View Full Version : [Topology] Help. First full body model.

12 December 2011, 02:17 AM
Ok, so I'm working on my first character possibly for my demo reel and I need some topology advice. I want to rig and animate this later for an upcoming school project next term.

I've made several revisions to this model while learning and I am currently reworking the head.

I originally used reference of a anime PVC figurine character. This explains the unusually long neck and over exaggerated clavicle. Although I still want to bring this character to look more realistic than cartoony.

If anyone could give me any suggestions recommendations on my characters topology that would be very helpful.

Full Front

Full Rear

12 December 2011, 01:44 AM
I made some serious modifications to the face and now it looks MUCH better.
I made serveral attempts at topology changes and finally came up with this one that has a lot less poles and lower poly. I also made some changes to the nose and lips.

Here is the old face,

And here is the new face,

Here is what smooth looks like on the new face,
NOTE: that the other half of the model is currently instanced.

Now I need to figure out how to better shape the eyebrow area.

12 December 2011, 01:51 AM
Oh yeah, here is a better view of the jawline area.



12 December 2011, 09:24 PM
Body Topology Thread:

Topology Research Thread:

I don't have time at the moment, but I'll try and post some paintovers of your work with better topology tomorrow or something.

01 January 2012, 12:51 AM
Body Topology Thread:

Topology Research Thread:

I don't have time at the moment, but I'll try and post some paintovers of your work with better topology tomorrow or something.

My head just exploded at the body topology thread.

01 January 2012, 09:26 AM
I made more revisions to the face topology in relation to some topology examples I've seen recently.

I'm still thinking about the topology of the nose bridge for angry wrinkles.
I've yet to better shape the eye socket/brow as well.

01 January 2012, 11:52 AM
The topology thread is a great way to correct a lot of issues you may have. For a first attempt I must say you did a good job. :)
Right out of the gate I can say that the forehead is too tall, the chin is too round and needs minor reshaping, the neck is extremely long, the earlobes are too large and the whole ear may need a bit of reshaping, the nose is too thin and too pointy. Perhaps look at the facial details a bit more if you are trying to make it loos somewhat realistic not cartoony.
The cheeks are quite large in relation to the rest of the face.
The thumb seems too long as well and the overall shape of the hand looks a bit large as well, maybe the width can be adjusted a bit. I would recommend modeling the hands with all fingers straight since its easier to assess scale and proportions in relation to the rest of the hand. I would make the wrists a bit more narrower, they seem rather thick.
The butt is a little large, but perhaps you like that:)lol...looking from the back from shoulders down to the hips the proportions are off. Find a photo of a woman from behind and reshape your model. I would even make the hands just a hair bit longer.
These are my first impressions. Good work. :)

01 January 2012, 01:17 PM
For a first attempt I must say you did a good job. :)

Thank you for your reply. I will re-examine my model with the points you gave.
I actually modeled the ear with references. Perhaps the ear reference was from a man lol.
I haven't studied there differences of male and female ears but now I'm going to look into that and reshape where necessary.

Can you believe that when I first finished the model I needed to downsize the butt and boobs like 4 times? Maybe I'll post images of the first version of my model.

I'm afraid the topology of the back is all wrong. I an also aware of the shoulders. I spent so much time trying to redraw the edges with only a beginners theory on the topology for the scapula. Thanks to this forum and all these links, I think I'll have a much easier time getting this character ready for my next project. Learning rigging... Lol.

01 January 2012, 11:23 PM
Your most recent revision of the face is pretty good, but there are still areas with issues. This is also not taking into consideration all the changes you need to make to proportions.

For generic topology, I use one of the two below and modify to suit specific models.

Some glaring flaws; her waist, abdomen and ribcage are lacking volume; her trapezius is practically non-existent, which is what's making her neck look thin and overly long. Her pelvis is far too short vertically, which is making her hips and the inguinal ligament look unnatural. As for the face, what largely seems to be missing is good proportions in addition to proper bone structure.
You've got mostly the right idea with respect to topology, edge-spacing and polygon density for the abdomen, ribcage and breasts, but your vertices are not describing forms properly because your edgeloops around the abdomen are not smooth enough. You need to clean up the hips a little, make the knee look less like 4 polygons you've just extruded/inset and you need to make sure the mesh density on the arms and legs match the torso.

Again, at the back, her trapezius and ribcage aren't visible at all, her gluteus medius lacks volume, the scapula is very badly defined, dimples of venus tend to be slightly higher(where the sacrum and iliac crest meet) and the back of the knee is significantly more complex than even the paintover I did below. Additionally, the angle you seem to have given the scapula is actually the angle you'd see if she had her arms raised up above her shoulders or around there. When her arms are in the position they currently are, the top ridge of the scapula should be nearly horizontal.
As for topology, I think you'd be better off giving the dimples of venus separate topology rather than pushing in two vertices. You need to clean up the shoulder blade area, and use at least two loops if you want a good amount of deformation there. Study some anatomical pictures to get a better idea about the back of the knee and use topology that will best suit the amount of muscle you want there. As for the butt, you generally want at least two loops describing the entire curve, and the topology below is one of a few ways to do that.

01 January 2012, 12:26 AM
Thanks flatulentFuzz for your reply. Here is what I've done so far,

Serious modifications everywhere. I'm following lots of reference and this character is turning out even better.

I haven't gotten to the kneecaps, eyebrows, or hands yet. Ive made some modifications to the shape of the head but I think I still need to follow more references and explore more to the shaping and work the line flow of the forehead.

01 January 2012, 08:43 PM
As far as topology goes, you're nearly there. You still need to clean up the hips, and I'd recommend having the loops defining the ribcage at the back be lower.

Proportions still need a lot of work in places. The scapulae have good meshflow, but are too large. The face is still sort of pinched-looking, and the ribcage needs to be better defined at the back and sides. Lastly, the height of the pelvis in front is mostly accurate, but the back is still incorrect, and her butt looks like it ends too early at the top. Of course, posting some side/perspective views would help me judge that better.

02 February 2012, 07:28 AM
Ok so I've been a little busy at school, haven't had a whole lot of time on my hands to work on this character.

Here is what I have done since last post, (also thank you flatulentFuzz for your feedback)

I've been improving the topology of the waist and legs. I've been messing around with the arms trying to get some muscle topology in there.

Ive made a few adjustments to the face and I'm working on the mouth interior which you will see later in this post. I know about the lines on the ankle have to be adjusted properly.

This is the interior of the mouth im working on,


02 February 2012, 07:29 AM
Okay so I really wanted to get some joints on my character and try and skin it to see how how well I could get this topology to work. Also this is my first time painting skin weights in maya. I had the shoulder and scapula joints working well but then i found some rogue verts and deleted them, that messed up most of my skinning and I lost the painted weights for the shoulder lift.

Here is the most dynamic pose I could put her in at the moment,

I think I have a joint from the wrist or arm affecting that vert thats poking out.

Here she is smoothed,

eww I think there is another vert skin paint error lol

Can't wait to make some hair, some sort of attire for this character, and rigged! You guys must be getting sick of looking at that bald skull...I'm thinking about doing final fantasy style hair and try and ncloth it for simulation. I only scratched the surface on the maya hair/fur system.

EDIT: I have already repositioned the hip joints properly. I dont yet know how or if I can save my painted weights after making edits to joints and such.

02 February 2012, 04:28 AM
I started brainstorming some hair styles for my character. I like this one so far.

02 February 2012, 06:52 PM
Pretty self-explanatory. If the polygons towards the top of the thigh are stretching in this pose, you should definitely consider adding a few more edgeloops.

For the area behind the knee, try using topology similar to what I've painted.

Lastly, the arms are far too skinny, and the ribcage looks a little too much like it would fit a male character.
As for that one red loop on the thigh, it's really doesn't seem like it would serve much purpose. If you were to shift it one to the right and continue it down under the knee, it would at least describe the sartorius muscle.

Overall, you've done a good job fixing topology, but I don't know if you should move on to rigging, skinning and hair yet. Right now, your topology is looking pretty good, and it's nice that the pelvis form is very readable(even when smoothed), but I still think a lot of anatomical areas(ribcage-especially at the top, arms, lower legs) are lacking in form and volume. The top-of-ribcage-to-breast transition looks very unnatural(this is most apparent in the smoothed image you posted) because the ribcage lacks volume that would normally come from flesh and muscle on it.

Of course if you absolutely need to proceed on account of submission deadlines or something, it's pretty good as it stands.

02 February 2012, 11:36 PM
update on shoulder.

how does this look? I didn't spend much thought on how to direct the extra edge down the arm to fix that pole.

Modified the ribcage as suggested,

Due to the need for more loops on the inner thigh, im going to reorganize all the loops in that area, around the hips, and down the quadriceps.

02 February 2012, 04:39 AM
Pretty self-explanatory. If the polygons towards the top of the thigh are stretching in this pose, you should definitely consider adding a few more edgeloops.

Hey flatulentFuzz, what do you think of this configuration of hips/thighs?

02 February 2012, 07:21 PM
Well, when taking the extra edge from the scapula into consideration, just see if you have enough edges to define the crease that the deltoid makes at the back.

The bottom of the ribcage is looking much better, but I think the bottom should be moved lower still.
There's also too much space between the breasts, and moving the entire breast forms closer together(instead of just the areas close to the sternum) will help.

Just to point out a mistake people tend to make when moving secondary forms that are situated on primary forms, I made the image below. Remember that you want to be moving any secondary form(the breasts in this case) along the surface of the primary form(ribcage in this case), without distorting the shape and volume of the primary form.

02 February 2012, 06:39 AM
Progression Update.

I moved the boobs around like you suggested flatulentFuzz and they look much better, thanks.
I'm having a mind boggling time while working on the shoulder, armpit, and kneecaps.

Still working on the rear of the kneecaps. it doesn't look that great at the moment.

02 February 2012, 05:40 AM
k, so I spent about 4 hours on the legs and now they look much better.

here they are smoothed

and this is how my character stands as of now.

02 February 2012, 02:24 AM
Finally fnished the shoulder and arm. Its looking great.

Please point out anything you see wrong or that could make my model better.

02 February 2012, 02:26 PM
You've done a good job with the torso(spacing especially), although I'd recommend spacing out the edges at the bottom of the ribcage a little bit.

The arms are still too skinny, and you generally don't want to add topology for the flexor/extensor muscles of the forearm on women.

The front of the thigh looks fairly good, but there are areas with issues. Despite the feet looking a little blocky, I think they're very close to completion.

I'll try and post some paintovers later.

02 February 2012, 12:22 AM
K another update.

I've made some more serious changes to the legs, advanced the topology of the shoulders, and down the back of the armpit. I also removed some lines from the forearm.

I still have to fix a line going from the back of the head to the ear and I'm thinking of adding just alittle more geometry to the hands and feet. They are a bit blocky in between the fingers and all around the toes.

Do the arms still appear to be too thin?



02 February 2012, 08:16 PM
For the topology of the hips, I actually prefer this ( to your current topology at the hips, only because the edge following the red line allows you to define the iliac crest really well(if that's necessary).
Changing it is completely up to you, and depends on how prominent the anterior portion of the crest will be, but you should definitely keep both options in mind for future models.

The topology of the underarm, you just need to connect the edges like I have below and you'll get less pinching/stretching than your current topology.

I apologise if the advice related to this image ( was misleading, but when I said "and the ribcage looks a little too much like it would fit a male character", I should have made it clear that I was referring to the angle at the center of the ribcage at the bottom(shown by the red line) being too wide for an average female character.

1. To solve the ribcage-pelvis proportions, make the ribcage broader, and bring in the hips and upper thighs as indicated by the red line. The armpit and broadest part of the thighs/hips don't need to be exactly in line like my drawing, you can have the hips/thighs a little further out if you're going for an idealised model instead of a very realistic one.
Just remember that the whole outside edge of the ribcage(the green line) needs to move towards the red line, not just the upper area near the armpits. The upper area is the only part which should completely touch the red line, though.
2. The arms are still a little too skinny, and kind of short, especially in the forearm. Remember that the elbow should generally be in line with the bottom of the ribcage when the shoulders are in a neutral position.. The tips of the fingers will generally be about halfway down the length of the femur, which is not the same as halfway down the thigh.
3. I don't know if the topology you had for the quadriceps was necessary, but it looked pretty good. Of course, the removal of the quadriceps is not particularly significant, but I think that changing the top of the knee was a bit of a bad move. The pole over there is not in a good position, and I'm pretty sure you'll have trouble with that when animating/posing.

1. Moving the side of the ribcage in the front view will move the outermost part from the back as well. Just remember to space out the edges in the back view that are away from the outer edge.
2. Good topology for the latissimus dorsi.
3. You might want to try and get all the edges flowing vertically(if you can), rather than all going in towards the red circle.
4. I think you might want to move the bottom of the butt up a little bit, and also move the top a little more significantly.
5. The edges in red are hurting your topology the most, since they're preventing the gastrocnemius from flowing smoothly into the hamstrings.
6. My topology here isn't completely anatomically accurate either, but I'll try and post a paintover of an image with more detail in the area.

02 February 2012, 07:22 AM
thank you so much flatulentFuzz. You have a good eye for seeing the subtle needed changes in my character.

Here's what I got now.

After further examination and references along with your paint over suggestions; I redid the topology on the kneepits and this time it looks perfect. I also fixed the kneecap. I am unsure how much of the tendons I will be able to get to show up with rigging skin weights.

fixed armpits according to your paintover

I moved the arms out some more, adjusted the hips and ribcage as you suggested. I may not have moved the hips as far as your suggestion. It does look more realistic to human anatomy.



Smoothed. I added some lights and a simple blinn with skin color. I also added the top view in this picture to show that my arms are not straight out so that might make them look a little short.

I also messed around with the front of the rib cage making it less prominent and more subtle. I may have to go a little further with that. possibly delete an edge loop.

I need to ask about the actual leg length. Are the legs too long? I have an instructor at school telling me they are too long and that when bending them all the way up to the butt, the heel would surpass the butt.

I have made adjustments to the length but if I adjust any lower, the whole character would just look wrong. Im sure if I modeled some heels on my characters feet, then the legs would look right when adjusted properly.

02 February 2012, 03:51 AM
Just added poly plane hair. This will be the second time I modeled hair on a head so any suggestions on the hair would be great. When I get to texturing I'm going to try this tutorial I found for texturing hair with maya paint effects.

02 February 2012, 12:46 AM
I want to extrude skin tight clothing from my character but collar line will be going against the topology of the shoulders in some parts.

any ideas?

All I can think of right now is to just extrude the faces before the collar area and overlap geometry over the jagged skin border.

I dont know if I would want to incorporate a displacement map.

02 February 2012, 02:48 PM
Hm, the arm length is certainly better now, but they're still looking skinny(the deltoid too) and don't really match the rest of the body.

The lower legs do look a little too long, especially from the back view you posted. The back of the knees look fine, but I think the kneecaps could be slightly larger.
I think the soles of the feet should be at around the height the ankles currently start(if you're going from top to bottom)

There are a few form issues on the abdomen and torso. First off, the collective fat pads on the abdomen are looking very uniform(almost a perfect ellipse) and sort of inorganic. While the edge-spacing should be as even as possible, do try to make the combined form of the fat pads look more organic.
The problem with those fat pads being fairly prominent on your model is that they're making areas like the front of the hips(the back looks alright), sides of the abdomen and ribcage look like they're lacking in volume.
The ribcage form is overall proportional to other forms, but I think that making it less prominent might not be a great idea. You have to remember that even a person with a bit of muscle and/or fat in that area will have portions of the ribcage(or musculature on the ribcage) visible as it transitions to the abdomen. Since the overall form is alright, you need to work on the lower border of the ribcage, in front at least. As it stands, the transition from the lower ribs to the abdomen is happening very quickly, which is making that line very sharp. Try looking at some images to get a better idea of how prominent that border can be in slim and reasonably muscular individuals. Also remember that though your edgeloops run all the way around the front of the ribcage at the bottom, that doesn't mean amount of volume provided by those edgeloops will be consistent all around the base.

Lastly, the clavicle is looking a little bony.

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