Body topology


Hi Guys,
interesting thread. I hope I can get some comments too

Here is the head that I’ve been doing. I want to make the head as natural/real as possible. Please give me some input…Thank You!


I really don’t think there is much to improve. Great modeling. You might want to check the position of the ears, maybe they are a bit too high. The top of the inner arc of the ear seems a bit too high, too. With most ears the curve goes back to horizontal a little earlier. But that’s nothing, really.
As you did not post your topology I guess that’s not an issue in your project? I’d be curious as to how it looks.


digging myself outta a grave here… its hard to find the time to get as involved as i once was…

either way, here is a stab at critiques.

toolmaker -
that’s looking really great! you might want to work the shoulders abit more, especially the clavicle bones relationship with the shoulder… it might be that the shoulders muscle thats attached to the clavical bone closest to the neck isnt quite right with how it meets.

the armpit area could use some loving, mabey tighting up the details abit, where the biceps meet the inner armpit, actually if you spinned your edge where the bicep is attached to the shoulder downwards. it should help defined that region abit better. (basiclly move the 6sided vertice down into the armpit, and let the bicep strands attach there. the topology and not the surface)

also, she looks around 6.5 heads tall, i would suggesting pushing her up to 7 - 7.5 heads.

in the torso i would move the side of the ribcage down an inch or two, closer the the hip.

the hip, i would define the mucles alittle more on how it meets and flows down the inner thigh back around to inside knee area. there is a muscle above the inside knee cap, that could be defined softly. there is also a counter muscle that almost flows the opposite direction that creates a teardrop shape that defines the larger thigh muscle between them.

the calf muscle seems to buldge about to much to quick as it exits the back of the knee, try mushing more of that mass down 2 inches or so.

btw, when i say inches i mean in relations to the model if she was realworld, not 2 inches in reality space ;D

i did a paintover but i realized i dont have a host atm to put the image up.

That was my approach up until recently. The direction changes tend to cause issues with the zbrush/ mudbox painting tools where sudden “pitting” appears at the connection point.

The work will have to be put in somewhere, either in the topology or in the deformation painting, but it seems problematic to do both and wrestle with the ballence. However keeping simple topology in an areas such as a leg and using underlying muscle deformers to simulate muscle form and flexation seems to me a good tradeoff in highly realistic work. Keeping model topology more simple aids both in rigging and painting.

Still I’m not trying to say there is only one way, just pointing out tradeoffs and issues one may unexpectedly encounter.

   		 			 				Originally Posted by [b]designingpatrick[/b]
  		[i]It seems like the simplest and most effective method is to follow the muscles only in the area where there is a direction change. In this way, further divisions will adhere to those guidelines.[/i]

Personally, i find that using zspheres to block out the character and converting them to unified skin, scupting initial base shape, resurfacing it with the topology tool to get a clean base model, enable projection, so the clean geometry is shinkwrapped to dirty and its ready for scuplting as a clean surface optimal for your target mesh.

sculpt up the mesh to desired outcome, export maps needed.

if you want to keep the edge loop style, then have your mesh resurfaced with clean edgeloops that conform to the body and have it projected to the target mesh, then your normalmaps should be able to take care of the character without having to bother with the displacement maps, sicne the mid-res geometry represents the profiles of the character.


Hi Mr.Stahlberg, first of all amazing piece you got there! I thought you could only build hot chicks but man was I wrong. :wink:

Secondly, can you offer me some advice on this piece?
Still only about half done, but I’m thinking it’s too sterile and not natural enough. I know asymmetry will help, and some flaws so that muscles are not in their perfect textbook shape. What do you think?

Another problem is I can’t find references buff enough in some areas like the neck, and I’m sure this is a common problem for cg artists, I wonder how one deals with it, use Liquify on bodybuilder photos?

Lastly, he’s supposed to be kind of an arnold + bruce lee type character, his upper body should convey brute force and sheer strength, but I want his lower body to be agile, so you think he could move really fast if he wanted to.
This means making the legs somewhat disproportionately small, do you think it’s working or does it just look wrong now?

Some general advice and maybe pointers on any glaringly bad mistakes would be very helpful and much appreciated!


edit: crap, forgot the topology shots. These are lvl 1.


WHOA!!! that’s a lot of steroids :wink:

really nice looking character. u have a ton of detail.
it’s gotta be hard to get the upper body to look all buff and try and make the lower body seem more sleek and agile.

i’m looking at the overall feel of the character, and i see a few issues with proportion. i know ur going exaggerated and making him uber buff, but i think his lats are just too damn big. the other issue with size is his quads… i wouldn’t change them much, but maybe just a little bit bigger. it tends to be a pretty big muscle.
i also am looking at the arms and all the muscles and thinking they’re all a bit too defined. looking at his abs and pecs they’re pretty defined, but don’t look like a toy. the arms are just too bubbly and sharp.
i’d also suggest toning down the forearms a bit and making his hands less swollen looking.

anyways, it looks rad, please don’t think i’m being mean or overly critical… this is just what i see. besides, this is more detail than i’ve ever modeled, yet. :smiley:


great work so far, but I have to agree with Darek,
especially the hands and feet are to big or look to swollen.


Thanks for the kind words, I actually havn’t done the hands, but I’ll tone it down a bit and post them up.

As to the body, I’m still struggling between realism and stylization.
I can’t decide how much shock factor and how much realism I want in it, but I’ll keep the updates coming. :slight_smile:
The legs are really bothering me, anyone know any body builders who actually has small legs? I can’t find any.


I would recommend looking at boxers, especially some of the old timers. Since boxers put a lot of effort into keeping their weight down, they rarely ever build up their legs. So Many boxers have very thin legs in relation to their bodies.
Of the top of my head I can think of Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler.
Also some swimmers. Michael Phelps has a huge upper body and very skinny legs.

BTW, I agree, I think the lats are way too big if this guy is supposed to be an athlete with efficient muscles. He doesn’t look like he can move… I think you should look more at fighters and gymnasts for this kind of reference because they build efficient coordinated muscles. Body-builder, though they are athletes, are not concentrating on efficient working muscles. The muscles are more for show.
my two cents :slight_smile:


I wouldn’t say so. Especially when you consider his height.


In my opinion Swimmers are skinny in general but in the way that you can see every muscle but with less mass compared to body builders.

I think that your legs are already looking relatively small compared to the upper body but you could express it more if you would make the hip a subtle bit more small


I thought he would have webbed fingers and feet :slight_smile:
I see you are right. I was just looking at him in the olympics and it seems like his upper body was huge compared to his legs.


He’s been wearing black pants all the time, which took the attention away from his legs.
Oh, and he’s about 1.93 m tall, but his arm span is more than 2 meters.

And the difference isn’t really just about being skinny, swimmers need actual strength that they can utilize instead of simple muscle mass; and they also need a large degree of freedom, particularly in the shoulder area. But don’t tell me this guy isn’t scary:

He’s Alan Bernard BTW, 100m freestyle champion.

The increasingly unnatural results in body building have altered our ideas about a perfect body in a bad way IMHO. No bodybuilder could lift an arm as high as a swimmer has to for every stroke, they’re usually not good enough in strongman competitions or standard bodyweight exercises or sprinting or anything requiring stamina either. Yet every comic book superhero - and in turn, every CG character - tends to look like them…


Alan Bernard has a back like a gorilla :smiley:

But you´re right body builder only train the way to get as much muscle mass as possible instead of real power.


I would love to, for once, see someone create a superhero based on what a real physical athlete looks like.


I might as well show who I’m making to give you a better idea. :slight_smile:

some more


An update.
I think I’m done most of it. Bottom side of hands look like shit, I just realized that as I’m posting.
I think I’m more or less satisfied with the style, now I’m gonna do another pass with only photo ref for some realism. Proportions, wrinkles, skin(so it doesn’t look like exposed muscles), veins, things like that.

Feedbacks are much appreciated!


In my opinion it looks great, stylized but great.

I especially like the back muscles


man, this guy rocks!


So once again a new model:

Can´t wait to hear your comments =)



I think that you have developed a slightly more unique style than what I am used to seeing. I can see that you have a very raw understanding of the components of the body. I can tell just from a glance or two that you visualize the physiognomy, and sub-structures in a more independent way. That is really cool, because it can lead to accurately stylized characters.

At the same time, I think that you need to pick your battles with the definition that has been created. That means more subtleties, smoother transitions and especially a lower poly count. Are you working with nurbs? You should post your topology. What is your target media? What is the poly count?

Great work, I want to see more of it.