my problem girl: your advice on modeling for animation


so i have this model i’ve made. she’s a simple low poly character for a game.
someone i know says to me “it is impossible to make a good skinning for this model because of the way the geometry is made”

i am wondering if any of you can give me some tips on how i can make this model better in preparation of the skinning/animation phase. i don’t know what i am doing wrong :frowning: time to learn!

what problems do you see with my topology?
any advice, very appreciated.


Well, I think it’s not that bad. What I usually do, is some kind of bellows on knees and elbow, for better deformations. (here’s an example on a character I’m just working on)

I suggest you to not stop edges with triangles where there are lots of deformations, like you did on shoulders (shoulders are always terribly painful to do :scream: ), and I dont think you need more subdivisions on arm than on forearm.


thanks for that Clanker.
and so, would you do an elbow in the same way?

can anyone else share how they make elbows, shoulders, knees and ankles? and a bit of info why you make them that way? seeing other people’s wireframes is a big help.


Hello there Womanonfire. Here are my two cents:
In the shoulder are blue means edges keep the shape, red are used for deformation.
It’s just a proposal, don’t follow my image by the pixel…
One more image by Ben Mathis:

This method works fast and easily for knees, you’ll have to tinker for a while for elbows.
Two links for professional wireframes:
I hope this helps, see you.


i started her again. but still having confusion about the shoulders. its an area very hard to see in wireframes i find on the web. don’t suppose anyone could show me a quick screenshot just about that area under the arms where it meets the torso. whats a good way to make that connection without triangles all over the place? :shrug:


This how I’ ve done it. Not perfect actually, I’m still searching for the holy perfect topology =)


thanks a lot Clanker! i’m working on it now. i’ve tried a few things, even started yet another character. i will update this thread in a bit.


Nice shoulder reference.

I was just about to search CGTalk for a shoulder wire to study… Have made a few different types, but I’m not that satisfied. :sad:


I have to recommend these excellent video tutorials by Ben Mathis (especially the “Low Poly Character” series). I can’t remember exactly which one of those, but in one of them he goes into quite some detail about how he does the shoulder topology. It’s been a great reference for me.
Ben Mathis tutorials


Yeah ben mathis tutorials are great great ressources :slight_smile:


theres a video called ‘arms’ on that site that goes into a lot of detail

and that gif animation Stenofo posted above is also very informative. Especially since it explains how the vertexes are bound during skinning.

would be nice to find more about women. the way the breast connects to the chest and underarm area is quite mysterious.


ah but i’m watching his “delilah” body modeling video. its really good! shows a lot. moves fast though.


Ya, Ben is an awesome guy, he is my hero lol. He has given me alot of knowledge that I couldn’t really find anywhere else.


Ancient Pig has written a few notes about deformations, that could also help:


thats excellent :applause:
thank you much!


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