Body topology


hello again guys
here is a wire of a wip (berserk warrior) i m currently working on (yeah he is huge:)

as i m new to modeling and cg i could again use your help
what do you think - its for ZBrush i think (major muscle groups are not defined by loops). But I dont know for sure is it good for ZB because i never used this soft before. so your C&C(if you have something to say about proportions or somethin like that go ahead:)?
thanks in advance and sorry for my english)


After reading this thread for many days, i have come to the conclusion that topogun is a must have! It makes life much easier by retopologizing your mesh for you…

nevermind no it doesnt, you have to still draw out your line.


Hi all =)
What you think about my topology, and what I must fix or change in my model?

PS: Sorry for my bad English =)


NIce stuff Romashko! Looks like you have the basics down, I wonder it you can get rid of that start juntion on the cheek? Maybe this isn’t important though, does anyone have any input about vertices that share 5 polygons?


Excuse me for reply to the old post

I’ve changed my mind to refine my muscle rig (Ver.2).
As you all know the muscle rig is in a relative deforming space, so a little bit precise muscle definition is important as same as effective articulations for each muscle’s controls. (Could you guess what I wanna say?)

Anyway, I’ll try harder in my own pace.
Thanks to all!!


So much depends on how you want to rig it. If you were to go the zbrush route and create diferent muscle states depending on type of action to use for displacement maps. You might find that keeping a simpler toopology would make it easier to sculpt the shapes in zbrush. And in that case you could include such subtleties as skin wrinkling, stretchmarks, etc.


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.


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.


Thanks for your reply, you two.

> zbrush – displacement

I had done what it is in my “Miranda Ver.1”, which is called (by me) “Layered-Animated Displacement Maps”. However I tried to make those texture resource mainly by Photoshop. I agree with you that those wrinkles/tendons animations should be by displacement/bump/normal maps.

What I’m planning to do muscle rig is to separate the rigging figure and detail figure (eg. by ZBrush), then connect those two by wrap deformer. This is called “Cage Method” in Japan. After this process, I will be able to use the very simple topology figure for ZBrush, which will be deformed by the another muscle rigging figure.

For this purpose above, I have to build the suitable edge loops for muscle rig.
I have to try some more about this issue.


i’ve been using maya and zbrush(sperately) for a while now. I love zbrush. The workflow is fantastic. I am however quite irritated with the problems Maya has rendering its displacements.

Lets say I wanted to create my base mesh in Zbrush(love those zspheres)…does zbrush create a bad base mesh? if its good couldnt i just export it to Maya and work from there without dealing with the setting up the initial edgeloops and/or dealing with length displacement renders.

This is about 10,000 Polys created in zbrush.

by the way… this topic has been extremely helpful. Thanks to everyone who is taking time to input information!


I have found that creating the base topology in a typical 3d app is more efficient. You can leave larger “flat” areas open with less edges, and define more detail in the needed areas. This way you can have great control over edge loops and a base level silhouette before sending it off to the beauty shop. Although, I will be attending the Stahlberg class this month, so this advice is tentative.


designingpatrick, thanks for the speedy reply.

I reduced the base mesh in zbrush a bit than converted to subd in maya. here’s the smoothed version. Does the model look troublesome?


It looks fine, what is your set up for you displacements? As there are few things to be aware of…



Jay, I am trying to stay away from importing hi-res zbrush models(which final version of this is) - i do get the displacements to work but i am just not thrilled with the workflow. so I’d like to just export a lower level from zbrush and than build it up in maya.

Also, i’ve been reading into topology mapping in Zbrush and it is an incredibly intuitive system. You can literally draw topology flow righto n the model.

Zbrush to maya workflow: detail model to desire, export obj, export R32 displacement map(convert to .map) - import to maya, turn off displacement on actual model, setup dsiplacement node, set up approximation node for mental ray, change alpha gain and offset. i think thats it.

there were situations where i wanted rigid body interactions with hi-res zbrush models, maya cant handle the poly counts and dealing with displaced rigid interactions seems to be a shady subject.


(Excuse me for multi-posts.)

Hi there.
Some of you know, I’m trying to do muscle rigging deeply. The Characteristics for it is that most of outside muscles are implemented. The muscle rig is for my figure “Miranda”, which is going from Ver.1 to Ver.2.

If there are somebody who is interested for muscle rig, or anatomy, I’m glad to be given C&C. If possible, please give me an advice.
The WIP thread is here.


Hello, Im having some issues with my model. Im doing a young female for a big project coming up this year for school. She’s going to be fully clothed, and will be using the ncloth system. So right now im doing her body. Im having trouble mostly in the chest area. It looks really flat underneath the breasts and Im not happy with those either. Mind you there wont be any shots of her without clothes - but I would like to have a pretty good looking model for my portfolio. She’s also young so the breasts wont be fully developed. Shes around 13-15.
Any suggestions would be really appreciated! Thanks!


First I want to say that this is a really great thread and I learned so much from the posts here.

 I started to model a digital beauty for my reel and I want to get the edgeflow right before I bring the model into ZBrush for further detail modeling. She's going to get a complete setup, so it's very important that the geometry deforms well.
 It's my first try to model a realistic complete human body and I'm not sure about the edgeflow in some regions, because I ignored the quad-style pretty much. I would be very thankful for some critic on the edgeflow as well as the form and proportions of the model.



Looks great! I think that the best thing that you can do is test it out at this point. There are some areas of question around the shoulders and the armpit, but you should rig it up and do some streches. I assume that you will be doing a facial set-up as well, you should include a topological image of this area for a more acurate critic. The face is obviously the mosty intricate, and will demand the largest variation of deformation. In addition, it will ruin everything if it is not convincing.
The main question that I have is about the production or target result. How will the geometry be viewed? Game? Animation? Still picture? Who is animating it? Who is rigging it? Who is lighting it?

You might be best off to just rig it right now and look for the week points. Also if the skinning isn’t great well, then…


Hi all =)
It’s my new head WIP, and, I hope, better topology =)


i have been ready this post since the begging and reading all the tips. =)
is my time to post.
let me know what can i improve.

thanks guys.