retopo 2014

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  04 April 2013
retopo 2014

playing with the retopo in 2014...seems ok but is it possible to force it to do symmetrical retopo like 3d coat does? seems a bit of a waste of time to do non symmetrical except for general dynamesh type retopo
Scott Turner
  04 April 2013
Unfortunately right now, no.

Auto retopo right now can be used as a very powerful dynamesh that will transfer all sculpt layers and div level sculpt details. This allows you to work without leaving the program to retopo. The lack of symmetry does not get in the way of this. So think of the auto retopo tools as an intermediate topology like a dynamesh and it will fit into your workflow very nicely.

With that said, you can force a hard curve down the center line, and use guide curves, so that one side of the mesh has the flow that you want. You can then export the base to Softimage or Maya etc and mirror the side you want manually. Its a work around if you really want to get symmetry out of the retopo.

  04 April 2013
i use a workaround to create only one half object...
most of the time you have to fix tricky areas in maya anyways...
  04 April 2013
ok thanks or that video...useful...

retopo in 3d coat is really ahead of its time i guess, but i do like working in mudbox and switching programs always introduces unwanted complications.

so your video is saying do one half then remake the whole object back in maya...i was trying to play with that mirror mesh routine...but it seems to only work if the mesh is i guess it only mirrors sculpted details not topology
Scott Turner
  04 April 2013
auto retopo in mudbox creates a much better result imo.. its a totaly new algorithm...
but lack of symmetry... and you still need a polymodeler like maya or modo to do the final...
  04 April 2013
mm interesting you find it better...still i haven't explored it that much yet... just playing...seems very slow...gets hung up around 32% for quite some time before resolving....
Scott Turner
  04 April 2013
My first tests weren't great.

The very first thing I tested (pulling out some long spikes from the sides of the cow) came out with horrible messed up geometry, like the projection totally failed. How is that controlled? Adding curves didn't help.

How do you control the amount of subdivision levels on the new mesh? I had a plane with two levels, pulled out and distorted to the point it was unsculptable, retopoed it and it came back with four subdivision levels even though I'd set it to only 1000 polys. Where did it get that from? I ended up with 16times the detail I wanted.

Also, do you have to do a new operation every time you want to remesh your model? It seems to save the original model it was used on and remeshes that one again, not the selected one if you use the original operation. Certainly not as quick as just ctrl dragging dynamesh models in Zbrush.

Lack of symmetry is a bit of a problem. Fine for the things I was thinking of using it for, but not great for characters. I wonder why that wasn't part of the original design.

I can certainly see potential. In some ways it's better and some ways worse than dynamesh. But it seems a bit unfinished.
  04 April 2013
My first test came out pretty good. It's a nice implementation, but without symmetry it's practically useless IMO.

I'm sure one of the devs could have coded this had they been given the opportunity,
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by blade33ru: playing with the retopo in 2014...seems ok but is it possible to force it to do symmetrical retopo like 3d coat does? seems a bit of a waste of time to do non symmetrical except for general dynamesh type retopo

Speaking of dynamesh, I wonder when Mudbox will finally get something like this.
  04 April 2013
OK first of all, Mudbox retopo is nothing at all like Dyanamesh.

So lets get that behind us first. It does not even compare in the worst way. It does not look at all like it was designed for this purpose but rather as a base for doing a form of remeshing which is closer to QRemesher if anything. But it fails at that even as I will describe.

Saying that it is good enough for dynamesh is missing many many things that are not working and pretty much in my opinion makes using Modbox as a retopo tool useless.

I'll try and cover the topics brought up in this thread:

1) The way you control if Mubdox creates levels of subdivision is to uncheck transfer sculpt details.

The problem: When you do this it does not project the volume of the mesh back to the new mesh and you wind up with a progressively smoother and thinner mesh as a result.

For a "Dnamesh worfklow" this is practically useless and not to mention far more time consuming.

The only solution to keep it from smoothing the mesh is to check the box for transfer sculpt details.

2) There is a bug that causes Mubox to revert back to an earlier mesh, even if you delete that operation and make a new one. I even resorted to deleting the earlier mesh and then shutting down Mudbox and opening again, only to have it revert to back to the ghost mesh which is apparently stored in a temp file someplace.

The solution?:

Make sure and delete all higher levels and uncheck transfer sculpt details.

The problem?

See #1.

3) Curves. You can create curves on the mesh to help it tell Mudbox where to add polyflow. This is more or less useful and works sort of. Probably about as good as Qremesher, but that is not saying much. This is a very very limited technique even in Zbrush. Koodos for doing that part at least more or less right.

The problem?

You can create curves in symmetry but you can not edit them in symmetry making curves completely useless for character modeling a head or anything symmetrical for that matter and this has been that way since the last release. I am not sure why it was not addressed at all much less, then introduce the "solution" as a part of re meshing.

Solution: do it one half at a time, - relates to the next issue - by having half of the model deleted. Say in Maya or wherever and then go back and forth.

The Problem?: Does this really need to be pointed out? OK, because the whole purpose is to keep things in Mubdbox with a working solution in Mudbox that you can then send down the pipeline. That was the stated promise and intent. And this makes it completely unintuitive, and time consuming.

EDIT: And further, if you don't do this with the model split first in another app, forcing a center line, the topology crosses the center line in diamond quads. Basically making sending to another app a far more complex ordeal of editing.

Which gets back again to, intuitive workflow. So you are going to working your model and always only see half? or at some point along the line you decide it is ready for the real retopo and then you send it over, but that that point it is just a mess. Really not a thought out solution.

And for this reason I really find it hard to believe that anyone actually used this in production during the beta period.


Getting back to this being some sort of dynamesh or even Qremesher it is then not at all ideal for characters or anything symmetrical.

4) Symmetry. It does not work - at all. I tried it. If someone has something to refute. Produce a real time video of it working.

I tried everything. There is no global symmetry, and I suppose that is the issue. There is only symmetry for some - but as mentioned - not all tools.

Curves? Nope. Mudbox did not even see the curve.

Try this:

Open up the Base Head

Go to the curve tools and grab a loop tool with snapping on the X and snap a curve to the center of the head. Using symmetry, snap as many curves as you want on either side of the head. Have a party. Break out your Taro cards, your best 3D app voo doo doll, say a prayer, what ever magic or faith you can muster.

Go to Mesh retopo and make sure use curves is active and transfer sculpt details is off - see 1&2.

Hit retopo and wait.


Mesh crossing the center line all over.

The solution?

Do it one half at a time. Now do we have to go over this again ?

So the solution would seem to be use this as a progressive re-meshing tool more like Qrepesher. But really it is even not that good at that. It is real tedious, it has nice looking quads, but they are not that great at Following curves - actually a little worse than Zbrush from my experience.

However for this to work, it is tied into that bug related to having multiple levels and reverting to an earlier mesh.

Overall I give it a nice go for effort. But I am really supprised that they released it in this state. It is not useful to me at all.

I think if you open it up on first look seems cool.

But after 2 days of fussing with it in actual production, I am sad to say it is back to Zbrush which I hate with a passion working with.

But these tools are not useful to me yet, not even close. And for what it is worth the object I was using in production was a hand. I was not using symmetry. So even there it was pretty much... f this... back to Zbrush and dynamesh.

A shame, because I really wanted Mubox to step it up in this area.

I do however think they had the basic right idea. Just that it was poorly thought out and not complete.

There are several things that could added and changed to make this work well.

Last edited by cineartist : 04 April 2013 at 12:02 PM.
  04 April 2013
i used this auto retpop a lot in production... not for whole chars but for arms and legs... body... ears... and all other kind of stuff you dont need symmetry... there hundreds of objects in a feature film pipeline you could do with one klick and go... also creature heads dont need symmetry cause most of the time they arnt symmetrical at all...

you are right there is a lot of room to improve... this is a hard task if you have to develop all from sratch... there is no such auto retopo like this one...

edit: have you tried to make the curves hard constraints..?

Last edited by oglu : 04 April 2013 at 12:43 PM.
  04 April 2013
Yeah we are part way there with the curve constraint. I had actually forgot about that. Still no symmetry but better.

Fix the other issues and we are on our way.

Use in production now?

Not for me. Sorry. The issues I brought up would have been the very first things right out of the gate had I been on the beta before this and I would have never agreed to it being finished in this sate.

I DO like the curve constraint and the general idea.

It is just not what was promised.

This is not a production tool in the sense that you'd have to have all of those items I listed addressed. Symmetry being a big one. That really kills it.

I don't care how many objects you can do without it. The object that got me to finally say to heck with it was a hand. No symmetry needed there. The tool is just not ready yet.

Not in my opinion.
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by cineartist: The tool is just not ready yet.

there is a lot missing yes... but its usefull on some things...
  04 April 2013
I can grant you that opinion .

I want to see it working for me. I would love that.
  04 April 2013
I agree that it's not quite there yet.
As someone who writes code. I can really appreciate this new Auto Topology option.
But the average user is probably going to feel a bit less impressed.

One of the other things that I don't like is the Reduce mesh option.
I don't like that it creates triangles instead of keeping the quads.
There is an awesome Reduce option in Softimage that reduces meshes and keeps the quads.
When this option is used along with the Relax option. You can reduce a quad mesh down to a very small amount of polygons.
And the quality is really fantastic. Better than any other reducing software I've ever used. Including Z-Brush.

I would really love it if this reduction code was include in Mudbox. So I don't need to install Softimage just to use that wonderful reduction tool.

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