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CGIHercules

Making anim. short, topology questions ?

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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1 hour ago, CGIHercules said:

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.

When ever iv watched a webinar featuring the top game industry artist and they are asked what skills do they look for as a character artist, Anatomy always is one of them, more so for realistic characters.  I had done bodybuilding many, many years yet I could not draw muscle correctly, and my first muscle torso I sculpted was pretty bad.  The reason was because I did not know the Skeleton which is the  foundations of the human body.  Without a correct understanding of the Skeleton means you wont know the origin and insertion points of each muscle so the muscles get placed incorrectly, wrong form, wrong direction, and wrong volume.  The terminology sounds complex but its just explaining the Origin, Insertion, type, and function.    When I attended Scott Eatons Anatomy classes he pointed out errors in professional works every week for each part of the body.  Even although most would not notice when he did, the average eye still picks up something is wrong, out of place, disjointed.   once pointed it out then corrected it by drawing on top of it, it went from a good peice to a awesome peice. As it happens the Forearm is very complex as it has a set of Extensors, and Flexors in which change form and position when the wrist rotates, but most of that detail is not needed for stylized.  My interest was more in human sculpture but this info carries over, even when making more stylized humans.

 

I did make a Human Anatomy learning session on this forum, if you wanted to look deeper into that area.

https://www.c4dcafe.com/ipb/forums/topic/94001-anatomy-for-artist-a-introduction-to-the-core-basics-nudity/

 

Dan

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@Rectro Yes I definitlelly want to look into that because it will help me even with rigging.  I retopologized my mesh again. I needed to go back to ZBrush and re-export character as fully symetrical so my retopo tools would work properly and now I am getting somewhere hopefully. Obviously he is a cartoon character so his anatomy is totally crazy but topology still needs to work for rigging. I will try to make it as low poly as possible and than add any additional loops where they belong. This is progress so far. I think I might need more mouth and eye loops (some faces look like tries but they are all quads.

redone.png

 

 

P.S. I am retopologizing his hands last 5 hours and I have no idea why I can't do it. This is crazy hard. Probably harder than box modeling even.

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3 hours ago, CGIHercules said:

@Rectro Yes I definitlelly want to look into that because it will help me even with rigging.  I retopologized my mesh again. I needed to go back to ZBrush and re-export character as fully symetrical so my retopo tools would work properly and now I am getting somewhere hopefully. Obviously he is a cartoon character so his anatomy is totally crazy but topology still needs to work for rigging. I will try to make it as low poly as possible and than add any additional loops where they belong. This is progress so far. I think I might need more mouth and eye loops (some faces look like tries but they are all quads.

redone.png

 

 

P.S. I am retopologizing his hands last 5 hours and I have no idea why I can't do it. This is crazy hard. Probably harder than box modeling even.

topo looks ok id add a couple more for the mouth, so that polys between the edge of the mouth and cheeks are a little more even eyes could also benefit from an extra loop or two although keeping it low poly is a good idea, it's less to weigh later on but it also depends on how much expression you need from the face, also i'd change those irregular polys either side of the nose and turn those into a loop for the mouth area. I'll try and draw something up for an example ( not at the computer) as for the hand topo, it ties back into what I was saying earlier. they are a problem area as the edge/ segment count coming off the hands will be different most of the time to what you have coming off the arms at the wrist. so you need to reduce that either in the palm or on the top/ back of the hand (best to do this in an area that wont deform) so that they match and can be connected  can we have a look at what you have so far ?

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1012 faces. No tris and n-gons. I put loops where I thought needed. I don't know how to retopologize hands . I did one but I didnt know how to copy and apply to the other so I have to re do it again. Whole body took me 2 hours in 10th try and hands took me like 2 days and I still didn't put even one polygon down. I have to clue what to do with hands

1.png

2.png

3.png

4.png

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can you upload the hand and arm section?  

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LOL something like this...probably not !

sssss.001.jpeg

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