I've learned some knowledge about shading from 2D artists. So I wanted to move it into 3D world. I've used a Pixel Processor node from Substance Designer for experimenting with this technique. The idea is to use colored shading and shadows istead of a black ones, gradient mid-tone and cel-shaded overlay.
So I'm moving my assets into Substance Designer to improve the graphics and style. The pipeline has been reworked. I had to switch from diffuse-only maps into diffuse-roughness-glow-specular-height-normal maps.
The height is not the real height map, it's the shading+rimlight map which is not affected by light. I was inspired by Guilty Gears Xrd shaders while creating this approach.
I made a new tail model and addes an extra bone. Now I have to rework and re-bake all the tail animations. All tail animations are generated from my spline IK, so it's doesn't take much time.
This is just a generated world normal map on the left. But it looks cool, lol. I like those glowing colors and gradients. I dunno if normal map art is such a thing, but I know about shaders art.
I need to make the game look better, so I started with a characters models and textures. I'm trying to imitate the hand-paint style using a SD with a light shading, gradients and minimal details.