A game developer creates delicious looking anime ramen with custom made “soup shader”

Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-07-11 15:41 JST)

Game developer Harry Alisavakis has created a 3DCG ramen animation that is enjoying a great deal of popularity on Twitter. The short making-of video now has over 1.5 million views, but how exactly did he create it?

Alisavakis is a technical artist who works for Jumpship, an independent game studio currently developing the sci-fi adventure game Somerville. He is also behind the #TechincallyAChallenge hashtag which is a regular event on Twitter where many different artists create CG artwork based around a theme that is chosen in a survey. The latest theme was “Food,” and Alisavakis’ own submission was a bowl of ramen. The steaming ramen was created with Unity using individual parts that were modeled in Blender.

Due to the positive response to his artwork, Alisavakis decided to also post a short making-of video. To create the ramen, he used his own self-made “cel-shading” shader which allowed him to add a hand-drawn feel to the 3D models. The noodles, bowl, and other ingredients are all modeled individually.

The main custom feature is the “soup shader” which he made by altering a liquid shader that he had previously developed. The shader employs an elaborate process where the visuals are adjusted in accordance with the depth of the soup. The soup is darker where it is deeper and brighter and more transparent in shallow areas or places where it comes into contact with the ingredients. In order to further add to the hand-drawn feeling, he also deliberately made both the steam and soup animations run at a lower frame rate. As one might expect from an experienced VFX artist, there are a number of intricate details that went into the creation of the delicious looking ramen.

Alisavakis said that he used various examples of delicious looking anime ramen as a reference in creating his own. He does not currently have any plans to release his soup shader for others to use but is happy for people to reach out to him with any questions they may have about shader creation. His personal blog contains a variety of tutorials for different shaders and effects, so readers who are interested should give it a look.