like the look of this, so it stays.
Some Technical 3D max stuff that might be boring to you:
One thing I've noticed is that this method lets you get away with lower poly models than I had for Archon Defender. Let's say you make a low poly character mesh, and put the meshsmooth modifier on it to smooth out the polygons (which is what I did here.. and for Archon Defender.)
Meshsmooth will divide polygons into 4:
- step 0 ... 1 poly
- step 1 ... 4 polys- This is where I have it for these models
- step 2 ... 16 polys - This is where I set it for Archon Defender
- step 3 ... 64 polys - ouch onoes you are starting to hurt your computer
- step 7 ... !!!!!!! over 9000!!!!! polys
This technique is designed to maintain the 'painted' look by shifting the geometry of the models using a noise modifier, synced to the frame rate of the animation, so that the effect is consistent from frame to frame, and doesn't 'wiggle'
What I noticed from my test animations so far, is that this technique actually 'wiggles' the polygons visibly when *skinned* characters move. This is simply a result of where I have put the noise modifier in the object's modifier stack. Above the skin modifier, it wiggles when they move. Below the skin modifier, it doesn't.
So it's well within my ability to "fix" this, I just happen to like the way it works. My reasoning for this: It serves to separate living elements from inanimate objects and mechanical objects, which are not 'skinned' in 3dmax, and therefore will not have a visible wiggling effect when they move.