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The Making Of Hi-Fi Rush's 3D Toon Rendering Style

Learn about the development of a deferred toon renderer created for toon shading a 3D world in a 2D way from the Tango Gameworks team.

While this feels eerily posthumous, Hi-Fi Rush's genuine passion project energy, characters, combat, and art direction in particular definitely solidified its place in video game history and there's so much to learn from it.

In this GDC 2024 presentation, the talented team at Tango Gameworks did a thorough breakdown of the development of a deferred toon renderer created for toon shading a 3D world in a 2D way. The Unreal Engine 4-powered toon shading was used for the entire game, both characters and environment, while providing modern 3D graphics features, all at 60 FPS at native resolution.

Various customized UE4 render passes along with added render passes of their own are stylized and combined inside deferred rendered post-process volumes.

With this very technical, but skillfully presented to be understandable to someone with basic knowledge of the rendering pipeline talk, Graphics Programmers Kosuke Tanaka and Takashi Komada briefly introduce Hi-Fi Rush and cover such topics as deferred tone rendering, comic shader, toon light, shadows, static shadow map, global illumination, and toon face shadow implementation, sharing insights easily transferable to other engines.

Let's hope the Tango Gameworks team managed to land on their feet somewhere and continues working on incredible projects and we'll see more videos showing off the amazing work done by everyone who led the development of Hi-Fi Rush because their experience is a goldmine of knowledge.

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