Jump to content


CGIHercules

Making anim. short, topology questions ?

Recommended Posts

CGIHercules    16
  • Topic Author
  • @ABMotion Hey man, let's not forget your generous much appreciated input that helps me grow on a daily basis as well. Even yesterday with helping me on Alpha channel topic and 2D/3D integration and all the clips you provided (that I have re-watched thoroughly:). And thanks for noticing that I am trying really hard.

     

    @Rectro  in Maya when you press number 3 on the keyboard whatever mesh you have in the viewport gets smoothing effect applied (Catmull Clark algorhythm) as a preview. When you press it again it goes back to "boxy", hard surface mode. That's the trick I was referring to. So it's almost like you don't need maps if shape is that simple. You need them for surface detail but I can see in my case being able to get away with pressing "3" in Maya.  I don't know if C4D has something similar (except for Subdiv Surfaces) but it is a cool quic way to see how your mesh looks smoothed and it renders as such as well if left in that state.

    I heard of "Stop Stearing" and I was gonna order that book actually but I was looking for a software specific tutorial that would show me how to do it in Cinema or Maya so I can apply it right away. But I am interested in general principles as well of course. Som ething like "12 Principles of Animation".

     

     

    @Cerbera P.S. This pic is for you....inside of his eye sockets is now n-gon/triangle free. Not the prettiest topology but will smooth evenly and it's n ot gonna be visible anyway but I made sure that's take care of too :)

    eyes fixed.png

    • Like 1

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Cerbera    1,968
    6 hours ago, CGIHercules said:

    P.S. What kind of arm loops would you suggest me putting in there ?

    2b9d2cdddf0706197da1f85c81c9c0d8--modeling-tips-strong-arms.jpg  

     

    3767263_orig.jpg?448

     

    This sort of thing, although you won't need as detailed as the lower one... in fact you may just not need this detail full stop ! But helpful anyway hopefully to show that next level up of topology. As you can sort of see from the first pic, what is essentially happening is that you begin by inner extruding around major muscle groups and elbows, and refine from there...

     

    CBR

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    VECTOR    530

    Hey CG nice improvements, can really see a jump from your previous models, your sculpting has improved for sure, one thing i'd like to add is not to neglect the modelling side of things, a lot of people tend to jump straight into sculpting without taking the time to establish a decent modelling foundation or straight up just disregard it, you'll learn alot about topology from modelling characters from scratch, it's a longer process than sculpting but i'd argue you'll get far better control over your model building it poly by poly, especially for low detail characters like these that if modelled well would need no sculpting at all, personally i'd always build a base mesh first, and incorporate as much of the base forms, shapes and basic details as possible before subdividing it then adding the final small details with sculpting, personally for me sculpting is the icing on the cake :D

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Rectro    677
    6 hours ago, CGIHercules said:

    @Rectro  in Maya when you press number 3 on the keyboard whatever mesh you have in the viewport gets smoothing effect applied (Catmull Clark algorhythm) as a preview. When you press it again it goes back to "boxy", hard surface mode. That's the trick I was referring to. So it's almost like you don't need maps if shape is that simple. You need them for surface detail but I can see in my case being able to get away with pressing "3" in Maya.  I don't know if C4D has something similar (except for Subdiv Surfaces) but it is a cool quic way to see how your mesh looks smoothed and it renders as such as well if left in that state.

    I heard of "Stop Stearing" and I was gonna order that book actually but I was looking for a software specific tutorial that would show me how to do it in Cinema or Maya so I can apply it right away. But I am interested in general principles as well of course. Som ething like "12 Principles of Animation".

    Yes in C4D you first hold Alt key with object selected when adding the SDS tag, and press the Q key toggle the  SDS on and off afterwards.  In MODO its simply the Tab key but as C4D uses a tag method, once applied your magic key is Q.

     

    You can of course get specific modeling books and tutorials for a app, but there is no need when it comes to topology as this comes down to general modeling skills, often using the same tools in all apps.  When I started modelling using DAZ3D Hexagon I used all Maya tutorials, then I started making Hexagon tutorials myself.

     

    Dan

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Rectro    677
    36 minutes ago, VECTOR said:

    "a lot of people tend to jump straight into sculpting without taking the time to establish a decent modelling foundation or straight up just disregard it, you'll learn alot about topology from modelling characters from scratch" 

     

    "it's a longer process than sculpting but i'd argue you'll get far better control over your model building it poly by poly, especially for low detail characters like these that if modelled well would need no sculpting at all, personally i'd always build a base mesh first, and incorporate as much of the base forms, shapes and basic details as possible before subdividing it then adding the final small details with sculpting, personally for me sculpting is the icing on the cake :D

    I agree this is a mistake from a modelling point of view, and I would also go as far as to say learn good polygon modelling before taking on retopology tasks as the retopology edge flow is taken from the knowledge of modelling good topology.

     

    From a concept/design point of view things change a bit.  If one has no idea of a design, then this is when sculpting comes first.  I dont mean sculpting in C4D for this as I dont see C4D sculpting tools as a conceptual tool set due to it needing the base mesh to start with,  but  see C4D sculpting tools as a modeling aid to move, smooth large amount of verts to attain form fast, or as you say icing on the cake, detail.

     

    As @CGIHercules has access to Zbrush he could still well define his concepts within Zbrush alone, then do as he has done move on to retopologising, but from a learning point of view its much more benificial to use the Zbrush sculpt as "The" 2D concept backdrop and modeling it from scratch.  Zbrush has the ability to export a 2d character strip all aligned up.

     

    Dan

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    VECTOR    530
    19 minutes ago, Rectro said:

    I agree this is a mistake from a modelling point of view, and I would also go as far as to say learn good polygon modelling before taking on retopology tasks as the retopology edge flow is taken from the knowledge of modelling good topology.

     

    From a concept/design point of view things change a bit.  If one has no idea of a design, then this is when sculpting comes first.  I dont mean sculpting in C4D for this as I dont see C4D sculpting tools as a conceptual tool set due to it needing the base mesh to start with,  but  see C4D sculpting tools as a modeling aid to move, smooth large amount of verts to attain form fast, or as you say icing on the cake, detail.

     

    As @CGIHercules has access to Zbrush he could still well define his concepts within Zbrush alone, then do as he has done move on to retopologising, but from a learning point of view its much more benificial to use the Zbrush sculpt as "The" 2D concept backdrop and modeling it from scratch.  Zbrush has the ability to export a 2d character strip all aligned up.

     

    Dan

    From a concept point of view it's definitely a good idea to sculpt up some ideas, it's far quicker to visualise than to poly model a concept, although i must admit i usually just jump straight in and start modelling from imagination, of course not everyone is able , or likes to do things that way but im just a bit old fashioned that way, i do fear though that developing a solid modelling base is becoming less and less important these days with people starting out in this industry 

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    CGIHercules    16
  • Topic Author
  • @VECTOR Thanks for checking in and sharing your input. I totally agree. ZBrush is liberating but detrimental for learning basic modeling concepts. That's not old school, that's just what we all got to learn. It just depends what comes first. Box model or idea. To me Zbrush just helps me get an idea.

    I wish I am on that level to just start box modeling modeling "from imagination" as you say but I have a lot of difficulties that way. Box modeling is definitely something that intimidates me. One of the reasons is because even if I know what I want it's little bit like working in the dark because I can't really tell if I will end up where I want. Another huge thing is that somehow I always end up having double vertices or double edges or some weird stuff is happening within a model and it's sooo frustrating. I just always find out I have some hidden geomtry and than I have to delete half of the polygons and it's a mess...but that's just me I am a noob. Now what I realized, one way or the other I will have to box model and do poly by poly. Because retopologizing is basically box modeling, poly by poly on top of the existing mesh. I know it's not the same but as @Rectro said I actually use Zbrush just to scetch out an idea. It's quick and liberating and easy to try out a concept. Once I want to commit I can retopologize on top of that and transfer detail later or add additional detail. So I think of ZBrush not as sculpting but 3D drawing software and than later I need to make it poly by poly.

     

    @Cerbera Yes first example is actually appropriate. I just need to learn how to do those loops around the elbow part. Since I always do arms and legs in grid like pattern.

     

    Oh man I feel so helpless in this 3D world haha :) I am sitting here for 12 hours a day and I can barelly make this effin simple shaped low poly squirell hahaha. So defeated. But I do care to prove that I can do it and that I can get it right. There is so much to learn but I will tackle it one by one.

    So far this is the progress I finally finished retopo work ( for now hah) and I added his tail and hands. Hi mouth has a tube going down with a small open ending inside his stomach. I guess that's ok, since another guy who was teaching 3D left his character with a opened throath like that so...if not you guys let me know.

    I added some extra loops around his general knee area and I show him "boxy" and smooth in this video. No Ngons, no tries...quads ONLY :) As it's suppose to be. :)

    Let me know. Thanks for making my life way easier :)

     

     

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    VECTOR    530
    29 minutes ago, CGIHercules said:

    @VECTOR Thanks for checking in and sharing your input. I totally agree. ZBrush is liberating but detrimental for learning basic modeling concepts. That's not old school, that's just what we all got to learn. It just depends what comes first. Box model or idea. To me Zbrush just helps me get an idea.

    I wish I am on that level to just start box modeling modeling "from imagination" as you say but I have a lot of difficulties that way. Box modeling is definitely something that intimidates me. One of the reasons is because even if I know what I want it's little bit like working in the dark because I can't really tell if I will end up where I want. Another huge thing is that somehow I always end up having double vertices or double edges or some weird stuff is happening within a model and it's sooo frustrating. I just always find out I have some hidden geomtry and than I have to delete half of the polygons and it's a mess...but that's just me I am a noob. Now what I realized, one way or the other I will have to box model and do poly by poly. Because retopologizing is basically box modeling, poly by poly on top of the existing mesh. I know it's not the same but as @Rectro said I actually use Zbrush just to scetch out an idea. It's quick and liberating and easy to try out a concept. Once I want to commit I can retopologize on top of that and transfer detail later or add additional detail. So I think of ZBrush not as sculpting but 3D drawing software and than later I need to make it poly by poly.

     

    @Cerbera Yes first example is actually appropriate. I just need to learn how to do those loops around the elbow part. Since I always do arms and legs in grid like pattern.

     

    Oh man I feel so helpless in this 3D world haha :) I am sitting here for 12 hours a day and I can barelly make this effin simple shaped low poly squirell hahaha. So defeated. But I do care to prove that I can do it and that I can get it right. There is so much to learn but I will tackle it one by one.

    So far this is the progress I finally finished retopo work ( for now hah) and I added his tail and hands. Hi mouth has a tube going down with a small open ending inside his stomach. I guess that's ok, since another guy who was teaching 3D left his character with a opened throath like that so...if not you guys let me know.

    I added some extra loops around his general knee area and I show him "boxy" and smooth in this video. No Ngons, no tries...quads ONLY :) As it's suppose to be. :)

    Let me know. Thanks for making my life way easier :)

     

     

    Yea using zbrush is totally fine but definitely persist with the modelling side of  things, i can't stress how important it is, as you can't always rely on a sculpted mesh to work off of, and at times maybe required to build a low poly base mesh first, either for your own personal projects, or eventually if you choose to for  commercial purposes, things like building hands, feet, heads etc, things , most artist will find the more difficult part of a character to model, also increasing your modelling skills and knowledge will help you understand how to build a character from scratch that will be able to be animated, why you need loops here or there or why polys should flow a certain way, you'll only understand this properly by learning to model well , the problems you mentioned with extra points and hidden geometry is more down to rookie errors and lack of experience, with modelling, and the tools in general, nothing that can't be solved with time and practice.

     

    That also applies to non organic modelling, when it comes to building props for your characters and so on. you're doing well trust me, we just want to make sure you have the best foundation going forward, i used to spend every spare minute before work and after work, weekend etc modelling (before the kids came along) it's no easy process believe me but it all pays off in the end, it's the reason @Cerbera and i emphasize clean topo around here and frown upon triangles and n-gons, 1 because they are evil and should be eradicated from the galaxy with extreme prejudice and 2  because learning to model properly now will set you up much better in the future :D 

     

    As for the tube to his stomach, it's not needed, usually just a inner mouth cavity will do ( either like this, or a sphere etc)

    https://gyazo.com/1055a7499420b4831bb1158c8ce8641b

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Rectro    677

    Hi

     

    Here are a few things I noticed on your youtube video.

     

    You have lost symmetry, make sure before you do any Uv work you get that model 100% symmetrical if you want to use mirror weighting.  In r19 its much better, but iv found its still best practice to rig symmetricaly, and this will come into its own when you wish to mirror correctional morphs later on.

     

    On the forearm I can see you have some edge loops which are close to each other, while the row of polygons above that are are the opposite.  Try to evenly distribute the polygons where possible to form square polygons, or at least distribute it more evenly, you can use a loop selection of polygons U+L then expand that selection U+Y, to decrease selection U+K. get used to these as they will serve you well in the future.  With the selection of polygons use the Iron modeling tool, this will help along with some manual tweaking.

     

    A little bit of anatomy .  The natural flow from the bicep should go into the Palm of the hand.  When the palm faces down Pronation the Radius bone  (on the thumb side) twist over the Ulna (pinky side).  If you want to get nice deformation and have the hand pronated there should be a twist in the forearm so when the hand is in a bicep curl position Supinate, the forarm will untwist.  In the position you have it at the moment the arm will twist as you supinate the hand.  This also means that because  the Ulna is the same bone that forms the Elbow (Olecranon) should line up with the side of the pinky finger which is the distal end of the ulna, a little bump you have on that side of the wrist, the styloid Process.  This becomes more important when creating more realistic figures later on.

     

    Look at this video which shows it well.  at 1:53s.  Notice how she makes a temporary selection with material applied down the bicep, then twist it so she can see the bicep flow goes into the palm side of wrist.

    https://youtu.be/ccBo_FhITV8?t=1m53s

     

    Dan

     

    pronation.jpg

    topology.jpg

    forearm flow.jpg

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Fastbee    78

    There is nothing wrong with doing it in zbrush first and retopoing.  A lot of big companies do it this way now.  If you are amazing making sculpting in zbrush you have a job right there.  If you are making your whole own short movie that is another ball game.  You need to know it all.  Modeling is just the start.  There is also texturing, rigging, animation, materials, special fx, rendering, post work.  It's a huge amount to know if you want to make something that looks like Pixar.

     

    Here is my help for the different areas.

    Modeling.  Take a drawing of the object and draw the loops you want on paper.  After you get the loops down the rest is not so important.  I say this because with the right loops the whole model should deform right when moving and good loops should make it easy to edit anything later.  It's going to take a long time though to learn how to reshape all the geometry to anything you like.  Don't worry about it too much though.  If you have a few triangles it's not the end of the world.  If the triangles are seen in the final render it's time to start worry harder about them.  If you do want to do some box modeling start with a simple square table and maybe move to a mug.  For characters though I'd only do box modeling now a days if it was something super simple to box model.  Retopo is the way to go because it not only make it easier, but get the bump, normal, etc. maps baked out automatically.  For me sculpting it will still look better for some complex organic objects.  Not having to think about how I want the polys to go really frees up my brain to think more how do I want it to look.

     

    Texturing.  It looks like you are a good artist so making textures should be no problem.  Make sure to not overlook the importance of the reflection, bump, normal, etc. maps.  When rendering this is easier to see and you can go back and make the maps later if needed.  Depending on the look reflection might be able to be turned to 0 and have a nice flat look.

     

    Rigging.  This can be more magic than skill sometimes.  There is so much here.  The best way I find to learn would be to start simple.  It's always best to start simple in anything done in life.  For rigging make it 3 joints on an arm simple.  Move on to the rigging the figure primitive and try to get it to move a little.  With the 3 joints on an arm see how the geometry deforms.  Change the geometry to try to get it looking better.  Do it again.  Basically there are 2 ways to move the joints.  Forward kinematics and inverse.  Both have their advantages.  Inverse is good if they are griping something or their hand or foot needs to stay in a certain place.  Forward might be better for other things like the arm swing when walking.  It depends on what clicks with the animator better.  The rig should be good enough where it can be switched between forward and inverse on the fly.  Using the pose morph can be great for facial animations and corrections to other things.  After using the pose morph the number of points in the geometry absolutely cannot be changed or it will freak out.  Other deformers could also be used like jiggle, etc. adding to complexity of a rig.  Not sure if they fixed it, but complex xpresso rigs would run hell on a farm when going to render.  For some animations it would make it take hours and hours to start the render because it was "preparing".  For that reason I say it's best to try to stay away from using xpresso in a ring if possible, but if you need it you have to use it.  MAXON could make this way more friendly, but now I'm getting off subject.

     

    Materials, render, post, special fx.  Material take a lot of art work and testing to look right.  Render engine give a fast preview now a days so this helps a lot.  Change a property and it's shown in fractions of a second instead of minutes or hours.  Every material will be different depending on the render engine that is used.  So first you have to choose which render engine to use.  I'd go with either C4D built in render engine, Cycles, or Redshift.  C4D in built render engine is great if you don't do any GI.  Seeing as how you want it to look good you probably want GI.  This means either Cycles or Redshift.  Redshift is about 4x faster than Cycles.  If you want to use baking though or xparticles Cycles would be the way to go.  Seeing as how you are doing a animation Redshift's time savings will probably be the best.  If the particles don't emit any light they could also be done in post by rendering them out in a separate pass with alpha and adding them later.

     

    Finally I'd say don't give up.  It's going to take a long time, but if you keep at it you will eventually become really good at it.  This goes for anything you do.  So choose what you would like to do most and go for it.  Maybe you look deep inside and find CG is not what you want to do with your life.  If you do find deep inside it is what you want to do good luck.  It's a ton of work.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Fastbee    78

    These are the most basic quad modeling examples to help give more geometry and take away geometry where needed while maintaining quads.

     

    Top row is showing how inner extrude can be used for keeping quads while adding more geometry for things like elbows. 

    Top right shows how inner extrude can be done in an inner extrude while keeping all quads.

    Bottom left is one face splitting to 3 faces.

    Bottom right is one point to 2 faces.

     

    Once you can identify these things making all quad meshes becomes a lot easier because you will more easily be able to add and take away geometry where needed without adding any tris.  If there are tris in the mesh maybe they can be turned into one of these structures.

     

    5a539eda5a6fe_geometrythings.thumb.jpg.f067186e90eaa47c4b8821711d8069c0.jpg

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    CGIHercules    16
  • Topic Author
  • Wow I am so blessed with the amount of support and information I am getting here. I a m bound to succeed :)

     

    @VECTOR Absolutely agree, modeling is really hard and it's a skill that takes time to learn. Zbrush is just my "skecthing" app if you will, helps me come up with an idea. And I agree, topology doesnt matter that much for still renders but as soon as something needs to move it can bring havoc without proper flow and topology. Also I agree, no n-gons and tris I wanna see o  my model :)

    As far as inner mouth cavity yes I usually just make a little pouch but I just made couple extra inches of space to make sure if he yells or opens his mouth wide you can't see it's shallow. And I left opening down that tube.

    @Rectro OH wow, that's a lot of latin terminology :) I was always into super heroes and comic books and working out so I feel like I know where the muscles are and I know how the body functions but when it comes to sculpting and modeling for rigging I don't know if my knowledge would be useful in terms of deformations and rigging. For instance I never noticed that forearm twists slightly like in that YouTube video. It's a big eye opener. So when I pose my characters for retopo or when I model them I guess the best practice would be to have their palms facing the ground which will cause forearms to twist on the inside slightly as it is naturally when done in real life ?

    I don't know why my symmetry is off. TOPOGUN has Symmetry but it doesn't work grat on this model because I think I might have made him slightly assymetrical to begin with in ZBrush. I will have to find a way to make him symmetrical because it is a nightmare cuz I was splitting him in half and connecting and doing all kind of things and it's totally asymetrical at this point :(

     

    @Fastbee That was a GREAT read. I am really grateful you took time to write all of that. It certainly is life draining process haha. I didn't say I want to achieve PIXAR quality. Not even close :) I just want it to look appealing for what it is and thus simple forms, simple characters,everything should be low poly but appealing.

    I know modeling and topology is just a beginning but if I do this right I will be happy to proceed knowing I won't have to go back to this once I start rigging or rendering. So I need a good base to build a house on. I learned music production and became music engineer and I play 3 instruments by this same approach. Maniacal obssession with detail that results in success :) Hahahaha. Ok, little joke there but I really think I can tackle this the way I tackled working on a large mixing consoles and self taught myself all of that like I am doing now, Forums, videos, books, articles, internet 24/7 :)

    Modeling will be done in Zbrush and C4D, I like how Maya handles UVs so UVs in Maya, TOPOGUN I use to retopo my characters, materials will be failry simple so I probably wont even go Substance Painter route etc. Rigging in C4D and animation as well. I am sure I will stick with C4D renderers since I don't have RedShift (but I wanna get it one day). Editing I will probably do in Final Cut Pro and post maybe in After Effects (that I don't know how to use LOL). But that's running way ahead of myself. Render passes, FX and all of that is so far down the line that I am not even thinking about that right now. I am putting bare bones together now and even with this I am hitting huge walls. So everything in it's time. Thank you for a great breakdown I will refer back to it as I go. I saved your polygon loops example and will redo elbows with that in mind.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

    • Recently Browsing   0 members

      No registered users viewing this page.

    ×