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GrogMcGee
01 January 2009, 04:58 PM
Am I the only one with the impression that the topic is going in circles?...

I'm betting that's because the topic is some 700 posts long. After so many pages it'd be expected for the topic to become all repetitive, circular, and the like.

designingpatrick
01 January 2009, 06:14 PM
Indeed it is, there is only so much to cover on this topic. Topology is a recurring aspect of the whole production process from modeling to animation; I think that it can be tempting to get caught up in the process of obtaining perfect topology and meanwhile loose sight of the larger picture.

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 06:20 PM
Well this thread is called topology research.

Haven't we discussed ideal topology and the subdiv forum thread in the past few pages already? Or is it forbidden to read back a little?

kyuketsuki
01 January 2009, 11:03 PM
From what I have read here and in some other threads I am trying another approach. I know there is not a lot here yet but I decided to post this anyway in case it could help anyone else.

Also, the comment about this thread going around in circles, I assumed this was meant as a pun, yes?

Anyway, the image:

In order to keep the image loading to a minimum on this thread I have moved my various images to a single updated location further in this thread.

spencerneal
01 January 2009, 11:29 PM
David,

Thanks for posting this approach. I am assuming that it starts from a cube? Do you have any more information regarding this approach?

Spencer

kyuketsuki
01 January 2009, 04:58 AM
Spencerneal: I will have a lot on this approach once I am further along (and once I know what the hell is going on). I am using this to write a brief tutorial for my students. I will make sure you know about it when the time comes.

Yes, I start 99% of everything I model from a cube.

Check here and in the 'Resources' section of my website.
There is a downloadable tutorial diagram already on my site but it's based off of a topology approach that I no longer use, but it served me well for a while and is not necessarily bad or unusable.

I'm glad you found the image useful.

kyuketsuki
01 January 2009, 11:25 AM
In order to keep the image loading to a minimum on this thread I have moved my various images to a single updated location further in this thread.

DaGuai
01 January 2009, 04:07 PM
Hello,

I was working with the idea Jester proposed. Model in Z then think about topo later.
Well this turned into a big long head study for me... any how here is some progress pics of a head.
It's a bit clumsy and still need to work out some things but, probable will do some of the proportion stuff after I layed in the morphology.

I learned this Ecorche appoarch from this person:
http://www.stephenperkins.net/

Anyway, these pics are my face study beginings in Z....
ok bye bye now....

gaganjain
01 January 2009, 02:19 PM
Flow is simple trying to learn more..
http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/3075/legsvj0.jpg

kyuketsuki
01 January 2009, 07:44 PM
Current Level

http://davidaclifton.com/Posted/DClifton_3Views.jpg

Here is another approach that I have been working on, I think it's superior to the previous one, more shape and detail with less topology and a more elegant flow.

http://davidaclifton.com/Posted/HExample_03_01.jpg





The thread for this model is here (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=5594410#post5594410).

I hope this proves helpful to some.

Shuggs
01 January 2009, 06:52 PM
This has been peaking my interest as of late. I've run across a few models that Pixar has done (mainly freeze-framing through "The Pixar Story" credits and bits & pieces of the The Incredibles Bonus feature footage), and have come across some interesting topology that I brought into question.

When is it okay to use triangles? Sometimes (when I'm experimenting), I can get finer creases and more definition in areas of my organic models than with Quads. I know the ultimate goal is to always try to stay in Quads, but I've seen quite a bit of people use Triangles as well. Any experts care to comment or elaborate on this for me if at all possible?

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 07:16 PM
Haven't had any triangles in 95% of my models in the past years. No need for them, they just confuse things, everything works better without them. Zbrush prefers all quads, too.

Shuggs
01 January 2009, 07:23 PM
Haven't had any triangles in 95% of my models in the past years. No need for them, they just confuse things, everything works better without them. Zbrush prefers all quads, too.

They do confuse things. That's why I asked. Of course the wireframes that I found may not be the final versions. I know that I have models going right now that are full of N-gons and triangles until I fix the flow of the model. They're easy fixes but they're there to avoid adding too much geometry at such an early stage of development.

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 07:45 PM
It's okay to have whatever in the mesh while you're working, although these days almost everything organic we do is a Zbrush - Topogun workflow so it doesn't really matter.

Now, about Pixar, they may have triangles or even 999 sided polygons, it does not concern anyone who's not working there. Pixar's way isn't necessarily the Best Way, the Only Way or even the Right Way. They have their own ways of rigging a face, they may need completely different geometry compared to movie VFX, game art or a realistic animated movie.

As for me, I'm working with stuff that's more on the realistic side. Avoiding triangles has been better then using them and I've never really had anything I couldn't model from quads. Thus I don't spend more thought on the issue.

Ruramuq
01 January 2009, 11:21 PM
like some people(not the mayority)I too prefer quads in a strict way even for 'hard modeling'(no animation), it's a matter of methodology/habit perhaps.. But there are many reasons why quads are better than tris.. already discussed. But realism in animation is strictly related to motion and nothing more, the more complex the model's skin animation, the better the topology should be.

Models in movies may have tris for some reason.. for example, sometimes its not necessary to be so obsessive, the amount of work to avoid tris can in fact be a counterproductive practice(especially if the modeler is not experienced). and because topology depends on the motion of the character, more motion = better topology required, less motion = less complexity.. Finally Pixar is formed by people like us, and the quality of them show us that their models have the required complexity, enough for the films they do.(as I said it may be a matter of methodology/habit ). I once was disappointed by pixar's topology, buy then I realised what they do is not realistic at all(motion), but believable in performance.

Pixar:http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v360/Ruramuq/xtras/th_SubdivisionSurfaces03.png (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v360/Ruramuq/xtras/SubdivisionSurfaces03.png)

in hard modeling tris are good in some situations like corners, but thats rare.. the main concern about tris is that topology in general should comply with subdivision/deformation, usually it does not, that's why its safer to use it in zones of the model with less motion/detail. Personally I find it very unprofessional when used too much in a model. Also you can obtain a model full of quads and still it could be a terrible model, I've seen that many times.

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 11:53 PM
That Geri model is almost a decade old, it was an R&D project on subdivision surfaces - so people should really stop to use it as an example. Also, Pixar's style has changed a lot since that character and now they have different goals and requirements.

As for examples, I can only repeat myself:

http://express.howstuffworks.com/gif/gollum-7.jpg

The more faces and blendshapes I build, the more I appreciate this image from Bay Raitt. Keep looking at it again and again, because it's worth your time.

Ruramuq
01 January 2009, 02:17 AM
aha, I know it's old , that was part of the point, and it was not and example of good topology, the point was that Pixar is not perfect as some people think, but its predominant in its purpose of "creating good animation", doing what is required without excessive, probably useless investigation.

But the image you are posting, I think it needs more explanation about why it could be used as a good example. I don't want to discredit that work but since the first time I saw it long ago, I could not find a good explanation about it.
Isn't this controversy and speculation? about how good it is, because thats Gollum, and LOTR had such big success. I think so..
when you use a model like that(with so much popularity), its always controversial, and people comments tend to be very biased.. so I gonna be sincere and say that image is ok, is good, but it's not a mark in topology evolution, not at all.. unless there is an apropiate explanation why it is really good(so far I've never seen that, and I doubt it) and when you see the movie, you see really good animation about gollum but not a realistic gollum .not. Most zones of gollum face are lifeless, static, and that depict lack of animation detail, its the performance of that character+effects what gives the illusion of good model, and IMO , one should be very careful about that. about what examples are really good and not fake guides.. anyway that's my opinion..

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 09:14 AM
Isn't this controversy and speculation?

Never heard of any controversy about Gollum or the knowledge tech and workflow behind him.

so I gonna be sincere and say that image is ok, is good, but it's not a mark in topology evolution, not at all.. unless there is an apropiate explanation why it is really good(so far I've never seen that, and I doubt it)

Well, I strongly disagree - that thing is pure genius and there's a lot to learn from it. I still do. Haven't seen anything better than that, but if you have anything to show...

Anyway, I can thank my entire modeling career for the guy sharing his ideas openly, and everything around here is built on the same principles. And they're good because they work.

and when you see the movie, you see really good animation about gollum but not a realistic gollum .not. Most zones of gollum face are lifeless, static, and that depict lack of animation detail,

Disagree again. The entire industry went nuts about Gollum after LOTR's release, and rightly so. Perhaps you should compare it to how characters looked like before Two Towers to fully understand the impact... remember, it's about 8 years old!

Ruramuq
01 January 2009, 06:02 PM
well we both disagree eachother then, but its subjective to say its good and I'd like to learn from it whatever I'm missing, because saying that the guy is that good , is not giving me answers.. you are the one posting the image, so perhaps you can help us undertand, not me.. sorry but without the movie, that model has no relevance.. The movie character is more than topology, its the sum of several thigns, and using a movie as an example, is really not fair. Really, there is too much speculation about this and other movies, on the internet..

j3st3r
01 January 2009, 07:04 PM
Ruramuq, I'm on LY's side. Gollum is an ecxellent example of a good topology, and a real milestone of modeling evolution. If you look at the image carefully, you'll realize that the topology is perfect for creating motion of Gollums facial structure. I follow that topology as much as possible even for games model (of course with less density)

If you look at a face of a real human, that makes all the extreme expression, you'll see that the best topology that covers each such a state will be close to Gollums. I studied facial features for a long time, and I took images of friend with facial extremes. Then I had drawn the main lines with different colors. Then I used the same colors on each image to mark the same lines. I suggest for all interested that instead of talking about theories, do a research like I did. And see the results, I'm pretty sure that everybody will elarn from it.

The perfect topology is somewhere there on our faces...

Shuggs
01 January 2009, 07:31 PM
That Geri model is almost a decade old, it was an R&D project on subdivision surfaces - so people should really stop to use it as an example. Also, Pixar's style has changed a lot since that character and now they have different goals and requirements.

As for examples, I can only repeat myself:

http://express.howstuffworks.com/gif/gollum-7.jpg

The more faces and blendshapes I build, the more I appreciate this image from Bay Raitt. Keep looking at it again and again, because it's worth your time.

This is absolutely brilliant. Thank you for posting this. I'm always interested in seeing expert work, and being able to study, research, and learn from them.

And I do agree that Pixar topology isn't the perfect topology, but as someone who is looking to be employed there, I had to ask that question and use them as a reference/example.

Normally what I do is have my model up on the screen with a bunch of face anatomy pictures next to it to compare my flow with the flow of real anatomy. I then take a dry-erase marker and go to town on my monitor marking off what I need to fix, correcting broken loops, etc. Definitely a unique learning process for myself because typically I can't visualize where I need to put edges in my head. I have to either get a screen grab of the model and take it into Photoshop and redraw my lines, or use the marker...

...I will be studying this though, and try to make a less dense, less complicated version of this for one of my upcoming models. I know I won't be able to pull something like that off the first try, but if I make an attempt to simplify it to a point where I can understand it I think I'll learn a lot...

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 08:05 PM
First of all, I don't understand why you bring up this supposed speculation and controversy about Gollum. Weta has been pretty public with their stuff in general for a start, and then we've had talented guys like Gollum's character rigger Jason Schleifer and facial lead Bay Raitt explaining a LOT of their ideas and methods all around the internet. I wonder why you haven't heard about it though.

(Jason's own site was Jonhandhisdog.com and his forum probably has everything still up at
http://jonhandhisdog.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=82 to read through. He also released a lot of Maya rigging DVDs through Alias explaining stuff from reverse foot through radius/ulna lower arm rigs to stretchy spines. The DVDs may still be available from Autodesk, although it's kinda old stuff by now. Jason also did a lot of Maya Masterclasses at Siggraph and those have been released on DVD too. )

Bay Raitt first started on the Mirai forums, and he also released the "Digital sculpting techniques - derived surfaces" whitepaper (get it here (http://www.theminters.com/misc/articles/derived-surfaces/derived-surfaces.pdf)) almost 9 years ago. Mirai unfortunately didn't really profit from its role on LOTR although a lot of people discovered its little brother Nendo, which was later replaced by Wings 3D. The Mirai forum stuff I've compiled back then is amazingly still online here (http://maxrovat.sns.hu/subdiv/).

(Ouch, I'm getting old...)

Anyway, Bay later started the Spiraloid forum, which is - as far as I know - still supposed to be sort of a legend. It was heavily filtered and moderated to keep it focused and noise free. It is still online and all the stuff Bay wrote about Gollum is still there (http://cube.phlatt.net/forums/spiraloid/index.php) for all to read. You can find all his concepts from edge loops (I guess he created the term, see the pdf above), combination sculpting, the use of the FACS system (pretty much an industry standard today) and finally with Gollum, membrane modeling explained there. Although you may have to also Google for a report on Bay's presentation at Koppenhagen's 3D festival for some of the stuff, unfortunately that's not available officially.

It's also pretty interesting to follow the evolution of the concepts through his posts and work. You can see how logic and experience have dictated the changes and how it went from the simple green troll on the first page of that PDF all the way to Gollum.


Maybe it's because I've been following the whole process that I don't understand your apparent confusion... It's all very clear to me and I'm in the man's debt for all the free education - I certainly wouldn't be where I am without it.


And as for what makes Gollum's topology good, well, there's some reading for you above; and maybe you could also take look at the first pages of this topic as well...



well we both disagree eachother then, but its subjective to say its good and I'd like to learn from it whatever I'm missing, because saying that the guy is that good , is not giving me answers.. you are the one posting the image, so perhaps you can help us undertand, not me.. sorry but without the movie, that model has no relevance.. The movie character is more than topology, its the sum of several thigns, and using a movie as an example, is really not fair. Really, there is too much speculation about this and other movies, on the internet..

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 08:23 PM
Normally what I do is have my model up on the screen with a bunch of face anatomy pictures next to it to compare my flow with the flow of real anatomy.

The primary guideline, at least if you have to work for animation, is not exactly the anatomy.. or rather, it's more about the dynamic anatomy. Gollum's topology has been worn in through the continuous tweaking of the facial blend shapes (Mirai was built to allow that) - so it's defined by more then just the static forms.
You usually have to do a couple sets of blendshapes to "get" how the skin moves and wrinkles around... and as you start to apply what you've learnt from the experience, once in a while you look at that former hobbit's face and you see how its creator has already done that and more. At least that's why I'm keeping it around.

By the way, there's some footage of Gollum's face in motion with the wireframe overlay on the LOTR extended DVDs and it's worth to look at, too.

...I will be studying this though, and try to make a less dense, less complicated version of this for one of my upcoming models.

Sorry but that kinda defeats the purpose :)

The idea is to arrange your loops either perpendicular or paralel to the main lines of the skin's motion. You then add enough edges to be able to keep the volumes and planes of the face intact while you slide the skin over them; or to build up folds and wrinkles, accomodate compression of the tissue and so on.
Benjamin Button takes this to the edge by not making any specific wrinkle loops at all, going for a dense enough mesh instead. At least what I've seen lookd like about 2-3 times as many edges as Gollum; and even they seem to be using FACS in their mocap pipeline, by the way ;)

Anyway, nowadays there are tools we didn't even dare to dream about back then, today you can pretty much sculpt a full head in Zbrush in a day or two and build up a mesh almost as dense as Gollum's inanother day or two using Topogun. The most complex we've done recently is about 4800 quad faces, as it's an about 40-years old guy with a somewhat wrinkled face - still not as complex, but getting close. It took a little more to resurface, but it wasn't that hard to create blendshapes for. No reason to be scared :)

Ruramuq
01 January 2009, 08:31 PM
Ruramuq, I'm on LY's side. Gollum is an ecxellent example of a good topology, and a real milestone of modeling evolution Thank your for explaining me,really, I'm gonna say what I see..
The topology of that model traces possible gestures of gollum, I mean, different blendshapes. that's why you are givin this model a lot of credit.. because he traced possible edges, I mean possible deformations.. essentially the model is more tolerant to blendshapes.. but that's really a "milestone"?, because that has come to my mind, I mean about tracing all or many possible situations in a model, its like increasing density would theoretically increase the tolerance for more gestures, but also it makes it complicated.. but if we follow that pad, imagine the face of a very old man, topology starts to become irrelevant the skin starts to behave like cloth, what I'm saying is.. mmm I have this feeling that your are not seeing that he in some way, shaped the character in a visual way, so if I want to add natural or defined wrinkles to a character like that,, I know that it would not be possible or realistic. Also in games the rules are different and so the topology of gollum might actually be very good example. Perhaps I'm cant say what I'd like, but skin has some tendencies, skin deforms easily in one direction but not in the other, so it needs zones with more density when thing become ilogical.. and two layers, one that define the main tendencies, and other on top for the secondary.. Anyway I hope some day I can prove this, or accept I was wrong :) because right know I'm not convinced..

@Laa-Yosh, I cannot use "legends" or commets about how good modeler he is, as convincing facts.. I'm not that naive, try to understand my position, I'm not going to say that model is "special "only because the mayority say so.. No. Right now I don't have time to analyse your post , but I will.. And sorry but I have the feeling that you have based your work on that kind of modelling only, but you cannot be that experienced only because you admire and follow Bay Raitt's work. I mean are you an expert really, come on..

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 08:36 PM
Well, you're of course free to consider yourself more clever, though I have my doubts about that...

*edit: more clever then the team behind Gollum, that is

And that's all of my time I can spare on this topic, as I still have hours of work to do and it's near 10 PM here.

Diependaal
01 January 2009, 08:57 PM
Ruramuq, : Why this topology from 8 years ago is so good is because it displays the translation so well.

You must understand that Before this, modellers in general where not that good in topology yet, we where still searching for the way to go.

See the Sub d thread, where people have been discussing years ago how to make a good round hole in on a round surface with polygons.

For a Human, or other character you must take in acount diffent things. The construction isnt just there for the form, it is also there for the motion and deformation to take effect, and lead it in the right direction, with stretching and folding.

Organics topology is a translation of Bone, fat, muscle and skin tissue in one. Topology can be so good, or even great because it embodys 4 different aspects in one layer. That are the polygons.

Thats what makes it special, and if you nail it right, in difficult expressive character than you're doing a good job. Being one of the first to do it in a good manner , than you can deserve some credit.

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 09:24 PM
Being one of the first to do it in a good manner , than you can deserve some credit.

+ developing methods used to this day
+ sharing them for free on the net for everyone

-> BONUS

but why do I bother anyway? :)

ieatgrass
01 January 2009, 10:19 PM
Long time reader (very very long time) and first time poster.

I'm not on anyone side here but would like to point out that it's good to disagree (healthy too I might add). That's how new things are discovered/invented. I'm also one of those people who don't accept a thing as good just because everyone said so without a reason or an explanation so in a way I'm with Ruramuq here.

There is no need to make ourselves or others look powerful by not explaining what we know from looking at that wireframe. If anyone of you here reading this and is replying to this thread obviously you got time on your hands. Why then not use that time and explain what you know and if you want an example of what teaching/learning is then all you need to look for is next door. Sub-D forum. Please do, take the time and explain. We will not only appreciate you but will remember you for showing us the light.

Right now it seems to me that the experts here want us to go and study facial expression and all that. In that case, this thread is not really for beginners at all and that newcomers should look elsewhere for the answer, this playground then is only for experienced artists.

I can understand why most people wouldn't share what they truly (and I mean truly) know or learned because knowledge is power in this day and age. This field is very competitive and everyone wants to be the best and the greatest.

Anyway good luck to all those searching for knowledge and never stop disagreeing. And if you're a beginner, this thread is not really for you. You won't learn much.

Shuggs
01 January 2009, 10:55 PM
The primary guideline, at least if you have to work for animation, is not exactly the anatomy.. or rather, it's more about the dynamic anatomy. Gollum's topology has been worn in through the continuous tweaking of the facial blend shapes (Mirai was built to allow that) - so it's defined by more then just the static forms.
You usually have to do a couple sets of blendshapes to "get" how the skin moves and wrinkles around... and as you start to apply what you've learnt from the experience, once in a while you look at that former hobbit's face and you see how its creator has already done that and more. At least that's why I'm keeping it around.

By the way, there's some footage of Gollum's face in motion with the wireframe overlay on the LOTR extended DVDs and it's worth to look at, too.



Sorry but that kinda defeats the purpose :)

The idea is to arrange your loops either perpendicular or paralel to the main lines of the skin's motion. You then add enough edges to be able to keep the volumes and planes of the face intact while you slide the skin over them; or to build up folds and wrinkles, accomodate compression of the tissue and so on.
Benjamin Button takes this to the edge by not making any specific wrinkle loops at all, going for a dense enough mesh instead. At least what I've seen lookd like about 2-3 times as many edges as Gollum; and even they seem to be using FACS in their mocap pipeline, by the way ;)

Anyway, nowadays there are tools we didn't even dare to dream about back then, today you can pretty much sculpt a full head in Zbrush in a day or two and build up a mesh almost as dense as Gollum's inanother day or two using Topogun. The most complex we've done recently is about 4800 quad faces, as it's an about 40-years old guy with a somewhat wrinkled face - still not as complex, but getting close. It took a little more to resurface, but it wasn't that hard to create blendshapes for. No reason to be scared :)

Oh def no need to be scared. I'm always open to challenge myself.

All of what you said is gonna take me a minute to understand and comprehend. I've never heard of blendshapes and some of the other things you've mentioned (skinning). I'm a Lightwave user, and while the Modeling tools are great, I feel as though they're barely scratching the surface sometimes...

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 02:01 AM
Long time reader (very very long time) and first time poster.

vs.

If anyone of you here reading this and is replying to this thread obviously you got time on your hands. Why then not use that time and explain what you know and if you want an example of what teaching/learning is then all you need to look for is next door.

I kinda recall making a few posts with some explanations in this thread in the past five years, so either you're not a long time reader - or your memory isn't as good as it used to be. Then there are the links in my previous post with a buttload of information for those who want to learn.

I also want to get back to the Gollum related stuff as soon as we are allowed to release behind the scenes stuff from our past projects but that'll take many months... it's kinda hard to get into it without images and I don't have any related personal work. So as I've alreadt mentioned, get that LOTR extended DVD set and watch the original there. Gollum making faces with wireframe, makes it easy to understand how it works.

And if you're a beginner, this thread is not really for you. You won't learn much.

That is, you won't learn much if you're too lazy to read and expect to get served instead.

ieatgrass
01 January 2009, 02:15 AM
Ya you right. I guess my memory is poor.

Anyway I'm no modeler, just someone who enjoys reading stuff. It's interesting to see how theories have evolved. In my opinion this thread is a little advanced for beginners and for anything to click for them they really have to experiment and do things on their own.

There seems to be about 52 pages for this thread. I haven't seen anything revolutionary that come out of it or maybe I'm just too lazy to read bit by bit.

GrogMcGee
01 January 2009, 03:13 AM
I've read nearly all of this and almost all of the identical thread in the maya forum (which is longer) - the general form of topology for a face and other bend-y organics has been sharpened, polished to such a fine edge that I think these two threads tend to be better used to ask for CC on a models topology if you're new and having trouble getting the flow right. As such, I'd say these two threads are extremely important for beginners.

Laa-Yosh seems like someone who's getting kinda tired of beating the dead horse of whether the basic rules of topology - the basic loop structure that you'll find in any quality model is the one to use: Check out the Hardcore Modeling forum: none of the models there are for animation. Yet they all follow the same basic topology.

As the Gollum model - it's worth studding in all it's intricate detail - you can even see the use of poles to control edge flow as described in some hugely long post linked somewhere here. There's an awesome eye loop structure that you generally don't see. But it's super cool.

Until such time as a new surfacing system or a whole wacky new system for animation - basically a paradigm shift in the whole approach, like subdivision surfaces were some years back, I don't think we're going to suddenly suddenly realize that really it we've been doing this topology thing all crabbed for the last 5 or 6 years.

The biggest change, and it's an incredible and awesomely shiny change has been the introduction of zbrush / mudbox (and topogun) being able to take as inhuman a mesh as this: http://gnomonology.com/tutorial/105 and then sculpt out an awesome person, then use topogun to get the second or third level subdivision as the control cage for rigging and animating that has the topology required to support the detail level of the high res mesh is ... well it's freakin' amazingly awesome.

Shuggs
01 January 2009, 06:32 AM
I personally don't recommend ZBrush for beginners...especially if they want to animate with the model. ZBrush will seriously screw up your entire model if you don't know what you're doing. It's brilliant if you KNOW what you're doing with it...but for people who have never even heard of topology I always tell them to leave it alone (except for if they want to texture)...

...I personally don't even use it all that much. I'm still trying to learn from it, but at the same time I want to teach myself how to model a dense, highly detailed mesh without having to rely on ZBrush...I dabble in and out of it, but until I figure out this monster called topology, and getting it under my control the way I want it I rarely use ZBrush....because if you go in and sculpt all this detail, or completely make a model from scratch you gotta re-topo the thing anyway.

As for beginners....its kind of a tricky thing. I think this thread is vital, but as far as comprehension is concerned I don't think it'll be there for a first time user. It took me a while to grasp the terminology (vertices, poles, Ngons, etc), and learn how to move the polygons around to get what you want. Took me almost 2 years to get to where I'm at today, and even though I consider myself at an intermediate level, some of this stuff is still just an inch off the comprehension meter for me.

Shuggs
01 January 2009, 06:42 AM
I've posted one of my models here before, but I personally feel that I've come a very long way since then. I'm able to get a lot more control over my mesh than before, but I don't want to rely on my own personal crit to make improvements, so I would like for you guys to rip this apart. Please be as harsh, mean, blunt, etc. as possible. What do you think is working? What don't you think is working? What should my focus be?

Note: I know there are Ngons and other no-no's and boo-boo's in the topo. I've yet to correct them. They're merely "place holders" if you will. :) And the model isn't this dense. I just upped the polys so the topo could be read a little more clearer and I didn't want to post something in Sub-Ds...

http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d155/YinCOH/TopoCrit.jpg

GrogMcGee
01 January 2009, 01:22 PM
The flow looks fine, shuggs. Ignoring the obvious place holders, the inner brow region strikes me is overly complicated - you may want that edge flow, but it strikes me as unnecessary in general.

I suspect it's being caused by something in the lower resolution.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_kyuBN4GsaYo/SYBcN8P2BiI/AAAAAAAAAbg/796TslITc70/s800/TopoCrit%20copy.jpg


I wouldn't suggest topogun + zbrush / mudbox for a beginner either - it important to understand the whole edge flow thing. You've got to climb the mountain before getting to take express elevator. Though, that should be tempered by the whole process. Running every loop and moving every vert, to borrow a phrase, seems a lot more like surface management then modeling.

toontje
01 January 2009, 01:53 PM
Laa Yosh,

I consider you to be an elitist in a negative way. It is very difficult to engage in a dialogue with you without you being cynical and non-emphatic toward others. Granted not everyone can whip up a world class model like you or the other Z-brush guy, but nobody is born a master modeler. Through some kind a process one reaches this excellent goal. But you have nothing than destructive critique to offer. It's guys like you I'm crusading against.

There is a lot to be said on the topic of topology. Lots of techniques that master modelers are aware and unaware of, but nonetheless they keep those for themselves. That's why I try to analyze every aspect of what makes a good topology and how to get there. I think that this thread is getting derailed by guys like you who shun away from the technicalities but indulge in the vague.

I'm sure you're a swell guy, I'm just commenting on your attitude.
My 2 cents.

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2009, 02:01 PM
I am just pissed off a bit, it's that simple.
I'm swamped with work but take some time to post the image that I've learnt the most from and it gets immediately dismissed. Well, some would probably leave in silence, some would say "frak you all", others might apologize for trying to mess with the topic. I get a bit rude, some sleep will probably help it.

Then again I'll probably shut up for now.

Diependaal
01 January 2009, 03:02 PM
Laa Yosh,

I consider you to be an elitist in a negative way. It is very difficult to engage in a dialogue with you without you being cynical and non-emphatic toward others. Granted not everyone can whip up a world class model like you or the other Z-brush guy, but nobody is born a master modeler. Through some kind a process one reaches this excellent goal. But you have nothing than destructive critique to offer. It's guys like you I'm crusading against.

There is a lot to be said on the topic of topology. Lots of techniques that master modelers are aware and unaware of, but nonetheless they keep those for themselves. That's why I try to analyze every aspect of what makes a good topology and how to get there. I think that this thread is getting derailed by guys like you who shun away from the technicalities but indulge in the vague.

I'm sure you're a swell guy, I'm just commenting on your attitude.
My 2 cents.


First of this is no way of discussing, You say certain people derail this topic.But Laa-Yosh posted a vailuable classic image of good topology with some input on it, nothing vague about that.

Everyone can give his or her opinion on topology and new findings, but dont come in degrading someone else his input because you find it to vague, when you yourself dont ask him or her a question to clarify. I think everything in here is pretty clear.

And i clarifyed some things in my earlier post.

Now im just going to discus further on the one thing that was on topic in you're post

""Lots of techniques that master modelers are aware and unaware of, but nonetheless they keep those for themselves.""

Aldo this could be seen as true for a beginner, this is not the case. For all people reading this thread and strugling with translating there design to 3d, just look around , making off's wip work and so on.

All the masters are really know for sharing there topology, you see it allmost in every making of on even regular dvd's how the greatest cg characters in 3d history are layed out. You must not expect all those people coming in here and posting all there stuff.
Just look for it and you will find it all.


@Shuggs:

you're flow/ polygon direction is descent, loop around the eye area, mouth, but try to have the mouth loop star above the point of the nose, around the mouth, over the chin. Make sure you're polys are even distributed, now you have very dense areas. Remove the sharp loops around the nose. In he neck and forhead you have some loops construction. Try not to model in detail right away, start with the flow, where are the big muscles and bulges going. Model in the fine detail later, dont make it hard for yourself by going to a dens polycount on specific areas right away.

For you now, the best way to get more experience fast, is try to model body parts, as good as you can, study them, and eventually connect that, go step by step.

Create a good mouth , nose, eyesockets etc. You can do everything in one go, but its important to know what edgeflow works best for every part. Note, model these things with not to much polys, less is more, just get it right, if less still atteans the same shape, than dont ad edges for nothing. Maybe in the edn yuo can connect it all, and have a face.

One of the wires that inspired me years ago, here you can see in a good manner how a main flow influances all forms, even the more detailed parts. So it is easy starting with a less dens layout, and filling it in. Aldo modelling highdetail can be done as well.. Do it myself most of the time, but to learn and understand what you are doing best, it is wise to start low, with the most important shapes.

http://img91.imageshack.us/img91/9112/bmcmap000ex5.th.jpg (http://img91.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bmcmap000ex5.jpg)

Btw this example is not flawless, there are some poles i would not let in there, but it show what everything does very well.

Good luck.

toontje
01 January 2009, 03:23 PM
First of this is no way of discussing, You say certain people derail this topic.But Laa-Yosh posted a vailuable classic image of good topology with some input on it, nothing vague about that.

Ja, na heel veel gezeik eromheen en lijntjes trekken op bestaande lijntjes kan mijn tante ook!

As the Gollum model - it's worth studding in all it's intricate detail - you can even see the use of poles to control edge flow as described in some hugely long post linked somewhere here. There's an awesome eye loop structure that you generally don't see. But it's super cool.


http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/2589/gollumxp0.png


I've seen this before and I'm seeing it again. The pentagon shape around that pole propagates a nice diagonal topology all the way up.

I think that one of those pentagons is all you need to slant the topology. Gollum's mastoid is almost poleless. I will look further into that because the location of it's complentary N-pole plays an important role too I think.

This solution will permit veins running across the mastoid which can be seen too in Gollum's neck.

This is in contrast to the solution below where the edges of a N-pole is made into a triangle to slant the topology, but it seems that you need to 'draw' a succession of those to achieve that. Furthermore if you want to add detail across the mastoid it will make the base of the neck needlessly denser too.

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/9607/11diagonalgoodloopyx0.png

By the way, I have seen a lot of similarities between Gollum's and Gerry's topology.

Shuggs
01 January 2009, 03:29 PM
The flow looks fine, shuggs. Ignoring the obvious place holders, the inner brow region strikes me is overly complicated - you may want that edge flow, but it strikes me as unnecessary in general.

I suspect it's being caused by something in the lower resolution.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_kyuBN4GsaYo/SYBcN8P2BiI/AAAAAAAAAbg/796TslITc70/s800/TopoCrit%20copy.jpg


I wouldn't suggest topogun + zbrush / mudbox for a beginner either - it important to understand the whole edge flow thing. You've got to climb the mountain before getting to take express elevator. Though, that should be tempered by the whole process. Running every loop and moving every vert, to borrow a phrase, seems a lot more like surface management then modeling.

This is so helpful. Thank you, man! I really appreciate it! I completely looked over the brow region for some reason....

@LY: Just know that this learner hasn't dismissed a thing. I've saved that image and have been studying it ever since....

GrogMcGee
01 January 2009, 03:40 PM
No problem - helps me to see other people's stuff.

I also save piratically every image that pops up in this thread - it's all gold.

Diependaal
01 January 2009, 03:43 PM
What you pointed out in gollem and you're example image are ways to break the current flow, to end up with lesser polys, to have a clear view of what is there, to later on ad detail, and most of the time, than that poly construction will dissapear.

Aldo the lower image is a bad example, because of it's layout. The gollem image gets the pentagon shape because of the intersection of two loops. It is a litrle bit visible, these shapes cant really be helped, you get them as soon as teo opposit flows of youre polys/ edges, (how ever you wist to see it) connect to each other, a loop in rigid area, see chin, or two loops connecting, the part in the neck you pointed out.

This mainly are the areas that you want to pinch, or folds occure when making a blendshape, it incurages the mesh to move a certain way when moved. Helping ,making blendshapes a little bit easyer, when movement is predefined by its mesh, just as it is by skull, muscle and fat. A chin can there for be a more square modeled part/ less restricted to the main flow, because the chin is rigid and controlled more by the jaw bone than muscle and skin movement. - This differs per character, mainly influances by it's thickness/ fat tissue. and skin properties.



Ja, na heel veel gezeik eromheen en lijntjes trekken op bestaande lijntjes kan mijn tante ook!




http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/2589/gollumxp0.png


I've seen this before and I'm seeing it again. The pentagon shape around that pole propagates a nice diagonal topology all the way up.

I think that one of those pentagons is all you need to slant the topology. Gollum's mastoid is almost poleless. I will look further into that because the location of it's complentary N-pole plays an important role too I think.

This solution will permit veins running across the mastoid which can be seen too in Gollum's neck.

This is in contrast to the solution below where the edges of a N-pole is made into a triangle to slant the topology, but it seems that you need to 'draw' a succession of those to achieve that. Furthermore if you want to add detail across the mastoid it will make the base of the neck needlessly denser too.

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/9607/11diagonalgoodloopyx0.png

By the way, I have seen a lot of similarities between Gollum's and Gerry's topology.

saravanan75
01 January 2009, 11:16 AM
i went through all the diss , every modeling artist should read this thread

ShawnDriscoll
01 January 2009, 09:16 PM
There seems to be about 52 pages for this thread. I haven't seen anything revolutionary that come out of it or maybe I'm just too lazy to read bit by bit.

Well, it's hard to pin-point one exact universal topology that works for every head/body. And topology is a subjective sport when learning it. I usually put some of my works away for awhile and come back to them later so I can look more objectively at them. But no two of my models share the same topology.

Shuggs
02 February 2009, 02:35 AM
Hi,

This is a subject that I am working on a web page for. I am an articulator and this is the kind of dense mesh we use for film at out studio. I have been refining this one for the last few months. It is designed based on the type of deformation that I use in combo with each other. Some of the main points I use when modeling our vertical spans through the mouth. This helps stop shearing when the LCorner of the mouth is pull out to the side and up towards the eye. I also like to use this through the eye but with a bit of radial formation. The brow I try to keep the spans running horizontal to the eyes and loop down around the corner. All spans are keped as close to a neutral pose.

Here is a link to some of my examples.

http://www.hippydrome.com/
http://www.hippydrome.com/ArticulationHead.htm
http://www.hippydrome.com/ArticulationTheory.htm

Cheers,

Hippydrome

This is brilliant. I can grasp most of it, but some of it zips right on pass my radar. The 5 region drop off? Anyone have a clue what that's about? The closest thing I could think of was giving that specific region (arm, forearm, shoulders, etc) a reasonable drop off region to deform and move through space properly so they don't run into the other regions of the body and creat something off key.

Am I in the ballpark with that or off?

GrogMcGee
02 February 2009, 03:01 AM
This is brilliant. I can grasp most of it, but some of it zips right on pass my radar. The 5 region drop off? Anyone have a clue what that's about? The closest thing I could think of was giving that specific region (arm, forearm, shoulders, etc) a reasonable drop off region to deform and move through space properly so they don't run into the other regions of the body and creat something off key.

Am I in the ballpark with that or off?


The denser the mesh the better it will hold volume. So finding a balance between density and convenience is important.

HippyDrome
02 February 2009, 05:45 PM
Hi,

The pages have changed to:
http://www.hippydrome.com/ModelingArm.html
http://www.hippydrome.com/ModelingLeg.html

The fade and drop are just some b.s. terms that I use to try to help people when they are just
starting to learn model for movement. Basiclly a fade is when you need to have spans in an area like
the elbow and the knee. The drop is when you have a direction change and is used in the arm/shldr
area and the hips/thigh area.

To see some of this in motion with this type of modeling:
http://www.hippydrome.com/ArmsShldrRot.html
http://www.hippydrome.com/FullBodyMotion.html
http://www.hippydrome.com/LShldrUDOnOffTargets.html


cheers,

HD

Shuggs
02 February 2009, 06:26 PM
Hi,

The pages have changed to:
http://www.hippydrome.com/ModelingArm.html
http://www.hippydrome.com/ModelingLeg.html

The fade and drop are just some b.s. terms that I use to try to help people when they are just
starting to learn model for movement. Basiclly a fade is when you need to have spans in an area like
the elbow and the knee. The drop is when you have a direction change and is used in the arm/shldr
area and the hips/thigh area.

To see some of this in motion with this type of modeling:
http://www.hippydrome.com/ArmsShldrRot.html
http://www.hippydrome.com/FullBodyMotion.html
http://www.hippydrome.com/LShldrUDOnOffTargets.html


cheers,

HD

OH MAN!

I just saw under your name that you work for Pixar?! Is this true?! And thank you for the updates! I'm learning so, so, so, so much from this. It's inspiring. I was up until 4 A.M. last night reading!

I'm preparing to send my demo reel package to Pixar for their 'Recent Graduates' internship program. I've been so stoked about it ever since this past summer. If I get into it it'll be a tremendous dream come true. Ever since Toy Story I've told myself I'm going to be working for them.

And thanks for explaining the drop off terms. That really helps. I take it that the black loops are the major stress areas of deformation while the grayer-to-white areas help support them?

HippyDrome
02 February 2009, 06:49 PM
Yes, the dark areas of the mesh are the areas that start the fall offs. They are there to help me see
my mesh movement, but these fall offs are not set in stone. Is it the right way?, not sure but is the way that i work. every one has a diff approach. I use a modeled bone structure under the mesh to help me
keep my volumes consistent while I articulate the movements.

The site is just a leaping pt. for people to see the way that I approach pts. in movement.

cheers,

HD

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2009, 06:17 PM
Hippydrome's stuff is pretty cool, although I recall you originally used clusters a few years ago, right? Is this simple blendshapes now, or the pose based deformer from Michael Comet?


Anyway, here's some more food for thought.

http://artistpub.hu/content/miscimages/31/15231_l.jpg

An interesting new approach where you just don't terminate detail at all. Sort of combining the best of polygons and NURBS, where the position of your 5-sided vertices and number of spans/loops aren't locked together. And of course you don't have to worry about stitching either.

Keep in mind though, topology for a young Brad Pitt would certainly be quite different...

HippyDrome
02 February 2009, 06:26 PM
They are just morph targets/blend shapes firing before the bone rotations and combo's targets
firing when multiple ones are not playing nice together.

Cheers,

HD

DaGuai
02 February 2009, 04:32 PM
Laa Yosh,

I consider you to be an elitist in a negative way. It is very difficult to engage in a dialogue with you without you being cynical and non-emphatic toward others. Granted not everyone can whip up a world class model like you or the other Z-brush guy, but nobody is born a master modeler. Through some kind a process one reaches this excellent goal. But you have nothing than destructive critique to offer. It's guys like you I'm crusading against.

There is a lot to be said on the topic of topology. Lots of techniques that master modelers are aware and unaware of, but nonetheless they keep those for themselves. That's why I try to analyze every aspect of what makes a good topology and how to get there. I think that this thread is getting derailed by guys like you who shun away from the technicalities but indulge in the vague.

I'm sure you're a swell guy, I'm just commenting on your attitude.
My 2 cents.



I asked about classical art training to prove a point to a friend that even professionals out there will tell you that Classical Art helps...

Laa Yoosh
Your reply was awesome and helpful but your ending sentence was this:
"There's a lot of threads here on this subject, by the way..." A bit "tart" and sarcastic and this is what Toontje is talking about. But whatever I undersand because, you have probable heard this stupid question over and over again....

But over the summer I tutored someone in CG. He didn't belive me when I said it's worth looking into Classical art technique to better your CG work. So i wanted him to hear it from you guys. I showed him this thread and your comments to prove to them that it's worth while to learn classical techinques......

All in all Laa Yoosh you have been a great help and I have been studying a lot of your post and have found them very useful. So don't feel like your being blown off... Greatly apperciate your comments.

But Toontje, I go to the Academy of Art University in San Fransisco CA and a lot of the CG teachers there are 10 year ILM vets. One instructor I had was Tareq Mirza the creator of the Freedom of Teach DVD on organic modeling. So it's like this.... Some of the answeres your looking for are just company trade secrets that they are not allowed to show or share with others. I mean they have to sign a contract.... So if Tareq went on CG talk and just started posting a bunch of ILM models and technique he could get sued.... Its not that he is mean or whatever, it's just as simple as that.... SO get into the field get a job at a game company or somthing and you will start learning a lot more... More than what any school or book can teach you..... Anyway thats what I think....

Also I have read your threads about Topolgy and it's great. It's very helpful and you have done a lot of work on that. Just keep building on it :)

Take care
D

miclepickle
03 March 2009, 06:38 AM
here is my topology on a low poly base i am working on to use for modifications for any humanoid models.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y107/miclepickle/wireframe.jpg

and this is a higher poly version.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y107/miclepickle/highwireframe.jpg

j3st3r
03 March 2009, 07:34 AM
That type of topology is a typically wrong approach. The best way to find a topology is to take a mirror, and make grimaces. You'll see your wrinkles and those identify your topology lines. If you make your grimaces slowly, you'll see exactly where they are in a neutral pose.

Modeling is not different to drawing. You have to see to model properly. Your approach (and a general approach, but not necessarily good) doesn't care with the folds of the skin around the nose, etc. I suggest to study real faces, and reorganize the topology. That is why a reference sculpt comes handy. You have the features, and these features will drive your hand.
What I see on your model (and hundreds of fellow artist's models as well) that you were carefully followed some reference images of TOPOLOGY. The problem is that you don't want to model a model, but a human face. You have to think of lines, shapes, forms, and not in terms of eye is radial, mouth is radial, etc. They are, of course radial, but if you pay attention to the original forms, and lines, you'll make the radial structure of your own, but perhaps, you'll make it better, than this you posted.

Sorry, if I'm not clear, but English is not my prmary language...:)

miclepickle
03 March 2009, 11:45 AM
here is my topology on a low poly base i am working on to use for modifications for any humanoid models.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y107/miclepickle/wireframe.jpg

and this is a higher poly version.


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y107/miclepickle/highwireframe.jpg





i made a whole new model to try to achieve better topology.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y107/miclepickle/wireframe-2.jpg

j3st3r
03 March 2009, 04:38 AM
The topology is lot better. But, take care of the mouth. The upper lip used to be outer than the lower lips, and the corner of the lips used to be inner. The edge of the lips used to turn inside the mouth. Get photo references, and draw these lines to have better understanding.

DaGuai
03 March 2009, 05:53 PM
Hi jester,

I have been working with your appoarch to modeling. I am at the point of remeshing this model. I have been working the abdominal area mostly but feel I might be getting to complicated with the topolgy. I was wondering if I could get your thoughts. WHen ever you have time.

Thanks

Ignore the hands, Some goofy thing happened to the forearm and hands...

designingpatrick
03 March 2009, 06:04 PM
What is the intended use/output of the model? I don't think there is never a reason to make this sort of topology, but the medium of presentation is going to be the main factor that governs the style of topology that you will use.

From what I've learned;

If it's for a game, then the demand tends to be that you have irregular geometry that deforms in strategic areas.
If you will not be animating the model at all, then you shouldn't rely on tricky topology at all.
If you have a slow computer, then there might be a use for little tricks here and there (like 5 or sided polygon for bumps).

If it is for a movie or some other rendered, non-interactive animation then you should stick with the grid set-up.

I think people tend to get too caught up on the topology and sometimes forget that the model should be the main focus and that the topology needs to change based on the project.

DaGuai
03 March 2009, 06:08 PM
I would like to animate this and I would like to try capturing the detail with Normal Maps.

Right now this was a model entirely modeled in Zbrush. It's all quads. But to animate this in Maya would be a nightmare so I need to remesh.

Thanks for your comments

designingpatrick
03 March 2009, 07:02 PM
If it is for pre-rendered animation, then make it a simple grid pattern that is formed by the silhouette of the model. The difference maps (displacement, normal or bump) will take care that the detail is carried through, but tricky topology is only good for real time rendering where the deformations are driven by rigging and skinning. You can get the high-res deformation accentuated by blend-shapes and morph targets.

There really is no reason to complicate it I think.

j3st3r
03 March 2009, 07:26 PM
Patrick is just right. The best if you look at sample models, observe how the skin deforms (i.e. study the wrinkle patterns) and try to build up your topology according to that. I think that your topology is really complicated. Try to separate the flexible and the rigid areas, but don't forget the topology must serve the skin deformation.

DaGuai
03 March 2009, 07:40 PM
Thanks Patrick! :D

I felt I was trying to be a bit too tricky with the topo.

DaGuai
03 March 2009, 07:47 PM
Ok,

Thanks Jester.
So... The bottom line. The topo is too complicated and needs to be simplified?

Thanks all... I guess I got a bit nervous that if I didn't define every bit of form I made with a edge that the normal map would fail to capture my forms properly...
All right I will scrap this topo and rework it....

Laa-Yosh
03 March 2009, 10:25 PM
Disagree. Prerendered stuff still needs good topology.

Hm... might have been a bit too hasty? Anyway, I really hope I'll be able to post some of the stuff we do with explanations... someday.

ShawnDriscoll
03 March 2009, 12:32 AM
I never use grid modeling for organics. Eventually I'll want to do something else with the model and nearly the entire object will need a re-topo done to it. Better to model organics properly from the start.

okazaky
03 March 2009, 12:17 PM
Hi,

The pages have changed to:
http://www.hippydrome.com/ModelingArm.html
http://www.hippydrome.com/ModelingLeg.html

The fade and drop are just some b.s. terms that I use to try to help people when they are just
starting to learn model for movement. Basiclly a fade is when you need to have spans in an area like
the elbow and the knee. The drop is when you have a direction change and is used in the arm/shldr
area and the hips/thigh area.

To see some of this in motion with this type of modeling:
http://www.hippydrome.com/ArmsShldrRot.html
http://www.hippydrome.com/FullBodyMotion.html
http://www.hippydrome.com/LShldrUDOnOffTargets.html


cheers,

HD

This is very useful! Thank you very much for sharing this stuff!
I'm really looking forward to the next update!

Best regards,
Daniel

designingpatrick
03 March 2009, 04:56 PM
Hippydrome,

Looks like you've got some good results using the grid topology in general areas, and modified grid shapes where dynamic torsion and deformation occurs. And the rigged model speaks for the results.

Rodder
03 March 2009, 07:26 AM
fine .
i like it

razeverius
04 April 2009, 12:43 AM
wahahow...i think i posted my human modeling in the wrong forum. This is good stuff, and 55 pages going on :D

designingpatrick
04 April 2009, 12:48 AM
Now if we could only have all of the images that existed....That would be great. Someone could publish a book with all of this info!

razeverius
04 April 2009, 12:53 AM
hhmm don't forget an e-book as well:D

ShawnDriscoll
04 April 2009, 02:46 AM
For the face, just buy the book: Stop Staring 2nd Edition.

GrogMcGee
04 April 2009, 03:56 PM
Now if we could only have all of the images that existed....That would be great. Someone could publish a book with all of this info!


Yar, I've collected a few of them over the years (but only the ones that struck me as really helpful to my learning)...

Shuggs
04 April 2009, 03:29 AM
I'm torn between grid topology and flow topology. Hippy's methods clearly work, and I've been referencing them to death; but I also like the "look" of when topology follows the natural contures of the body. It captures the forms better, too. If I can find a way to combine the two I think I'd be in good shape.

razeverius
04 April 2009, 09:19 AM
oh man there are so many damn techniques here that I dunno if I should continue mine:eek:. By the way the technique I'm doing is the one I learned from Digital Tutors except without a body hope someone has time to take a look at it and comment. Thanks :)

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=43&t=751945

GrogMcGee
04 April 2009, 08:25 PM
I'm torn between grid topology and flow topology. Hippy's methods clearly work, and I've been referencing them to death; but I also like the "look" of when topology follows the natural contures of the body. It captures the forms better, too. If I can find a way to combine the two I think I'd be in good shape.

Have a look at those grids again - they're not that far from flowing edge loops and in most cases follows exactly the same structure, it's just denser ;)

Much like Gollum and Benji Button have very similar topology.

Imhotep397
05 May 2009, 01:52 AM
Ok, I thought I would chime in with some wires here too for a WIP I'm trying to work through. Some caveats: I 'm posting the reference and the mesh first with no wires so people see what the mesh is looking like before they jump all over what's wrong with the wires.


http://u1.ipernity.com/11/86/43/4788643.a0daadbe.jpghttp://u1.ipernity.com/11/86/48/4788648.b5b97ef6.1024.jpghttp://u1.ipernity.com/11/86/49/4788649.201958d9.1024.jpg

Imhotep397
05 May 2009, 10:26 PM
Also...I've seen the term "Grid Topology" mentioned here a couple of times, but it's honestly doesn't make a lot of sense considering a grid doesn't seem like it would have any kind of topological structure relative to anything organic, just hills and valleys of uniform grid structure? Maybe I'm misunderstanding though what exactly is grid topology?

GrogMcGee
05 May 2009, 11:11 PM
Compare the topology here (http://www.hippydrome.com/) or here (http://artistpub.hu/content/miscimages/31/15231_l.jpg) to things like this (http://express.howstuffworks.com/gif/gollum-7.jpg) or this (http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/1549/backfronthn8.jpg)

Basically grid topology is more uniform in it's density where as topology is more concerned with trying to create the lowest possible resolution model that still looks good and deforms the way you need and can support the details you need. Grid tends to ignore that whole kettle of fish and go for a dense even mesh.

Realtime rendering, eg, a game engine, would never really want grid topology since deformation would be a bitch to deal with and the model file would be bulky for little benefit. This of course is a hardware limitation not a software limitation.

Laa-Yosh
05 May 2009, 11:27 PM
When I talk about grids I mean that there are large patches with all-quad topology, separated by strategically placed poles where the surface details change direction... And I consider Gollum's face a fine example of this.
Don't confuse it with a simple box design where detail is implied thanks to high mesh density, ie. most Zbrush models made for illustration purposes.

I do agree that it doesn't aim for the lowest possible polygon count but that's unwise for animation anyway.

GrogMcGee
05 May 2009, 12:13 AM
When I talk about grids I mean that there are large patches with all-quad topology, separated by strategically placed poles where the surface details change direction... And I consider Gollum's face a fine example of this.
Don't confuse it with a simple box design where detail is implied thanks to high mesh density, ie. most Zbrush models made for illustration purposes.

I do agree that it doesn't aim for the lowest possible polygon count but that's unwise for animation anyway.

Good points - I hadn't thought of it like that.

Imhotep397
05 May 2009, 05:51 PM
Compare the topology here (http://www.hippydrome.com/) or here (http://artistpub.hu/content/miscimages/31/15231_l.jpg) to things like this (http://express.howstuffworks.com/gif/gollum-7.jpg) or this (http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/1549/backfronthn8.jpg)

Basically grid topology is more uniform in it's density...

I think you're mixing modeling technique with rendering mesh strategy. The Benjamin Button head model is really nothing more than a correct, probably all quad, edgeloop model with probably two levels of Poly smooths applied. It seems like some directors/producers etc. require this for preview purposes. Even though SubDs are more efficient for rendering in a lot of cases for realtime previews and especially in Maya viewport display speed of SubD deformation just isn't that hot.

Laa-Yosh
05 May 2009, 01:05 PM
The BB head mesh is that dense. You can't get topology like that with subdivision, and there are geometry details there too. It also makes sense to use that many polygons as they have scanned data to drive it.

Imhotep397
05 May 2009, 09:55 PM
...You can't get topology like that with subdivision...

I didn't work on BB to really know how their character pipeline works, but we must be thinking about two different things. It's all too easy to get meshes that dense and even denser using standard poly smoothing logarithms that "smooth" and add geometry at the same time. Every 3D app has has some form of poly smoothing. It's even relatively easy in most apps to generate a dense poly mesh from a medium poly SubD mesh and all of the wrinkle /crease topological changes accumulated in morph modeling. The topology is respected and propagates right through the smoothing operations even on the the base model with no facial expression which can then be used for MoCap sessions (in Maya and modo this can be done for sure). Sometimes details can get "Smoothed Out" and that's just indicative of something that didn't get modeled correctly on the lower density mesh, but all new geometry is only created between the existing geometry with minimal if any shifting to the original edgeloop structure. (a little too easy to "up rez" as many of my instructors would have pointed out back when I was in school)

Laa-Yosh
05 May 2009, 04:09 PM
You need to understand the difference between using a mesh with subdivision on top of it, and using a mesh with higher density from the start. Facial animation is highly dependent on using lots of soft falloff for the skin movements. Even a pucker (or a simple "OOO") shape will affect the skin as far as the back of the jaw bone.

For a movie resolution character you need to have full control over the skin movement. So you want as much detail in the mesh as you can manage. For example if you have a loop defining the jawline (if it can be defined at all, like on a young strong male), then you'd want at least one paralel loop on each side to make jaw opening shapes and sneer shapes. You need to slide the loops on top of the surface to both maintain the forms of the jawbone and create the illusion of skin sliding on top of it. But one loop on each side isn't really good enough, you'd be better off with two - which gives five loops for the jawline alone.

Then you start to apply the same for the nasolabial fold, the lips, the eyelids, eyebrows... and you pretty much end up with either Benjamin or Gollum. Now as BB relied more on mocap and scanned data (with animated displacements), and it had an almost 1:1 mapping to Brad Pitt, it was easier to go with a dense but more simple topology. Whereas Gollum is hand crafted and his loops are worn in through trial and error so it's a bit harder to understand.

So, again, you really can't use anything but a lot of vertices for these two:
- proper soft falloff to distribute skin movement
- maintaining the underlying bone structure and tissue mass

We're just wrapping up a character heavy production and while it has taken considerable time, I've still been able to complete about 200-220 blendshapes (including corrective shapes) with an average poly count of 3000-3500 per head. Poly detail hasn't been a bottleneck at all, in fact I'll increase it a bit in the future as it's quite manageable and will provide more control. And Benjamin's mesh looks about as more detailed as I'd need to go if we had increase final resolution from 720p to movie 2K.


All this is true when you want to animate the face, obviously. But that is what BB was about :)

Justame2002
06 June 2009, 08:47 PM
Thanks Laa-Yosh, some really great information regarding facial animation, reminds me of the Maya Techniques Hyper-Realistic Creature Anatomy book with Erik Miller and Jeff Unay, totally understand your last explaination and the difference between the two examples.

gaganjain
07 July 2009, 08:03 AM
Need to refine more near nose and mouth area...
http://img2.pict.com/33/4c/f2/1088615/0/face.jpg

GrogMcGee
07 July 2009, 12:53 PM
The general proportions of the head are off; the eye's should sit halfway down the face, the end of the nose halfway again down, the mouth halfway between the end of the nose and the bottom of the chin.

http://www.carvingpatterns.com/woodarticles/images/face3.gif

AdamBaroody
07 July 2009, 11:37 PM
For a movie resolution character you need to have full control over the skin movement. So you want as much detail in the mesh as you can manage.

This is correctl. The more points you have, the more control you have. It will always come down to that.

It all depends on your goal. Feature film hero character = lots of points. TV commercial cartoon character = you can probably get away with a simpler subdiv cage.

It all depends on your goal. For detailed characters, an evenly spaced, dense mesh is better for more natural skin movement. It gets even more complicated if you're talking muscle/skin sim/fake etc because edge flow may need some extra considerations. Generally I keep things flowing where key deformations take place and dont shy away from dense meshes.

There is no need to make something overly complex but there is a need to have a dense mesh thats within reason and well laid out. You will always have better deformations, better volume retention... its better for skin sliding etc. Yeah managing lots of points can be a headache so keep it realistic... keep it within the requirements of your project.

The thing i'm pondering most lately is the 2 theories behind edge flow. Being more evenly grid in U and V, or looping the larger more major masses. I tend to blend the two techniques but I'm not decided on if i like for example looping the tricep around the elbow or the abdonmen/rib cage arch, versus, keeping them more grid like.

jat
08 August 2009, 02:12 PM
Hey Guys, Im prototyping a base topology for majority of my human male heads.

after reading the subd thread and quite abit of this one, I am moving from C Topology to X Topology.

So if you look at my awesome attachment!
The subd version (a quickie i know the proportions are borked,) in the image is mine and I'm comparing it to an image from the other thread. I have moved the smile loop to go around the eye so I can have closed loops around the eye.

I want to know if this is a better than the original in terms of deformation and easier to control detail where the original has a spiral loop for the eye. The only difference is the smile loop is not in its normal bridging across the middle of the nose but travels around the eye first and bridging higher.

Im worred about the smile face loop because Ive hardly seen it done this way apart from a few models admittantly in the subd thread and would like some advice if I should stick with the original?

But on the other hand in the same thread some artist mentions spirals around eyes = Baaaad!

Laa-Yosh
08 August 2009, 02:20 PM
In my humble opinion, it's useless to discuss topology at this detail level. You don't have any facial features on the model, the major and minor planes of the face are undefined, it's pretty much a blank state at this point.

So we can't evaluate how the loops would help to define the shape or help animation at this point.


Oh, and spirals are usually bad, indeed ;)

razeverius
08 August 2009, 02:41 PM
man i love this thread, so may opinions

jat
08 August 2009, 03:26 PM
In my humble opinion, it's useless to discuss topology at this detail level. You don't have any facial features on the model, the major and minor planes of the face are undefined, it's pretty much a blank state at this point.

So we can't evaluate how the loops would help to define the shape or help animation at this point.


Oh, and spirals are usually bad, indeed ;)


I will repost after adding some detail, i been working on the nostril/nose area and its a pain to define a nostril for an african american, it kind of loops within itself (looking at the image I am using as a base) which my topology doesnt account for, I may have to redefine the topo into a spiral :| I will post picks later on what I mean.

ElieJAMES
08 August 2009, 02:43 PM
Yes i do enjoy this

jat
08 August 2009, 03:30 PM
http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/6875/headtopo.jpg


Ive done some work on and off, its nowhere near complete but this is what Ive got so far using some background ref images of an african american.

:)

j3st3r
08 August 2009, 03:56 PM
In my opinion this is the perfect proof of the ineffectiveness of this approach. You have spend lot of time on topology, and to be honest neither the topology, nor the shapes are good.

As a computer free practice I suggest you to check out as many photos as you can, and try to define the facial planes, and the main topology lines. Draw on the images and as you advance, you will be aware of shape and topology as well. Without any 3D :)

If you handle character modeling as an art, you will realize that how powerful is to understand the human anatomy, before opening up your 3d package

designingpatrick
08 August 2009, 05:40 PM
j3ster is right, but not to the degree that he claims. You are on the right track. You should probably spend time on modeling now. You will learn exactly where you need to make changes to the topology. You can always make an alright model through brute force by increasing your subdivisions. For right now, it seems that you should take what you've got and "perfect" the shape, then retopologize, then refine the shape, then retopologize, then refine the shape.

Just a suggestion, but attempting to reach the best from the beginning is hard. I have found that it is best, when learning, to build up then break down and repeat.

And get rid of all those loops. You can get by with fewer loops.

jat
08 August 2009, 07:11 PM
I know I currently have too many loops, I will be getting rid of quite a few of them, I been not paying attention to the shape as I should be, I been just adding loops and just getting a feel for this style in modelling.

My previous modeling style has been extending quads from the eye/mouth etc, this is more box modelling style which I will need to get use to!


I will give the drawing lines method you mentioned Jester and compare what I have now and what I should be aiming for....

DaGuai
08 August 2009, 07:15 PM
Refer to this to help you find the plane structure Jat. Also look into Bridgeman and Vanderpol.

Also, look up Stephen Perkins and try to get a workshop with him. There is no one that knows the structure (planes) and anatomy of the human figure like Mr. Perkins.

Jester is right on. I have been working with his proposed workflow and it works very well. You can focus more on the likeness of the model (not your 3d thing but your person your making) rather than all the technical jargon. Once the likness is there you can dump any topo on the model you want in a more free form way has well as make any changes that others might suggest very easily. It's also makes it easier to copy (in the effort to learn what others have done and discovered) other professionals topology layout. Eventually Through practice you will be able to model better in the traditional sence (poly by poly or box modelin) easier. Meaning you will be able to adapt to any 3d modeling style once you understand human structure and anatomy.

I had a teacher once say "Here is the secret to becoming better at protrait sculpture.... Do a 100 of them and you will get better". Sounds pretty simple I think hahah :)

Anyway Jat I think you got some likeness happening already it just needs to be pumped up a bit. Study these images and try to find these plane structures in your models face. Sorry the sculpt is a bit ruff but, at least you can see the plane structures. If it helps you let me know and I can send you more..

Take care,
Da guai

Take care,
Da guai

yamobust
08 August 2009, 07:21 PM
IMO the "flow" looks good, but a lot of the shapes arent right, i.e. flatness around the corners of the mouth, pinching/sharpness at the chin, etc

Thus now you have the problem of having to fix the shapes with tons of vertices to work with, so youre likely to end up with rippling or bumpyness in your smoothed versions

jat
08 August 2009, 09:26 PM
thnx for the info DaGuai, im enrolling in a 2 year life drawing class starting september at college to help me with more of a traditional understanding, I will take a look at the books you mention providing I can get a copy, the leeds library has most of its copies missing I may end up buying them.

Yea I am suffering from the bumpy affect Yamo, I been trying to add all the loops and then editing them all at once, which is clearly failing me, I will post some pics in another thread with a hand drawn topo on top of the photo, I dont wanna hijack this thread anymore :\

I will be working with this later on, I havent given up!

Memorist
09 September 2009, 08:30 AM
i've got a question to ask, i've been told that when modelling the angle that the edges meets the verticies is important when i comes to deforming.

So basically all the edges that are coming out of the vertice should be as close to 90 degrees as possible.

Is that correct?
Could someone maybe explain this more to me?

Laa-Yosh
09 September 2009, 08:43 AM
It is sort of correct, even though I would not put it like that.

What you want is mostly even sized quad polygons with the edges running parallel and perpendicular to the direction that the surface moves during deformation.
This in turn means that the polygons shouldn't only be even sized but also as close to a square as possible. Which, in turn, has all its four angles at 90 degrees.

Now obviously this theory is only 100% true in 2 dimensions, but when you add the third, the surface can change in tricky ways... but nevertheless, trying to keep your polygons as nice as possible is something worth aiming for.

Wurich
10 October 2009, 07:46 AM
Hi guys! Great thread. This is one of my favourite and ive learnt a lot from it. Here is my searchings in human topology. Lets say that its an giant. My workflow is - for shapes I use zbrush, for topology max.
Since I made this model for the animation I added as much detail as possible on the topology.
45 thousands tris for body mesh.

http://www.yurijyuzvovich.com/Wireframe.jpg

iepbunleng016
10 October 2009, 10:33 AM
hi i have one question
could you help me with my little modeling i'm focus on anatomy edge flow and topology this is the link to the problem
http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/7415/headwireframe.jpg
By bunleng_iep (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/bunleng_iep) at 2009-10-10

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/7295/neckwireframe.jpg
By bunleng_iep (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/bunleng_iep) at 2009-10-10
http://iepbunleng016.ipbfree.com/index.php?showtopic=6

i'll be appreciate for your help
Name: bunleng iep
website: www.bunleng3d.tk
Mail: iep_bunleng016@yahoo.com
Country : Cambodia

designingpatrick
10 October 2009, 11:39 PM
iepbunleng016,

I can tell you are putting some serious work into this model, so congratulations!

#1; Please tell me that you have a lower resolution version of this model. You have too many edges for an efficient model. Focus on the profile of the skull.

#2; The eyes are too far apart.

#3; I don't see any ears.

#4; The topology isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than the modeling. Take a step back from the edge flow, because it is good enough for now. The edge flow will make more sense once you have spent time on the model.

#5; The biggest improvements will come from careful focus on the profile and volume of the skull. If you need to, use a lateral and anterior image of the human skull as reference planes and match it.

#6. Modeling with this many subdivisions is going to waist a lot of time.

#7. I should have put this first; grab some reference images and draw your topology on them first in order to get a good road map for subsequent child loops.

Keep up the good work, and do NOT be afraid to start from the beginning while applying the principles that you have learned.

Also, modeling with the subjects eyes closed can enable a more objective approach. When you have a human with it's eyes open, staring at you, it can be easy to feel like you are doing well to create a human face, when in reality there are several key landmarks which have been neglected. Humans see eyes, they think human. What about the nasolabial fold? Or the caruncula? Cheek bones, masseter, etc...

iepbunleng016
10 October 2009, 01:53 AM
thank you man this is my low res face neck and chest i just wonder that is my neck edge flow alright is it enouge and when i'm ready for this edge flow should i go on to the muscle and when i medel the mucle i subdevide it and i think this is no longer have the edge flow am i right or i am right thank you

http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/7295/neckwireframe.jpg
By bunleng_iep (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/bunleng_iep) at 2009-10-11

http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/9956/facewireframe.jpg
By bunleng_iep (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/bunleng_iep) at 2009-10-11

http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/6032/cheskwireframe.jpg
By bunleng_iep (http://profile.imageshack.us/user/bunleng_iep) at 2009-10-11

name : bunleng iep
website: www.bunleng3d.tk
mail: iep_bunleng016@yahoo.com
phone: iep_bunleng016@yahoo.com

GrogMcGee
10 October 2009, 04:17 AM
ack... ummm

first, I hate to say it but that's not a person... it has the parts of a person but the proportions, the placement of them ... not a person. It's a worthy attempt, I can see that your trying but you need to understand the proportions, the shapes, etc that make up a person.

I did a quick and dirty paint over of the head:
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_kyuBN4GsaYo/StKsBXs-onI/AAAAAAAADcQ/P3sf7FatnBA/s800/facewireframe%20copy.jpg

Frankly I think you would do best to not focus on topology and right now focus on getting the structures, shapes, sizes and placement down. Don't worry if the wireframe is horrible and ugly; that technical side can come later. First get the object looking like what it's supposed to be.

designingpatrick
10 October 2009, 04:17 AM
I'm glad that you have a lower resolution version. When you are learning the process, there are some things that you can try which can really accelerate progress;

-Separate the body parts in order to avoid stressful edge-flow.
-The neck is not good right now because you have a lot triangle shapes, everything needs to be as square as possible, like a grid.
-Don't spend too much energy worrying about muscle or detail; the main point of going through this process is to create a clean grid to be illustrated later. Recent trends in mesh sculpting almost completely eliminate the need to define detail through base geometry or topology.
-Stay in the mesh's lowest subdivision level to make changes to the profile and shape of the mesh.
-Keep it simple as possible, the common subdivision algorithms used these days do an amazing job at averaging the distance between points. This means that you will get some of your best results by constantly checking the results of your mesh in its high-res format. So; no 5+ sided faces, and avoid 3 sided unless you know how to use them.

Maya (and the majority of the 3D apps) has great options for smooth preview, and has the ability to retopologize. Retopolgy will can help fix the inherit mistakes you may have made when first creating the mesh.

After you understand the workflow that is best for you, it will be easier to conceptualize and execute you work.

tokoloshi
10 October 2009, 11:41 AM
Howdy everyone
would love some crit on this face model I was working on. The one problem I seem to have (beside the shape of my noses which im going to focus on now) is stretching around the nose area when I smooth my mesh. How can I avoid this? Should I simply add more definition or is my edge flow wrong?
http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/2602/facemw.jpg

Laa-Yosh
10 October 2009, 06:40 PM
Don't put wide and narrow polygons next to each other. Instead, try to aim for evenly sized quads.

Wurich
10 October 2009, 06:39 AM
2 tokoloshi - maybe using of more classic type of topology could help. Here is some quick scratches:
http://www.yurijyuzvovich.com/facemw_re.jpg

tokoloshi
10 October 2009, 08:32 AM
thanks for the tip Laa-Yosh...
somehow I didnt realise that my topology was so off :(
will keep an eye on that. thanks Wurich!

Shuggs
10 October 2009, 02:44 AM
You're headed in the right direction because you're researching, learning, and trying. Looking back at my old models, mine are very similar to your topology. I simply did not know or understand what needed to be done. I knew what loops had to be in place, but was completely obtuse when it came to executing the processes on how to achieve them. Though I have over several dozen unfinished models, it has gotten to the point to where I can throw down a model in a week and be completely knowledgeable of what I need to do with the geometry. The majority of my guess work, trial, and error was done when I started out. It'll seem like you're not making any progress, but if you keep plugging away at it you'll get there eventually.

Are you modeling from a box by chance? I find that method to be a little more advanced than what it lets itself off to be. My personal reasons for that is that its hard to achieve the natural form and volume of the shapes you want from a box, and if you don't know the tools or topology well enough, you're already (literally) boxed into a corner because you don't know how to go about placing them in there correctly the first time so you don't run into future mistakes. There are tons of tutorials out there to help with it, but I've always ran into problems with that method. Personally, I find the Edge Extrusion (Polygon Extrusion) method to be the most efficient. That method also has its pros and cons, but if you know what you're doing, you can get the results and edge flow that you want without fumbling around with a box.

If you study the anatomy of the body, topology will make more sense. Our goal as modelers is to bring reality into a 3 dimensional space and allow it to move the same as it would in real life. If your geometry is all over the place, you won't get the results you need to be getting. The same thing can be said for our body. If our muscles aren't plugged into the right insertion points, and if everything isn't lined up perfectly, we don't function correctly.

So do some anatomy research and topology research. Know the dos and don'ts, and understand the terminology and basic fundamentals that come with all of this. Once you have all of that together, you'll see improvement.

j3st3r
10 October 2009, 05:41 PM
To any artist (professional or amateur, experienced or beginner) it's a good practice to study photos portraying humans, and then try to draw main topology lines following the light shadow outlines, wrinkles, folds of the skin. Then topology becomes a second nature

Dachschaden
10 October 2009, 12:22 AM
Hey there,

usually I don't post and search before bothering, but I'm at a dead end now

Here's the problem: I am working on a shortfilm and don't have the experience of knowing how certain body topologies will deform.
So here's what I have so far: http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/2640/topov.jpg
Don't mind the obvious form problems, I want to get the topology right first
I want to have a defined stomach/ribs/the other usual muscles

I thought about doing something like this http://poopinmymouth.com/3d/cyber_punk_nude.jpg , a very defined stomach area, but does it have any problems bending, etc?
Can I go with a topology like the one above where the topology is based on muscles? Or should everything be clean without many "interruptions" like the one I have so far ( at least I hope its pretty clean :p )?
Does it matter at all and everything deforms nicely after some skinning and rigging?
I mean, if I look at the piece of Wurich on the page before, its topology goes with the muscles and it seems to work when animated.

I always feel like a n00b when posting a question. Maybe I didnt search the right terms or overlooked a good topic, or I am just too scared to go with a certain topo, but it would be really really nice to point me in a direction that works, or even post some examples? I would die for some (animated?) examples

Thanks!

reiro
10 October 2009, 04:05 AM
Hi this thread is rly helpful.

Iam in the middle of doing a face in max. Tried to achieve a solid low poly base.
Any crit would be appreciated.
Can anyone say how i get the mark i painted in yellow?
It is not very much visible on the photo reference but would it be better to keep that plane?
If so how do i need to change my topo to make it work?

Cant figure it out. Cheers.

http://www.blindest.de/v41.jpg

Laa-Yosh
10 October 2009, 09:38 AM
I thought about doing something like this http://poopinmymouth.com/3d/cyber_punk_nude.jpg , a very defined stomach area, but does it have any problems bending, etc?

That reference image is actually looking very good. If you need more definition then you could increase the mesh detail, but it should work fine already.

Another approach is this one:
http://www.hippydrome.com
but it is far less realistic and also takes considerable time to set up (because of all the blendshapes).

Maybe I didnt search the right terms or overlooked a good topic, or I am just too scared to go with a certain topo, but it would be really really nice to point me in a direction that works, or even post some examples? I would die for some (animated?) examples


I don't really know of anything else. Generally people learn the most from experience, seeing how these things work in practice.

Dachschaden
10 October 2009, 02:25 PM
Another approach is this one:
http://www.hippydrome.com
but it is far less realistic and also takes considerable time to set up (because of all the blendshapes).


Hey,

my model is actually based on that one :>
But what do you mean when saying it needs time to set up? I would think that with this simple topology you would need far less time for blendshapes than a model with muscle topology?

Laa-Yosh
10 October 2009, 02:32 PM
But you have to rely on those blendshapes and have to add multiple shapes per joint, rig them and all... takes a lot of time.

Good topology on the other hand can make your skinning faster and easier to do.

Dachschaden
10 October 2009, 02:38 PM
Kind of obvious, but just checking - what you're saying is that I would have to compensate the non existant muscles/joints with blendshapes if I go with Hippy's method?

Laa-Yosh
10 October 2009, 02:50 PM
Yeah, exactly - particularly with such a low res mesh, and if you're aiming for realistic results. In fact you'd probably have to throw in displacement maps and do some animated blending with joint rotation controlled masks as well. Which is okay if you're going for stuff like the Hulk movie, but kinda complicated for an everyday project.
AFAIK Hippy is a character TD at Pixar and they don't really do realistic naked torso stuff in their movies... his stuff is perfect for cartoonish characters that wear clothes or fur on top of the skin, but it isn't necessarily for everyone. Then again, you can get a lot of good ideas from his stuff.

And... it'd also be worth adding some more detail to the base mesh because your anatomy is kinda lacking a bit at this time, too...

Dachschaden
10 October 2009, 03:00 PM
I can say you've reassured me to go through with using a more muscle oriented and detailed mesh, and hope no one has to say anything negative to bring my doubts back :p

Thanks for explaining and taking your time Laa-Yosh!

tokoloshi
10 October 2009, 11:47 PM
hey! thanks again for all the feedbackness!
so went back and started fresh and this is what i came up with after tonights work.
still needs quiete abit of work but would love to get some tips before proceeding on...
got back and did some work over the weekend. still lots of tweaking still needed to be
done but just wanna know am I on the right track now?

http://img30.imageshack.us/img30/374/xcopyr.jpg

MrMint
11 November 2009, 04:55 PM
A lot of heads here :) , so I to throw mine in as well.
(just for the layout, proportions have to be fixed and the ear area is still bothering me)


http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/7121/headfront.th.jpg (http://img130.imageshack.us/i/headfront.jpg/)
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/7121/headfront.th.jpg (http://img687.imageshack.us/i/headfront.jpg/)


But there is not so much body-topology. I stumbled over this thread (and the other topology-thread started by Stahlberg) when I was tackeling the shoulder-elbow-area and changed my mind as I went through this thread. Though it is so obvious it helped me really a lot that Laa-Yosh brought up gollum and to take a look at Mr. Stahlbergs wires. Thank you very much :bowdown:


So....here is my torso and arms. I am not really satisfied but I want to finish it for now and apply all I have learned fully to my next model.

http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/879/torsoback.th.jpg (http://img208.imageshack.us/i/torsoback.jpg/)
http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/3685/torsofront.th.jpg (http://img208.imageshack.us/i/torsofront.jpg/)

http://img8.imageshack.us/img8/8866/armbuttom.th.jpg (http://img8.imageshack.us/i/armbuttom.jpg/)


At the moment I am trying to get a good topology for the hand and stuck with the fingers as they are not as symmetrical as most tutorials suggest.
I played a little bit and till now the topology of the knuckles -as it now is- was the best I could come up with (regarding detail by low polycount). But I dont know if this might work for animation.


http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/8633/handtop.th.jpg (http://img697.imageshack.us/i/handtop.jpg/)
http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/3914/handbuttom.th.jpg (http://img687.imageshack.us/i/handbuttom.jpg/)


http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/3364/betweenf.th.jpg (http://img69.imageshack.us/i/betweenf.jpg/)



So I hope that this might push the discussion towards body-topology as most of the 60 pages are about head-topology.

GrogMcGee
11 November 2009, 05:43 PM
The ear is causing your problems because you're using a grid on the side and back of the head

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_kyuBN4GsaYo/Sv7rPdHDnvI/AAAAAAAAEDg/ak1NjGaXEB8/s800/headfront%20copy.jpg

the chest is also non standard ... usually you'd do the pecs as concentric squarish circles ...

rajbir
11 November 2009, 04:06 AM
This is how i usually keep my edge loops. I also like to have heavy topology so i can do details. Ofcourse this is not heavy. its just base

http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/2726/germanedgeloops.jpg

stevesideas
01 January 2010, 01:10 PM
Hi guys. Great thread. I have some fairly low poly topology of a young female. Is there a chance you could take a look and give me some feedback as I want to be able to animate this character. This is the first character head Ive done so any feedback is appreciated.

Ignore the ears by the way...i'll be re-modelling those.

Thanks

Steve

bunk
01 January 2010, 02:27 PM
This is the first character head Ive done so any feedback is appreciated.

If you have the time I would rewire the mesh a bit.
http://www.bunk.cistron.nl/plaatjes/rewire.jpg
For the rest it looks fine

Cheers,

bunk

stevesideas
01 January 2010, 02:29 PM
Thanks for the help..I'll do that. :)

BICA
01 January 2010, 01:57 PM
Ok, so I was wondering about the topology of the shoulder blade area. I've been taught that when modeling a human model, you should never model the top shoulder of the model, and should leave it flat for better deformation for animation. Is this wrong?

But then I see a lot of posts here where the shoulder muscle on the top is made. I'm very confused. What route should I follow to get the best results both visually and animation wise?

Just confused XP

Thanks again

ciroman
01 January 2010, 09:49 PM
Hi guys! I copied a head I saw somewhere, but I forgot where. It's basically a basemesh to add subdivisions and loops to but what I'd like to know is if it has good topology and if I'm on the right track... Would really like suggestions about the nose also, how to add that that circular loop that goes from beneath the nose around side of the nostril into the hole?

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it.

http://i48.tinypic.com/iz0ye0.jpg

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2010, 11:01 AM
Hate to act like this, but I've told ya...

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/3059/neytiriwiresmall.jpg

ciroman
01 January 2010, 05:45 PM
sorry but you told what?

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2010, 05:51 PM
That you need a dense mesh for facial animation. See, that character in that pic, has recently became kinda famous...

ciroman
01 January 2010, 09:03 PM
you mean a dense mesh opposed to a not so dense but with good topology mesh?

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2010, 09:13 PM
No, I mean a mesh dense enough to allow you to actually sculpt the expressions into and keep the underlying shape.

For example... Notice how the loops on the bridge of the nose or under the lower eyelids are aligned to the wrinkles that would form there, and not to the static forms of the neutral shape. Those forms are only implied, because they won't always be there.

There are ways to deal with such a dense mesh, after all there was no Mudbox or Zbrush when Weta made Gollum, or PaintDeform from Daniel Pook-Kolb, and the Wrap deformer was a lot slower as well. Nowadays it's a lot easier to deal with dense geometry.
Also, I suppose they've built a less detailed version and subdivided it to get this result. But it shows that the nicer facial animation you want to get, the more geometry it will probably require.

Animasta
01 January 2010, 11:15 PM
There are ways to deal with such a dense mesh, after all there was no Mudbox or Zbrush when Weta made Gollum, or PaintDeform from Daniel Pook-Kolb, and the Wrap deformer was a lot slower as well. Nowadays it's a lot easier to deal with dense geometry.
Also, I suppose they've built a less detailed version and subdivided it to get this result. But it shows that the nicer facial animation you want to get, the more geometry it will probably require.

I'd love to know how you came to this conclusion.

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2010, 12:03 AM
Which one, that they've probably subdivided a relatively dense model to get this super dense model? It just comes with experience, you look at enough models with subfiv turned on and you get to know how some patterns are created. Although it's still more of a suspicion... I'm off to sleep now but I'll give this image another look tomorrow to explain some of the stuff I think about it...

Animasta
01 January 2010, 06:08 AM
Which one, that they've probably subdivided a relatively dense model to get this super dense model? It just comes with experience, you look at enough models with subfiv turned on and you get to know how some patterns are created. Although it's still more of a suspicion... I'm off to sleep now but I'll give this image another look tomorrow to explain some of the stuff I think about it...

I'm just confused as to why anyone would want to try to animate a mesh with millions of polygons when they could simply use subdiv and keep the poly count under 100k.

ShawnDriscoll
01 January 2010, 06:24 AM
I'm just confused as to why anyone would want to try to animate a mesh with millions of polygons when they could simply use subdiv and keep the poly count under 100k.

I have not seen Avatar, but I'm guessing they needed hi-res face meshes for close-ups. They had the CPU power, so why not. For game use, lo-res with normal maps would be enough.

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2010, 10:10 AM
Those aren't millions of polygons, I'd say it's about 20K for the head in itself.
Then they don't need muscle simulations and such for animation so they probably have a low-res segmented model of the body put together with this face rig and the result should be able to run in real time.

And the mesh is this dense because otherwise they wouldn't get a detailed enough representation. The virtual production used models with significantly less detail for the realtime feedback on set because there it was enough for the director to work with.

musashidan
01 January 2010, 10:38 AM
Tamas is correct. Jeff Unay and his team worked with extremely high res meshes to sculpt in wrinkles and other details and used no displacement maps at all. This was to allow facial wrinkling to occur on the mesh itself rather than it dissolving on and off with displacement maps. Animation director Andy Jones said that a facial rig of this complexity with such a dense mesh couldn't have been attempted 5 years ago as the processing power and graphic card speeds simply didn't exist.

ShawnDriscoll
01 January 2010, 11:52 AM
rather than it dissolving on and off with displacement maps.

I think Avatar audiences would demand their money back if that process was used (in 3D no less).

The CG bar has been raised considerably now.

earlyworm
01 January 2010, 02:04 PM
This way of doing things just replaces the need for using driven-displacement (wrinkle) maps on the face. They'll still be using regular ol' displacement maps on the face to cover the finer detail in the skin.

At a guess I'd say this is the level 1 mesh. The modeller responsible for the base shape will still probably be working on a level 0 mesh.

Peter Syomka (http://syomka.cgsociety.org/gallery/) modelled Neytiri's face - and I think Florian Fernandez modelled the body (although it's been a while, so things could have been reassigned after I left).

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2010, 02:40 PM
Would really love to pick their brains... :)

As for the shapes, it's fairly easy and straightforward to set up a wrap deformer and use a lower res version to create 'sketch' versions of each blendshape. Then move on and refine the details, add wrinkles etc. on the final mesh.

I think I've mentioned here before that I'm also re-using the lower res mesh (and its shapes) nowadays with relatively OK results... Then again it'd probably not do for anything even just remotely close to the level of Avatar ;)

Diependaal
01 January 2010, 02:58 PM
To make it a bit more clear.
You dont need a mesh just as dens as this above one from avatar.. this is a tessalated mesh. Its not the base. That is more like 1/4 the polycount. so that is what you model. Than you can smooth it out, and if nessesary make the blendshapes or even angle driven displacement-normal maps on a tesselated level.

Make can model in all the basic creases, and animation loops you need. I this avatar moddel its all a bit unclear because we are not actually looking at the modelled level. You can see the major creases made below the eye, top brow.. forhead, and below the nose. Particularly for her snear.

Take in account what you´re character is going to do, and base you´re density and detail on that.

So in short.. just wanted to point out, that you dont have to model in such density.
Maybe you could even tesselate you´re lowpoly made model, edit that mesh, ad the detail in. and than tesselate that again for its final look for render, and displacement shapes.

ciroman
01 January 2010, 08:54 PM
from the youtube video "Avatar Exclusive -Behind The Scenes (The Art of Performance Capture)"

pretty cool

http://i48.tinypic.com/27y8kf5.jpg (http://i48.tinypic.com/27y8kf5.jpg)

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2010, 09:20 PM
My impression is that this is a completely different version of Jake, the one that the Lightstorm guys have built for the virtual production workflow and used it in MotionBuilder. I'd say it hasn't got much to do with the final model and is directly driven with the face mocap transform data, in real time.

The final, movie version is at least 10-15x as many polygons and uses blend shapes for the facial rig instead.

Animasta
01 January 2010, 09:51 PM
Thanks for clearing things up :)

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2010, 09:59 PM
I'm just guessing here, based on the available articles; but that sure is not a Maya screenshot (I dunno how MB looks like), the face doesn't look like the one in the 23-minute 'making of' video, and it doesn't look like a cinematic quality model either. But it sure owns every previz character I've seen before ;)

mookiemu
01 January 2010, 10:03 PM
I'm just guessing here, based on the available articles; but that sure is not a Maya screenshot (I dunno how MB looks like), the face doesn't look like the one in the 23-minute 'making of' video, and it doesn't look like a cinematic quality model either. But it sure owns every previz character I've seen before ;)

Definitely not mudbox or maya screenshot. Does anyone know what program that is?

Laa-Yosh
01 January 2010, 10:08 PM
Motionbuilder:
http://www.awn.com/files/imagepicker/1/galpern01_MotionBuilder7.jpg

Dactylus
02 February 2010, 08:47 PM
These are great examples!

Does anyone have any good references or sites for research as I am studying facial topology.

Thanks for any help.

DimensionalPunk
02 February 2010, 11:11 PM
I'm looking for topology critique. Are these poles in the right place, or should I be trying to get them farther from meaty part of the cheek? Any other suggestions appreciated.
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/3793/headtopology.jpg

Dactylus
02 February 2010, 08:17 PM
No-one got any good books or websites they can refer me to for backround and introductions to facial topology?

musashidan
02 February 2010, 03:05 PM
I'm looking for topology critique. Are these poles in the right place, or should I be trying to get them farther from meaty part of the cheek? Any other suggestions appreciated.
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/3793/headtopology.jpg

The best way to test your topo is to get in there and push it around. Create some extreme morphs/blends. I'd say that the pole below the cheek might be better off moved in one loop to the outside of the nasal-labial fold as it might cause pinching where it is.

Here's a head i've modeled recently(2300 base) I'm also trying out different topo and pushing it around in Zbrush is probably your best bet.

http://i644.photobucket.com/albums/uu167/musashidan/Wip18.jpg

musashidan
02 February 2010, 03:07 PM
No-one got any good books or websites they can refer me to for backround and introductions to facial topology?

The book 'Stop Staring' by Jason Osipa is an excellent resource.

Dactylus
02 February 2010, 04:13 PM
Thank you! Any more?

musashidan
02 February 2010, 04:52 PM
Thank you! Any more?

Yeah, have a read of this (http://www.subdivisionmodeling.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8000) There's a downloadable .pdf version floating around somewhere but i couldn't find it.

Dactylus
02 February 2010, 01:53 PM
Thanks so much for your reply, is there any chance you could help me out with my research please? If you can please shoot me an email at mrjddoherty@hotmail.co.uk (http://forums.cgsociety.org/mrjddoherty@hotmail.co.uk)

Shuggs
02 February 2010, 07:25 PM
After reading this thread multiple times, a lot of knowledge the professionals have comes with experience coupled with their education in human anatomy. Granted, there is a fundamental "formula" (or theory) when it comes to the most common edge loops. Whether you're on a novice or professional level, these edge loops are integral in the success of a mesh; however, what seems to make or break the CG character artist is how well developed their background in human anatomy is. After taking time away from 3D to focus on 2D (learning more about anatomy mostly), I am convinced that one's education in anatomy has a direct correlation in the success of their career. Yes. You may know that there has to be X, Y, and Z loops structured in a specific way, but if you know why they have to be structured that way, you can challenge that public knowledge and push for something more advanced.

The best analogy I can give is with a hammer and a nail. Take a carpenter and a regular Joe Schmoe. Anyone can hammer a nail into a wall, right? That's public knowledge. You tell them where to hammer it in and they'll do it; however, give that same task to a carpenter, and while he'll basically be doing the same job, if he wanted to, he could advanced the task at hand to better reinforce the structure he's nailing together. He has studied his craft well enough to essentially take it to the next level.

Honestly, the best advice that can be taken from this thread is to study your anatomy. Buy the books and read them. Trial and error is a great thing, but you'll be more successful if you couple that with knowing what muscles move what parts of the face around, and then you'll have an easier time replicating reality, because that's what we do, right? We're taking reality and making a 3-dimensional simulation of it inside of a computer.

levius
03 March 2010, 03:03 PM
Hi Guys. Do you know Punchout? I love this game, I play it in the morning instead of exercise :) I am always amazed how great the animation looks considering that the models are obviously low poly. I am trying to find out what the topology could be. Please overpaint to show your opinion, here is the original file without topology:

PunchOut Screenshot Sheet (http://www.artist-reference.com/topology1.jpg)

My attempts:

http://www.artist-reference.com/topology2.jpg

Fahran
03 March 2010, 08:18 PM
I agree with Shuggs in that anatomy is the key. Granted I myself am a student and learning hardcore, but I can definitely say the knowing anatomy is the key to becoming a successful and most of all good modeller. You will not get much from just knowing where to put key loops or where this and that goes, you will learn much faster and develop a more thorough understanding of why things are placed in a certain place if u study anatomy and human structure. It is all about what is going on underneath the surface as much as what something looks like on the outside.

A few books you should check out:

Human Machine & Constructive Anatomy by George Bridgeman


Various anatomy books by Burne Hogarth


Various books by Andrew Loomis


The Human Figure by John H Vanderpoel
Have fun guys, keep practicing, I enjoy threads like these alot where people come together and share there input.

levius
03 March 2010, 08:46 PM
Hi Guys, as for the anatomy I agree that it is very important and I am currently investing lot of time into that. Thats said it's not enough, topology, especially low poly topology is very technical matter and Anatomy knowledge alone will not be enough. I know the anatomy of shoulder pretty well but that is only about 30% of the info you need for correct topology. Edgeloops, Poles, polygon eficiency... There are many more things to worry about.

gaganjain
03 March 2010, 06:11 AM
Ear are not perfect,Have mess around it...
http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/2231/headfi.jpg
Critique & comments would be helpful

Dachschaden
03 March 2010, 06:53 PM
Hi there again,

so I've worked on the topology of my first model, and I've come to a point where I could need confirmation about it, regarding animation

http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/2145/topot.jpg (http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/2145/topot.jpg)
Anatomy is pretty much absent right now

I wonder about that bulge in the deltoid. Should I detail it like in the pic, or is that overkill?
And then the clavicle. I think its okay like that?


Thanks again, I hope its not a crime against topology

srossell
06 June 2010, 04:23 AM
Hi there,
I am doing some research for a friend who is studying medicine.
She needs to take photos of patients and then transform them into 3D models,
to show accurate facial differences between well nourished and malnourished patients.
Can you advise what software will do this for her?

Thanks

GrogMcGee
06 June 2010, 11:00 PM
Hi there,
I am doing some research for a friend who is studying medicine.
She needs to take photos of patients and then transform them into 3D models,
to show accurate facial differences between well nourished and malnourished patients.
Can you advise what software will do this for her?

Thanks

totally not the right thread for this kind of question ;) i'd suggest starting a thread in the main modeling forum...

however, http://www.facegen.com/ might work, there are other pieces of software that can do this though (but I'm not that knowledgeable on that front).

jasonmi
06 June 2010, 05:10 PM
Alrite, so before making my new character, have been retopologizing my base mesh and its more or less finished, just have to end a few loops or whatever its called, and intend on shaping the form more after, so possible for some crit?

thanks

Laa-Yosh
06 June 2010, 11:25 AM
Will get back to it later... too busy right now ;)

Demiantje
06 June 2010, 11:53 AM
Goodday,

If you would like to have accurate information of the patients face you can take a look at the company's 3DMD and DI3D website. When you have pre and post information you can think about making a colour map to see the differences.

Sincerly

CrumpyOldMan


Hi there,
I am doing some research for a friend who is studying medicine.
She needs to take photos of patients and then transform them into 3D models,
to show accurate facial differences between well nourished and malnourished patients.
Can you advise what software will do this for her?

Thanks

CGmascot
08 August 2010, 08:39 PM
Alrite, so before making my new character, have been retopologizing my base mesh and its more or less finished, just have to end a few loops or whatever its called, and intend on shaping the form more after, so possible for some crit?

thanks

Hi Jasonmi,

I think you have a nice thing going there in general. I like the main flows especially at the back and on the tops of the shoulders. I will comment only on the body, now.

The crits, then. I think you should definitely get rid of the points where six edges meet, aka poles, those do kinks in the shading and are most problematic in deformation areas such as the armpit. You have those there, in both front and back. I would reconsider the flows in the armpit and hips area. You may want to change the back of the joints, like elbow, so that the 'more mass', more polygons you have there, is directed to open when the limb bends. This is of course only my take, my 2 cents.

Please see my take on body construction here. That and other related links from that article explain my reasoning better than I can do here.
http://www.cgmascot.com/design/modeling-animation-test/
You can also download a tutorial on the body shown and the mesh itself, if you like.
- Niko

CGmascot
08 August 2010, 09:06 PM
Hi folks. I've made a separate thread about my blog (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=25&t=909094) not far away from this one, which I will update whenever I write more modeling stuff, but I dare to link to the Topoly-relevant bits here, too.

http://www.cgmascot.com/design/surface-flow-matters/
http://www.cgmascot.com/design/modeling-for-animation-body/
http://www.cgmascot.com/design/tutorial-model-body/
http://www.cgmascot.com/design/modeling-animation-test/
http://www.cgmascot.com/design/keep-modeling-fun/

I've put some effort into topology research over the years. Please let me know what you think especially if you disagree strongly on something. I don't claim to have everything down and sorted just right.

- Niko

maxxeh
08 August 2010, 07:53 PM
I really need help with this one..

I've been looking at tons of tutorials and modelling the face from scratch over and over, I can never seem to get anything that looks good, whilst having nice topology.

which is the most acceptable?

j3st3r
08 August 2010, 08:31 PM
In my opinion, if you make photos about yourself grimacing you could easily pick the proper topology of a face.

maxxeh
08 August 2010, 11:08 PM
I took alot of expression photos at the time, bt I just seem to confuse myself when trying to get it in 3D. The nose I find is the hardest, I can't seem to get the nostrils right

CGmascot
08 August 2010, 10:01 AM
which is the most acceptable?

My favourites for the overall face shape look are the one on left edge and the one on right edge, though I don't like the noses on them.

You said nose is the tough one? A bit difficult to say just from the front view, but these faces seem to have a bit of tube-ish noses going on. The centermost looks best.
My solution tends to be something like this:
- I make sure the nose center goes lower than nostrils - I don't start making nostrils from nose bottom but from the side.
- I make the nostril flare out and keep the actual nostril hole as asymmetric rounded shape.
- I will direct one loop coming below the mouth to go around to the top of the nostril, defining part of nostril side and the nostril top, and then before crossing the nose bridge I turn it down to either cross the nose on the bottom or at the very front tip. I use this loop to define the nostril shape(with other loops) and to separate nostril shape from the main nose. If you look at your nose in the mirror, you should see this loop in action.

I'm not sure if this helped at all when there is no pictures. Please see if these links help a bit more.
http://www.phungdinhdung.org/Studies_paper/Realistic_face_modeling.shtm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N5ENFd7uyA (Loop Talk by Greg Brown)

You obviously have worked on the topology for a while. Keep up the good work.
- Niko

TearGasJazz
09 September 2010, 05:30 AM
Best thread I've read and it's given me tons of useful info :)

I'm working on a human male and could use some feedback on how I'm doing and if there's stuff I should correct. No matter how much I'm looking at anatomy charts I feel I've become blind and can't really see what to do next.

http://www.cambranddesigns.com/public/male_front..jpg

http://www.cambranddesigns.com/public/male_persp.jpg

http://www.cambranddesigns.com/public/male_side.jpg


Any comments would be appreciated.

Also on another note, I'm trying to find detailed info on where to go from now on, with the rest of the body and to use a correct edgeflow which allows natural and good looking deformation. Anyone know any tutorials or threads?

Regards

CGmascot
09 September 2010, 12:58 PM
Hi Daniel,

You have nice head there. I shan't comment on anatomy. The head is a rather smooth and young, so some things people often like to add don't have to be visible. Well, one comment: Even on young people the 'groove' of sorts going from side of the nostril down to side of the mouth is often visible. Might want to massage the loops you have already in place to add even just a hint of that.

The topology is nice but could be better. I favour having only one pole(5 edges meeting) on each cheek. You could bring the 2 poles you have together - sort of expand the loops around both the eye and mouth so that they touch each other. So there would be no edges flowing between them going over the nose and to ears, like you have now. Doing this change will help you improve the flows overall and reduce polycount - do more with less.

See this page for examples and futher advice. Check out the sweet nose as well - the one said to be the best.
http://www.subdivisionmodeling.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8911

As for the body I have some links about polygon flows and body modeling listed in earlier message, see some post back. There is a tutorial too, but it is for a base mesh. Tutorial for a more detailed body modeling is in progress, though.

Now I recall one very good tutorial by Tony Jung. It mixes box-modeling and poly-by-poly-modeling. See fifth message down in this thread for links to all 12 tutorial parts. http://www.silo3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14323&highlight=Tony%27s+Modeling+Tutorial

ShawnDriscoll
09 September 2010, 10:28 PM
I'm guessing others have seen this mesh already.

http://forums.luxology.com/discussion/topic.aspx?id=49862

Dare-o
09 September 2010, 07:29 AM
I'm guessing others have seen this mesh already.

http://forums.luxology.com/discussion/topic.aspx?id=49862

impressive, ive never seen that one before.

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 06:03 PM
Kinda late for all the discussions we had here many months before, but here's how most of our character faces look like nowadays.

http://galeria.index.hu/kult/2011/01/21/digic/1902041_703eb933540a07a9b2944eaf4860ca35_xl.jpg

mister3d
02 February 2011, 08:19 PM
Kinda late for all the discussions we had here many months before, but here's how most of our character faces look like nowadays.

http://galeria.index.hu/kult/2011/01/21/digic/1902041_703eb933540a07a9b2944eaf4860ca35_xl.jpg

Is it subdivided or not? How do you make blendshapes, with displacement?

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 08:54 PM
It isn't subdivided, it's about 5500-6000 polygons. I model the shapes by hand, rigging up animated displacements is complicated, because we use referencing a lot. It's also hard to make them with Zbrush if you want to modify the existing details (like smooth out wrinkles on the lips) especially now when 3.5 has a serious bug with subtools and re-importing.

mister3d
02 February 2011, 07:45 AM
It isn't subdivided, it's about 5500-6000 polygons. I model the shapes by hand, rigging up animated displacements is complicated, because we use referencing a lot. It's also hard to make them with Zbrush if you want to modify the existing details (like smooth out wrinkles on the lips) especially now when 3.5 has a serious bug with subtools and re-importing.
Cool character. With this number of polygons you can have fine control. I guess other parts of the body have a bit less polygons? Do you still use animated maps for small wrinkles, maybe normal maps?
I had an idea topology must follow facial muscles, but as long as they are blended together smoothly in terms of transition (anatomically), maybe it's a better idea just to follow general groups, without superimposing separate muscles. So I think topology looks good. Anyway, modeling humans requires anatomical knowledge, and when you know the muscles, it must be easier to take decisions about topology.

DutchDimension
02 February 2011, 09:29 AM
It isn't subdivided, it's about 5500-6000 polygons. I model the shapes by hand, rigging up animated displacements is complicated, because we use referencing a lot. It's also hard to make them with Zbrush if you want to modify the existing details (like smooth out wrinkles on the lips) especially now when 3.5 has a serious bug with subtools and re-importing.

Hi Laa-Yosh, just out of interest, could you elaborate on the nature of this bug? Has it not been fixed in ZB4?

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 10:14 AM
Hi Laa-Yosh, just out of interest, could you elaborate on the nature of this bug? Has it not been fixed in ZB4?

Well when you have multiple subtools in a ztool, Zbrush messes up the scale values for some or all of them at some point (maybe when you append a subtool, or when you split one into multiple ones).

This does not have any effect on sculpting or creating normal/displacement maps (even morph targets are scaled up or down).

But when you want to re-import a subtool for some reason, you'll find that its scale is wrong and it gets too big or too small.
This is a problem for our wrinkle map workflow, because it requires us to replace the first subdiv level with a version of the head model where the required facial blendshapes are applied (ie. we make an angry face in Maya and export the result). Then we would sculpt details based on the existing highres Zbrush sculpt so that we could create new displacement/normal maps to blend into when the facial expressions are applied.

(Oh and for the fun of it, this bug has just caused another problem for me right now, happy happy.)

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 11:44 AM
Cool character. With this number of polygons you can have fine control. I guess other parts of the body have a bit less polygons?

The entire character was detailed because of the close-ups, ended up about 200.000 polygons in total.

Do you still use animated maps for small wrinkles, maybe normal maps?

For the face? No, because the workflow would have been the same as for the displacements. The schedule was too short to do it, because it's a complicated process on its own and on top of that Z3.5 introduced bugs and we didn't have time to find a workaround as well.

I had an idea topology must follow facial muscles, but as long as they are blended together smoothly in terms of transition (anatomically), maybe it's a better idea just to follow general groups, without superimposing separate muscles.

No, topology should not follow muscles, because those are under the surface - but what we see is the actual surface and that has another layer of deformations and interactions on top of the muscles.
The loops should follow the directions that the skin slides in and should be parallel and perpendicular to those. Wrinkles are created where the skin would have to compress - but it prefers not to, so it folds on itself and creates those wrinkles instead.
The area under the eyes where the crow's feet are formed is a very good example where topology shouldn't follow neither the forms nor the underlying muscles, but the skin fibers instead. The bridge of the nose is another good example and the jaw/throat are too.

So I think topology looks good. Anyway, modeling humans requires anatomical knowledge, and when you know the muscles, it must be easier to take decisions about topology.

That is however true, but you still need to look beyond the anatomy books and muscle charts too, for animated characters.

mister3d
02 February 2011, 02:23 PM
No, topology should not follow muscles, because those are under the surface - but what we see is the actual surface and that has another layer of deformations and interactions on top of the muscles.
The loops should follow the directions that the skin slides in and should be parallel and perpendicular to those. Wrinkles are created where the skin would have to compress - but it prefers not to, so it folds on itself and creates those wrinkles instead.
The area under the eyes where the crow's feet are formed is a very good example where topology shouldn't follow neither the forms nor the underlying muscles, but the skin fibers instead. The bridge of the nose is another good example and the jaw/throat are too.

Yes, you are right. There are so-called mimick folds, which go perpendicularly to muscles, as well as wrinkles go perpendicularly too. And yet there are fat tissues.
"The loops should follow the directions that the skin slides in and should be parallel and perpendicular to those." - that is a great point. Thank you for sharing.

That is however true, but you still need to look beyond the anatomy books and muscle charts too, for animated characters.
Sure I agree, unless you want to model ecorche-type characters.

j3st3r
02 February 2011, 06:19 PM
As far as I know this bug is not a bug, but rather a behavior of ZBrush. In ZB4, I could reimport objects on subtools without any issues. The key thing is that ZB doesn't use real world units, if you import the first object, it will serve as a 1 unit bounding box. All other tools is in relation to this. It also stores the sacale offset, etc, just to make sure that on export, reimport you won't have unwanted effects. But you gonna have. Since I use ZB4 (since the first days of the open beta :D ) I haven't have that issue Tom mentioned but it was rather annoying with ZB3.5. Yet you have to be extremely careful with ZB4 çause my colleague managed to invoke this again by removing the offsets I mentioned above. Huh

Cool mesh LaaYosh, do you use similar topology for the other projects? Like Assassin's Creed?

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 08:20 PM
This is another f*** up from pixologic, no matter how they try to put it.
Stored scale offsets won't help either, four of us have tried to solve issues with this and kept failing.

We've been going through a gradial transition with the face meshes, Assassin's Creed, Civ 5 and Secret World characters were far lighter. It was with Prince, DA2 and ME3 (and a project put on hold) that we've started to increase resolution, although background characters continue to stay a bit lighter. It's still quite manageable with the right tools.

Ruramuq
02 February 2011, 12:38 AM
I'm gonna post something that it's finally pretty evident nowadays,
it's that nobody is using gollum topology(not with relevance or distintion),

if fact modern productions clearly contradict it:

http://artistpub.hu/content/miscimages/31/15231_l.jpg
http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/3059/neytiriwiresmall.jpg
_

nobody wants a complicated/bad topology:
http://express.howstuffworks.com/gif/gollum-7.jpg

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 08:40 AM
Neytiri is heavily based on Gollum, only taken further, thanks to faster computers...
And they're all using the same approach, blendshapes following the FACS system.

j3st3r
02 February 2011, 08:51 AM
You might be right, a bug represented as feature. By the way check, if you have it in ZB4, and if so contact support. Recently I had no issues with working ZB4 and subtools, if you used GoZ or my GoSoftimageLite plugin :)

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 01:22 PM
http://web.archive.org/web/20040816053236/http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~polycount/ubb/Forum8/HTML/003736.html?00016

Ruramuq
02 February 2011, 12:59 AM
Neytiri is heavily based on Gollum, only taken further, thanks to faster computers...
And they're all using the same approach, blendshapes following the FACS system.
that's a different matter, rigging..
and.. the system used in avatar is quite similar to IMAGEWORKS™ method, http://www.freepatentsonline.com/y2010/0045680.html

I don't know if there is a relationship between both companies, but every studio claims to have something proprietary. That doesn't mean much these days. not without proves, and so:

http://web.archive.org/web/20040816...3736.html?00016

It didn't bring anything new about topology, not by the,n not now, I'm pretty sure that gollum was in good amount, an unnecessary complicated process, that no big studio/film has cared about that much to imitate it. and because of that, there is hardly anything else to say on gollums favor as some kind of milestone. it did its work in the film, it inspired novicers to focus more on topology, that's all.

Again, gollum topology, doesnt'have arguments, facts, proves or technical papers supporting it, to be considered seriously.

your own example posted previous posts, is a contradiction of it,
I was expecting something gollumistic.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=159363&stc=1

for me this issue is over, time to move on..

.

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 10:39 AM
Start posting some of your own work, so that we can know you're talking from experience and not just being a smartass. I've been doing faces and rigging for more than six years now, I won't keep arguing with idiots who have too much spare time. So show us something or GTFO.

Ruramuq
02 February 2011, 11:10 AM
read the forum rules

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 12:05 PM
No, you read the rules. You haven't contributed any help, any addition to this thread ever - all you do for years now is argue with me when I try to post advice and help.

Which is why I say it again: do something constructive instead of all the destructive arguing - or GTFO.

Ruramuq
02 February 2011, 12:23 PM
1. Be courteous and polite. Show respect to the opinions and feelings of others. Use of the forums is a privilege, not a right.
2. Engage your brain before your mouth. You are responsible for your own words and any harm they may cause.
3. Don't dilute the forums with irrelevant and unnecessary fluff. CGTalk is a professional, moderated forum. It's a place to talk about all things related to computer graphics.
4. Critiques and responses to images are to be constructive and related to improving the quality of the artwork.
5. Posts should be in English Only.

a guy who insults deserves to be taken seriously?
a guy who FINALLY post something, a snapshot in the entire history of this thread, who's topology directly contradicts his previous posts,, all those many posts.. and starts to insult another user?

a guy who has posted an vast amount of post in this thread when I have barely posted a few?
whos the smartass? whos the one who needs to say something everytime..? as if he possessed the whole truth in his words

kill that ego thing of yours that makes you thing you are better than the rest..
you do nothing more than talking for others, avatar tron gollum. weta itself has improved, and all the rest, you do the same.

I'm posting the forum rules, that clearly refers only to you.

this is a open forum, respect other people opinions, especially when you are the one here loosing control

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 01:06 PM
You're using backwards logic - the conclusion that whatever I've written is wrong, and then you're trying to prove this by discrediting me. You do not offer any explanations, any advice, any experiences, any information at all. You seem appear every single time I post here, for many years now. And you do nothing else then this bickering of yours.

I've been responsible for face rigs for years now at an animation studio. I do a lot of research and study the works of people from all around the world who are way more clever than me, trying to understand their reasons and logic and methods, and the disadvantages too, in order to improve my work.
I share the stuff I come upon here, hoping to help others, as people helped me before, but never taking any credit for their work. I'm open to anything new and better, but I don't see anyone posting that kind of stuff.


With that said, two more things before I go:
I'm more than willing to discuss the topic with anyone who's constructive, but not with a troll.
And I'm fed up with this issue so I'm calling the mods to settle it once and for all, and I apologize for derailing the thread, it won't happen again.

Ruramuq
02 February 2011, 01:12 PM
I'm open to anything new and better, but I don't see anyone posting that kind of stuff.
superiority?

I'm more than willing to discuss the topic with anyone who's constructive, but not with a troll.
you keep inslulting and its me the one that should be moderated..

call the mods, I'd like to hear their opinions in relation to this forum's rules.

mookiemu
02 February 2011, 05:12 PM
superiority?

you keep inslulting and its me the one that should be moderated..

call the mods, I'd like to hear their opinions in relation to this forum's rules.

Ruramuq: you started the attack with a very rude response to Laa-yosh's very interesting posting regarding the Bay Raitt interview.
Maybe it's a language barrier thing, but when I read your response to the Gollum post, I thought, "wow, that was rude!".

And btw, Bay Raitt and his Gollum character was so groundbreaking and so influential that dismissing it the way you do is extremely unfair. The beauty of Gollum is that Bay did what he did with Gollum using thousands of polys instead of millions and without real sculpting tools. Things are different today with Mudbox and zbrush and a more even polyflow with more similarly sized quads is the desired working method. But that doesn't mean we can't admire and learn from what Bay Raitt did.

Laa-yosh, please keep posting, I for one have learned a lot from your posts. Thank you.

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 09:59 PM
Well, the comparison between those three models is actually an interesting question, if we don't start with a conclusion... The following are just my own thoughts, in no way the definitive stuff on any of these models or the thoughts of the people behind them.

The Gollum mesh was fitted to the sculpted concept maquette from (I think) Jamie Beswarick, based on the previous version and a sketch from Christian Rivers. The edges follow the facial features both in the neutral pose and in all the possible extreme poses of stretching and compression, in order to accommodate all deformation using only blendshapes.

The Neytiri mesh is - most likely - fitted on a concept sculpt, either digital or digitized, and the edges are based on all the possible extreme poses again. All the dynamic facial wrinkles are created using just the vertices in this model, probably sculpted in Mudbox, and the actual rig is once again based on the FACS action units and corrective shapes to fix overly distorted combinations.
The two main differences compared to Gollum are that, first, today's computers are 15-20 times (or more) faster then what we had in 2001-2002; and, second, that Neytiri is a young, beautiful female, with tight, smooth facial skin, whereas Gollum is an old, emaciated person with sagging skin, that has permanent folds and wrinkles even in the neutral pose. I strongly believe that both the old na'vi characters in Avatar, and the more extreme faces in the upcoming Tin Tin movie, will be more similar to Gollum then Neytiri, although with a much higher polygon count, thanks to the faster computers of today.


Clu's model in Tron is something we know less about, but from what I've been able to gather, the rig works like this.
DD has built all the individual basic expressions in Mudbox as multi-level sculpts, down to the pore level details. These are based on their scans of the current day Jeff Bridges, provided by MOVA , but obviously altered a lot to make him look 35 years old, using various photographic references and at least one sculpt by Rick Backer.
They have all the shapes exported from not just the lowest level, but from several others, so the same face rig in Maya can load at least two, maybe three different levels of geometry detail, depending on what the animator wants for his viewport playback. If you look at the DD behind the scenes movie, you'll see at least two different versions of Clu's head in the wireframe overlay shots.
The final renders use displacements for most of the wrinkles and folds, except the nasolabial (smile/sneer fold) which are created from a large set of expression specific texture maps. Since they have more than a hundred different blendshapes for their expressions, I guess this means that they also have more than a hundred different displacement maps. For every single rendered frame, a Nuke compositing tree is calculated to generate the proper, frame-specific final displacement by blending these individual expression specific displacements.
(I can dig up some links to support the above tomorrow, at work, if necessary)

So, the mesh is more generic, because it does not have to accommodate all the deformation, a lot of that is only represented in the wide set of displacement maps. I also think that they are not using corrective shapes to fix A+B combinations that are problematic, but rely on some procedural tools to redistribute the polygons over the surface to kind of simulate the skin's behavior (and considering that they have 100+ shapes, a lot more then FACS, they may cover the more extreme A+B combinations with some of those). This is a different method from what Weta has used on both Gollum (except for the wrinkles on the bridge of the nose, which used a single animated displacement map) and on the Avatar characters, which relied on just the base mesh for everything. I also believe that this is the same approach that they've used on Benjamin Button.


What I would really like to learn more about are ILM's facial models and rigs used on the house elves in Harry Potter (assuming that they did Dobby in part 7), the creatures in the Spiderwick Chronicles, and of course Davy Jones in POTC. We do have a long thread here on CGTalk covering Davy in which the modelers indicate that they were using blend shapes as well, but I'm not sure if it was FACS based. I've also seen a short movie on youtube that had the Davy face in zbrush; you can't see the wireframe but you can still pick up some of the poly faces there.


I also have a short but nice video of Gollum talking which I've uploaded to youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WMvRvxR8HA

You can see how the edges move around as a result of the base FACS shapes and the corrective shapes fixing the (probably) messed up combinations. Goes a long way to explain the topology, I guess.

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 09:47 AM
Finally got my hands on "The making of Avatar" book... and haven't got the time to read it right now ;)

Has some stuff about the facial rigs, Jake wireframes... looks cool.

mister3d
02 February 2011, 09:50 AM
Ideal topology
http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/192/77603580r.jpg (http://img38.imageshack.us/i/77603580r.jpg/)

DutchDimension
02 February 2011, 10:24 AM
What I would really like to learn more about are ILM's facial models and rigs used on the house elves in Harry Potter (assuming that they did Dobby in part 7)

Framestore did both Dobby and Kreacher for HP7. The team won a VES award for Dobby last week. Congrats to them. :)

As for blendshapes on Avatar, the majority of the work was done in Maya (often utilising Artisan), not necessarily Mudbox. It allowed the facial team to easily dial in and out the blendshapes and see how they'd perform.

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2011, 11:02 AM
Ouch, I don't find Artisan to be that user friendly, all the other sculpting apps are much more handy and I regularly export-import stuff just because of that. Well, whatever everyone prefers, I guess... ;)

DutchDimension
02 February 2011, 11:09 AM
Yeah, nor do I. Though I really wish Autodesk would develop it further/improve upon it somewhat. It's nice to be able to keep certain things under one roof so to speak.

okazaky
04 April 2011, 09:37 PM
This is my topology attempt. The overall shape hasn't been finished so far and most parts are only rougly shaped but I'm satisfied with the topology and so I'd like to share it here:

http://www.okazaky.de/temp/topo.jpg

C&C regarding the topology are very welcome.

Best regards,
Daniel

failD
04 April 2011, 03:28 PM
Hi okazaky.
I think your topology is quite good, although I'd place a couple loops around the mouth. I've already seen this kind of topology (there http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=80005 ), and I thought its "incomplete".

failD
04 April 2011, 07:40 PM
in addiction, you should maintain your polygons with almost a quad form (look at the neck). It prevents your model from creasing and various unwanted issues in the animation stage.
2mister3d: well, IMO area in the middle of nose and mouth isn't that good. And then, in 'the pole' you talk about noob models; those come out quite smooth. What can you suggest to pass this level? Do you think that 'traditional modeling' and the attention to the topology flows is outdated nowadays with release of sculpting sowtwares??
Thanks a lot.

mookiemu
04 April 2011, 02:40 PM
in addiction, you should maintain your polygons with almost a quad form (look at the neck). It prevents your model from creasing and various unwanted issues in the animation stage.
2mister3d: well, IMO area in the middle of nose and mouth isn't that good. And then, in 'the pole' you talk about noob models; those come out quite smooth. What can you suggest to pass this level? Do you think that 'traditional modeling' and the attention to the topology flows is outdated nowadays with release of sculpting sowtwares??
Thanks a lot.

I think that attention to the flow of topology is just as important as ever. What has changed is how you get there. In the past, you considered the topology before you start modeling and you developed the model at the same time as the topology is taking shape.
Nowadays, with the advent of sculpting software, you can do all the character creation without any consideration until the last moment.

But you still need good topology for good deformations and good topology allows you to cut down on the polygon count tremendously. That's still important.

There are very specific rules to good topology and that lends itself to some type of automation. Personally, I think that soon you will start to see more and more auto-topology tools coming to market in the coming years. Tools similar to 3DCoat's auto topology tools.

I for one find it pleasurable to work out a sculpt without any attention to topology, then to take it into Topogun for topology. This is so much faster for me and so much more flexible than the edge extrusion modeling I used to do before Mudbox.

Laa-Yosh
04 April 2011, 03:09 PM
Exactly, I can't even imagine starting a detailed character from a box, without having some sort of concept sculpt to work from.

Also, the actual layout for your models has changed a bit too, thanks to faster computers. Now you can use more polygons and still work fast enough, but have better control over the deformations. This also means you can sometimes prefer to just imply the detail instead of following it, because the mesh is dense enough.

For example there's the neck. I would not fit my loops to the sternocleidomastoid muscle any more but follow the muscle directions of the platsyma instead.

So instead of this:
http://www.exrx.net/Graphics/SternoSide.gif

I'd pay attention to this:
http://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/journey/images/platysma.jpeg

The reason is that we can use 10.000 polygons for a head now, because we have enough speed and memory to still get realtime deformations; and we also have the tools to create the blendshapes quickly. So we can have the mesh detail to make an expression like this:
http://www.consultingroom.com/Storage/Treatment_FAQs/PlatysmaBefore.jpg

But since we have lots of polygons, the sternocleidomastoid will also have good definition. And if we build the model on top of a concept sculpt we can tweak the layout and keep adding loops as necessary, until all the detail we want is there. You'll also find that more detailed meshes will give you even better looking blendshapes, you'll have to struggle less with inadequate resolution and strange forms.


Where this leads to is an interesting question, as we've all seen that when you have a million polygons you can sculpt nearly anything in zbrush or mudbox that's relevant to the deformations, and still have it all in the mesh, with no need to look into animated displacements (which can become very, very tricky and time consuming). But even at that point, topology still matters, at least in my experience, it'll still be better to have the general edge flow support the main directions of the deformations and wrinkles.
Oh, and 1 million is still two orders of magnitudes away, so it's not like we'll get there in 5 years, I guess :)

flatulentFuzz
04 April 2011, 07:57 PM
Exactly, I can't even imagine starting a detailed character from a box, without having some sort of concept sculpt to work from.

Also, the actual layout for your models has changed a bit too, thanks to faster computers. Now you can use more polygons and still work fast enough, but have better control over the deformations. This also means you can sometimes prefer to just imply the detail instead of following it, because the mesh is dense enough.

For example there's the neck. I would not fit my loops to the sternocleidomastoid muscle any more but follow the muscle directions of the platsyma instead.

Hey Laa-Yosh, I know exactly what you're talking about with respect to starting models without a roughly blocked out sculpt, and I find it much more efficient starting out in ZBrush and then moving to Topogun.
But I do want to know how often studios use traditional modeling techniques such as starting from a primitive and working upwards, adding form and refining topology. While I'm very well versed with Maya's modeling tools, I honestly haven't created an organic model from start to finish in Maya in over a year, though use it for all my inorganic models.
Additionally, should a portfolio or demoreel reflect such workflow?

Lastly, I was a little confused about what you said in relation to topology around the neck.
Are you saying that if I'm planning a displacement map I can add the forms in Zbrush and simply have topology similar to what's in the left image below, as opposed to what's in the right one?
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19664301/NeckTopo.jpg

Laa-Yosh
04 April 2011, 08:21 PM
But I do want to know how often studios use traditional modeling techniques such as starting from a primitive and working upwards, adding form and refining topology.

I don't know but I'd guess it's not too common. Sculpting is way way faster to create and refine concepts, most studios have always worked like that and the only change is that now they've gone mostly digital and clay + scanning, or rapid prototyping, is only involved in rare cases.

Additionally, should a portfolio or demoreel reflect such workflow?

I certainly don't care about the workflow as long as it produces good looking and technically solid results (good topology, UV layout, rigger-friendly etc)

Solid box modeling skills aren't bad though, but you only really need them to build base objects for concept sculpting IMHO. Anything that requires more complex forms is either hard surface and needs different, more precise methods, or it can be sculpted (and sometimes you want to sculpt hard surface as well, anyway)
What I'd look for is good skill at rebuilding on top of concept scultps, and having a good eye for topology that works, avoiding too many n-sided vertices (there are many ways to terminate or add loops and not all are equal) and so on.


Lastly, I was a little confused about what you said in relation to topology around the neck.
Are you saying that if I'm planning a displacement map I can add the forms in Zbrush and simply have topology similar to what's in the left image below, as opposed to what's in the right one?
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19664301/NeckTopo.jpg

I'd use the topo on the left, yes, but with a lot more geometry. Here's the neck part of a head I've just finished yesterday to show you what I mean.

http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/1711/necktopo.jpg

Also note that most of the edge flow is continued through the jawline like this, so edges run at an angle, about 40-50 degrees, to the shape of the bone. But it's okay, because that line isn't that sharply defined anyway; and when you open the jaw, you want to make it appear to slide under the skin and push vertices out that are on the neck in the closed jaw base shape.

I did not include shots of the concept sculpt but you can see that it has a vein on the neck, too, and the place where wrinkles are forming when the head is turned down or the jaw is opened to the max.
I could also make him pretty nice swallowing blendshapes with the adam's apple moving up and down this way. And the entire head is like 9000 polygons altogether. Granted it's a relatively young man, an old face would probably take some more work, more edge flow changes, and probably more polygons too.

Here's some more high quality stuff worth checking out, from Clay Osmus:
http://cgclay.blogspot.com/

Pay attention to the fleshiness of the blendshapes in particular. Pretty hard to do with low poly models.


All af the above only apply to mostly realistic, detailed models that you want to animate, of course. If you're only going for still images or cartoonish designs then it's all quite different again.

mookiemu
04 April 2011, 01:19 AM
Where this leads to is an interesting question, as we've all seen that when you have a million polygons you can sculpt nearly anything in zbrush or mudbox that's relevant to the deformations, and still have it all in the mesh, with no need to look into animated displacements (which can become very, very tricky and time consuming). But even at that point, topology still matters, at least in my experience, it'll still be better to have the general edge flow support the main directions of the deformations and wrinkles.
Oh, and 1 million is still two orders of magnitudes away, so it's not like we'll get there in 5 years, I guess :)

Even if the computer could handle an animation with millions of polys, you can still shave of millions of polys by bringing the model into topogun, retopologizing, bringing your subd levels back to get your details. When you are talking about a scene that may contain various models with million+ polys, believe me it makes a difference, even when working with the kind of machines Weta has. If you look at the Avatar models, though they are dense, the edgeflow is still very nice.

Laa-Yosh
04 April 2011, 08:41 AM
You could animate today with a very low res mesh in the viewport and displacements, to get insane speeds - however most studios prefer to have the detail and always push their models and rigs to the maximum that they can handle. And there are many tools and approaches to manage even very detailed scenes, for example just because you want to eventually render 10 or 100 detailed characters does not mean that your animator has to load them all.

All I'm saying is that in 5- to 10 years, things might end up being very different. But I do not disagree with the importance of a proper edge flow either ;)

flatulentFuzz
04 April 2011, 11:31 AM
I'd use the topo on the left, yes, but with a lot more geometry. Here's the neck part of a head I've just finished yesterday to show you what I mean.

Thanks a lot for the replies. I'm guessing exceptions would be when you're limited in terms of how much your PCs can handle or if a certain muscle or muscle group is very prominent and also deforms significantly. In such cases you would need to define separate loops for those areas, right?

Incidentally, I attended an Autodesk workshop here last year, conducted by the guys at Weta Digital and Lightstorm(regarding Avatar)
As mookiemu was saying, though the polycounts on the meshes were high, they did focus largely on topology as opposed to displacement or normal maps.
Their reasoning behind this was that they could not essentially animate the larger forms from a displacement map, so as far as possible they wanted actual deformable geometry.

Laa-Yosh
04 April 2011, 01:41 PM
Thanks a lot for the replies. I'm guessing exceptions would be when you're limited in terms of how much your PCs can handle or if a certain muscle or muscle group is very prominent and also deforms significantly. In such cases you would need to define separate loops for those areas, right?

What exactly do you mean by these separate loops?

Anyway, the idea is that skin moves independently of the muscles, there's wrinkling and sliding over the underlying forms. If you only model the specific muscle patterns into the topology, you'll have trouble to accommodate these kinds of deformations. In most cases it probably wouldn't matter, but when you're doing naked slim aliens (or big muscled guys) then you have to be mindful of these issues.

So in practice, the best approach is to add some extra loops that run parallel to the edges of the muscle or bone forms. That way you'll always have some extra geometry to slide around.

Their reasoning behind this was that they could not essentially animate the larger forms from a displacement map, so as far as possible they wanted actual deformable geometry.

Yeah, there are many possible issues with animated displacements.

To stick with the face, if we follow FACS as a guide we'll also need to have blendshapes to correct the bad looking deformations we get when we mix various action units.

But if we add displacement based deformations, we are going to get the same combinatory explosion there as well - wrinkle patterns change a lot between various AU combinations so the displacements would have to get the same number of corrective extra maps. As far as I know Clu in Tron Legacy used displacements, but they had to be composited together for every single frame individually, from a large set of base textures. And the animator found out how the face looks only in the render because there was a lot of deformations that he had no feedback for.

So if you can afford it, it's better to animate everything with just one set of tools, which is the mesh itself (as you can't do animation with displacements only). With that said, they can still be very useful, especially if you have a tension map plugin or such to drive them automatically.

failD
04 April 2011, 05:02 PM
Hi friends.
Lately I'm practicing organic modeling and topology.
Right now I'm not much familiar with rigging\animation but I'm doing my best to build the correct topology for deformations. After a week I've finished a female body but I had some problems with approach I must take. A male body in most cases has pronounced muscle structure that help deformations AND defining the shape of the body. But the female body instead have less muscles, so the question is: do I have to define the muscles with edgeloops instead of shaping the overall masses and flesh???
Next I'd like to know something more about T Pose: what considerations I must take about neutral pose??(And what consideration take an artist drawing a character in a certain pose??).
I've seen a lot of characters in different poses: with straight hands/45degr., with palms facing downwards/towards, thumb downwards/towards, with legs spreaded to shoulder width and even with slightly bend, ecc. So, what's the difference about them??

I want to ask you about time you spend in modeling stage, and some tips/tricks to reduce that, because IMO it's important for a caracter artists. Do you think that's only about practicing???
I should say that I have kinda' tedious approach which slows my modeling workflow.
I thought that sculpting/retopology method is faster rather than traditional modeling and maintaining a correct topology, so is there some advatages in the second method? Should I be concerned about topology at the beginning??

I hope that's not an outrage to English language and you understand what I'm saying.

Thanks a lot.

j3st3r
04 April 2011, 05:59 PM
Great thread as always :)

Tamas, could you post some actual wireframes (not breaking the NDA of course)? We are very curious what topology do you use nowadays.

Thanks

mookiemu
04 April 2011, 06:15 PM
Incidentally, I attended an Autodesk workshop here last year, conducted by the guys at Weta Digital and Lightstorm(regarding Avatar)


Wow! That is so cool! I would have liked to have attended that.



Next I'd like to know something more about T Pose: what considerations I must take about neutral pose??(And what consideration take an artist drawing a character in a certain pose??).
I've seen a lot of characters in different poses: with straight hands/45degr., with palms facing downwards/towards, thumb downwards/towards, with legs spreaded to shoulder width and even with slightly bend, ecc. So, what's the difference about them??

It all depends on the movements your characters are going to do in the animation. If your character is going to be raising it's arms over his head a lot then the traditional 90 degree t-pose is probably the way to go. If not then the 45 degree is better. The idea behind the t-pose is to have all the body parts positioned in the middle part of their movement arc.

For instance, if the majority of the movement of the arms will be from shoulder level to the sides of the body, then you the 45 degree arms on the t-pose is best because it splits the difference and it's right between most extremes (personally I think the arms should be slight forward too). It make more sense when you consider that most of the time the character will have it's hands by it's sides and rarely do anyone's hands go further back than the center point.

Putting the body parts in the midway points of their movements creates less headaches and funky deformations later. I think that more and more, we are beginning to see more effective variations in the t-pose because of this. Especially for movie characters where the modelers pretty much know what movements the characters will be doing. That is why you are seeing the bent legs and arms. These are the actual midway movements to most characters.

Straight legs and arms are the end of the movement so it can be a problem when the character crouches or bends it's arms all the way.
I could be wrong and Laa-Yosh knows a lot more about this than me, but I think we will start to see the bent leg/ 45 degree arms t-pose much more in the coming years. Especially now that painting and texturing directly on the model without need for UVs is coming our way. (It's easier, imho, to texture a model the traditional uv/ straight into photoshop way if you have a perfect t-pose, there is no need to have a perfect t-pose if you are just bringing the whole model into Mari or any other 3d paint program)


I want to ask you about time you spend in modeling stage, and some tips/tricks to reduce that, because IMO it's important for a caracter artists. Do you think that's only about practicing???
I should say that I have kinda' tedious approach which slows my modeling workflow.
I thought that sculpting/retopology method is faster rather than traditional modeling and maintaining a correct topology, so is there some advatages in the second method? Should I be concerned about topology at the beginning??

Unless you are Bay Raitt, the sculpting/retopology method is much, much faster and flexible than straight box modeling and edge extrusion. Especially if the character isn't completely fleshed out and planned before you start modeling. If you are working from detailed image planes and all the thinking about the character is already done, then I think it's possible to model traditionally and do it as fast as the sculpting/retopo method. But the beauty of the sculpting/retopo method is that it allows you to think while you are creating the character and it allows you to make drastic changes while at the creation stage that were very difficult before sculpting. And imho, it a lot more of an artist friendly/ interactive way of working. Sculpting/retopo also allows you to create the character in a non-standard t-pose a lot easier than the image planes/box modeling/extrusions methods.

I haven't done it in a long time, but I would go crazy if I had to go back to my old edge extrusion way of modeling people. For organic forms, sculpting/retopology rules. On the other hand, when it comes to modeling tables, chairs, and other inorganic objects, box modeling rules. Especially with the polygon smoothing tools that are available today.

Laa-Yosh
04 April 2011, 07:01 PM
Tamas, could you post some actual wireframes (not breaking the NDA of course)? We are very curious what topology do you use nowadays.


Well, I've got some stuff stuck in legal steps (DA2 and ME3) which I hope to get released on Matt Clark's website for Wrapit as soon as we're done with our current deadlines... But that's already obsoleted.

New stuff I can't show because it's unannounced... but I've posted the Neytiri wires before, that's what we use as reference (and Kissb too). The two heads I've been working on recently are about 9000-9200 faces and that includes the collar bones in front, too. I still need some practical experience with some of the areas (mostly the lower cheek bone area) but the more polygons approach certainly works very well.

Laa-Yosh
04 April 2011, 07:36 PM
I could be wrong and Laa-Yosh knows a lot more about this than me, but I think we will start to see the bent leg/ 45 degree arms t-pose much more in the coming years.

Heh, I'm not too informed either ;) I can pretty much agree with most of what you've written though.

About 45 degrees for the arms are what we've been doing for years now, it's very rare for most characters to lift their arms high and stay in that pose for long. We also do a lot of stuff lately that involves clothed characters, so we can cheat a bit on the shoulder deformations.

What we also do, and why:

- Elbows and even knees are slightly bent, but the knees are only by a few degrees. This is to help the IK handle detect the preferred angle for the joint it has to drive.

- We generally position the feet facing straight forward - it's easier to rig proper controls for the feet rotations, reverse foot and so on. Oh and the stance should be about shoulder width usually.

- Finger joints are slightly bent for the same reasons, but we also re-use hand skeletons a lot - it's important to test in practice to see that you got the joint placement right, we did this by parenting simple boxes to the joints and made both a straight hand and a fist.
It also helps if you start from a real person's hand, just put it in the scanner, but it's also a good idea to do a concept sculpt pass as well.

- In general it's better to have some sort of a realistic stance for the character and not an aritificial 'every joint is zeroed out' pose. It helps in every possible way, easier to sell a concept, easier to see the volumes, silhouettes, it'll be better in movement as well.
Texturing isn't much of an issue, if you keep the arms at 45 degrees you can still reach the armpits in 3D painting apps.
I'm not sure how our riggers handle the mocap part though, because Motion builder requires a T-pose for fitting and so they have to do some initial rotations to the deform/keyframe rig when processing mocap data.


And yeah, concept sculpt -> retopo is a no-brainer nowadays, IMHO.

flatulentFuzz
04 April 2011, 06:45 PM
Wow! That is so cool! I would have liked to have attended that.

Honestly, as great as the workshop was, I'd much rather have frequent figure/life drawing sessions readily available around here. I've had to learn everything I know about anatomy from books and the internet.

What exactly do you mean by these separate loops?

Anyway, the idea is that skin moves independently of the muscles, there's wrinkling and sliding over the underlying forms. If you only model the specific muscle patterns into the topology, you'll have trouble to accommodate these kinds of deformations. In most cases it probably wouldn't matter, but when you're doing naked slim aliens (or big muscled guys) then you have to be mindful of these issues.

So in practice, the best approach is to add some extra loops that run parallel to the edges of the muscle or bone forms. That way you'll always have some extra geometry to slide around.


The last part is sort of what I meant. Where you need skin deformation, you have the topology flow in the direction the skin will deform and where you need muscle deformation, you have edgeloops around muscles when needed, is that a good idea?

Laa-Yosh
04 April 2011, 06:55 PM
Skin deformation always overrides everything else in my book... I have yet to try my hands at something like a naked human torso with high res geometry, but I'd certainly try to use pose space deformation systems to drive the skinning. The thing is that motion capture data can quickly create crazy rotations and if you'd have the joint angles driving standard blendshapes, allyou'd get is a mess. Michael Comet had a plugin for Maya, and now there's the beta for JoeAlter's stuff that's also including sculpting tools and hierarchical subdivs - although that's not necessarily ready for production.

Then maybe have one of the riggers here try to see what they can add with a cloth sim pass. I'd also add tension maps to automatically drive tendons veins and wrinkles...

Anyway, if we would somehow get a project with a character like that, I'd certainly write a post about my experiences.

Shuggs
07 July 2011, 02:32 AM
Is there a book or extensive DVD training on all of this?

razeverius
07 July 2011, 09:28 PM
Hi guys :) I would like to ask for your opinions and help about my model for my thesis..something just doesn't feel right whenever I add the eyes. Are the eye sockets too big? somehow when I'm in perspective you it's like her forehead seems shrunk and I haven't changed anything on the perspective camera but whenever I look at it in my front view things seem to look ok

http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/59-1.jpg

Perspective:
http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/60.jpg

Front:
http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/61.jpg

mookiemu
07 July 2011, 02:56 AM
Hi guys :) I would like to ask for your opinions and help about my model for my thesis..something just doesn't feel right whenever I add the eyes. Are the eye sockets too big? somehow when I'm in perspective you it's like her forehead seems shrunk and I haven't changed anything on the perspective camera but whenever I look at it in my front view things seem to look ok

http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/59-1.jpg

Perspective:
http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/60.jpg

Front:
http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/61.jpg

The problem is the focal length. When you look at the image using the orthographic views, in this case the front view, the focal length is infinite. This doesn't exist in reality because it would mean a scene where the perspective lines never converge. Imagine a pair of train tracks. If they are seen in a orthographic view, the tracks would never converge.
The shorter the focal length, the faster the tracks come to a point in the distance.
That is why when using a macro lens, everything looks distorted and objects in the distance seem way smaller and farther away than the foreground objects. If you use a telephoto lens, like the ones photographers use at sporting events, the objects in the distance look a lot larger than in real life and closer as compared to objects in the foreground.

If we apply this knowledge to your image, it's easy to see part of the problem you are having. (The other part has to do with anatomical issues, but I won't deal with that here.)

When you look at your work through the perspective view, the ears which are farther back seem to get smaller and the seem to disappear behind the zygomatic arches. The sides of the head converge to rapidly as if looking through a fish-eye lens. On the other hand, the nose feels enlarged because the heightened perspective makes it disproportionately bigger as it comes closer to the lens. The shorter you make the focal length, the larger the nose will be in relation and the smaller the ears will be.

When you look at your image through an orthographic view, There is no perspective (this doesn't exist in reality), the focal length is infinite. So as a result, the ears aren't affected by perspective and as a result they look larger than they would appear in real life. The nose is affected by feeling smaller than it would in real life. You can test this by opening the image in a program like maya and sliding the focal length of the camera back and forth while maintaining the image at screen size. This is what Alfred Hitchcock used to do to create a scary uncertainty in some of his shots. They called it a Hitchcock Zoom. He would zoom out while dollying the camera in and closer to the figure. This would create that crazy horror movie effect where the person's face remains the same size while the room seems to get larger as all the background elements seem to get smaller. Check out the movie "Vertigo" to see this effect in full bloom!

The human eye has a focal length that is somewhere between 50 and 75. A professional portrait photographer, who is worth his salt, will use this knowledge to make the people in his portraits look better. Many will use a telephoto lens in the studio and place the camera farther away in order to do close ups. This makes the people look beautiful because it makes the nose look smaller than in real life. Usually any focal length above the human eye's focal length will generally cast the close-up of the human face in a favorable light.

Because you are using reference that has perspective, while working in a view that has no perspective, You are not getting accurate results. Since there is no foreshortening on the ears and nose in your mesh, you are fooled into thinking that the ears are smaller than they are. But in actuality you are making the ears too small. The reverse is true of the nose and it results in the nose being too big on your mesh. Thus the distortion that you are getting. The perspective view of you model is a more accurate representation of what your mesh looks like in reality.

In order to work around this problem you need to do one of two things. First of all, you must not work in orthopedic views. You should lock your cameras in perspective views. Do this for all your views, front, back, side, top, and all the 3quarter views. If you are working from image planes, you must do your best to match the focal length used in the reference shot. This provides most accuracy. If you aren't working from image planes, you should set your camera focal length to somewhere between 50 and 75. Even if you are not using reference, it's a rare occasion where it is better to work on a portrait while looking through orthographic views. Imo, I suggest you don't do it at all when working with heads.

The best 3d portraitists, usually only use image planes set up on and looking through perspective views. This is usually for the blocking in stage and to double check proportions. They mainly use the image plane (in locked perspective views) to capture the primary forms of the head. Then they open up as many reference pics of the model that their monitor will allow and eyeball it from there as if they were working from life. This way of working allows for the most accuracy.

I suggest you take your reference shot and attach it to a locked perspective camera in front, side, and 3quarter views. Then get the main shapes that way. And if you are going to resolve the portrait from the image plane reference, then at least stop using the orthographic view to work from, at least when you are doing faces.

(Btw, the lack of a decent perspective camera and the lack of a focal length setting in earlier versions of z-brush is partly why the skymatter guys created mudbox when they were at WETA.

Personally, it used to drive me crazy when I would send a z-brush v2 sculpt in for 3D printing and the result would look nothing like what I saw on my screen. This problem was cleared with mudbox and in z-brush 3 and above.)

Good luck, and I hope that helps and I hope that I am clear. I apologize to the rest of the community for rambling on. I always mean to write one sentence and then it turns into a novel :(

Btw, here is a link that talks about the Dolly Shot
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolly_zoom

razeverius
07 July 2011, 03:44 PM
wow that's a lot to take in, but not to worry, I was able to understand it, and I learned a lot out of that. Thank you :) anyway I do hope my anatomy is better on this one now. I did what you said about setting up camera's for the front and side and there was a big difference from the ortho views:

http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/65.jpg
http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/64.jpg
http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/63.jpg
http://i618.photobucket.com/albums/tt265/razeverius/62.jpg

After looking at several female head models, I have to make the head rounder and bigger above the eye. One of my references for anatomy:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_miPIu3gJBHI/R_BvWF0tEzI/AAAAAAAAAIo/Ovd0SZ4FmXg/s320/Female_from_Jim.jpg

mookiemu
07 July 2011, 09:48 PM
@razeversious
I'm glad you understood what I was saying.
I'm hesitant to post anatomy crits on this thread because this is more of a technical thread. But you should post the head on one of the anatomy threads on this forum. There are some seriously knowledgeable people in this community.

In any case, just one word of advice, I think you should hone your anatomy skills from reality instead of other people's models. Use photos to work from when you are practicing and and look at other great artists to see how they apply reality and how they solve the different problems involving the translation from reality to a piece of art.
In other words if you want to learn how to sculpt a nose, look and copy real noses, but look at the old masters and the modern masters to see how they do it.

razeverius
07 July 2011, 10:09 PM
thanks mookiemu unfortunately I've posted in the wrong forum then at the wip or 3d stills. I don't wanna make a new post somewhere else since it'll look like I'm trolling :shrug:

I've retopologized her face to something similar to the ones i see here :). Thanks for the advice, will do further research :D

HippyDrome
07 July 2011, 06:37 PM
Hi,

I just put up the first of twenty or so Articulation videos on Vimeo. These will be part of a new section on my web page. This section will cover Articulating the face but I have not launch the web Part yet.

This is just a sample that tries to explain the way that I go about working on the design of a character mesh. It's all done on the wipe board and on the web it will be explained in greater detail, with more example of this type of mesh.

All these video will be more on the art side and not the technical rigging part.


http://vimeo.com/25969681
http://www.hippydrome.com/


Cheers,

HD

Cadedra
07 July 2011, 10:47 PM
Mookiemu! That was a great explanation about focal length!
I knew the effect you explained from my experience trying to make heads. So I was wondering wow to work around it, for I used a lot to put my references on ortho views and do a lot of the work there. I had came up with the possible solution of making photos of heads from a very far distance and a very closed FOV so I would get a less perspective-distorted picture that would suit best my orthos... I thought it was genial.
...until I read your advice:
I suggest you take your reference shot and attach it to a locked perspective camera in front, side, and 3quarter views. Then get the main shapes that way. And if you are going to resolve the portrait from the image plane reference, then at least stop using the orthographic view to work from, at least when you are doing faces
And then it was like: :banghead:. I must say yours is a lot better idea. I will try it out right away!:beer:
Anyway, maybe some one would like to sometime use my long-focal-length-reference idea, as you are able to pan the ortho view and yet being able to work model on top of your reference picture, what cannot be achieved if using perspective views... (and what might be not really necessary most of the times, I admit)...

mookiemu
07 July 2011, 03:47 AM
Mookiemu! That was a great explanation about focal length!
I knew the effect you explained from my experience trying to make heads. So I was wondering wow to work around it, for I used a lot to put my references on ortho views and do a lot of the work there. I had came up with the possible solution of making photos of heads from a very far distance and a very closed FOV so I would get a less perspective-distorted picture that would suit best my orthos... I thought it was genial.
...until I read your advice:

And then it was like: :banghead:. I must say yours is a lot better idea. I will try it out right away!:beer:
Anyway, maybe some one would like to sometime use my long-focal-length-reference idea, as you are able to pan the ortho view and yet being able to work model on top of your reference picture, what cannot be achieved if using perspective views... (and what might be not really necessary most of the times, I admit)...


Hmm! Interesting, I'll try your long focal length idea. I like it, it's always interesting to hear how other artists solve common problems :)

What I've been doing lately is to note the focal length that I'm shooting at and then use the same focal length in Maya. I've been trying to shoot at mostly 50 for more realism and at 75 for more idealism since it makes the nose look smaller and generally makes the models look more attractive. I try to stay within those parameters since 50-75 is supposed to be the basic focal range of the human eye. When I use other people's reference I've been trying to guess what the focal length is and trying to match it.

I don't know, I may be getting too anal about this but it does seem to net better, more accurate results. In any case, I've been mostly doing this for the blocking in stage and for speed checking proportions. Once I have the primary forms blocked in, I like to work more by eye with photo reference scattered all around my monitors than by image planes. Even so, I still like to have the perspective camera match the focal distance of my reference, even if I'm not working from photo reference.

Cadedra
08 August 2011, 09:32 PM
Yo, guys, check my topo here.
It is intended for the face of a very cartoonish girl with non-realistic shaders I plan to use for my next short film. Eyelids are not there yet, but I feel good with the rest of the topo.
When you look at the ears (and some other parts), please mind that she is a female cartoon with very simple shapes.
Coments and critics, please, please!

:buttrock:

mookiemu
08 August 2011, 09:41 PM
Yo, guys, check my topo here.
It is intended for the face of a very cartoonish girl with non-realistic shaders I plan to use for my next short film.
Coments and critics, please, please!

:buttrock:

where is it?

Cadedra
08 August 2011, 10:04 PM
Sorry, I had forgotten to attach it. I’ve edited the post, so there it is now.

mookiemu
08 August 2011, 10:12 PM
Sorry, I had forgotten to attach it. I’ve edited the post, so there it is now.

still nothing

Cadedra
08 August 2011, 11:59 PM
I do not know what could be happening. I can see it right now on the original post.

Anyway, here is the link (http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=163296) again...

Sorry so much for the inconveniences.:sad:

HippyDrome
08 August 2011, 06:50 PM
Hi,

my web site for face and videos is dwn for the time being.

HD

mookiemu
08 August 2011, 09:04 PM
I do not know what could be happening. I can see it right now on the original post.

Anyway, here is the link (http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=163296) again...

Sorry so much for the inconveniences.:sad:

very nice! except for that n-gon where the top of the ear connects to the face. But if you aren't gonna take this into zbrush or mudbox, I don't think that would be a problem.

I love the way you handled the wings of the nose.

mookiemu
08 August 2011, 09:04 PM
Hi,

I started updating my web page for Articulating the Face.

http://www.hippydrome.com/ArticFace.html

Cheers,

HD

Looking forward to seeing it :)

Cadedra
08 August 2011, 10:21 PM
very nice! except for that n-gon where the top of the ear connects to the face. But if you aren't gonna take this into zbrush or mudbox, I don't think that would be a problem.

I love the way you handled the wings of the nose.

Thanks! I do not plan to take this to ZB or MB... I can't work with neither of them. Besides, this is going to be a very simple shaped character. I think I am not going to tweak the face geometry much further than it is right now, except for the eyes...
About the NGon... I decided to leave it there (and not run a new loop from there all the way to the eye ) after watching some wires from Steven Stahlberg that sometimes feature these kind of loops ending abruptly at a NGon (5gon)... so I thought: Hey, the smoothed version of this looks fine to me, and that part of the face will almost not be deforming in animation, so I think I can go with this.
That I thought after reviewing closely this thread:
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=7&t=108412&page=1&pp=15
where Steven post and talk about such wires.
I have always been told to look out for NGons... but what about if it is located somewhere where the mesh will not deform?
This is just my opinion, and I am not 100% sure about that. Would love to read your opinion and some other's about that.

(By the way, thanks again. Your words are a great inspiration for me:beer:)

mookiemu
08 August 2011, 10:45 PM
Thanks! I do not plan to take this to ZB or MB... I can't work with neither of them. Besides, this is going to be a very simple shaped character. I think I am not going to tweak the face geometry much further than it is right now, except for the eyes...
About the NGon... I decided to leave it there (and not run a new loop from there all the way to the eye ) after watching some wires from Steven Stahlberg that sometimes feature these kind of loops ending abruptly at a NGon (5gon)... so I thought: Hey, the smoothed version of this looks fine to me, and that part of the face will almost not be deforming in animation, so I think I can go with this.
That I thought after reviewing closely this thread:
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=7&t=108412&page=1&pp=15
where Steven post and talk about such wires.
I have always been told to look out for NGons... but what about if it is located somewhere where the mesh will not deform?
This is just my opinion, and I am not 100% sure about that. Would love to read your opinion and some other's about that.

(By the way, thanks again. Your words are a great inspiration for me:beer:)

I totally agree with you on that. And Steven is a modern master.

I really think that if the area is not going to deform, and the software can handle the n-gon, why not? Especially since you aren't taking this mesh into zbrush or mudbox, both of which complain when they come across an n-gon.
I also thought it would be unnecessary to continue add more geometry by extending the loop all the way to the eye.

But I'd be interested in what some of the other guys on this thread think too.

Good luck on your project.

Laa-Yosh
08 August 2011, 02:58 AM
Keep in mind that the post from Steven you link to is about 8 years old. His workflows and ideas have never been set in stone, previously he's been using the Maya hierarchical subdivision surface implementation, and NURBS before that. I he's using Zbrush (and why wouldn't he) I'm willing to bet he's working with all quads and maybe a few triangles, too.

Then again if you don't plan to use zbrush, don't want to animate your model and so on then it's of no consequence if you use n-gons or too few polygons. But in that case I don't know why you care about topology at all... If I were to make a still image I wouldn't even bother that much with modeling, just sculpt in zbrush and export a high res mesh (maybe decimate it a little if it's too many polygons)

mookiemu
08 August 2011, 03:08 AM
Keep in mind that the post from Steven you link to is about 8 years old. His workflows and ideas have never been set in stone, previously he's been using the Maya hierarchical subdivision surface implementation, and NURBS before that. I he's using Zbrush (and why wouldn't he) I'm willing to bet he's working with all quads and maybe a few triangles, too.

Then again if you don't plan to use zbrush, don't want to animate your model and so on then it's of no consequence if you use n-gons or too few polygons. But in that case I don't know why you care about topology at all... If I were to make a still image I wouldn't even bother that much with modeling, just sculpt in zbrush and export a high res mesh (maybe decimate it a little if it's too many polygons)

I think he plans to animate it, just not in the ear area.

Even if you do only stills I think it's still beneficial to have some concerns about topology because it makes posing and tweaking the poses easier, and good topology can considerably lower the weight of your mesh. But that's changing too as you pointed out. The Decimation master works incredible well.

I agree, with you completely on what you said about Steven. That post was a long time ago and he was doing mostly stills I believe. And he wasn't using any sculpting tools back then.

Cadedra
08 August 2011, 04:23 PM
Oh, I do plan to animate this model, and I want to perform facial expressions, but those deformations will not include the area where the 5gon is. But on the other hand will be deforming the whole head, not for facial expressions, but to achieve a squash-and-stretch effect that is so common in traditional animation. But I think this kind of deformation will be ok with the 5gon since it will be more like non-uniformly scaling the head, so the 5gon and the surrounding mesh will only vary on proportions.

And yes... I first noticed that the first post from Steven was years ago, and although it looked pretty fine to me even today, I was never really sure it was a completely correct way. That is why I asked on this thread. To listen what people like Mookiemu and Laa-Yosh :beer: (an many more dudes, I hope) had to say about that idea. If I had thought I was completely right, I would not even bother to post. ;)

And, shame on me, I do not know anything about Z-brush or Mudbox. Even in Max, I correct the shapes of my meshes using transform tools (move, rotate, scale). So, when I have to "sculpt" a model like this, I go moving all the verts, which is a very tedious task, but I feel I have more control over the shape than if I use the paint deform tools...


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