Character - cat

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Old 08 August 2003   #1
Character - cat

I suppose I'm the intolerable noob that posts a link to his portfolio and wants random feedback without properly introducing himself (see "What should be the content of a good portfolio website")? :shame:

Okay here goes then....

My name's Christiaan Moleman and I'm a student of game art and design at Teesside uni in England. I use mainly trueSpace but I'm also currently learning how to use 3D MAX. This model I'm doing in trueSpace 6.6.

Anyway, I'm working on this model for a short animation and I was wondering if I could get some feedback on it as I go along. I'll be overwriting the images on my server daily...

Last edited by ninjadodo : 08 August 2003 at 11:33 PM.
Old 08 August 2003   #2
The problem that I see developing with your current model is the excessive use of triangles as opposed to quads. This is causing your smooth model to have unwanted jagged edges. Other than that it seems to be coming along well, I would like to see it when you have the eyes in place and some shading/fur done.
Outside what box?
Old 08 August 2003   #3
well that is only half correct, i have used exclusevly truespace for a long time now (since quake2)

and would like to add

truespace only works in triangles, wether the edges are there or not, other programs do to they just adjust the "hidden" edges to achieve the least acute angle possible

its these sharp angles that lead to problems, properly built the result is better with triangles


youll note theyre the same shape in the end,
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
"When All Else Fails, Play Dead"

[]Gannon Paintover[URL]
Old 08 August 2003   #4
Quote: Originally posted by Ebola0001
truespace only works in triangles...

what version of truespace are you using?? i am using truespace 6.0 and model with quads. there is nothing in truespace that forces me to use only triangles. please elaborate as i may be misunderstanding what you are trying to say...

Old 08 August 2003   #5
I use Truespace 5.0

But anyway if it designs stuff in 3d there are 2 ways to define a shape, triangles and splines.

Now, if it is a quad it is 2 triangles with one edge hidden (or on automatic depending on how you look at it.

Now here you see a set of polygons (1-6)

The red dotted line is this hidden or automatic edge

In 1 you can see both sides of the "quad", or both tris making up the quad.

In 2 you can only see one triangle of it notice how the line i drew in "solid"

This is because direct X has to set that edge to render it (remember its not spline based, "nurbs" are solids defined by splines), this is an example of real-time handling of a hidden edge.

3 shows what happened when the defining triangle of the "surface" is hidden by the z buffer, it thinks it is pointing away from us so it doesn't draw it in. However the space that the visible side of the quad should take up is also not there this is because it is still one surface even though it has to be rendered as triangles. Its visibility is determined by the defining triangle or the first one drawn in automatically for quads+.

In 4 it still looks normal because the render can see both sides, however its lightness, being a "face" without smoothing groups, is determined by the defining triangle so it won't always match what is around it.

In 5 you see the defining side of the quad so its lightness matches

Although 6 is a bad example (see 9) it shows the shading not matching its surroundings, it is the same shade as its neighbor even though they are not facing the same

9 is a good example the 2 pointed out faces are facing roughly the same direction but they are obviously different in shading.

Now the renderer can solves this by splitting surfaces up into triangles before it renders them, this allows it to show this side of the "quad" shown in 6

Now Iím sure your asking why isn't that how Iím defining that "face" is with that line drawn in, well no seen in 7 (wire) and 8 (shaded) 4 points not on the same plane define a curved surface which is actually a blending of having the "edge" flipped both ways in theory.

Anyway I think Iím done with my ramblings. Hope this either clears things up or confuses you completely, either way you will leave satisfied.

Bye now :o)
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
"When All Else Fails, Play Dead"

[]Gannon Paintover[URL]

Last edited by Ebola0001 : 08 August 2003 at 08:19 AM.
Old 08 August 2003   #6
Ebola is right. TrueSpace (and other software with it) always uses triangles whether you're putting them there or not. The difference is that if you model with quads you don't control where the edges go while if you model with triangles you do... Unfortunately in tS, there's no way of turning triangles back into quads once you've adjusted the edges to your satisfaction.

But anyway, to get back on-topic...

I've updated the model images. I've now added eyelids and eyes and I've also adjusted the mouth a bit.
Old 08 August 2003   #7
As far as turning them back into quads, you just kill one of the edges

Right click on an object pulls up the umm "component" mode

Then select the edge you wanna kill

Then press erase vertices

Also kindof related you can use add edges to umm add edges to the object, just pick 2 vertices or any point along an edge (it will add a vertex automatically)
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
"When All Else Fails, Play Dead"

[]Gannon Paintover[URL]

Last edited by Ebola0001 : 08 August 2003 at 08:03 PM.
Old 08 August 2003   #8
I know all that. Point is if you remove the edge you also lose your adjustments, which defeats the purpose of putting it there in the first place.
Old 08 August 2003   #9
Another update...

I've made a few more adjustments to the head one of which being that I lowered the subdivision level a bit because it was looking a bit too smooth. It has more character this way I think.

I also created the body. Yes, he looks like a rug this way but I figure it's the only way to rig it properly later...

Last edited by ninjadodo : 08 August 2003 at 06:19 PM.
Old 08 August 2003   #10
I've done the surfacing of the eyes now, still working on the projections of the actual head. I think I'll probably smooth the eyebrows and ears a bit first though. I like the edgyness around the mouth and cheeks but around the eyes and ears it just looks stupid...

Last edited by ninjadodo : 08 August 2003 at 06:26 PM.
Old 08 August 2003   #11
... worked on the smoothness around the eyes and ears a bit.
Old 08 August 2003   #12
You shouldn't really worry about the triangles/quads thing yet; first get rid of all the ngons (polys with more than 4 sides). They really riddel your model with artifacts ie on the cheek where all of the edges lead into a star. This is do to the fact that indeed polys are all converted into tris before render realtime or not. Good line flow also helps with face shapes later in the dev cycle. Lines should flow around the mouth and eyes on characters that are humanish. You could apply the same principles here with some changes. Try to limit your star edge formations to 5 edges if possible preferably 4. Just my 2 cents
Old 08 August 2003   #13
the attached file has the areas I am talking about why have you choosen to go with this line flow?
sorry for the exstreamly small size and jpeg compression but I really need to find somewhere to host my images
Attached Images
File Type: jpg why.jpg (15.3 KB, 33 views)
Old 08 August 2003   #14
I see what you mean.

Thing is, I didn't actually choose this line flow as such. It just turned out that way after I applied subdivision surfaces. This is the actual mesh that I modeled:

Looking at it now it's obvious why this produces that star shape in the smoothed version and I could easily turn a few edges here and there to get rid of it but I'm not sure I really want to change the way those edges go. I think it'll change the shape in a way I don't like...

I suppose I could give it a try and see how it looks. Actually, I think I see one edge that would improve the line flow if turned but wouldn't alter the shape... hold on.
Old 08 August 2003   #15
I've updated the large scene overview image. Here's what I changed:

I was going to get rid of or turn an edge on either side of the cheeks, but it ended up altering the appearance too much and in the end, final look has priority over mesh flow for me. However, I did get rid of an unecessary edge on the cheeks, slightly improving the flow of edges there without hurting the shape of the model...
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