Ciro Continisio

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Zelda-inspired toon shader

Unity toon shader inspired by Breath of the Wild



A recreation of the shader seen in Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, entirely built using Shader Graph. A previous version of this shader was used in my 2019 talk at Unite Copenhagen, which you can watch here.

It’s a toon shader with 2/3 hard bands of light and shadows, specular contribution, and additional artistic light effects. It supports a main directional light and one additional light (spot or point). Despite being an Unlit shader, it can cast and receive shadows. It features a sort of “sub-surface scattering”: the object, when seen against the main light, is lit on its contours. The effect disappears when seen from the light direction. Another main feature is a strong lateral shine, in the direction where the main light is coming from. The intensity of this effect can be tuned per-material or removed altogether (see properties below).

Other features:

  • Shader is opaque, and supports clipping (cut-out transparency) using the main texture’s alpha.
  • Supports normal maps.
  • Supports emission map + color.
  • Supports fog.

I published the shader for free on the Unity Asset Store.

It’s kinda hard to appreciate all the features when not seen in motion, so here’s a turnaround:

Here’s a gallery of stills, to see the details in higher resolution. Click to enlarge them:

All works and words on this website by Ciro Continisio, except otherwise specified.