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Phrenzy84
09 September 2011, 06:50 PM
Ive been doing alot of research in this area and although its not complete and far from perfect (which i think isnt possible :)), thought i might share a piece i have been retopologizing.

Im obviously going for the high poly base, for alot of control. There are flows in the model that arent the norm simply because of the model but this is a relatively old chap. If he was younger then it would be much less in poly count and much 'smoother'.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OBAhR6u67Xw/TnN2qgN4IBI/AAAAAAAAAgs/tNxpVxT_Iy4/s800/frontBackTNs.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-ZhKR9Zcp9AM/TnN2f3XHxRI/AAAAAAAAAgc/XwVPkhJQw2w/headtopoTNb.jpg

Like i said its isnt finished so there are some poles and patches to clean up.

(also posted in the cgfeedback forum)

Laa-Yosh
09 September 2011, 11:52 PM
Looking good, maybe you should do a few facial expression studies before committing to a final layout, but I think it's going to turn out fine.

Phrenzy84
09 September 2011, 04:51 AM
Yea thats the next port of call. Topogun 2.0 has an amazing feature called morpher. Pose the reference mesh in zbrush etc and the retopologized mesh will stick to those points.

fedetch
09 September 2011, 03:41 PM
Hi, Im new to the 3d world, iīve always been in the 2d side of animation, just got into 3d modeling and i need help on the topology side of my character, im looking for good face deformation so im concerned on wether im doing the right topology choices, edgeflow, poles,etc.

Any advice will be welcomed, im eger to learn. If you consider its necessary to start all over again, im willing.

Also, im aware of the triangle in the chin, i could create an edge from one triangle to the other in the opposite side of the face, yet i would rather do something else to get rid of it.

Thanks in advance.

http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/8328/topologyfront.jpg

http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/4579/topologyside.jpg

flatulentFuzz
09 September 2011, 11:17 PM
Well, with regard to the triangle, you could do what I did in the image below.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19664301/TriangleFix.jpg

As to your question regarding topology, it all depends on what you want to do with the model in the end. Are there significant deformations leaning towards something cartoon-like, realistic deformation or very subtle deformation?

Your edgeloops around the mouth are fine, and the polygons are reasonably well-spaced, but unless there is going to be a lot of deformation in that area, the mesh is a bit too dense.

You still need to add a lot more 'landmark' edgeloops, as such. Really speaking, the best way to learn is to look at how other people approach topology. I've been through a significant portion of this thread myself, and the "Body Topology" thread as well. I'll try and post something later.

fedetch
09 September 2011, 06:23 PM
Well, with regard to the triangle, you could do what I did in the image below.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19664301/TriangleFix.jpg

As to your question regarding topology, it all depends on what you want to do with the model in the end. Are there significant deformations leaning towards something cartoon-like, realistic deformation or very subtle deformation?

Your edgeloops around the mouth are fine, and the polygons are reasonably well-spaced, but unless there is going to be a lot of deformation in that area, the mesh is a bit too dense.

You still need to add a lot more 'landmark' edgeloops, as such. Really speaking, the best way to learn is to look at how other people approach topology. I've been through a significant portion of this thread myself, and the "Body Topology" thread as well. I'll try and post something later.

Thanks a lot for the feedback flatulentFuzz, in regards to the triangle I was thinking of changing the general flow of the polygons, however I like your simple solution.

The design itself is cartoon like, yet I want the deformations to suit subtle acting on the face.

I'm reading the Jason Osipa book "Stop Starring", studying his topology meshes, working through isolated sections of the face, that is why I don't have landmark edge loops in the rest of the face, if that is what you are referring to. In addition I'm reading this entire thread from the start, its a pity there's too many images missing.

mookiemu
09 September 2011, 12:53 PM
.... In addition I'm reading this entire thread from the start, its a pity there's too many images missing.

It really is a pity that so many pics are missing :(

PrayingMantis
10 October 2011, 12:36 PM
This thread is awesome.

I tried to follow neytiri topology but I found it quite hard to understand.
Especially because it is completly different from what I was used to, loops are not following the form and I have to really think while doing my topology.

If I understand it correctly it follows all the sking deformation instead of muscles or bones.

Does any of you have a map of all the expression wrinkles occuring on the face, neck included.
It can be useful to make such topology.

And an other question, how do you deal with the lips while doing topology?
This area is annoying because projection mess everything due to close geometry.

Finally here is my topology, I still haven't test it but I think I will add more loops because it doesn't retain all the detail without using a displacement map.
But subdiving it increase the total resolution to 73k and it is way too much, it currently has 4500 polygons.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=164559&stc=1

Laa-Yosh
10 October 2011, 08:35 PM
This thread is awesome.

So is your model :)

I tried to follow neytiri topology but I found it quite hard to understand.

First thing to understand is that it is specific to Neytiri's wrinkle layout and facial deformations. Following it 1:1 will probably not suit your character. You should think about where you want to place your own wrinkles, what kinds of faces you want the character to make. I find it good to get some reference images that fit the facial characteristics of the head I'm working on to be the best approach.

Especially because it is completly different from what I was used to, loops are not following the form and I have to really think while doing my topology.

If I understand it correctly it follows all the sking deformation instead of muscles or bones.

Yeah, they follow the wrinkles and the shapes the face will be distorted into. Makes you think one or two steps ahead... experience will also help, you build your first head this way, create the blendshapes and learn what works and what doesn't.

Does any of you have a map of all the expression wrinkles occuring on the face, neck included.


It's specific to the individual. Browse the internet for faces and look for various patterns, you'll find they're like fingerprints.
Some people have the standard 3-4 parallel lines on their brow when they raise their eyebrows:
http://passionweiss.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/surprised-man-reading-letter.jpg

Yet Christian Bale's forehead is a mess :)
http://www.fusedfilm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/christianbale070903_560.jpg

It's also good to find images of really old, wrinkled people:
http://www.healthadel.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/wrinkles1.jpg

And an other question, how do you deal with the lips while doing topology?
This area is annoying because projection mess everything due to close geometry.

We rework them after the retopo phase is completed, same goes for eyelids. Also make sure to pay lots of attention to the inside of the mouth and the thickness of the lips!

But subdiving it increase the total resolution to 73k and it is way too much, it currently has 4500 polygons.

I'm working with 10500 now, but could go a bit higher still...

PrayingMantis
10 October 2011, 09:30 AM
Thank you Tamas.

Apparently I had a wrong approach with Neytiri's topology.

It's specific to the individual. Browse the internet for faces and look for various patterns, you'll find they're like fingerprints.
I was thinking of something general, like proportion rules for bodies are.
Something that tell you the average direction of the wrinkles.
I remember seeing this kind of thing in Sarah Simblet book, Anatomy for the artist, unfortunalty I don't have the book and can't show you what is it.
But it is a kind of map of the body with lines following the wrinkle, that's not a good description of it I bet.
Here is a picture similar to it, it's from a surgery site.
http://www.grenoble-esthetique.fr/interventions/images/chirurgie-cutanee1.png
That's where they used to cut the skin, and it follows the wrinkle and doesn't counter them.
So the cut will heal better because it won't be stretched.

It can be applied to topology isn't it?

I'm working with 10500 now, but could go a bit higher still...
Are you counting tris or quad?

And if I can add, do you guys have a checklist to approve your topology and base model?
Like you said we have to check the thickness of the lips, what are others important point to check before calling a base head done?

Laa-Yosh
10 October 2011, 12:27 PM
I was thinking of something general, like proportion rules for bodies are.
Something that tell you the average direction of the wrinkles.
I remember seeing this kind of thing in Sarah Simblet book, Anatomy for the artist, unfortunalty I don't have the book and can't show you what is it.

That stuff is very true, they use it to create incisions that heal faster and with less scarring. But it's still a relatively general picture and it's also only skin deep. Our facial wrinkles however are affected by the underlying skeletial structure, the amount of muscle tissue, fat and other stuff. Even the same person could have different wrinkles based on how fat or thin he/she is.

Again, it's much like fingerprints. They're all very similar but still specific to the individual. So topology for faces will be mostly similar as well, but it still should be different because of the characteristics of the face you're working on. Like, some people have two vertical wrinkles between their eyebrows, some have 3 or even 4, some have none but a mess instead... and so on. You can't re-use the topology of an old Clint Eastwood for a young Brad Pitt. And so on.

Of course all this applies only if you want to implement all the deformations with just the geometry. It's just as valid an approach to use animated displacements and a more general topology like Digital Domain did with Tron:
http://www.solidimagearts.com/danplatt/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/cluWire4.jpg
http://www.danplatt.com/?p=194

Only thing is, I've found that doing animated displacement maps properly is an even more complex workflow. See for a start you'd have to chose between additive maps in which case it's very hard to do stuff like smoothing out wrinkles/pores; or blending between different maps which makes it even harder to mix them together.

But the main problem is that just as you need corrective blendshapes for the combinations of most FACS base shapes, you'd need corrective displacements as well.
Like, say you sculpt a map for the brow lowerer shape (the one that creates the vertical wrinkles between eyebrows). But this can be combined with the inner brow raiser shape that's used for sad expressions and in that case your animated displacement map would create undesired results. So you need to have a way to detect this combination, wire it into your texture network, and somehow correct the wrong displacement map by either adding another layer of displacement on it, or blending it into a completely different map.

This is why on Tron they had a Nuke compositing tree for Clu's displacements and it compiled various maps together for each frame of the animation. So that's why I think it's an even more complex workflow (not to mention how to sculpt all the displacements in Zbrush or Mudbox properly)


Are you counting tris or quad?

Quads, as it won't get triangulated. If it was for a game engine I'd probably use triangles because that's what the GPUs work with, but Maya and other apps can use quad polygons.

And if I can add, do you guys have a checklist to approve your topology and base model?
Like you said we have to check the thickness of the lips, what are others important point to check before calling a base head done?

Well... have enough surface area for the eyelid so that textures aren't stretched when the character closes its eyes. Make sure the ears have proper depth (if you go too lowres on the retopo a lot of the curvature of the ear lobe's profile is lost). Also make sure not to have too much empty space between the lips and the teeth. Pay attention to nostrils and the inner part of the nose. These are typical sources of problems when doing retopo from scultps or maquettes.

PrayingMantis
10 October 2011, 07:00 AM
Thank you Tamas,

I can definitely see what you said while playing with my blendshapes.
I had all the issues you were talking about.

Psychostiefl
10 October 2011, 04:49 AM
Hey Guys, i'm pretty new in 3d modeling and would like to share 2 pictures of the second head i've modeled :) I wonder if the topology is allright, i always try to have a clean topology on my model.

http://h7.abload.de/img/3mutr.jpg http://www.abload.de/img/15e6c.jpg

Another model i'm almost finished with, is a WoW bear :D Here are 2 screenies. Tell me what you guys think about it, i always like when people tell me whenever i could do something better :)

http://www.abload.de/img/beartopo2vfgl.jpg http://www.abload.de/img/beartopo1tf9h.jpg

hm... i forgot to mirror the bear.. ^^

Phrenzy84
11 November 2011, 06:50 PM
Yeah i think denser meshes are gonna become the norm. Its just much easier to be able to perform certain shapes with additional help from animated blendshapes than to solely rely on them.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/--KfXs1MQ63s/TrwYnc2al_I/AAAAAAAAAiw/fv4yTYaogOU/s800/morph_Test_TN.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/--8ThN7kF2w0/TrwaP_dXQiI/AAAAAAAAAjE/jVLsDLCepeg/s800/morph_TestWireTN.jpg

Here is a quick pose test i did with my revised topology of the old man. Especially with older characters wrinkles tend to be more pronounced with the lack of collagen as opposed to fine line wrinkles of someone in their 20's or 30's so more geometry is need in the base i feel.

Please note these are just simple rotations and no volume has been preserved or removed from both the poses.

mookiemu
11 November 2011, 06:59 PM
Yeah i think denser meshes are gonna become the norm. Its just much easier to be able to perform certain shapes with additional help from animated blendshapes than to solely rely on them.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/--KfXs1MQ63s/TrwYnc2al_I/AAAAAAAAAiw/fv4yTYaogOU/s800/morph_Test_TN.jpg

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/--8ThN7kF2w0/TrwaP_dXQiI/AAAAAAAAAjE/jVLsDLCepeg/s800/morph_TestWireTN.jpg

Here is a quick pose test i did with my revised topology of the old man. Especially with older characters wrinkles tend to be more pronounced with the lack of collagen as opposed to fine line wrinkles of someone in their 20's or 30's so more geometry is need in the base i feel.

Please note these are just simple rotations and no volume has been preserved or removed from both the poses.

Very nice!

Phrenzy84
11 November 2011, 07:06 PM
ahh cheers ricky.

I for those wondering those pics are the retopologised base mesh, its contains 27k right now and i havent done the inside of the mouth yet which looks like there is gonna be quite a few more polys. :eek:

highflyer
11 November 2011, 03:06 AM
hi,i'm trying to make good topology on my head modelling training,maybe i can get some answers here.
please take a look at my topo.

thx b4

nickz
11 November 2011, 05:15 AM
I have been following this for quite some time. Topology for the face and human body took a lot of work to learn.

I have spent the last 3 years trying to perfect human topology that can be blended well from a male figure into a female figure and then be used for a smooth sculpting experience in ZBrush.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165109&stc=1

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165110&stc=1

Human Male Average Model Link (http://www.digital3dmodels.com/products-page/human/human-male-average-3/)

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165111&stc=1

Human Female Average Model Link (http://www.digital3dmodels.com/products-page/female/human-female-zbrush/)

It is my hope that these models will be able to help artist who are looking at learning more about topology, get clean and clear examples of what good topology looks like.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the models. Me and a friend of mine, Russell Barton have used this topology on a few projects now and the models are holding up to be very versatile when being pushed into new shapes.

Peace-NickZ. :)

nickz
11 November 2011, 05:26 AM
Here is a closer shot of the topology of the head area in the human male average model.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165112&stc=1

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165113&stc=1

Peace-NickZ. :)

Robertkun
01 January 2012, 02:47 PM
Hi all, it's my first post in this very nice forum. I hope I found a right topic for my question =) But if no, I'm sorry.

I'm asking a help in retopology ear of my character. It's my first character, I broke my head but dont know how to do a right ear topology.
I will have a big "thank you" for help.

Here are screens of ploblem place :D :

http://images.intercon.ru/images/20121/8efbb2469.jpg
http://images.intercon.ru/images/20121/7cf65415a.jpg

Sorry for my English. I try to be right =)

HippyDrome
01 January 2012, 08:19 PM
Hi,

I updated some of the mesh designs that I use in production.

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

It has one of my Vimeo.com videos with it to give some insight to explain
some of the span layout.

cheers,

HD

Phrenzy84
02 February 2012, 07:14 PM
Thank you for re-upping those videos and images Brian :). For Blendshapes do you utilize painted blendshape regions, so you could pose the mesh in an extreme fashion and then isolate the various different sections into their own individual shape minimizing the risk of collisions.

Ie Face posed into an extreme crunch. ---> Individual models are generated for just the Left/Right eye, L/R Mouth, L/R Cheeks etc.

Or is your setup more cluster or joint driven, given your work is more geared towards the flexible / catoonish style?

For those wondering this is a technique (Tapering) that has been explored in the Stop Staring book by Jason Osipa.

HippyDrome
02 February 2012, 03:27 AM
Thank you for re-upping those videos and images Brian :). For Blendshapes do you utilize painted blendshape regions, so you could pose the mesh in an extreme fashion and then isolate the various different sections into their own individual shape minimizing the risk of collisions.

Ie Face posed into an extreme crunch. ---> Individual models are generated for just the Left/Right eye, L/R Mouth, L/R Cheeks etc.

Or is your setup more cluster or joint driven, given your work is more geared towards the flexible / catoonish style?

For those wondering this is a technique (Tapering) that has been explored in the Stop Staring book by Jason Osipa.


Hey Andrew,

I am learning Maya and right and now just making blend shapes that add up. All the shapes are based on three curves adding up to be one. The LBrow makes a X shape, the LEyeLid a circle and the Mouth/Jaw and Lips make a football shape. The corners of the mouth move up/down creating the inverse shape as the jaw.

Because of this type of layout I am making blend shapes that add up to make a pose. So I do not make a "smile" blend shape but rather combine multiple blends to create a smile pose. I look at the face as having five zones and as each zone crosses over into another I fade off the combo of those zones to add/combined up so they play nice with each other.

Here are a couple of crude Videos that I have and give you an idea of what I am talking about but I will only have them up for a small amount of time. I am redoing them because they still are a bit to vague.

Articulating on three curves: http://vimeo.com/26036365

Face Zones: http://vimeo.com/26075056


Cheers,

HD

Memorist
02 February 2012, 06:23 AM
Hi guys

This is my topo for my character i working on for my short film i'd love some feed back.

HD - i like your website some very usefull stuff.
Nickz, Mookiemu and Laa-Yosh very impressive work.

http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll101/Memorist/Bright%20Spark/RenFaceTopoSide.jpg

HippyDrome
02 February 2012, 07:16 PM
Hi guys

This is my topo for my character i working on for my short film i'd love some feed back.

HD - i like your website some very usefull stuff.
Nickz, Mookiemu and Laa-Yosh very impressive work.

http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll101/Memorist/Bright%20Spark/RenFaceTopoSide.jpg


Hey Jeffery,

When I model I think more of spans as holding places. Flow lines are always on my mind but holding a shape is more important to me. I try to start with a nice edge flow but it changes drastically based on the shapes I am instructed to hit. There are basics that I follow and one that I see on your mesh is you need more lines between the nose and the upper lip. If you want to hit a nice lip curl, I would have a few more lines running between those two spots. Three to hold a nice valley for a lip curl. So I would have the end nose line, an end lip line and three line in between to hold the curl of the upper lip. I might have more because of some other flow coming through the side of the face and the eye.

cheers,

HD

Memorist
02 February 2012, 05:41 AM
Hi HD

Thanks for the help, I've made some edits to it but i'm not sure what you mean by

So I would have the end nose line, an end lip line and three line in between to hold the curl of the upper lip. I might have more because of some other flow coming through the side of the face and the eye.


This is what i understand you've suggested i do?
http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll101/Memorist/Bright%20Spark/RenFaceMouthedited.jpg

Original Un-edited Topo
http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll101/Memorist/Bright%20Spark/th_RenFaceMouthCloseup.jpg (http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll101/Memorist/Bright%20Spark/?action=view&current=RenFaceMouthCloseup.jpg)

HippyDrome
02 February 2012, 04:33 PM
Hi HD

Thanks for the help, I've made some edits to it but i'm not sure what you mean by



This is what i understand you've suggested i do?




Yup, End lines are the spans that hold a shape when you have a direction change. I my models they come in threes most of the time when I am trying to hold the shape. Aka the bottom of the nose as it transitions into the upper lip.

flatulentFuzz
02 February 2012, 05:12 PM
Hi,

I updated some of the mesh designs that I use in production.

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

It has one of my Vimeo.com videos with it to give some insight to explain
some of the span layout.

cheers,

HD

Thanks a lot for the videos!

Phrenzy84
02 February 2012, 01:49 AM
Here is a face i retopologized this week. Same philosophy as the one i posted previously just a little less dense. Of course this is Level 0 (no subDiv). Hope this helps some people out there.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-nyABxnb1T9Y/TzXHqkoepdI/AAAAAAAAAl8/gqKcoc9CYb4/s800/image.jpg

Memorist
02 February 2012, 12:03 PM
that looks amazing, you make it look so easy.
:applause:

Cadedra
02 February 2012, 04:31 PM
Here is a face i retopologized this week. Same philosophy as the one i posted previously just a little less dense. Of course this is Level 0 (no subDiv). Hope this helps some people out there.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-nyABxnb1T9Y/TzXHqkoepdI/AAAAAAAAAl8/gqKcoc9CYb4/s800/image.jpg
Now this is cool... Congrats! I love the form. And the topology looks very right to me, although I am not topology specialist. Anyway, there is something about this model that scares me a little bit: You see, I like to rig and to animate, and I really have no clue on how to properly rig a so-dense topology. I imagine that going for morphing targets would be very hard in this case (even for Tapering- yes, I too read Jason Oshipa, and I think his techniques are great and accurate). Perhaps for this mesh rigging would be more like the cluster or bone based rigging? Ah, maybe that would be hard too. Shame on me, I am too much used to a lot less dense geometry, that is sweeter for either rigging method. Maybe and just maybe, could you have gone for a little less dense mesh (maybe *1/2) for this one without loosing much detail?
Forgive me if I said something evil...:D

Cadedra
02 February 2012, 04:55 PM
Oh! I had missed a former post from you where you stated that high densities would become the norm... Now I am more curious to know why. Do not mistake me, I am not trying to discredit you. On the opposite, I really admire your output, and I wish that someday I could do something as great as what you do. I've also seen in this very forum some other masters like Laa Yosh who favour the use of dense meshes, so I think you should be right... I just want to understand why.
I have take a look at your latest posts in this thread and saw they are old men. But, what about if one where to do a stylish girl like Steven Stahlberg's, or some cartoonish, simpler forms like Pixar's. Would you still use dense meshes in your level 0?
(also, I keep my question about the approach you would use to rig)
Thanks for showing your work. Inspiring indeed!:D

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2012, 04:56 PM
Anyway, there is something about this model that scares me a little bit: You see, I like to rig and to animate, and I really have no clue on how to properly rig a so-dense topology. I imagine that going for morphing targets would be very hard in this case (even for Tapering- yes, I too read Jason Oshipa, and I think his techniques are great and accurate).

It's absolutely not too difficult to create blendshapes for such a dense model.
Brush based sculpting software works pretty well, like zbrush or mudbox.
But I really, really recommend Daniel Pook-Kolb's PaintDeform script as well, see here (can't link to it often enough ;) )
http://dpk.stargrav.com/pafiledb/pafiledb.php?action=file&id=32

You can also build or optimize a low-res mesh on top of it, and use that to make broad edits. Combine that with Maya's Wrap deformer or the skinWrap modifier in Max to have the high res geometry follow the low res one.


As for the model I can again repeat that the mesh flow under the lower eyelids is not conforming to the wrinkle patterns usually seen there. Check Neytiri's face mesh to see what I mean.

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2012, 06:05 PM
Now I am more curious to know why. Do not mistake me, I am not trying to discredit you.

More geometry gives better control of the surface curvature. It's easier to create the appearance of skin sliding over the underlying bone structure on the cheeks, brows, jaw, bridge of the nose. You can sculpt a lot of fine forms and shapes into the blend shape, which is very useful everywhere.

Just look at this test here, how nice the deformations are.
http://cgclay.blogspot.com/2011/02/face-rig-update.html
http://cgclay.blogspot.com/2010/10/blog-post_7119.html

Even more geometry allows you to form all your facial wrinkles using just geometry. This keeps the rig's complexity at bay, you don't need to layer your deformations into both the mesh and the shader (displacement textures).
Also, if you don't have to terminate detail for the wrinkles, then the resulting subdivided mesh stays smoother.

You pay a memory cost, though, but most software allow you to keep a scene with the original shape/target models and export your rig from there without the excess stuff. Current CPU's are fast enough to deal with a 15-30k mesh for blendshapes.

But, what about if one where to do a stylish girl like Steven Stahlberg's, or some cartoonish, simpler forms like Pixar's. Would you still use dense meshes in your level 0?


Even young girls have wrinkles on their faces, and it's easier to smooth them out in the neutral state if you have a dense mesh.
Also, cartoons with lots of squash and stretch benefit from more geometry as well. But it doesn't have to be as detailed as something for Avatar (although Tintin used the same approach but then again it's not your Dreamworks/Pixar look).

Cadedra
02 February 2012, 07:00 PM
Ok, I am satisfied. Thanks a lot, Laa-Yosh!
As I can see, very dense mesh (always?) have to be handled with Brush Based Sculpting... Oh, poor me, I was feeling soo comfortable with my Max graphite tools for poly modeling (true that is has a Freeform tab with tools you can use to paint displacement and all that into you mesh) but I just feel it is not powerful enough.
I have spent most of my time modeling Editable Poly in max cutting the polygons myself. Maybe it is time to try some Zbrush or MudBox about which I know nothing... but it is going to be a pain, mainly due to the lack of free time. Anyway, regarding that, I would like to make a couple of ultra-beginner questions:
Which of those two integrates better with Max? I am a "maxer", you know. Maybe MB?
and... do I need a Wacom to be able to model such nice forms like yours and Phrenzy84's?
I checked the Daniel Pook-Kolb's PaintDeform script, thanks for that. It looks very cool, but I cannot use it since I am not into Maya. Bummer.
Anyways, thanks for explaining. It is all very clear to me now, and I will try to move in that direction... although I know I will keep up for a little more time with my not-so-dense meshes I love so much.

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2012, 11:20 PM
You don't have to do your face rigs this way just because some of us prefer this method. There are many other approaches that are just as valid.

As far as I know, Dreamworks uses bones as their primary component for their cartoon characters. There are probably a lot of custom deformers used as well, to be able to distort the faces, mouths and whatever, especially if it's not a human character.

Naughty Dog uses bones on the Uncharted games, with a bone-based alternative to corrective blendshapes, and blending between a base normal map and two different wrinkle maps.

Digital Domain uses a rather generic base topology and relies on animated displacement maps for wrinkle details. They have so many individual maps that they have to run a Nuke compositing job before rendering, to calculate the blended displacement maps for each frame.

You could also use full blown muscle and skin simulation, although I'd think it's too slow for any interactive work. But apparently Liam Kemp has developed a Maxscript or plugin based tool that works like this and he's been working on a shortfilm (The normals) for a few years using this method.
http://www.cgfeedback.com/cgfeedback/showthread.php?t=1691


I personally prefer the blendshape + dense mesh method because of its straightforward approach, everything from basic expressions through eyelid deformations to sticky lips can be implemented in the deformer, it's reasonably fast and you get full control over every vertex if you're willing and able to do the required corrective shapes. Our projects have pretty compressed schedules and we have specialists so anything involving multiple fields of CG is problematic and time consuming because of all the passing around of assets and data. So we need a simple, reliable, fast method and so far nothing has beaten blendshapes for us.

ciroman
02 February 2012, 12:04 AM
Hello everyone!

Sorry to barge in in the middle of this very specific discussion, but I have a question.
Say I want to learn box modeling the head(yes I know that nowadays people mostly make heads in ZBrush/Mudbox/x sculpting program first and then retopologize it), because I like to know the basics first and want to try it the hard way(every way is hard, I guess).

Anyway. Do any of you guys have an image or a tutorial that you would point to, that develops the head from the box in the most optimal/usual way? It would be useful if the end result also has good topology as far as good topology goes after years of experimenting with it.

I know that there's nothing like the absolute best topology that can be used in any kind of head shape imaginable, but there surely has to be something that is most widely used and considered a good topology. I have seen a lot of images of recommended topology, but there's always something that seems to be missing(probably the "there's nothing like best topology" point). My problem is that I have not yet seen a good tutorial that goes from a box to a head in the most optimal way(actually I have seen very little box modeling tutorials, because somehow people that make head modeling tutorials mostly use poly-by-poly techniques).

Laa-Yosh, you being the master in this category, do you think you could point me in any directions?? :D

I guess my general question is: How did good box modelers get started? Did they finish a computer graphics school and they taught them there? Is there a "go to" tutorial that I don't know of?(except for secondreality)

Thank you for reading all of my crap and for your help,

sincerely,

Ciril

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2012, 11:31 AM
First of all I'm no master of anything, especially not modeling.

As for box modeling a head, I still believe that it's a skill belonging in the past, that the brush based sculpting tools and retopology approach is better in every possible way. Time spent on learning about it is wasted time that could be used to develop the more important skills.

With that said, Bay Raitt's website is still online with his amazing animated gifs made over a decade ago.
http://cube.phlatt.net/home/spiraloid/movies/movies.html
(He's been working at Valve since like 2004, by the way)

You can also look for Martin Kroll's (Ambient-Whisper) stuff, I'm not sure if it's still online. You can find him on this forum and ask about it if a google search doesn't help.


Edit: oh, and I think we all learned from Bay, at least most of us visiting his forum back around 2000. But I have no idea where he learned this or rather, how he came up with it.

It was a lot of fun, most of the established VFX studios were still using NURBS for characters and then this new exciting idea appeared and started to gain momentum, forcing the big developers to implement better poly modeling tools. Then Zbrush appeared and someone had the idea to build a model on top of a digital sculpt, and now retopology is a new word, and the standard. And who knows what tomorrow brings ;)

Phrenzy84
02 February 2012, 08:26 PM
You can also look for Martin Kroll's (Ambient-Whisper) stuff, I'm not sure if it's still online. You can find him on this forum and ask about it if a google search doesn't help.



I learnt modelling from both Bay and Martin. I have pretty much have every timelapse they did. Studied them for ages.

Its the main reason i used Wings3d (which started as clone of Nendo, which was made by Nichmen-Graphics, the people who made Mirai)

Thanks for the feedback Cadedra, you are very polite and am in no way offended by your questions :). I hope Laa-Yosh has enlightened you. He shares the same views as mine regarding topology especially when it comes to rigging, although i do find it weird many people don't, but different strokes i guess.

Laa-Yosh i somewhat agree with you about the model i posted regarding the lower eye region. The thing is the wrinkles, ( especially for this character ) in that area that would make themselves present though smiling or any contraction of the cheeks would be very very fine (especially from the reference i have). I feel if i had the geometry to represent even a portion of the detail in that area i should have a very dense model overall to account for the rest of the fine details that would show themselves through deformation.

That's why the model is relatively light in that sense :) (especially compared to a model i posted earlier in this thread)

I have found that characters with a little more flesh in the face tend to have thicker deformations overall with very localized areas of fine wrinkles (too small at least to represent with base geometry), while those who are a little leaner have smaller wrinkles overall but with one or two creases usually being very very prominent enough to use geometry to describe them.

If this was a different person, one without thick eye bags and a more angular face, i would definitely refine the flow in that area. I too look at that neytri screenshot all the time for inspiration. :)

But i do agree with the general concept of topology in that area.

I will be sure to post some facial rigs screenshot as i go along :).

Cadedra
02 February 2012, 06:21 PM
So, would you guys recommend that, even if I am going to model low-density meshes, I should go for brush-sculpting software and retopology? Mind I am pursuing the Pixar/Dreamworks looks for most of my works.
Would all the time spent in brushing-retopo-exporting be shorter that polying right in Max? That, of course, assuming that one gains high skill. I understand that if I go for MudBox or Zbrush now my work will be far more time-consuming that my poly-cutting-skills in Max that I have mastered for so long and with which I feel so comfortable... but maybe after mastering MB or ZB would my modeling be even faster?

oliveUK
10 October 2012, 11:30 AM
I am also in the Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar... boat so I really wonder if low poly modeling really is a dying art.

How long would it take a professional Zbrush modeler to go from a sphere to a final ready for rigging model in Maya/Max?

I saw some videos where people would model a Disney character's face in less than 2 hours but how long does it take to do the retopology?

https://vimeo.com/19398882

I happen to be a pretty fast low poly modeler and I just love extruding edges ;-)

Here is a model I just finished

http://www.olivier-ladeuix.com/blog/wp-content/uploads//2012/09/MacIntosh_v02-470x280.jpg

ps: thanks Tamas for PaintDeform, I had never heard about it ;-)

Laa-Yosh
10 October 2012, 12:41 PM
I believe these things can only be discussed in context...

A large scale feature animation production won't ever have people on staff who would take a character from concept through zbrush sculpt to model and finally to a complete character rig. These would all be treated as separate disciplines by separate departments.
So the ability to sculpt or model very quickly would be irrelevant here - things like quality and director feedback would be more important. Retopo would be focused on building a mesh ideal for facial animation.

On the other hand a one-man production or a small shop could easily prefer faster turnarounds instead. Here the same person could be responsible for more than one stages of the production and design aspects, perhaps even all of them (although that is still quite rare and will probably get more and more rare as technology gets even more complex).


As for your model I think it's a bit too lowpoly to accommodate extreme facial expressions and deformations; and simply subdividing it would add far too many n-sided vertices...

j3st3r
10 October 2012, 12:45 PM
It's quite a short time...I did recently a head in an hour or so, but it was not for articulation. In my opinion (to me) having the two stages separated is more productive. While sculpting, I see the forms, and work on the forms only. A lot quicker (to me). Then, when everyone's happy, I can do the technical stuff, and retopology the character. A complex mesh used to take about a day or two for games (10-15k).

Phrenzy84
10 October 2012, 12:49 PM
Agreed. Though i believe every good modeler should be able to sculpt and retopologize.

Regarding the mesh, if you subdivide it every ngon becomes 4 sided. Or are you talking about poles?

I've been trying out for high rez bases subdividing a semi-dense mesh and then editing that. Removing geometry when there too many edges and adding more when needed.

Laa-Yosh
10 October 2012, 12:58 PM
Yes I mean poles by n-sided vertices.

And yes, building a lowres mesh, subdividing, and then cleaning up is a perfectly valid workflow.

mookiemu
10 October 2012, 04:56 PM
First of all I'm no master of anything, especially not modeling.

As for box modeling a head, I still believe that it's a skill belonging in the past, that the brush based sculpting tools and retopology approach is better in every possible way. Time spent on learning about it is wasted time that could be used to develop the more important skills.

With that said, Bay Raitt's website is still online with his amazing animated gifs made over a decade ago.
http://cube.phlatt.net/home/spiraloid/movies/movies.html
(He's been working at Valve since like 2004, by the way)

You can also look for Martin Kroll's (Ambient-Whisper) stuff, I'm not sure if it's still online. You can find him on this forum and ask about it if a google search doesn't help.


Edit: oh, and I think we all learned from Bay, at least most of us visiting his forum back around 2000. But I have no idea where he learned this or rather, how he came up with it.

It was a lot of fun, most of the established VFX studios were still using NURBS for characters and then this new exciting idea appeared and started to gain momentum, forcing the big developers to implement better poly modeling tools. Then Zbrush appeared and someone had the idea to build a model on top of a digital sculpt, and now retopology is a new word, and the standard. And who knows what tomorrow brings ;)

So true! I remember obsessing over Bay Raitt. He was truly ahead of his time.

musashidan
10 October 2012, 07:20 PM
@Ciroman, regarding which method to use I would have to agree with Laa-yosh about organic box-modeling being somewhat obselete. Maybe I'm bias, but I've always found box-modeling a head to be a real painful task as opposed to poly-by-poly modeling. and now even more so with the advent of Sculpt/retopo.

Now don't get me wrong, there are people like Glen Southern who thrive on box-modeling and can read the forms/flow with ease. I've always found it to be artistically counter-intuitive however.

Sculpting/Retopo allows me to create without worrying about topology and it's so much quicker to experiment with forms(even drastically) with worrying about re-directing/re-distributing edgeflow.
And retopo can be created so rapidly with the aid of a topo-sketch paint-over in your sculpting app so the flow can be worked out non-destructively without ever having to cut/redirect whilst in the process. once you have sketched the topology in 3d on the mesh it's a simple case of tracing at the retopo stage.

So I suppose it certainly is a case of personal preference(everyone's brain working differently:) but I do feel that box-modeling heads is indeed a dying artform.

GoodAsNew
11 November 2012, 07:00 PM
Hello,

So it seems like it's soon time to upgrade my pc if i'm going to go for this dense mesh pipeline. I currently have around 5 years old pc with some upgraded components. q6600, 285gtx 2g and 8gig mem.

So is this blendshape method the only practical way to go these days for realistic face deformations?

I was planning on building some wrinkle normal map blending system for the rig earlier before i read the last coulple pages of this thread.

Here's some not so typical human face you see everyday on a street. What do you think of the face topology? Rest of the body is still old lowpoly so its 20k triangles so far. I have no idea how much polygons they use these days for films or games.

I'm kind of unsure how much should i follow the human face topology, considering she behaves like human and is able to do human like expressions.

http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/631/quefacetopo001.jpg

I almost never used box modeling for organics. before i began using zbrush or mudbox i used the sculpting tools in maya to get basic sphere into a head, then made it live and started slapping polygons over it. I still find it pretty fast way of getting basic shapes done.

Laa-Yosh
11 November 2012, 09:15 PM
Topology doesn't seem to be aligned to facial features so realistic deformations could prove to be problematic. But if you're going for a more stylized look, like How to train your Dragon, then it's OK mostly - maybe the upper eyebrow could use some more loops. I'd also make the loops around the mouth follow a concentric ripple layout to better accommodate extreme movements like smiling or an "ooh" shape.

As for the highres mesh and blendshapes approach, it's certainly not the only one. There are many other ways and you should choose based on your project's requirements, your skills, and your goals. As far as I know most animated features prefer to start with a bone based rig, especially for the mouth, because it is better suited for exaggerated deformations...

GoodAsNew
11 November 2012, 10:57 PM
I got impressed by the Claytons face animation videos you linked earlier. I think he used blendshapes in that rig.

I'm going for more realistic animation with this one. So, i'll try to work more to make the edge flow follow the facial features.

I'm not sure exactly what you meant by the "concentric ripple layout". :O

This one is more experimental personal project for practice so i don't have a deadline nor clear direction where to go.

I built a ribbon based mouth rig for other school project earlier. It has worked pretty well so far. I might try it with this one and compare with the blendshape method when i get some good topology done.

GoodAsNew
11 November 2012, 09:24 PM
hey again.

I went back to zbrush and painted some lines to figure how to get the edge flow follow the facial features bit better. I had to make a lot of weird faces in front a mirror to see where the wrinkles and stuff actually forms and then imagined if this character tried to make the same expressions how would her face deform and where the wrinkles would appear.

I ran into some problems.. The blue lines are where i thought some wrinkles would aproximetely form in certain expressions. So i tried to make the edge flow to align with them.

The blue line that starts from above the nose then goes around the mouth below the jaw is pretty important i think and it was missing from the previous face. This is where i ran into problem.

What i've experienced is that those 3 sided vertices are the most harmfull for deformation. in wrong places they cause evil bumps. I'm trying to avoid them where the red line is pointing.

What do you think?

Here's the messy drawing i did.

http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/9876/quefacetopo001s2.jpg

Thanks for the input. :)

GoodAsNew
11 November 2012, 07:22 PM
hey again,

here's some progress.. probably a bit better but im not really sure.

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/1148/quetopo666.jpg

Here's a rough blendshape test. I sculpted it in zbrush. I didn't use much time on it so it looks a bit awkward here and there. What's the hairless cat called? Sphynx ir something. That could work as a reference.

54236663

(edit) The video wasn't great so here's a pic of the blendshape it self. its slightly improved from the one in the video.

http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/9972/queblendshape001.jpg

Maybe i should make a separate thread about this cos i'll be working on this for a while so i could keep updating it once in awhile without flooding this thread.

HippyDrome
07 July 2013, 03:16 PM
Hi,

Here is a link to the meshes that I used for my iBook. "The Art of Moving Point".



These meshes are a good starting point to learn about topology needed for good articulation and deformation. They were used as the starting point for most all of my character work at Pixar.

Note that the spans are roughly laid out and could further polishing to improve the final deformations.


http://www.riggingdojo.com/free-model-from-hippydrome-com/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-art-of-moving-points/id639498241?mt=11

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

Cheers,

HD

HippyDrome
10 October 2013, 03:09 PM
Hi,

You can now read my iBook on any Apple computer running OS X Mavericks.

The iBook is for sale in all countries that it can be sold in. You can check the iTunes store to see if your country is on the list.

cheers,

HD

Hi,

Here is a link to the meshes that I used for my iBook. "The Art of Moving Point".



These meshes are a good starting point to learn about topology needed for good articulation and deformation. They were used as the starting point for most all of my character work at Pixar.

Note that the spans are roughly laid out and could further polishing to improve the final deformations.


http://www.riggingdojo.com/free-model-from-hippydrome-com/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-art-of-moving-points/id639498241?mt=11

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

Cheers,

HD

oliveUK
10 October 2013, 03:50 PM
hey HD, any chance for an Android version. I would love to read your book.

Cheers

HippyDrome
10 October 2013, 03:57 PM
Hey,

I would love to do a Android version and plan to do so as soon as Google can support embedded videos, since this iBook has 135 videos in it.

Cheers,

HD

hey HD, any chance for an Android version. I would love to read your book.

Cheers

Leionaaad
12 December 2013, 12:24 AM
Hello,
Maybe somebody can shed some light on my biggest issue with edgeflow:
what would be a good way to connect the parts? Be those arms to torso or eye sockets and face, I always struggle to find a solution to dissipate the edges. Is there any strategy I can employ?

Tried making big volumes and adding details when the main loops are in place - I end up with lots of extra loops going in circles, or edges piling up in areas.
tried to make ilands then connecting as I see fit - some edges will go round and round...

Thanks

SheepyHollow
04 April 2014, 12:04 AM
http://i57.tinypic.com/2zgc65x.jpg


Hey guys, I was wondering why the topology of Richard Parkers model is so much different from the topology of the wolf in Red Riding Hood. Both animals have very similar bone and muscle structure and both were modeled by Bradley Sick at Rhythm & Hues. I assume, that Rhythm & Hues used similar workflows (skeleton, muscle, skin, fur) for those animals, but why is Richard Parkers topology following the muscle structure and the other isnīt?
Iīm planing on animating a quadruped and therefore I need a good and clean topology. Has anyone an idea, which approach is the best and why?

(Btw, I took those screenshots from Bradley Sicks wonderful Reel: https://vimeo.com/67765783)

sergicaballer
04 April 2014, 08:20 PM
Hi to all,
I would like to share with CGSociety some time lapses about facial modeling ready for production I did last year. You can find more information about all the process here: http://www.sergicaballer.com/facial-modeling-timelapse/

Part 1
63320058

Part 2
64302836

Part 3
73340876

I hope you like it!

Thanks,
Sergi

abahena
02 February 2015, 03:27 PM
http://adamated.blogspot.mx/2009_11_01_archive.html
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_G7c_ZLdNdGY/SwxLdK1qu2I/AAAAAAAAAFM/MjE_RFY5rVU/s1600/newhead2hp2.jpg

Laa-Yosh
02 February 2015, 04:03 PM
Sorry but that model isn't really good for anything, except maybe to start a sculpt from.

CheesyFlors
05 May 2015, 09:42 AM
hello all,
i think that In mathematics, topology the study of topological spaces, is an area of mathematics concerned with the properties of space that are preserved under continuous deformations, such as stretching and bending, but not tearing or gluing.
thanks,
http://thecheesyanimation.com/Isometric-&-Floor-Plan.html

Anubis49
09 September 2015, 09:06 AM
Hello,

i need some feedback about the topology of my 3D Charackter.
What i can do, to get it better?

Thanks for your answer^^


http://www11.pic-upload.de/thumb/28.09.15/6vm3at5czt1p.png (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-28432721/1.png.html)
http://www11.pic-upload.de/thumb/28.09.15/g6tz8m3dbbq2.png (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-28432723/2.png.html)
http://www11.pic-upload.de/thumb/28.09.15/8kpmjufdubdb.png (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-28432722/3.png.html)
http://www11.pic-upload.de/thumb/28.09.15/a8ju5uoooiwy.png (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-28432725/4.png.html)
http://www11.pic-upload.de/thumb/28.09.15/uiabe5w3hp1f.png (http://www.pic-upload.de/view-28432724/5.png.html)


______________________

If you finda any grammar, pls correct me and send me a pm
That is rally helpful for me.

vilesyn
10 October 2015, 09:50 PM
Great thread! Lots of great stuff here.

Removed my question, and added to a separate thread. :thumbsup:

sacboi
10 October 2015, 07:34 AM
An in-depth 3ds Max, advanced 3D modeling guide for creating high quality 3D Geometry and Reflection for cars using polygonal modelling, by former ILM plus LucasArts CG Artist - Ali Ismail.

http://www.carbodydesign.com/article/59531-modeling-cars-in-polygons/

Cur10uS
10 October 2015, 05:29 AM
Hi

I have a question regarding realistic topology and topology in some animation films.

I see these examples and also remember that I've seen in some tutorial, the tutor mentioned that sometimes topology like this(no loops around mouth) might be better for cartoon characters.

I didn't know that even at Pixar they model faces with this kind of topology.

\\So I wanted to know. that would the difference between this topology type and that of conventional (with loops) in practice and in animation..why would one choose one over another?

Thank you

h4di
01 January 2016, 10:12 PM
Hi,

I've had this question for a while. I would appreciate if someone could answer that.
To the best of my knowledge there are two ways for creating characters for games;

Way 1: low poly box modeling > add detail in sculpting apps > create normal map
Way 2: high poly sculpture > retopology using the original sculpture > create normal map

I was wondering which way is more popular and what are the pros and cons?

Thank you.

Leionaaad
01 January 2016, 10:54 AM
So I wanted to know. that would the difference between this topology type and that of conventional (with loops) in practice and in animation..why would one choose one over another?

All depends on the amount of deformation. Polygons get thin and twisted on extremes, so the layout must be in a way to accommodate that. Realistic characters don't have extreme deformations, however, you need the folds and creases on the face. So you must follow those folds when you model the face.

FireAngel
04 April 2016, 08:44 PM
I have been following this for quite some time. Topology for the face and human body took a lot of work to learn.

I have spent the last 3 years trying to perfect human topology that can be blended well from a male figure into a female figure and then be used for a smooth sculpting experience in ZBrush.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165109&stc=1

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165110&stc=1

Human Male Average Model Link (http://www.digital3dmodels.com/products-page/human/human-male-average-3/)

http://forums.cgsociety.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165111&stc=1

Human Female Average Model Link (http://www.digital3dmodels.com/products-page/female/human-female-zbrush/)

It is my hope that these models will be able to help artist who are looking at learning more about topology, get clean and clear examples of what good topology looks like.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the models. Me and a friend of mine, Russell Barton have used this topology on a few projects now and the models are holding up to be very versatile when being pushed into new shapes.

Peace-NickZ. :)I would love to see these in a little more detail. I am a beginner to modelling people and topology is my weak point so I would benefit from seeing your work.

OrionUnas
05 May 2016, 07:54 AM
Hello everyone!

I'm new round these parts, and I'm having trouble with topology! I really want to make a female and male head with proper topology. I also want them to be flexible enough so I can modify them to fit any human face that I need to create.

I've been looking up reference images and found a lot, but sadly pictures don't explain why they're set up that way, and they also don't explain how it was set up that way. I'm currently making low-poly characters with sub-serf level 2. I also use the latest version of blender (not beta/alpha.)

I'm also learning all this by myself, and it's rather daunting to learn by yourself, so I'd like to ask the community if there's any free resources for learners. A lot of the links (if not all) on this post don't work anymore. Plus, 70+ pages to go through :D

Thanks for any help!

abohmed
07 July 2016, 09:20 AM
https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.cgsociety.org/forums/76/73776/o_HIKrIR2XVZc8nI4FtvaQGDeZpVFQTw.jpg

https://youtu.be/oinzRj66q4s

in this tutorial i show how i approach doing topology for the head its a bit diffrent with how i approach i think it makes thing easier for me to work i hope some people are benefiting from these please share to spread the knowledge


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