Node Spaghetti writes:
This is the first QUICKY TIPS, a series of faster videos about a wide variety of subjects- featuring interesting ideas, software features that are new or relatively unknown, even mini-tutorials and etc.
In this video, we're using the Alpha of Blender 2.82 to preview a brand new Blender feature (custom Arbitrary Output Variables for Cycles) and one of its many potential uses. Get the latest daily build of blender at https://builder.blender.org/download/ or build it yourself! Then, get ready for a mighty new muscle in your Non-photoRealistic Rendering (NPR) workflow!
Before custom AOV's existed, creating stylized renders could be an enormous challenge in Cycles- you either suffered with Cycles weak Toon BSDF, or stitched together incredibly complex compositing trees (or both). The better choice had always been to use Blender Internal to do NPR, and now EEVEE, which has superceded it. But EEVEE can't do everything Cycles can do.
Custom AOV's allow the artist to take any arbitrary information out of the shader tree and into the compositing tree. As you'll see in this video, this can be used to quickly and efficiently produce beautiful cel-shading with a painterly effect.