Topology research


Yes I turn it into a SubD, and tweak the higher levels, and keep them separate (no collapsing). I’ve gone back and forth many many times to ensure I get the 0-level configuration that will look best as a SubD. For instance, the 4 triangles meeting in each nostril must look strange but trust me it works excellently. :slight_smile:

I’m a bit leery of loops, the real face has no such large looping structures so it can be a bit misleading to try too hard to find edge-loops in it… ok there are some circular or semi-circular muscle groups but I’m also not too fond of letting the muscles decide topology.
IMO only 2 things should guide topology:

  1. real surface topology (shape), both neutral and grimacing
  2. major wrinkles, both neutral and grimacing

Here’s a couple portraits I’ve marked to clarify what I meant about that nose-ridge, and the corners of the mouth and eye.

Also note, on the guy, the typical doubled-semi-colon shape that’s created by the nasolabial folds as they run into the chin, together with the next wrinkle parallell to it. Almost every single person on the planet shows something quite similar. (Although a few have the nasolabial fold hooking up a bit lower on the chin.)


I totally agree with Steven that only the actual wrinkles you see should be considered.

Time and time again, people model very detailed faces, but with the wrong topology. I wonder how those faces animate?

Here are some of the most obvious wrinkles we see on humans, yet, most face models out there don’t follow these wrinkles. I wonder why?


An aside.

Have you all noticed how music videos and commercials blur out those wrinkles weve been talking about on the female actor/model/ singers?

Now that I’m aware of it it looks pretty obvious.

Thanks Steven Looks like I can still learn a few things!



Thanks everyone for all the great pics and discussion. I wish I had something to add, but I’m just posting so I can be notified if there are additional tips! :slight_smile:


Great post!
This is exactly what I have been looking for. I find it a bit difficult to decide where I should place my edgeloops, but now I have several good references to get me started.

Thanks guys :applause:




This is a subject that I am working on a web page for. I am an articulator and this is the kind of dense mesh we use for film at out studio. I have been refining this one for the last few months. It is designed based on the type of deformation that I use in combo with each other. Some of the main points I use when modeling our vertical spans through the mouth. This helps stop shearing when the LCorner of the mouth is pull out to the side and up towards the eye. I also like to use this through the eye but with a bit of radial formation. The brow I try to keep the spans running horizontal to the eyes and loop down around the corner. All spans are keped as close to a neutral pose.

Here is a link to some of my examples.




HippyDrome : That site is absolutely nifty. I’m not advanced enough to get half of it, but you can be sure I’ll study it till I do! Making a skeleton to use as a guide in joint deformations is a lovely idea. Looking forward to seeing the site finished! :smiley:

Do you people realize that I could’ve saved almost a year of screwing around with mindlessly confusing wrecks that were supposed to be heads, if I could have taken just ONE look at this thread back when I started modeling? This is awesome! I could scream!! :scream:

Seriously, this information needs to be compiled someplace. Maybe a sticky thread, or even a CG Festival feature, or something, you think? A list of the best sites-- like the hobbitguy’s site, and The Human Head site, if that ever gets back up… and we could see if Syomka would add in a couple wires too, so we’d have his and Stahlberg’s unique approaches-- heck, we could ask lots of people to show their head meshes, and the good ones could be put in a nifty little ‘CGtalk Head Topology’ gallery… whaddaya think? :cool:



Thanks for your coments.

I have a whole section on the body coming on line this weekend. This will deal more with the spans in the body.




Hay Lunatique,

Nice thread you started here, when starting out it always helps to see how the “pro’s” put things together.

One thing, not sure if its just me, but on the first page, your first two links and the links on this page pop-up with protected and ask me to log-in to get to the images. The other image links work, fine just not those.

PS. nice looking wife, and supportive, both of which really helps with this stuff :slight_smile:


Oops, sorry about that. I had put a password on it to secure the directory to my short film, but I had put those images in that folder… I’ll fix it.


Originally posted by Lunatique
Oops, sorry about that. I had put a password on it to secure the directory to my short film, but I had put those images in that folder… I’ll fix it.

hehe, cool, thanks man, I wonder why no one else said anything, hmmmmm


That’s because I just put the password on yesterday. :smiley: It’s fixed now.


ummm, you sure its fixed, as I just tried:

on two different comps and got the login box both times. It seams anything under /3d/promise/ just doesn’t want to come out and play :slight_smile:


Doh!! Ok, it’s definitely fixed now. I checked it. Sorry about that!!


Well, for blendshape-based facial animation, all my experiences in the past year have proven to me that John Feather’s and Bay Raitt’s topologies below are approaches that work pretty well.

I can only suggest anyone who’s trying to get a good layout to study these images, go and try to build a head and a few facial shapes to test them. Then, after you’ve reached a few problematic areas while modeling the shapes, take another look at these wires and start again :slight_smile:

Also, here’s my current head, altogether the third project where I had to do faces and shapes. Schedules did not allow me to model in more wrinkles, so that’s the explanation for the lack of them…


Oops, forgot the wireframe… :slight_smile:


Originally posted by Lunatique
Doh!! Ok, it’s definitely fixed now. I checked it. Sorry about that!!

woohoo, yup that now works :slight_smile:

O’ and for what it’s worth, not that I am in the same ballpark as Steven, hell don’t even have a 3D job. But anyway here is my current WIP topology and a rendered output with temp textures, etc.


tonygib-- Hehehehe. You modelled her dimples? :smiley:


Now all this handy info can’t get lost! Let’s pile some more in!

How about a few nifty links? Yeah, why not… my own head meshes aren’t good enough yet to put up here, and if they were, it’d pretty much look like what other people have posted already, so here’s some links.

Syomka’s website
look in the WIP section for Anna and The Eye

The Human Head
That’s really a very good one, discussing matters of modeling theory and how they relate to different methods of modeling… but it seems to be down now. Don’t want to forget about it though, in case it comes back later!

Dave Komorowski, The Hobbit Guy
Great techniques in the head tutorial-- it’s not a human head exactly, but the methods are darn useful. This is where I learned to make creases, yay!

In this forum, too, there is a thread that sounds like it might have some potential later, if Fallenswordsman ever finishes the eye-area tutorial he promised.

ThirdEye --help us out with some more good links, we know you’ve got em!!

And somebody convince phreaknasty to post his Cranium over here!


Originally posted by Lunatique
tonygib-- Hehehehe. You modelled her dimples? :smiley:

By dimples I assume you are talking about the indent on the side, bak a bit from the mouth. In which case yeah, I noticed that on some people you can get a bit of movement when they speak and with expressions, just look at Katie Holmes.