Artifice - Art Style and Diorama

The altar and its sigil from above. To try and make it look like an actual work area, I left several material-looking items on the side. The runes themselves are half actual alchemical symbols, half made up by me to fill in the gaps. They represent the typical 8 elements found in many jRPGs.

Our UE4 tour guide showing the Interactable desk. I have managed to use cel-shaded post-processing without losing the ability to use emissive textures on objects I choose, and custom depth without occluding particle systems.

Neither the cel shading nor the outline material affect the glass bottles' transparency or reflectivity. I’m in two minds on this.

Closer image of the chalice. The cel shading somehow makes a completely nonmetallic object look like gold.

A better demonstration of the shadows and the banding. This variation features three bands, with the darkest being pure black.

An example character, low poly modelled, with basic textures. Showing the contours of the face and how the shadows band.

The king’s model, without the cel shading. Notice the outlines – it’s an inverted-normal pure-black model without backface culling enabled. This isn’t a perfect solution, however.

The models for the outlines have to be quite different from the actual models. A lot of polygons are removed, especially around the facial area. Anywhere a polygon could reflex and point back towards the wider shape can become a black mark hovering in front of the actual coloured model.

Different cel shading thresholds I experimented with. From left to right:
Initial Attempt, Inspired by Killer7, inspired by Wind Waker, an attempt to fuse the two previous approaches.

In the end I went for #2, because the strong shadows are reminiscient of comic books, which is the feel I was trying to evoke.

Main character unlit render. Testing the outlining system and the cel-shaded colouring.


An exploratory work based on trying to find a crisp, clean and pleasing art style to use in the future. I decided on cel-shading pretty early on, and spent a lot of time experimenting with the best way to model and texture to achieve the visuals I wanted.

Big influences were The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Killer7.


Sole Artist and Modeler


Staffordshire University – Individual Portfolio Project


Sept '18 – Apr '19