Topology research


They are just morph targets/blend shapes firing before the bone rotations and combo’s targets
firing when multiple ones are not playing nice together.




I asked about classical art training to prove a point to a friend that even professionals out there will tell you that Classical Art helps…

Laa Yoosh
Your reply was awesome and helpful but your ending sentence was this:
“There’s a lot of threads here on this subject, by the way…” A bit “tart” and sarcastic and this is what Toontje is talking about. But whatever I undersand because, you have probable heard this stupid question over and over again…

But over the summer I tutored someone in CG. He didn’t belive me when I said it’s worth looking into Classical art technique to better your CG work. So i wanted him to hear it from you guys. I showed him this thread and your comments to prove to them that it’s worth while to learn classical techinques…

All in all Laa Yoosh you have been a great help and I have been studying a lot of your post and have found them very useful. So don’t feel like your being blown off… Greatly apperciate your comments.

But Toontje, I go to the Academy of Art University in San Fransisco CA and a lot of the CG teachers there are 10 year ILM vets. One instructor I had was Tareq Mirza the creator of the Freedom of Teach DVD on organic modeling. So it’s like this… Some of the answeres your looking for are just company trade secrets that they are not allowed to show or share with others. I mean they have to sign a contract… So if Tareq went on CG talk and just started posting a bunch of ILM models and technique he could get sued… Its not that he is mean or whatever, it’s just as simple as that… SO get into the field get a job at a game company or somthing and you will start learning a lot more… More than what any school or book can teach you… Anyway thats what I think…

Also I have read your threads about Topolgy and it’s great. It’s very helpful and you have done a lot of work on that. Just keep building on it :slight_smile:

Take care


here is my topology on a low poly base i am working on to use for modifications for any humanoid models.

and this is a higher poly version.


That type of topology is a typically wrong approach. The best way to find a topology is to take a mirror, and make grimaces. You’ll see your wrinkles and those identify your topology lines. If you make your grimaces slowly, you’ll see exactly where they are in a neutral pose.

Modeling is not different to drawing. You have to see to model properly. Your approach (and a general approach, but not necessarily good) doesn’t care with the folds of the skin around the nose, etc. I suggest to study real faces, and reorganize the topology. That is why a reference sculpt comes handy. You have the features, and these features will drive your hand.
What I see on your model (and hundreds of fellow artist’s models as well) that you were carefully followed some reference images of TOPOLOGY. The problem is that you don’t want to model a model, but a human face. You have to think of lines, shapes, forms, and not in terms of eye is radial, mouth is radial, etc. They are, of course radial, but if you pay attention to the original forms, and lines, you’ll make the radial structure of your own, but perhaps, you’ll make it better, than this you posted.

Sorry, if I’m not clear, but English is not my prmary language…:slight_smile:


here is my topology on a low poly base i am working on to use for modifications for any humanoid models.

and this is a higher poly version.

i made a whole new model to try to achieve better topology.


The topology is lot better. But, take care of the mouth. The upper lip used to be outer than the lower lips, and the corner of the lips used to be inner. The edge of the lips used to turn inside the mouth. Get photo references, and draw these lines to have better understanding.


Hi jester,

I have been working with your appoarch to modeling. I am at the point of remeshing this model. I have been working the abdominal area mostly but feel I might be getting to complicated with the topolgy. I was wondering if I could get your thoughts. WHen ever you have time.


Ignore the hands, Some goofy thing happened to the forearm and hands…


What is the intended use/output of the model? I don’t think there is never a reason to make this sort of topology, but the medium of presentation is going to be the main factor that governs the style of topology that you will use.

From what I’ve learned;

If it’s for a game, then the demand tends to be that you have irregular geometry that deforms in strategic areas.
If you will not be animating the model at all, then you shouldn’t rely on tricky topology at all.
If you have a slow computer, then there might be a use for little tricks here and there (like 5 or sided polygon for bumps).

If it is for a movie or some other rendered, non-interactive animation then you should stick with the grid set-up.

I think people tend to get too caught up on the topology and sometimes forget that the model should be the main focus and that the topology needs to change based on the project.


I would like to animate this and I would like to try capturing the detail with Normal Maps.

Right now this was a model entirely modeled in Zbrush. It’s all quads. But to animate this in Maya would be a nightmare so I need to remesh.

Thanks for your comments


If it is for pre-rendered animation, then make it a simple grid pattern that is formed by the silhouette of the model. The difference maps (displacement, normal or bump) will take care that the detail is carried through, but tricky topology is only good for real time rendering where the deformations are driven by rigging and skinning. You can get the high-res deformation accentuated by blend-shapes and morph targets.

There really is no reason to complicate it I think.


Patrick is just right. The best if you look at sample models, observe how the skin deforms (i.e. study the wrinkle patterns) and try to build up your topology according to that. I think that your topology is really complicated. Try to separate the flexible and the rigid areas, but don’t forget the topology must serve the skin deformation.


Thanks Patrick! :smiley:

I felt I was trying to be a bit too tricky with the topo.



Thanks Jester.
So… The bottom line. The topo is too complicated and needs to be simplified?

Thanks all… I guess I got a bit nervous that if I didn’t define every bit of form I made with a edge that the normal map would fail to capture my forms properly…
All right I will scrap this topo and rework it…


Disagree. Prerendered stuff still needs good topology.

Hm… might have been a bit too hasty? Anyway, I really hope I’ll be able to post some of the stuff we do with explanations… someday.


I never use grid modeling for organics. Eventually I’ll want to do something else with the model and nearly the entire object will need a re-topo done to it. Better to model organics properly from the start.


This is very useful! Thank you very much for sharing this stuff!
I’m really looking forward to the next update!

Best regards,



Looks like you’ve got some good results using the grid topology in general areas, and modified grid shapes where dynamic torsion and deformation occurs. And the rigged model speaks for the results.


fine .
i like it


wahahow…i think i posted my human modeling in the wrong forum. This is good stuff, and 55 pages going on :smiley:


Now if we could only have all of the images that existed…That would be great. Someone could publish a book with all of this info!