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Ghoulie Retopology

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Diethyl node
I've been learning Z-brush/digital sculpting for the past 8 months and have finally gotten to the point where I can produce some decent stuff and I'm ready to move on to the next step in the process. I'm trying to retopologize so that I can make a production ready mesh for animation and make a subdivided mesh with good topology that I can use for sculpting in higher level of detail/texture to bake onto the production model.
I've been banging my head on the wall trying to learn how to retopologize. I really don't know where to start, I've made 5 different attempts already. None of the tutorials I've followed on youtube are very good, they aren't methodical, difficult to follow with instructors frequently making mistakes and going to back to fix them, and are just very vague( you have no idea how many times I've heard "it's a puzzle, just connect it up!") I just need some general guidance on technique, methods, and suggestions on where to put loops and general critiques are welcome too.
(He's based off of this little guy from the movie "Ghoulies" but, the "Ghoulies 3: Ghoulies Go To Collage" version)
(The O.G. Skibidi Toilet)
(Dollar-Tree Gremlin)
(Artistic liberties taken with ears, trying to improve in the ears department)
(Garbage topology)
(Not good)

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  • nomzod
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    nomzod polycounter lvl 7
    Take a look at the maya sculpt tools. In particular the relax and smooth tool. On the whole your topology not all that bad. What's important is that your edge loops make sense. But they can't be made sense of by anything other than a human looking at them, and there is no prescription case
  • kanga
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    kanga quad damage
    The eyes look flat. Put  a finger in the middle corner of you eye and one in the outer corner and with your hand level with your face see how much angle there is.

    Never do a closed mouth model when it is for yourself. You are missing 20 percent of the learning opportunity.

    Keep your retopology polygons as square as possible. Long thin polys don't bake well.
    Although not that important these days it wouldn't hurt you to try and vary your retopo mesh density only putting the most polys where you need them.

    The retopo should be made for animation deformation, and if you are going to do it anyway the models you make will always be able to deform properly in the future, and anyway you are trying to learn and always need the practice.

    For loads of other examples linked to explainations enter: head topology, into google and select images.
    Vary mesh density:
    Notice the lips above,... there is a mouth hole behind them.
    The web is so full of good info and even here on the wiki there are lots of examples, instructions and methods. But I have to say when it came to game meshes, retopology and texture baking, I was all at sea. So almost 20 years ago I did an online course through a reputable 3d forum and that switched the light on for me. Maybe a good alternative for you too.
  • Diethyl
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    Diethyl node
    @nomzod That's exactly what I didn't want to hear LOL. @kanga I see what you mean with the eyes, I was intentionally keeping the polycount low to make it easy for someone looking at it to see how everything connects, I would definitely put another loop around the eye. As for the mouth, I honestly didn't know if it was better to put the mouth in during sculpting or after retopology. It's definitely a try>fail>learn experience with that, I'm guessing I should have sculpted the mouth in, huh? I feel like I haven't really developed a good workflow yet and I when I'm doing retopo I feel like I'm always painting myself into a corner so to speak. I honestly doing know how to start, I've been starting by making loops around mouth, eyes, and face and connecting them then doing the ears. Every time I get to the ears everything kind of falls apart, there are so many polys it's hard to connect everything up. I don't know maybe I just need to keep practicing and find a workflow to stick to, it's hard to explain where I'm failing. I've been studying models ripped from video games and vertex coloring the faces so I can get a better understanding of how things connect, which is where I'm struggling, I guess. I'm gonna try again and post what I have in a few days to see what everyone thinks.
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