View Full Version : Hand -topology

09 September 2007, 04:12 PM
Just to practice, I wanted to modell a human hand. This time I wanted to think about
topology first and then start working ;-).
So I scanned my own hand and started sketching possible edges, considering anatomy as
far as I know (and see) it. Maybe someone would like to drop his opinion, thoughts or
sugestions about my ideas here.

I intentionally didn't use any tutorials this time but tried to figure that grid out by myself
(my main goal with this is not to model a perfect hand but to train myself to "see" proper
topology on an imaginated or real object).

The black grid is the base grid - grey lines are for detailing. Green and blue are simply for
better "readability". The little red edges at the thumb are the only direct conections
between top and bottom. I planned to connect the two with quads on the sides, who
should correspond to the outer edges of both sides (hope I made myself clear). That
thumb-reagion is critical (and the most likely for heavy rethinking, once I start to get into
modelling this).

09 September 2007, 07:58 PM
Well, I transfered the grid into 3D and tried to tweak it into rough form. To my own joy, the connection at the thumb (marked red in the picture above) worked out quite well.
I only did minor corrections to the planned edgeflow - I don't know if this is a big success, but it definetly looks like a better start to me, than my last try at a hand (using the "grow fingers via extrusion" method).

And here a picture (just to prove I really did something, not bringing any new insights).

Still allways interested in suggestions and other thoughts ...

10 October 2007, 03:42 PM
I detailed a bit and redesigned the edges here and there.

Now I'm thinking about rigging this to see how it deforms (still that critical area at the base of the thumb) or I might try to dtail the geometry (bringing out skindetails etc.) ... or both ... ;-)

Suggestions allways welcome (there ARE visitors to this forum :-) ).

10 October 2007, 08:35 PM
At least for my taste, the edgeflow on those hands served me well. A little nudge here, a little correction there...

So just to relax (similar to the relax I get, when sketching on paper) I worked on and started detailing a bit. I considered a few tiny triangles as no problem but still try not to mess up the topology too much.

So if you like to see it develop, here's a bit of progress (even if for once I don't really know what for :-) ).

11 November 2007, 03:35 AM
The inner palm is something else..... you should work with that a bit more. I think it's a part of how you organized the upper palm... that would be the only think I would suggest to change for now. Maybe rework the the pads on either side of the hand so that they flow better.

also, you're adding too much detail and then reducing detail at the end of the hand. You might want to work in the details using more slices horizontal to the hand instead of vertical slices like you have. You can see at the ends of the hands where you group polys to create quads and that gets messy, esspecialy when you start to smooth the mesh with modefiers.

12 December 2007, 09:14 PM
Thank you for your help, Pieisgood.

The detailing has by now only reached two fingers and that might explain the difference in detail in certain areas. On those fingers I started molding out the form just for fun and thus placed form before function.

The palm indeed needs more work (especially as the pads mentioned by you are almost nonexistant). Since I hit more problems with such simple curvations than with the clearer defined shapes in the fingers, I started there ;-).
The horizontal slices will follow but I don't see a chance to reduce the vertical ones (especially on the outer part where I need them to follow the sinews there.

12 December 2007, 08:35 PM
Well I don't know if I understood everything correctly, but looking again at my hand (the original) and the cg-hand I found severla ways to reorder the flow of edges so it better suits the folds in the palm. My mistake was to use the flow of the sinews here, which are burried too deep to be of any significance.

So, hoping for new insights and again thanks to Pieisgood.

12 December 2007, 10:11 PM
Some extra polygons ...

I know that not everything is perfect (far from it) but for now, I'm quite satisfied with the result. I don't know if I'll give this hand another run to add more details since my first goal was to learn from it (which I did hopefully).

So if someone would like to try to shatter my confidence then simply go ahead (I think there's allways room for improvment ;-) ).

This is the mesh so far:

... and just for show and tell - a rendered version (smoothed with one subdivision via Nurbs):

01 January 2008, 04:59 AM
My opinion is that your topo looks good and you have nice deformation going on there as well.

PS: (OT) the interface looks a bit different but, similar to LW. What app are you using?

01 January 2008, 02:40 PM
Thank you for your answer Ramon. I'm using Cinema 4D V 9.6 and don't have experiences with the LW-Interface.

Right now I threw myself into a new project which lies "closer to my heart" but I will eventually come back to this hand, because I've already a little (maybe funny) idea with it.

01 January 2008, 07:22 PM
Sure. Good work there. I think that drawing the topology out in photoshop or whatever, is a great way to realize the poly flow breakdown. Particularly with the complicated nauances of modeling a realistic hand. I do that for certain objects also.

Can you tell us about that new project your working on? If not, I understand. I also have a couple of projects that are close to my heart as well, it's just the time to do them have been eluding me.

Either way, good luck on it.

01 January 2008, 10:21 PM
I think I can give you a peek view ;-). But I don' think I'll post it on a regular basis in the WIP-section.

I took the leisure to stroll along your website and was impressed by what I saw there - especially the traditional works and maybe even more, the concept art (future city being my favorite).

01 January 2008, 05:38 PM
Wow, looks like you have something mystrious going on there. Swamp-like. I didn't mean to hassel you for info though. Sorry if it felt that way.

Also, thanks a lot for checking out my website. I appreciate your comments. I really love painting (traditionally) and my area of focus is wildlife because I enjoy it particularly, birds as of late. I'm working on a bluebird in a dogwood tree (acrylic).

Thanks about the concept work as well. That is my profession as well as more recently modeling and texturing.

Thanks again and good luck on your new project!

01 January 2008, 07:36 PM
Thanks again, a friendly comment allways keeps you going :-).
You really didn't "hassle" me so don't be afraid about that.

Good, if there's allready a little bit of mistery in that new work, but I'll have to eliminate the "swampfeeling" ;-) and replace it with peace (since it's far from finished there's a lot of time to work on this).

I will look in to your page, awaiting the bluebird in the dogwoods (especially as I connect some visits to NC with dogwoods - but never saw a bluebird). I'm allways impressed how some people can use real paint and not make a mess of it as I did usually (a pencil works right with me but paint of any kind seems not to be made for me).

So have fun being creative and I hope you'l find some time for those projects close to your heart.

08 August 2008, 09:21 PM
It's been a while ...

I finally got back to my hand (the reference indeed mine) and worked a bit on the palm.

Comments are apreciated :-)

08 August 2008, 05:30 PM
The big fold on the pad of the palm needs some curve imo, it's very straight. A little more fatness on the pad of the palm at the base pinky would be good too. Of course your current model may be exactly how your hand looks, I dunno.

08 August 2008, 11:53 AM
Thank you for your sugestions - I allready thickend the palm a bit since the last picture (I will update here later) but it's still a bit skinny as you observed.

About the central line: The reference (my own left hand) realy got that kind of straight line (as may be seen in the picture at the beginning of the thread). But I see what you meen: looking closely at other hands I nearly never found that main fold without curvation. Maybe I'll give it a kick to svere from the straight path (but theres allredy a heap of polys around there ;-) ).

11 November 2008, 09:03 PM
I finally put some more work in this, but I think it's the last time this little study is correctly placed in the modelling forum.

I corrected the horizontal fold a bit (even if the origiginal one in my own hand corresponds more to the picture from Aug 29).
Worked a bit on lighting and painted the simple bumpmap. Last I changed the diffuse and luminance channels a bit to give it a bit more life.

Allways interested in your opinions but thinking I'll move on to a new study or to long overdue ideas - thanks for flying by.

09 September 2009, 10:04 AM
First off nice hand!. I read through and saw the changes. Ive never used the app your using but im curious about any other tutorials, reference or anything you were looking at at the time of the making. At least anything that wasnt on here. Ill post my hand WIP and link in via reply soon.

09 September 2009, 10:35 AM
Hello, everyone!

I, too have modeled a hand, though it pails in comparison. I use maya, BTW.

10 October 2009, 09:11 PM
Is that from a gorilla or something?

04 April 2010, 09:32 PM
Whooops - sorry, I didn't think that ther would be more activity here. So I hope this will still be read.

To JoerdenLeigh:
Since I wanted to get away from my tutorialaddiction, the only realy significant reference was my own hand and the pictures of it, that I posted at the beginning of the thread. I wanted to find my own way of managing topology to get the chance to understand the why and not only the how of modeling.
But I had some peeks at a simple book "Anatomie für Künstler leicht gemacht" (german: anatomy for artists, the easy way) and I already used sites with anatomical pictures (but not much in this project, which you can see in that quite unusual fold my own left hand possesses and which I modeled there first ;) ): Gray's Anatomy ( and Atlas of Human Anatomy (

To TLoV:
Your hand looks like you used quite a "cubic" approach, but a wireframe-view could clarify things here. What works considerably well on the fingers, doesn't work for the palm. Your edges there should better follow the flow of creases and folds which the hand produces there (as I mentioned above - I constructed them wrong on my first try too). But I could be wrong here.
Another mistake I made was, that I designed the edgeflow in the palm similar to that on the back of the hand. While the latter follows the direction of the sinews there, the edges in the palm are more dictated by the padding there. The sinew there lie deeper below the surface and thus don't form the topology on the surface.
I also have to agree with the remark above, the hand does seem quite mokeyish - but maybe that was what you where heading for.
And one more thing: the thumb seems to be turned, so that it's nail faces the same direction as those of the fingers - if that is so, that might cause severe pain. ;)
In a relaxed human hand, the thumb has it's nail turned almost 90° to the side of the hand.

I hope that helps.

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