Art Directed Watercolor Shader for Non-photorealistic Rendering with a Focus on Reflections
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In this research, I demonstrated that emulating painterly reflections is impossible using existing modeling, compositing and rendering software that does not provide programming capabilities. To obtain painterly reflections, we need to emulate three aspects of painterly reflections: (1) shape of reflections; (2) glossiness of reflections; and (3) colors of reflections. The first two turn out to be relatively easy. However, despite the perceived simplicity of color reproduction, the third one turned out to be hardest without developing our own proprietary tools. To demonstrate the difficulty, I have developed a shader using commercial rendering and shading software that does not provide explicit programming power. I assigned my shader as a surface material to 3D objects. Using my shader, I was able to create computer generated watercolor style renderings without reflections. My shader provide rendering effects such as diffuse, contours, specularity, shadow, and reflections. Although I can faithfully emulate non-reflected regions of given water-color paintings, I demonstrate that my shader cannot produce reflection colors that are faithful to colors of original reflections.
Cheng, Ji (2017). Art Directed Watercolor Shader for Non-photorealistic Rendering with a Focus on Reflections. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from