Woman Character

polycounter lvl 7
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trancerobot polycounter lvl 7
This is my first woman (to get this far). Last time, it was in Zbrush and I never finished. This time, I wanted to avoid fancy programs and just model with subdivision surfaces in Blender.

The below is after 11 hours work. Lots and lots of references were used, but I'm hoping some of you will catch things I missed before I start work on the head.

When the body is complete, I'll model clothes, then start thinking about maybe using the fancy program to texture and bake a normal map into a game model. But right now I'm just interested in getting the form right. (Even though this will be baked, I'm still looking for critique on my edge-looping as well.)





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  • JLeeD
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    JLeeD polycounter lvl 3
    Hey, good work so far! I'm not an anatomy expert, however your sculpt does still need some work. Study the body from all kinds of angles and lighting conditions (you can usually find some interesting reference on deviant art for different lighting conditions), there are things off with your model but I can't quite pinpoint them. Double check your proportions, measure your model by heads and make sure everything lines up. I would post up examples but I'm in a library and can't really be browsing nude ref X3
    Your choice to retopologise at this stage is interesting, generally I would say only retopologise once the high poly is finished. This is because you're going to add a lot more edge loops to the head as you go along and you could end up wasting a lot of time trying to preserve what you have or end up redoing it. Your model itself could change quite a lot as you work on it aswell, meaning you'd have to edit your topology anyway.
    A few tips, twist the arms so that the palms are facing down, this can help a lot with posing down the line. Sculpting in a more relaxed t-pose can help a lot aswell. I would check out videos on youtube and listen to artists talk as they sculpt, especially with anatomy. It helps me notice a lot of details and grapple with the many layers of muscles humans have, aswell as start to grasp the names of the muscles. As someone with a 3d background listening to people like Claudio Setti, who comes from a traditional background, often helps to get me out of my comfort zone and experiment. 
    Hope that helps! Keep it up :)
  • trancerobot
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    trancerobot polycounter lvl 7
    "Your choice to retopologise at this stage is interesting, generally I would say only retopologise once the high poly is finished."

    This is how I know that what I did was weird. This isn't a retop, it's a subdivision model. But you weren't expecting that, because no one does that for games. I thought doing it this way would lend itself to more control over the subtle features of the woman figure. I'm finding that's not the case, so I'll bring it to Zbrush and continue working on it there.
  • trancerobot
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    trancerobot polycounter lvl 7
    Are these proportions right? It's still a bit lumpy, I ask the details be ignored for now... I know it's all kinds of f-ed up, but I'm hesitant to continue if it's still wrong.


  • Apocrs1980
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    Apocrs1980 triangle
    I think you're getting closer bro, keep pushing the model, there are still areas that look like they were formed of plastic, mainly the legs and the feet, there is a lot a subtle tweaking you can do with the move topology brush and the form soft clay brush at very low settings to get the form right.

    I can't fully tell, but she appears to be taller then 7 heads which may be giving that feeling of being off some.

    hope that helps.
  • Ortu
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    Ortu null
    So, I know you have taken this back to Zbrush (which is probably for the best anyway) but I've got a few tips for the Blender workflow if you want them.

    First, use the multi-res modifier instead of sub-surface. multi-res subdivides the mesh in the same manner but it also provides for manipulation of the subdivided mesh in both edit mode and sculpt mode while sub-surface only lets you directly work with the unsubdivided base mesh verts.

    One of the things that I really like about Blender is how effortlessly and seamlessly mesh edit mode and sculpt mode work together and can be toggled back and forth. quick simple changes to the low res base mesh will directly affect the high res sculpt in ways that are often much more complicated and less smooth to try to do with a sculpting brush.

    Use edit mode to block in the proportions and set the position of major land marks and overall features. Switch to sculpt mode add a subdivision or two and start building up the flesh and muscle, but really spend some time at each level, move up and down between the levels really building it up one layer at a time.

    Next, some of your loops seem a bit odd and don't really flow in directions that will naturally support the anatomical forms that you are trying to produce. You're going to be working 'across the grain' in a lot of areas.

    You may run into trouble when you get to the head, it will need quite a bit more detail than the body, which means your going to have to split a bunch of edges that aren't really set up for being split at the moment. Heads are hard, it's tempting to put it off for last, but I find it's better to start with them, as you will then be able to easily extend the topology down and simplify as you go instead of having to cut in more complexity.

    You also just have too many polys to start with, I'd say spend some more time simplifying and cleaning up the base mesh before going into any subdivisions. This really applies to sculpting as well, you have to have a solid low res base before building to high res detail.

    Have a look over my edge flow here, particularly how the edges twist around the arms, legs, and hips which lets the topological detail flow more 'with the grain' as the subdivision resolution goes up.



    Now more generally, working on female forms is all about subtlety. Particularly the torso, front and back, could do with a great deal of smoothing. In fact, smooth all that muscular detail down to almost nothing, build it up again and repeat: smooth, build, smooth, build, it may feel like you aren't getting anywhere, but you are, you are building that subtlety.

    Use very low pressure/strength and just kind of 'polish' it. high pressure/high strength will just make it lumpy.

    I'm shit at paint overs, but here's a rough idea of what I mean

    One last thing I notice is that the feet seem very flat and a bit wide, I'd like to see you bring up the arch a bit.

    You've got a fair start on it, just spend more time at lower levels of detail and remind yourself 'keep it simple, keep it smooth'
  • trancerobot
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    trancerobot polycounter lvl 7
    Next, some of your loops seem a bit odd and don't really flow in directions that will naturally support the anatomical forms that you are trying to produce. You're going to be working 'across the grain' in a lot of areas.
    Yeah, the old topology was thrown out because of the trouble it was giving me. I used ZRemesher to create the new mesh, subdivided, and Project All to recover the old details.


    You also just have too many polys to start with, I'd say spend some more time simplifying and cleaning up the base mesh before going into any subdivisions. This really applies to sculpting as well, you have to have a solid low res base before building to high res detail.
    You were right about this. My intent was to create a basemesh to work with in Zbrush, but I got a little carried away. I really enjoy subdivision modeling. I think I'll sate my desires with some hard surface models soon.

    I agree with everything you said. Subtly is why I decided to do this instead of a creature, it's a good challenge for me.
    I think you're getting closer bro, keep pushing the model, there are still areas that look like they were formed of plastic, mainly the legs and the feet, there is a lot a subtle tweaking you can do with the move topology brush and the form soft clay brush at very low settings to get the form right.

    I can't fully tell, but she appears to be taller then 7 heads which may be giving that feeling of being off some.

    hope that helps.
    I did some research, and the head height thing does vary, depending on what you're trying to do (typical, vs ideal, vs heroic). I think she's at a place proportion-wise. Everything you said about the plastic look, and everything Ortu said will form the basis of what I'll do next.


  • trancerobot
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle insane polycounter
    where is the reference?
  • trancerobot
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    trancerobot polycounter lvl 7
    Which ones? I can draw, but drawing women is still pretty hard for me, so what you see here is the result of referencing many images found across the internet. When I have the body where I want it, the face is going to be tweaked to look somewhat like Halle Berry. When the model's body is complete, she'll be textured and given clothes not unlike Tomb Raider (which was the original goal).

    I'm considering modeling a motorcycle to go along with this. That one will reference one specific Harley Davidson model.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    If you showed us the mutliple images of the women you used, it would help us point out things you may have missed.  We're not that ornery about nudity.
  • trancerobot
  • Apocrs1980
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    Apocrs1980 triangle
    I think some real model pics would help. Some of these are a bit more toned of a body since your going for the whole Lara Croft vibe but it gives you reference of where the minor shapes are.
    such as:

    Image result for female back
    Image result for female side
    Related image
    Image result for female side
    Related image
  • trancerobot
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    trancerobot polycounter lvl 7
    After a break I've returned to working on this. 

    Thanks Apocrs1980, I'll probably make further improvements to the model herself at some point just to make sure everything's right. She now has a shirt, shorts, and the bottom straps of the gun holsters. That encouraged me to also try modeling the gun. According to the Internet, in the Tomb Raider movies, Lara Croft uses Heckler & Koch USP Match pistols. Those look better than the Uzis from the original game so that's what I used as references.

    I'm kinda new to hard surface modeling in ZBrush though, so it's kinda painful and it's a little bit off. Initially I just used primitives and live-booleans, then I learned a little bit of polygonal modeling with the ZModeler tool. I'm really tempted to just redo it in Moi and bring that in but I'm trying to improve my Zbrush skills so I just have to slog it out. (I have a different project to use that for anyway) The top part is mostly done except for the very back. For the bottom part I'm trying to sculpt it directly. Having just started, it's not much to look at, but I might have enough to bring it in with Lara herself so that I at least have something to model the holsters around.



    Next Spring I may start an accelerated online course completely unrelated to this (that's what I was doing from August to October). Trying to slay the math-beast in my never-ending quest to finish my bachelor's degree while working full time with no financial aid can be quite difficult...


  • Skinner3D
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    Skinner3D triangle
    Much better after the progression. However, she still feels like she is built like a tank, sort of. Her neck and torso have the weight lifter vibe, but her arms and legs are more normal looking. Her abs need more toning for sure. Looks good though overall.

    Random weightlifter chick from the internets. You can see the muscle definition. Even though the muscles in her neck are super developed it feels smaller than the one you have currently. Might also be that your jaw line is wide for a female. I wouldn't develop your muscles near this much, but even a little will do wonders.



  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    Bend her forearms SLIGHTLY forward. It will decrease the likelihood of an IK Rig on those arms to freak out when getting set up. 

    Also just gesturally looks better.
  • trancerobot
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    trancerobot polycounter lvl 7
    I think you're right Skinner3D, though building her definition out to that level is certainly tempting... Maybe I can find a good middle ground. The character is supposed to be athletic.

    And Panda you make a good point too, I've seen that, I just never really gave it much thought.

    As for the gun and hard surface modeling, I'm getting more used to the Zmodeler tool. That lumpy receiver (bottom half) is currently serving as a reference for a much cleaner polygonal model. I'm feeling all excited at the possibilities here. I've owned a Zbrush license for a few years now but I never took it this far.
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