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female topology - please critique (mild 3D nudity)

Hey all. Been learning a bunch about topology and poles and such, and this is what I'm working on to learn. I'm looking for any and all feedback on the work you see; critiques focused on topology especially. The colors aren't anything specific, though the brown is just "filler" until I model legs and arms.
End poly count will probably be around 10-12k, and I'll be taking her into Zbrush after the model is done. Using 3DS Max 2010 (graphite modeling tools ftw!), if that helps. I'll be posing her eventually and she needs really good skin deformation. I'd also like to note that I had a lot of trouble with her armpits...any help there is great.

Thanks for lending me your eyes!



  • Mark Dygert
    I think you're starting to get into trouble in a few areas. The yellow area is kind of messy. If it wasn't for the smoothing the red quad that makes up the bottom of the rib cage would probably be pretty ugly, even with the tri edge in the right place?

    I personally think this is nearly flawless and you could remove just about every other edge and have something workable for real time.
  • boxfox
    Thanks for posting, Vig.
    I'm not quite sure what you mean by "messy". I went and did some subdividing tests and she seems to subdivide very nicely. Here are some shots:



    I can't see how this would cause problems, but if you can, please explain it...I'm still in the process of training my eyes to see these things, so the more details, the better. :)
    As for hippydrome image, I'll agree that it's pretty nice, especially the detail of the deltoids and pectorals, but I don't think it's ideal. Especially around the hips, I can see the mesh having some issues when animating. Again, I'm still pretty new to the game, so maybe I'm missing something here, too. Maybe you could show me the error of my ways? :D
    Thanks again for your input!
  • Mark Dygert
    I guess I'm a bit confused? Sub-d base mesh or final low poly?

    If this is a base mesh:
    As in meant for sculpting? Then the quads need to be more evenly spaced and a bit more evenly sized. There seem to be quite a few poles or quad corners and you might be able to transition a little better. Right now it seems like you crated each piece and then spliced them together, which kind of works for sub-division but could create pinch points.

    If this is the low poly:

    Then there are a few areas that are being left up to how the hidden triangle edge falls as to how well it holds its shape. The edges below could turn things ugly pretty quick.

    Maya likes to re triangulate the hidden edges on meshes (some export/importers also) so even if you flipped them the right way in max but someone exported this out of Maya they could be wonky or the person would need to force those edges by making them visible which would create tris. Same goes for some export/importers.

    A few changes to the topo could ensure the geo holds its shape.

    As for the articulation of hippydrome's image, far be it for me to tell a TD at Pixar his articulation is off... especially when it articulates really well. =P
  • boxfox
    Yeah I went back and looked at that whole site...whoa...nice stuff.
    This is the first draft of the base mesh...not final low poly. I'll be taking it into zbrush after I'm satisfied...and finish head, arms, legs, hands, and feet, lol.
    I understand what you mean about the hidden edges now. Any suggestions for correct edge-flow in that area? Your drawings are very helpful for explaining things, thanks.
  • System
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    If you heading into artificial territory with the breasts then they aren't too far off but natural breasts aren't that far apart...


    Quick paintover

    Looks pretty nice otherwise.
  • Mark Dygert
    Jesse Sosa's stuff is pretty inspirational.


    Traditionally I've seen more or less cylindrical torsos work the best. Just out of curiosity did you start with the boobs?
  • Vailias
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    Vailias polycounter lvl 16
    GCMP: Real breasts in a tight halter top being squeezed together by biceps aren't as far apart as they are on his model,no. But loose breasts are/can be that far apart.

    All together I'd suggest moving them a bit closer yes,
    also, partly personal preference here but, I hate the circles-from-nipple topology for breasts. WHile the actual nipple area itself may need to be a circular structure, if you're actually getting that detailed, the whole breast still should flow with the muscle topology. You'll get more natural results following muscle structure as if you were building a male model, just keeping the volume of the breast tissue in mind and adding in loops as needed.


    The top point of the breast loop in those images could be removed/restructured as well, I built them that way as the breasts needed to bounce and stretch the chest a bit.

    This smooths really well. Depending on your workflow it may be a bit dense for sculpting. I built this as a midpoly jumping point that I could work with in a straight poly modeling environment. Some limited sculpting in max or maya.

    It also deforms well.
    click for rendered image (warning naked pixels)

    http://vailias.mechnex.com/Files/VampGirl_HD.jpg]Link to Rendered end model[/url]
  • System
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    Maybe you missed my point Vailias, I was just trying to keep abreast of the situation by comparing extremes so that the modeller could find common ground. Lets face it, if you fitted clothes to that topology the whole project could have gone tits up, you know what I mean...
  • AlanSMitchell
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    AlanSMitchell polycounter lvl 12
    Vialias has a good point those are some well modeled breasts.... (never thought I would say that) and as far as being HUGE Breasts. well they are but nothing the relax tool couldn't fix.
    I am really digging those edge loops and personally I agree the breasts need to be pushed together a little more on ze model up above.
  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter
    Vailias - too much boobs, not enough armpits, FAIL!
  • hawken
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    hawken polycounter lvl 18
    I like this thread
  • boxfox
    Thanks for posting everyone.
    GCMP, not artificial.
    Vig, yeah, you're right. Thanks for those links. Started at the neck, actually.
    Vailias, I really like the point you made about following muscle. That was really what I was trying to go for with my model. Your model seems like it has a very natural feel to it. Did you ever sculpt it? I'm a little worried by all the stars you've got on her.
    Dudealan2001, Thanks. :)

    The general feel I'm getting here is that the chest needs to be closer together. I think I'll go ahead and work on that tomorrow. :) Thanks all.
    Any thought on other parts of the model? (Cuz there are other parts of it...not just the boobs... *wink*)
  • AlanSMitchell
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    AlanSMitchell polycounter lvl 12
    boobs are way too important to neglect.
    I made this for a friend a while back.
    I tried to incorporate this edge flow in my last character model and it seemed to work.

    Keep in mind I'm not a character artist!

    A while back I wanted to challenge myself with a character....and well it worked.
    Female's (pardon the pun) are a bitch to model!
    they are filled with too many subtleties.

    either way I hope this helps. women have that side boob thing happening and I tried to put that into the loops I was making; also I don't see it in a whole lot of models. It worked out for me and it's something you might want to try.
  • AlanSMitchell
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    AlanSMitchell polycounter lvl 12
    note: shoulders are too wide
    note: Women have hips child bearing hips.
    AKA hips = wider.
  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter
    Dudealan Im in love with the boobs in that pic. Perfect and, hmm, flexible (nice and firm, but sure would look huge in a push-up)
    Pixelated, yet delicious ...

    OP : that topology is way good enough - provided you adjust the relative proportions of things when you model/sculpt later.
  • Rojo
    I wouldn't bother with nipple-centric topology, it's a hassle to work with and doesn't reflect proper tissue flow. If you have a girlfriend/wife have them sit beside you while modeling so you can study how the fatty tissue flows and deforms around the pectorals/ribcage.
  • dejawolf
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    dejawolf polycounter lvl 11
    boob spacing tend to vary from girl to girl. it also depends on the look you want.
    natural boobs tend to have a bit of a sag, and hip width differs with race.
    latinas tend to have very wide hips, and larger and rounder buttcheeks, while northern european chicks have more of a slender waistline and somewhat flatter butts.
  • boxfox
    I'm so confused! My final goal for every model is that it can be added to any 3d game easily. This means it has to rig well and animate/deform well. I was under the impression that this was good edgeflow for a game character. Was I wrong, guys? I'm seriously considering just redoing the entire model, now. Some people that I (used to?) consider very good said that modeling by muscle groups was a really good way to get good deformation...which is the only reason I did it this way. Really worried here. If this topology is all wrong, then I need to find new resources/reference...anyone know any good topo references? *SAD FACE*
  • Muzzoid
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    Muzzoid polycounter lvl 10
    dont worry yourself too hard man its a learning experience.

    Basically you can go two directions, one which is modelling for flow and deformation, using a lot of simple edge flows to make skinning nice and easy, the other is to model the muscle groups, this can have nicer results but you are going to spend 3 times the time skinning just because there is so much different geometyry you have to worry about having deform niceley.
  • boxfox
    Thank you all, your comments have been incredibly helpful. I've worked on her a bit today, using comments here and on another site as guidelines. I think she's probably a little better now...or at least I hope she is...lol.
    Main issues I focused on: breasts closer together and smaller, hips slightly wider, reworking topology on midsection, stomach, and back, and bringing her thighs a little closer together.

    Didn't want to retopo her breasts to get out of "nipple-centric" topology because it would have required an entire rework of the edgeflow, which I don't have time for on this model...certainly going to work on that next time though.

    Here are some shots:
  • Rojo
    It's a solid effort, don't become discouraged.

    I also recommend learning how to create a basic rig so you can interact with your mesh. You will see the deformations and then understand why specific edgeflow techniques are used.
  • Mark Dygert
    ^ + 1

    It's looking pretty good, that's some nice torso topology now, but might be a bit thin in the side profile?
    You could probably push the quad corners just above her ass, up to form lower back dimples.

    The legs and the shoulders could probably use some tweaks?
  • Vailias
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    Vailias polycounter lvl 16
    LOL yes the boobs on the girl I posted are HUGE. That was by request. :shrug:
    Her body was somewhat based on this girl Jennique Adams (basically worksafe myspace page) but the breasts were perked up some. Boobs that big just don't stay skyward in real life.

    Since you're taking this to be sculpted it looks like a solid base mesh to work from and you can always retopo once your done sculpting to get the specific edgeflow you need for whatever animation you're doing.

    I never did sculpt that one. I've revised it a bit for a model I do intend to sculpt. The model, as pictured above, had a numerous small proportional and placement issues. I also tend to over exaggerate the latissiums dorsi. :shrug: Initial tests say that she'll sculpt pretty nicely. The stars don't seem to hurt. I'm still new on the zbrush front. :/
  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter
    Again, your topology is fine enough for sculpting. Dont be discouraged by the idea of redoing the model - you WILL have to after the sculpt anyways!!

    Go ahead and fix the silhouette on the shoulders, add the legs, the head and so on. This is much more important than worrying about flow. Nitpicking about flow was true in the days when zbrushing/mudboxing wasnt around. Now you can focus on the art, then adjust things back accordingly. Non-linear workflow ftw.

    To create the best subdivision models today :

    - Make a rough, yet subdivision-friendly basemesh. For instance, you dont even need the boobs to be on that one mesh. Since they will be so easy to sculpt in.
    - Sculpt that one mesh until you find the correct shapes and body rhythms
    - Drop your sculpt into a retopo package and rebuild the whole mesh.

    This will give you great results very fast. It will also separate the technical steps (edge flow, subdivision modelling) from the artistic ones (creating the body you want). This is very beneficial.
  • boxfox
    Nice, thanks Pior....wish someone had mentioned that earlier, lol.
  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter
    You're welcome, dont hesitate to ask if something is unclear. Just don't waste too much time on technicalities, just go ahead and sculpt :P
  • boxfox
    Thanks again for the posts, all. Here are a few pics of the updated mesh. Ears are a bit wonky, but easy to fix (and I would now if I weren't about to go to sleep). Much of the rest can/will be fixed while sculpting and during retopography of final low-poly. Feedback always encouraged.:)

    Oh, and she's going to have a tail...just not sure how I'm going to fit that into the dress...any ideas?
  • Gallows
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    Gallows polycounter lvl 9
    Her shoulders look really broad right there, and the face looks too blimpy. It's definitely a nice effort, but overall for the character the face doesn't really flow with a demonic type vibe. N'aw mean?
  • Mark Dygert
    boxfox wrote: »
    Nice, thanks Pior....wish someone had mentioned that earlier, lol.
    Heh, like when I asked in my second post...

    I think you're off to a good start, the body from the lower ribs down is looking great. I agree that the upper torso/rib cage is pretty bulky. The head also looks kind of small?

    The face needs work.
    - All the features are at the bottom of the head.
    - The eyes are too big.
    - The neck is too thin and doesn't blend into the head all that well.
  • boxfox
    I agree, but all that can be fixed while sculpting and doing the final low poly...no need to spend all my time fixing it now when it's faster and easier to fix it later. Thanks for your feedback! :)
  • AlanSMitchell
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    AlanSMitchell polycounter lvl 12
    umm scale up the head it looks super small
    based on my fingers your character is 8 heads tall; heroic proportions. which is fine if that was what you were going for.
  • boxfox
    Yep, going to scale head...just looked at it again. Good lookin out :D
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