Body topology

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  12 December 2003
Quote: Originally posted by 2byts
looks someone ripped out her lower spine.....

Yes. It was me.
  12 December 2003
Quote: Originally posted by Atwooki
Thats a clean-looking mesh: especially the scapulas
can you post some low poly wires; front and back? that would be good....!

Only crits modelling-wise after a quick look, would be the dip in the underside of her pecs (between the breast and the shoulder): needs tightening up a touch; the gluteus maximus needs more height (looks a little too 'rounded-off' and the apex of the calves at the back need softening and 'billowing out slightly, IMO...
Otherwise, beautiful


Thanks for the crits. They were on the spot.
  12 December 2003
Perspective Shot (Same Model)

  12 December 2003
Very nice. Maybe the kneecaps are bulging a touch too much, but that's a matter of taste. Inside of elbow needs more definition, I'm struggling with that myself.
  12 December 2003
Well, first I'll try to get a few concepts clean regarding the modeling with edgeloops technique.

It is a process with several stages that can be separated to an extent as volume, surface, detail.
First you sketch up the volume of your model with boxy shapes, just to get a sense of the figure. I guess there's not much to explain here maybe that it's worth trying to avoid n-sided vertices here so that you have an easier time during the next step.

Then you start to work on the shapes by cutting edges into the model - loops that define the contours and the main shapes of muscles, bones etc.
Now one possible definition of edge loops is interconnected edges traveling through 4-sided vertices; because using the winged edge datastructure to describe the model, it is easy to take an edge and find the opposing one (it's the edge that does not share a face with the selected one). To get the edge loop selection working, you must keep your vertices having only 4 edges meeting in them, which also means that your model will have a lot of 3 and 5-sided polygons. Another counterproduct of this approach is that you have a mesh where you can see the lines more cleanly.
I also try to watch for another thing now: during the first steps of shaping, I try to build the main planes of both the surface and the movement that it will most likely produces. Check Loomis drawing books for some nice sketches showing the planes of the head and body. Also check (if you have it) the Gollum timelapse on the Two Towers EE DVD (or booklet in the very special ed) to see what I mean.

Once you got your main loops done, your basic shapes defined, you can move on to add details like folds, wrinkles, imperfections, veins, bumps etc. This is also the stage where you terminate any n-sided faces and convert to all quads if you wish to.

Finally, note that by nature, the Catmull-Clark subdivision scheme will generate a mesh in the first subdivision step that is built entirely of quad faces. This is then further subdivided for most renderers, into even more polygons; or small b-patches are created for PRMan.
Tamas Varga
  12 December 2003
Okay, so with the above said, it seems to me that some people are a bit confused and forget some of the guidelines, or only memorize a few of them, or mix them up. I intentionally avoid the word 'rules', these are not rules IMHO, but rather things that are proved to work well. So, you should try to think about it as a process, where various things apply to different stages. Trying to get an all-quads model from the ground up, as an example, can get you stuck on adding unneccessary detail, dividing your attention, misguideing your eye... but it might as well work for you pretty fine.
Tamas Varga
  12 December 2003
So, on the actual topic :)

First of all Mr Stahlberg (sorry I'm not sure how to call you, being old enough to be my father and so *embarassed*) I admire and respect you a lot, but I think this is one of your very first polygon-only models, or in other words, you may not have been able to gather enough experience and find out about possible problems yet... You have changed your mind in the past a few times too, so it might happen again :)

I think I see some similarity in the construction of your model and the Animatrix character from Francisco Cortina here:
Jue wireframe

Some of the detail is terminated with similarly placed 5 or more sided polygons. I've been told that this might be a result of the tools, namely the Split Poly tool in Maya with it's ability to auto-center on an edge. Could it be that the tool has such an influence on workflow?
Interestingly he's alsoo been using a Maya + PRMan pipeline and indirect skinning as far as I know.

Yinako pretty much hit the nail on the head with the unpredictable tesselation. I'd add UV stretching to this which can also go crazy as the straight lines on the control mesh suddenly turn all around into themselves after the first subdivision. Close up shots may uncover obvious texture stretching with such a surface. Textures, especially the small details, are also what give the main sense of skin and it's movement. It is usually preferable to have as much control over this as possible; but in practice the skin is covered with clothing and thus
this effect is not visible.

Except for - obviously - the face. I still firmly stand by the all-quad approach for faces that have to be animated realistically, as I believe that the modeling of the skin's behaviour is one of the important details. And I see no way I could properly do that without the edgeflows following the surface movement and deformations. I wonder if you have any experience with this yet, I'd love to know your thoughts.

And in the end, I once again repeat that all-quads and edgeloops and co. aren't strict rules - computer graphics, at least the areas that we have to do with, are not an exact science like mathematics. Use whatever works for you, don't force upon yourself any method just because others have preferred it. I say it because I have the sense that a few people here have grown angry and hate these guidelines, because they've tried to treat everything as set in stone and found it a difficult experience. It's the results that matter :)
Tamas Varga
  12 December 2003
I've read about the texture stretching with 5-sides on the Spiraloid forum, but I've never really seen it in my own work, probably because it's a very subtle effect (the sample I saw on Spiraloid was anyway), and I don't have that many 5-sides, and my textures aren't all that contrasty. Also, the smaller a 5-side is obviously the less noticeable this effect will be in the final render. Texture stretching is easily fixed with a bit of editing, so it's not high on the list of my priorities.
But I agree, I'd never put a 5-side in the middle of the cheek, on the lips, lids or forehead, for instance, or anywhere else on the body that deforms a lot. I also obviously agree with the rest of the guidelines you mentioned, blocking in the forms, trying to plan ahead for deformations, etc.

If I ever did see a serious problem with a 5-side, trust me I'd get rid of it immediately - an easy enough thing to do. It's just that I've never really had serious problems with it, so far. Maybe I'm inexperienced, or maybe it's just that I'm applying them carefully and judiciously.
I'm not rebelling against any rules or guidelines, I'm just commenting that perhaps there's more room in Maya for triangles and 5-sides than the previous general consensus had it.

I see the Jue model uses even more 5-sides than I do, and the ones for the foot all end on the same 'latitude'. Some of those - like every bunch of 3 edges - could easily be connected into a pole, and if a couple edges are left over I'd make 5-sides or triangles, but try to place them where there'd be (or MIGHT be) a bump or discontinuity in real life. And usually not on the same latitude. (With all due respect to Cortina, just explaining my own personal workflow.)

Oh, and about the name, well you can call me uncle if you like. j/k Steven is fine.

Last edited by Stahlberg : 12 December 2003 at 06:04 AM.
  12 December 2003
Some fixes. Getting use to the idea of stretching skin, and pining muscles to bone. Not surface smoothing, but surface tension.

  12 December 2003
Very Nice...your model is coming along just fine.
Do you have a closeup of the back?
Maya | Lightwave | Messiah
  12 December 2003
projectcoil the ribs on the the side looks odd to me - looks like grills
i think the T-position is the wrong way here - what you want is a relaxed body and in T all the body skin is stretched the bones came in view ... the result is that the girl looks not realistic she looks like a doll and u have to remodel (or use blendshapes) the hole body if u go in a natural pose
  12 December 2003
I was just told the texture problem with 5-sides only happens if you use the relax command when you apply textures; I don't, so I guess that's why I've never seen this particular problem in my own work.

projectcoil, I can't see the images right now but from a few days ago I recall I really liked the muscle detail. A bit too much for a girl maybe, but still impressive.

Update: trying to use bumpmaps to fill in detail in the upper body, like I did on the foot. And a deformation test. Not good enough, still much work to do.

  12 December 2003
That's looking excellent as usual Mr. Sthlberg!!!

Im new to maya and I've been following your excellent tutorials about Skin Shading and Wrap Deformers, and i hope to get the hang of it soon, because i got my own female characters that are already modelled and that just needs a good skin shader and skinning.

I must say that I like your style and the realism that you achieve with your characters without using GI or HDRI, wich i find highly valuable.

Im looking forward to see more of your work and tutorials, so keep up the good work!!!
  12 December 2003
steven damn your shader is so nice - body looks very realistic but where is the stahlberg look? your old girls have much more cute factor (my taste) - for the 2. pose did u used blend shapes for tweaking the skinning - the lower leg have a shap edge running from the ankles up to the knee smooth it a bit
one of the best girls i saw in 3d
  12 December 2003
Thanks RenderFX.
Swag, I'm not consciously going for a certain style right now, just trying to get the anatomy better than before.

More deformation tests. After I uploaded this I softened the folds in the armpit. Work in progress.

updated deftest1.jpg with better armpit

Last edited by Stahlberg : 12 December 2003 at 06:12 AM.
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