[3D] Topology, Shaders, and Beauty Renders (Nudity)

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  05 May 2010
[3D] Topology, Shaders, and Beauty Renders (Nudity)

Have to say, as floored as I was when I started reading Leigh's intro post to this Focused Critiques forum, I've been double-y impressed by the feedback/critiques that have been doled out thus far! I'll have to work through some of the 'awkward, uneasiness' of critiquing someone elses work while feeling inadequate myself, but hopefully I'll be a help to someone soon! In the meantime, I want to draw from the wealth of knowledge floating amongst you to try and get my own skills up to par.

That said, my latest WIP Project was to construct a character fit for posing and/or animation (should I get brave). The topic of the thread points out each of the subjects I want to address (maybe just not all at once. It IS a work in progress, after all). Primarily, I want to learn the proper use of Character Topology. But as with any project we start, when it's finished, I also want it to look 'pretty'. That's where the need to better understand Shaders and 'Beauty Renders' comes in.

On to the art... This is a render of the head with a simple sss shader, as well as a wireframe capture.

Also worth noting, I am not pleased with the hair; nor do I think I ever will be considering how many iterations of it I have gone through. I continually bounce back and forth between Hair and Fur and poly hair. I've seen other artists do exceptional things with both methods. But for the life of me, I can't get the Hair and Fur plugin to both cooperate AND produce likeable results in the same instance. And being that painting textures is my weakest area, any attempt at polygon hair is something like a shipwreck. Anyways... rabbit trail.

This is a render of the full body, using the same skin shader. Tweaked the hair slightly (It's like a disease. I can't work on the model without doing something to the hair!)

"Those are fake." -- I'm quoting you because I know you said it before you scrolled down to this point. I know. Stay focused.

Admittedly, I am concentrating much more on the face/head than I am the body at the moment. But for the context of how the render 'looks', I thought it would be helpful to have the full body render. Once my facial topology meets expectations, then I'll work on the anatomy/topology of the body itself.

Eventually, I hope to be able to branch out into how to properly build the skin shaders for the final render, as opposed to how I'm using the same diffuse painting everywhere in the sss.

I know this was likely more long-winded than necessary, but the potential of the forum is exciting! I don't want to take people's time for granted, so hopefully I've effectively communicated what I hope to get out of this thread.
CG Challenge XXV: "B-Movie"
Nikola Tesla and the Fall of the Third Reich
  05 May 2010
Hi Revalis, yeah you are brave to come here, but faint heart never won fair maiden as they say

Female anatomy, especially beautiful women are the absolute most difficult thing to model. These models are a contradiction. They have to be all smooth and yet expressive which makes the anatomy a nightmare. You wanna check out the work of Sze Jones and especially Stahlberg. There is another dude but cant find the name, Chinese name I think.

The figure itself is a bit bland atm. There are few anchors on the figure and the muscles that are there are not really flowing. The model is pretty neat and tight, just not very expressive. Look at Zack Petrocs anatomy tute dvd for female anatomy and you will see the figure is feminine but the anatomy is expressive. No amount of shader work will fix this for you. Muscles weave through each other and wrap around each other and skeletal forms. Too much anatomy and you can tone it down a notch, you cant tone down something that isnt there. Also you are not showing the whole model so I am guessing you havent done the feet, you have to do them for private study even if they will be covered up. Reason being it is important practice, and eventually you will have to do an entire figure anyhow.

The hair is way too thin, If I can see through it it isnt working, hair, especially beautiful hair is a mass. You can get that with hair plugins. There is only texture on the face I think, no painting on the rest. For skin texture painting and shading see Zse's gnomon tutorial dvd.

Keep it a goin!

Edit: skin texturing is also a total bitch, maybe leigh can help you a bit more on this.
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys

Last edited by Kanga : 08 August 2010 at 07:36 PM.
  05 May 2010
So I've been on a quest to collect the resources you were talking about, Kanga, and didn't even realize that Sze had done a Gnomon Master Class. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find it on DVD anywhere. It's not here in the CG Store or on Gnomon's website. And Google only points me to torrents. :/

But citing her as a resource does raise an important point. From what I know about Sze, she relies pretty heavily on extracting her anatomical form from sculpting in zBrush, no? Does this mean that in order to get that 'expressive' form (not necessarily uber-realism, but expressive even as a stylized body) that I need to step outside of the box of 3DS Max and start sculpting (as opposed to worrying about forming muscle bands with edge loops)?

Stahlberg has some great, accessible stuff that I'm going to start going over, though. I may need to even consider forking out for his CG Workshop.

As for the third reference, not sure if you mean Jack Zhang or not. But he's awesome. Again, like Sze, I think his stuff benefits from the fact that he seems to have mastered zBrush.

Definately appreciate the crits, and agree with everything you've said. At the moment, the only real 'texture' is on the face, just because I wanted to see if the shader helped the base model look any better. When I would just do a 'clay model' render, I wasn't getting any sense of personality from the character... Having a little texture seemed to help that in my mind.. but I don't want to do that for the body itself.

I have a few of Leigh's latest tutorials from 3DWorld that I hope to put into practice once I move on to actually texturing, but I want the base mesh to be nice first.

I'm taking away from this that I need to focus, overall, on her definition; muscular structure.

So, as far as where I tend to this detail.. Should I be focusing on learning to sculpt at this point? Is it shooting myself in the foot to be learning to define muscle structures in Max on the model itself, as opposed to learning that and a sculpting package simultaneously?
CG Challenge XXV: "B-Movie"
Nikola Tesla and the Fall of the Third Reich
  05 May 2010

Jinwoo Lee was what I was looking for. He uses mudbox I think. Check out the female anatomy to see the expression in there.

You dont have to use a sculpting app because there is not one way to do something. To me though it makes sense to play with your form and then lay down the geometry once you know where everything goes instead of trying to solve the form the old way with straight modelling from the start, It doesnt give you room to try shapes out, easily.
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
  05 May 2010
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