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Jay 02-01-2007 02:23 PM

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Hey All

Lets Use this thread as a discussion for character topology. Post up your images of your character meshes in here to get some advice for your own WiP's

I'll start this off with one of my own on a head....The base mesh before a level 1 Subdivision Surface conversion


marlonjohn 02-01-2007 04:20 PM

Here is mine,

A question from me Jay, ived always wanted to know and maybe some other people, what is with all that level 1-5 i think mesh etc?


enhzflep 02-01-2007 05:00 PM

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And here's another.. 572 faces - way to many of them triangles, I reckon.

gster123 02-01-2007 05:35 PM

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Well, heres the head that I did a while back, i've not changed much just cleaned up the geometry a bit and then went on to modeling the torso.

Think it could be more efficient and better with more ref, but as this was my first "proper" go I thought it came out ok.

gster123 02-01-2007 05:39 PM

Jay, gotta say I love the flow round the jaw area on yours, looks very efficent.

Do you keep it all quads or do you let the odd tri in as your post on Cgtalk? Or is it just for what your going to do with it?

Joining 3dsk soon so when I get some good ref i'm gonna give a head/human another crack, trying to keep the mesh efficient.


vladimirjp 02-01-2007 06:17 PM

cool thread
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nice base mesh Jay.

but i personally shy away from poles [5 faces sharing a single vert]
rigging it is sometimes fustrating; trying to equaly distribute weights accross 5 faces. thats a main reason why perfect squares are preferred. they sometimes look odd when deformed at extreme poses [on cartoony characters for instance]
also poles on Sub D especially, give bad specular highlights.

i would tweak a few more spots myself. nice start tho.
as for N-gons, i have not yet had any bad experiences with them when i do poly smooths instead of subD.
so , i love n-gons because of the flexibility

marlonjohn 02-01-2007 06:26 PM

hey vlad, just out of curiousity... is it possible to have all quad faces instead of having a couple 5 sided faces sharing 1 vertex as you said about jays mesh? never really seen one to be honest,

vladimirjp 02-01-2007 07:13 PM

sure its possible. but not worth having.
but its best to place them in areas that dont deform much or in areas that naturally collapse on themselves like corner of the nosewhere the nostrils are.
this is not written in stone. its just my preference when modeling for animation.

Jay 02-01-2007 07:28 PM

Wow a great start to the thread...excellent.

I'll answer as much as I can now as Im at work.

Marlon John: Levels of division etc... There are 2 ways to look at these. 1) If you are modeling on a subd surface, you can right click over the mesh and select Finer, this will then place Level edits to your mesh ie; level 1 upwards, allowing you to model in more detail. However these can cause problems when you go back to a base poly mesh you can lose the detail and when/if you convert to a poly for the final model the mesh would simply be too dense, in those Level Edit areas. 2) Levels of Subdivision are also when you choose to add more geometry to a lower res poly model, you can either choose subdivide or poly smooth the mesh by typing in a value from 1 upwards. I hope this all makes sense.

gster: Good effort though I think less geometry would be good and work on those loops. Thanks dude, Everything is quad in ALL my models there are no tris at all, not even at CGTalk, its probably the angle.

Vlad: Cheers dude, I dont have a prob with the poles, the one on the lower jaw isnt thats the angle (again on that) I'll post up a close up later once Im home. As I do blend shapes for my facial expressions I know what the rig is doing as opposed to having joint deform the face, and NGons too I dont have a prob with, I think theres plenty in the ears LOL. Looking at a lot of Stahlbergs work he has 5 siders in some strange places, even on the face in areas such as cheeks, he doesnt worry about those, just as well really hiswork is pretty darn good.

Anyways lets keep this rolling


Jay 02-01-2007 07:44 PM

LOL Vlad, my bad that is a pole on the jaw LOL, apologies dude...


gster123 02-01-2007 07:52 PM

Cheers Jay,

As you said about the geometry and loops, i'm keeping that in mind for my next go.

I think its something that comes with practice starting over and trying to tweek as much out of the basic shapes right from the start and not going for the split poly tool (or whatever method peeps use) right away to add detail and loops (which is what I did and then came a cropper and went back to try and reduce the geo and readjust the loops!!) which I think looking at other posts, it affects other "organic starters" too.

Cheers for posting yours Jay, i'll be refering to it when i'm giving my next model a go! LOL, which I will be posting in here when I get it going (might be a while as i'm gathering info for it at the mo)

As you say about Stahlbergs work, he has a few ngons and tri's, suppose its just a matter of knowing your job and getting them in the right places.

vladimirjp 02-01-2007 07:56 PM

cool man.
this shtread might motivate me to model again, i havent done that in months. :)
ill probably make something like a cartoony guy.

Jay 02-01-2007 10:43 PM

Hey Vlad
yeah do it dude!!

No probs, it helps to actually draw your meshes too so you have an idea where to begin. As Vlad said earlier nothing is set in stone in terms of the 'right way' its a preferred way.

I would also recommend looking at the main muscle groups in the face and how edge loops resemble those, it makes more sense when you see it this way, you then understand how things work and the benefits of edge loops for animation purposes.


Jay 02-01-2007 10:51 PM

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Ive attached a diagram of different types of quad possibilties. Obviously the first one is the desired one but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and go a different route. The second and third option work well in a manner of areas, obviously not overly desirable where deforming of the mesh is concerned but as I said sometime you gotta bite the bullet, and lastly the 5 sided poly, again not one for deforming areas (preferably) although it can be, but use sparingly, ideal for terminating edges when you dont want to add even more geometry.


gster123 02-01-2007 10:53 PM

Cheers Jay, I'll keep the drawing in mind and do a few scetches over some reference pics prior to opening maya in my next project.

Ive got the "Maya secrets of the pros" book, which covers a lot of the loops, muscles etc, but I really need to get into animating facial rigs etc as I've only ever animated "solid" object interations, I think thats when the the button will click in the old brain!

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