View Full Version : First seriouse character attempt (gladiator) HELP!

03-02-2007, 07:29 PM
I dont really do characters but i was persuaded i should enter the skills challenge competion (http://www.skillschallengecompetitions.org.uk/competitions/itAndMedia/computerGameDesign.html) by a teacher. Now i have made a start on my first ever proper character and i think i am going to need you help! Basically i think my problem is going to be edge loops and topology...

So heres the head i made today, this is just the low poly i am planning to make a high poly and normal map it. Its 1482 polys




I also started to make a shield as a bit of fun. The one on the left is the high poly the one on the right is the low poly normal mapped


Cheers jonny

03-02-2007, 07:57 PM
Yeah, edge loops are a bit off and overall topology could be lot better. The biggest problem is the nose. There is way too many faces that don't give anything to the shape and also the mouth, chin and ear area have this same problem. you could save lots of faces by simplifying these areas and maybe use them in some other areas that might need more detail.

The chin area needs some complete re-arranging of the polys because the polys twist badly if you look the bottom most picture. my motto when modeling is "Allways keep mesh clean and smooth". >> No "twisted" polys.

As you can see from your screenshots there are few areas that differ from the rest of a mesh: forehead, back of the head and brows have some shading problems (might be a result of unconnected vertises or bad topology or just the smoothing groups).

I'm not a pro myself but these are the parts that need lots of work still. Otherwise the shape of the head looks quite nice and it will make a good model /bust if you spend a bit more time with it.

03-02-2007, 08:05 PM
As you already said mesh topology and edge loops are your main problems. I'm not an expert myself, but here're some advices:
- you've waaay to many edge loops around the mouth
- way to many edge loops for the chin
- the nose and the area on the side of the nose is one mess

proportions of the face are ok, but you're really working with too many polys at the moment. Probably try to do it again with half of the polys and the edge loops like on this picture:

03-02-2007, 08:06 PM
Thanks ElFuego I will do that. I wondered if somebody could be kind enough to do a quick paint over :D i would be reaaaally greatfull

03-02-2007, 09:04 PM
psychojohno: The best way to learn topology is to collect pictures of head wireframes that have really good edge looping. Create a folder on your computer and spend a day looking around cgtalk and polycount and just find some. Print them out and tweak your model.

Are you planning on rigging the lowpoly version for animation? Personally I would build the highpoly head first and build my low res cage around that for normal mappage. The head you have now with some tweaks is a good beginning for your high res.

03-03-2007, 10:00 AM
thanks for all your help everyone.that image was very usefull B.T. I have tried to give the model some better loops. I am happier with it but what do i know :D


I dont pla to rig the head but i will be rigging the body

please crit!

03-03-2007, 10:11 AM
Hey psychojohno, the most important thing u need is reference! I hope you will have a good collection of Gladiator ref? also if your planning having it looking a little like someone famous maybe? then you need quite a few good profile pictures, and as much reference as possible before you start. You also need to study them while your modelling.

If your planning on making a hi-res model first, then making the realtime version ( along side ) then I would really recommend the "Smooth Proxy" function in Maya. It helps so much in seeing what your actually creating. As something could work in lo poly, but once you subdivide it you will see quickly how it effects the mesh.

If you need further advise I`ll try when I am free.

03-03-2007, 10:59 AM
thanks bigerm for the advise. Im not planning on having him look like anyone famouse (its not supposed to be russel crowe) I think modelling somebody famouse would be too difficult for me at the moment so im working from this drawring and will make up my own detail later. I am hoping to try a little z brush but i have never done that before so i might use your method if i cant get a result.


03-03-2007, 09:01 PM
I tried to make the body today, was a bit of a nightmare I tried to put loops where the muscles should be but i donít think i did the best job in the world because when i try and get it rigged it deforms like crap.. I think i need a few helpful hints. I am following this tutorial





Could somebody please tell me if my head anybetter aswell

Cheers jonny

03-03-2007, 10:10 PM
I cant see enough of the head to see how much its changed just yet. As for the tutorial your following, I remember it too, and following it years ago. Although I think it has some good points, I think modelling topology has moved on since those days. Its quite a nice idea to follow muscles lines, but you cant really effect the flow of your polys, as that guy did a bit too much.

I`ll look more and post more. I`ll try and find out some examples of excellent loops, forms you should follow closely.


Right, the best tutorial I can find it here : http://mr2k.3dvf.net/tutorials/max/tutorials_joan.htm ( a great artist! ).

I remember following this also quite a while ago and finding it a great help! I know this is a cartoony character but the same principles apply. The loops help greatly, especially in this day of sculpting, so your mesh needs to be as even and nicely spaced as possible, and all quads! Not always the case, but its nicer.

03-04-2007, 06:39 AM
Hi Psycho,

I applaude your enthusiasm to make a character. I agree with BigErn about reference. The biggest advice I can give on this project is if your goal is a character with real world anatomy then use real world anatomy references. Even if you are a master of anatomy I do not suggest using your own drawings as reference. You will rarely be happy with your 3D result. www.3D.sk (http://www.3D.sk) is what you really need for reference.

I believe they have some free references available. Edgeloops are great and are very nessesary. But just because you have good edgeloops doesn't mean you will have a masterful 3D model. I only wish it was that easy. Reference is the key. As long as you are a character artist this will always be a given even if you are making fictional characters. You can always munipulate them later afer you have a good basis to work from. Unlike 2D, 3D has so much more room for artist interepretation. So you must always be looking at reference. The reality of anatomy lies in the subtleties. Unless you study the sublteties closely they will elude you and your model will look very "3D".

With time and practice this will become more natural but it is always good to check your work with references.

I hope this does not seem overwhelming, but starting off on the right foot should make this project easier for you and the ones in the future.

Just a small hint, model you arms at a 45 degree angle. If you choose you rig and pose this guy you will thank me. ;)

03-04-2007, 06:47 PM
Thanks again bigern that tutorial helped me get my knees right and now the thighs deform better as well I spent most of today modelling accessories because i got a bit tired of the organic side. Here an update of what i have done so far

Skirt shield and armour is normal mapped.


Iím not sure about the helmet i used a roman soldiers helmet as reference as none of the gladiator helmets i could find you could actually see the face and if i could show the face i would feel like i wasted time making it lol. He looks more like a soldier now so i dunno. The chest armour is leather and its not supposed to be anatomically correct.

One stupid question should if i keep the helmet should i delete the part of the head you cant see? Same question for the armour.

Cheers jonny

03-04-2007, 07:06 PM
One stupid question should if i keep the helmet should i delete the part of the head you cant see? Same question for the armour.

Cheers jonny

Yep... if you can't see it remove it. That way you could porobably use those polys else where.


03-06-2007, 01:45 PM
Today i went ahead and painted the head. To my surprise Iím pretty please with the results especially because it was the first face texture i had ever painter I still have to do the spec and normal map as well as make the eyes better and do a mouth so Iím not finished yet. Next job i think will either be finishing the shield or making him a sword


03-06-2007, 09:12 PM
Sword + shield


03-06-2007, 09:45 PM
Gday mate. I`m ever so slightly confused. I realise that its your first character, which is cool :) and you are progressing! I thought that I could just check out your methods, and maybe let you know about maybe how some other people would go about it ( well, maybe how I do hehe)

Just seems a little confusing to me personally, that you have started a model, and then started texturing it without making your hi-res model ?

See...I know you dont have to take my advise, its just my personal way of doing it maybe. But I think what you would seriously be better off doing is :

Working on a "lowres" model, at the same time working in Smooth Proxy mode to "make" your Hi-res model at the same time, or you can keep check on it while you model "lowres"
(If you want any help with understanding what I mean, let me know, I`ll show u a maya scene setup like how I work.)

The benefit of taking your model to being fully modelled in hires is 2 fold.

1.You get your source model for normal maps
2.You get your RealTime object almost made ( depending on how clean your "lowres" model is.

As for your textured face so far, its a good start. YOu need to add more details around the eyes. Making the eye texture at least doubled in size! but more wrinkle details, shade details too. But its a nice start!


03-07-2007, 07:30 AM
thanks again bigern i did make the high res but i couldnt get very good results so thats probably why you cant see the normal. I got so far with it and i tried to get other stuff like wrinkles but all i really did was the ear and a wrinkle around the mouth. I figured i would be better off painting the rest in photoshop i dunno what do you think?http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y286/dudleystinks/head6.jpg

03-07-2007, 01:20 PM
You should start small, right now you dont have anatomical knowledge, not to paint nor even to model, i would recomend studying anatomy and do some lowpoly models first, like set limits, a character with 400 tris, and paint difuse textures.

check www.poopinmymouth.com or www.bobotheseal.com

03-07-2007, 07:18 PM
thanks for the advice johny but i have started and i want to finish this the best i can + there is no way i can imagine being able to make a human character with 400tris? I have been on poopinmymouth before its a good site and thanks for the other one.

anyway i added some blemishis to my head texture


and have started texturing the sword


03-07-2007, 11:40 PM
Well jonny, I think Johny is pretty much spot on. I think you really need to scale back your ambitions until you have got the experience to move on. I think 400 is a bit too low, but I know what he is getting at, once you learn your trade at the bottom, you can move on and upwards.

It seems like you have a grasp of modeling solid things, the sword and shield seem fine, so I would leave them both and really look into modelling the guy.

If you aim to get it finished thats one thing. If your willing to learn, and take critisism thats quite another. I have offered some help ( in the very limited time I do have ) but it seems you would prefer to soldier on by deflecting comments. Its your call, but if your looking for a long term job prospect, you`ll need to broaden your outlook, and really listen to people, and take it on board. Best of luck!


03-08-2007, 07:44 AM
well Iím sorry ern if you think i wasted your time. Considering i remodelled the head after your help and then went back and painted the texture again i donít really think you can say i ignored you. I even tried to model the high polygon head first like you said but i struggled i canít help the fact that Iím new to modelling characters.

Thanks anyway for your input

03-08-2007, 07:53 AM
well Iím sorry ern if you think i wasted your time. Considering i remodelled the head after your help and then went back and painted the texture again i donít really think you can say i ignored you. I even tried to model the high polygon head first like you said but i struggled i canít help the fact that Iím new to modelling characters.

Thanks anyway for your input

Nah mate, I dont mean its been a waste of time at all, I`m here trying to help out how I can. I dont want ya to feel like that about the help. I completely understand your new to it, I was there only a little while myself, I am also still very much learning the art too! Like I have done for someone else on here, I am willing to take a quick look at your scene if your willing, I find offering help that way is always more helpful than just talking it over.

Let me know, and PM me if your interested. I can try and find a little time to offer help!


03-09-2007, 10:17 PM
I really have to thank big ern for his help on this! What you see in the picture below is what hes done for me. He is the most helpful member i have found on cgsociety so a real big thumbs up to him


Iím going to hopefully continue the model on my own, which should be a lot easier now erns put my random edges in the right place and gave a better form to the body which i can hopefully expand on myself thanks to the reference model he gave me!

I got the gladiator film today and it has some really interesting bonus features about the weapons they used and clothing so i really have a lot of reference now!

thanks for your time mate!

03-10-2007, 08:38 AM
:) Great reference is key! so just look very closely, study it, believe me it will help a lot.


03-10-2007, 06:51 PM
i was just wondering what sort of poly count should i be making the hands and feet, i dont know hw complex i should make them :eek:

03-10-2007, 09:21 PM
well there are no hard rules. Just looking thru my past few projects they range from 750 up to about 1200+ :D just depends on how many you can budget for. Depends on if you need to animate them, some just have 1 finger and thumb, with the rest as a block....so its up to you! As for feet something similar.. you can have the toes in 1 block I guess.. Feet can be lower than hands really. Good Luck!

03-11-2007, 12:00 PM
i went pretty low poly on the hands because i dont plan on animating them as that would probably give me more problems than its worth for a noob like me when i get to that stage. Here they are.

they are about 300 tris


03-11-2007, 01:42 PM
even lowpoly and non planning to animate them isnt an excuse for terrible laying out of the polygons.so far your meshflow is a mess and doesnt contribute to the overall shape , i would practise a bit more meshflow.

03-11-2007, 02:16 PM
ok will do them again then

03-11-2007, 03:29 PM
what about these ones?


If there is something up with them then please tell me what i have done wrong so i can fix them

thanks jonny

03-11-2007, 10:55 PM
2nd hand is a lot better. I think you might be best just getting on with things, getting your character finished, and looking around at techniques you should improve on with the next one. Its how I normally work. Get something finished, the best I can, then look to improve next time, then next again..... it helps so you dont get too bogged down and frustrated with the project.

Keep it up, you have the enthusiasm, thats not doubted. Just a little attention to detail will come in time.

03-12-2007, 09:32 AM
i know what you mean. Im going for the big push because i have quite a few assignments to finish aswell as this. I have almost finished modelling all the bits and pieces just texturing and a little normal mapping left. Problem is i have to animate the thing so any tutorials or anything on this would be nice! not just the standard put the bones here, here and here and watch it screw up lol :D

03-12-2007, 12:22 PM
Hey, you say you are looking for help with your modeling....well tutorials r the best place to start. I never really went by any of this methods but to each his own, they may work for you. Sorry if im repeating or reposting anythin someone else has already said.

GL with your modeling


03-12-2007, 04:39 PM
Think i have finished modelling the low poly clothing, just gotta start some high polys now. Should i delete the body underneath the clothes or does it need to be there for animation purposes i dunno :shrug:

zerfian thanks for the suggestion i have already been given that site all the rigging is max and i use maya but thanks for looking and posting all the same :applause: what i really need is a good rigging tutorial. I have been looking but i dont know which one i should follow there are so many! so please suggest a good one, i dont want to start following one and then realise its a bit crap lol


7,318 tris

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