Need help on shoulder topology.

Basically I've been working on this character for longer than my self esteem will allow me to admit and the shoulders are really screwing up my progression here. I been editing the envelopes to get the vertex weights just right for each bone, but I bend it either which way and it always comes out really screwed up. Below is a picture of my current shoulder topology and I'm wondering if it isn't done correctly, if my topology is a bit too-simple, or what. People have got better results with less than what I'm working with now so I just really need some guidance here.

The idea is that the character is wearing a chest piece, and admittedly that is where a lot of the confusion is coming from. I can provided a file if need be but just wanted to show these images first. Any advice would be helpful. 

Replies

  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor polycount lvl 666
    What will help further is pic of your skeleton and the bad deformation. 

    The chest piece is not meant to be totally rigid, right? Like it's leather? 


    Couple things off top of my head : 

    1. add some more loops. A couple dozen more triangles is inconsequential. If shoulder piece is getting most weight from spine bones and arm get's from shoulder joint, then an extra loop or two should be enough for good deformation.

    2. If chest piece is meant to be rigid, disconnect vertices at border, making arm separate piece. Not really necessary but can make things a bit simpler.

    3. Test with your animations in engine. Lot of time something you think is a big problem when you got your nose pressed up to the thing actually isn't when you view it in larger context.


  • 99499
    What will help further is pic of your skeleton and the bad deformation. 

    The chest piece is not meant to be totally rigid, right? Like it's leather? 


    Couple things off top of my head : 

    1. add some more loops. A couple dozen more triangles is inconsequential. If shoulder piece is getting most weight from spine bones and arm get's from shoulder joint, then an extra loop or two should be enough for good deformation.

    2. If chest piece is meant to be rigid, disconnect vertices at border, making arm separate piece. Not really necessary but can make things a bit simpler.

    3. Test with your animations in engine. Lot of time something you think is a big problem when you got your nose pressed up to the thing actually isn't when you view it in larger context.


    Here is a pic of my skeleton placement. 
    The chest piece is suppose to be a cloth material that is somewhat heavy but not as stiff as leather. Here is one example of the bad deformation.

    And thank you for the feedback. I am definitely going to add some more vertices and look at it from a further angle and assigning it some new topology. The hard thing is not having a 3D reference is this topology to use.
  • Eric Chadwick
  • 99499
    I did try to use this one. 
    I tried to use the top one since it kind of fit with the shape of the chest piece, but that didn't really work out too well. I'm going to try a different one but the main issue is that it's hard to accurately duplicate what I'm seeing in a 2D image on a 3D object from the different angles. And I can't seem to find any 3D reference to use for shoulder topology no matter how hard I look.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Brian Tindall's examples are probably more instructive (the first GIF), since you need better bones and weights to get proper deformation in the shoulder, which by the way is one of the most complex joints in the whole skeleton. 
  • 99499
    I've spent every hour since my last post doing everything I can to optimize the topology to create an acceptable chest back and shoulder area but every time I fix one tri it just keeps leading to more tris and ngons. At this point I think I'm gonna have to start from scratch with a box model and rebuild from there. 
  • RN
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    RN polycounter
    99499 said:
    I been editing the envelopes to get the vertex weights just right for each bone, but I bend it either which way and it always comes out really screwed up.
    Looking at your images, and based on your complaint of "my model isn't deforming well", I think of these things:
    1 - Instead of envelopes, try weight painting. Envelopes might work well for simpler meshes but painting is your go-to for complex meshes like a humanoid body, where you can find both nuance and sharp transitions in weights.
    2 - The pivot point of your collarbone (the Sternoclavicular joint) is placed wrong, it needs to be near the middle of the chest, close to the base of the neck / head of the sternum. Study anatomy.
    3 - There comes a point where, even with great weight painting, you can't get some types of deformations, at least not 100% well. You do what you can with weights --and it's easier to get it done in lowpoly meshes-- but with more realistic meshes you really need to use morphing that's driven by the pose. You're basically programming the rig: "when this bone does this pose, change the mesh in this way". This is a last resort / a finishing touch, but it's important to know that it exists.
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