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Old 11-04-2011, 11:22 AM   #1
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DAZ figures, "Perfect topology"

I came across this interesting statement on another forum and thought I'd fish around for some feedback on it here. I have definite opinions about this statement, but I'll keep them to myself just now. For the uninitiated, "DAZ 3rd Gen" is a very popular human figure 3D model, Victoria3/Michael 3, most commonly used in Poser. I'm interested in some feedback on this remarkable idea. Thanks.



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"This (character topology) is an aspect of the modeler's skill and inventiveness, not some objective concept of "perfect topology"."


Nope. It is an objective mathematical problem.

Let's take a single muscle. Edgelooping around this muscle takes a certain amount of vertices. You could use six, but then the muscle would look blocky. You could use eight, but then you waste a vertice you could use elsewhere in the mesh. So seven is the ideal.

Two different modellers of similar skill would both come to the conclusion that seven is the ideal amount of vertices to sculpt that muscle and therefore both would actually use seven vertices.

Now, there is also only one "perfect" way to connect that seven vertex muscle to the rest of the mesh.

And suddenly we have two figures that share the same mesh topology.

Did one modeller copy from the other ? No. But both were confronted with the same problem and both found the ideal solution for that problem, resulting in identical topology.

In the end sculpting a human body with the least amount of vertices possible while still properly edgelooping every major muscle isn't much different from creating a cube with the least amount of vertices possible.

Don't think of a figures mesh as a whole. Think of it as a large group of tiny little problems for each of which is only one perfect solution. (like the cube)

The more stringent the rules get, the less choices are left.

Building a mesh efficiently isn't about creativity. It's about finding the most efficient (perfect) meshflow for the shape.

If you don't have to worry about mesh weight, if "everything's fine as long as it's somewhere below 80.000 polygons", you can think like a figure artist who works with clay or wood or stone and just worry about the shape.

But once you start fighting about every single polygon, once you enter "19.999 vertices are fantastic but 20.000 are a completely unuseable bloated waste" territory, you have to start thinking like a mathematician.

What I'm saying is: Once a mesh topology is (near) perfect, there really aren't much (if any) options left to change that topology without either loosing efficiency or loosing "perfectness".

Looking at the DAZ meshes, (and especially the 3rd gen meshes as I think they are built cleaner as they don't rely on subdivision (which always adds a certain amount of waste), I'd be hard pressed finding vertices that could be changed or re-routed without negative effect, simply because the topology is that perfect.
 
Old 12-15-2011, 10:59 PM   #2
petersk
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That's interesting for me too and I would like to hear the opinions of the more experienced modelers. Actually it is not about advertising the daz models, right, but more general consideration.
I personally think that efficient topology is getting more and more important when you have to prepare a model that others should be able to work with, without knowing in advance their ideas about the use.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:34 AM   #3
pjz99
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Probably I should have posted this in the Modeling/Organic subforum. At any rate, imo the idea that there is a universal, all-application "perfect topology" is pretty retarded and is essentially somebody's personal preference (bonus: the guy who wrote that isn't even a modeler or rigger).
 
Old 12-26-2011, 09:12 PM   #4
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It's only perfect if you are happy with models that seem to always have that generic Daz/Poser look. All men look the same, all women look the same, all children look the same.
Regarding the bodies, well the topology just about gets away with. It appears to me that excessive edge loops are included to cover worse case scenarios - ie, ripped muscle man. When a less detailed figurine is require, there are lots chinks that show up when the smoothing modifier kicks in.

It certainly is a much needed progression in the Poser Daz market, but 'across the board' perfect? Nope. If the perfect topology ever was available ( and it's not ), do you honestly think Daz would of found it first?
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:41 PM   #5
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I agree. As in many other situations "universal" and in this case even "unisex" can't be perfect .
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:41 PM   #6
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