Topology (and proportions) advice/critique. Real time character from a newbie

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Hello, I'm seeking for experienced 3D artists to comment on my topology for a 3D real time character (actual gen/next gen videogames). This is the base mesh, intented to be split/deleted when clothes are added (jacket, pants, etc).
I intent on rendering the final result in marmoset/UE4 (haven't decided yet) for portfolio showcase, so with that in mind, please, leave your opinion :) Thanks!
Don't mind much polygroups, since I don't know quite yet where I will UV map it yet (Maya/Zbrush).



Post has been updated in the comments below.

Edited Nov 14th: I can't look at this now. It was horrible hahah :#

Replies

  • jose.fuentes
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    jose.fuentes greentooth
    is your anatomy supposed to be this stylized?  I know your question was for topology, but the head shape is really throwing me off ATM 
  • JustAfterDark
    is your anatomy supposed to be this stylized?  I know your question was for topology, but the head shape is really throwing me off ATM 
    Hey, Jose, thanks for replying.
    Could you elaborate more on the stylized head? Character is based on a famous concept art by a famous concept artist, said artwork is more leaning to a manga style than realistic style. Nevertheless, the final product is intented to use realistic lighting, shading, texturing and hair.
    I prefer not to share too much details just yet about the project. I plan on sharing high poly sculpt in the near future but I wanted to check how the topology was so far before that.

  • kanga
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    kanga interpolator
    The topology looks ok for sculpting. The local proportions and forms of the figure look off though. Even stylized figure have to have a strong anatomic base. You can emphasize features but you cant err too much from the basic structure of the human body before the figure just starts to look flat out weird.

    I dont know what the aim of your work here is but if you are going for a portfolio piece then dont worry about the stages that come after the base figure but concentrate on getting that first stage down. It doesnt matter how perfectly you execute the follow up details if the base isnt attractive.

    In the beginning just try to produce a good generic figure and then go on from there. For reference try DAZ 3D.

    Hope this helps.
  • JustAfterDark
    kanga said:
    The topology looks ok for sculpting. The local proportions and forms of the figure look off though. Even stylized figure have to have a strong anatomic base. You can emphasize features but you cant err too much from the basic structure of the human body before the figure just starts to look flat out weird.

    I dont know what the aim of your work here is but if you are going for a portfolio piece then dont worry about the stages that come after the base figure but concentrate on getting that first stage down. It doesnt matter how perfectly you execute the follow up details if the base isnt attractive.

    In the beginning just try to produce a good generic figure and then go on from there. For reference try DAZ 3D.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks for your input!
    Topology wise is good enough for animation as well?
    When talking about proportions, what exactly is off for you? I based the design in both real life cosplayers, models and the original concept of the game this character is from. Maybe that mix made it look "wrong"? Certainly I have much to learn about anatomy since this is my 1st sculpt ever.
  • JustAfterDark
    @jose.fuentes After getting more feedback in another site, we came to the conclusion that it was the neck which made the face look off, it was too long.

    I also got more feedback on topology and found out that I didn't have correct edgeloops around the hip bones. I'm sharing the changes.



    Let me know what you think. I would really appreciate detailed feedback on what it is that looks wrong if there's something that looks wrong to you. Thanks.
  • jose.fuentes
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    jose.fuentes greentooth
    I would say share your concept, to see what it is that you're trying to achieve 
  • JustAfterDark
    what it is you're trying to achieve 
    That's an easy one. A real time character for videogames for portfolio showcase rendered in UE4 or Marmoset :)

    Realistic lighting, texturing, materials, skin, etc. I'm not aiming for a Fortnite/Overwatch style. This is going to be (or I want it to be) a photorealistic AAA quality game character.

    I prefer not to share anything about the actual project until I share WIP's of the whole assets. I already modeled/sculpted the entire outfit, I was seeking for help in regards the topology because it's my weakest point. I've retopologized many times already and I was looking for help in that regard.

    You both said something is off in regards of proportions, but didn't elaborate beyond that. I appreciate the help.

  • vavavoom
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    vavavoom polycounter lvl 8
    If you post pics without wireframe it will be easier to make out and crit the anatomy i think.

    Her forehead looks huge in this shot, it could be perspective view or anatomy issue?


    Try adjusting these areas perhaps. Also, she looks kinda 'derpy' , but again, it's hard to make out for sure with the wireframes.

    Good luck with this project~ :)
  • JustAfterDark
    @vavavoom Thanks for your feedback!

    I don't know if it's perspective or what, so instead, here is the high poly sculpt, with and without the "placeholder" hair and eyebrows (intented to be done in XGen in the near future). Let me know if she looks "derpy". Thanks very much!

    Please note that I played a few months ago with alphas in Zbrush while learning. After many reprojections and trial an error with topology, I decided that I needed to relearn (self-taught) proper topology and many of those details got lost or deformed. So focus on primary forms. Thank you.

  • vavavoom
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    vavavoom polycounter lvl 8
    A lot of detail going on  there, but I think you need to shift down a few subD levels and fix up some things before this...

    you are using reference? do you have a reference pic?


  • JustAfterDark
    @vavavoom I do have a lot of reference pics, I mean, I've been learning from zero this past months, so research has been a very important phase, for everything involved. Just tell me what feels off for you, be as harsh as you want. I'm here to learn in the end :)

    This character is not meant to be a realistic "girl next door", is planned to be a super heroine woman, so I based the design in both the original concept art and real life models.

    I can't really answer feedback that doesn't point out what exactly is off in the eyes of those people. I've seen other people's posts and usually people say "this and that looks off, do this". Can I get a bit of that too? Please? :'(

    So, did the forehead look weird to you in these screenshots? :D Thanks for the compliments on detail!
  • jose.fuentes
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    jose.fuentes greentooth
    I agree with about taking a couple of steps back, your character as a whole is really lumpy, go back down a couple of levels, and smooth out the forms. also post your ref, you aren't doing your self any favors by being all secretive about what you are working on, it would be easier to give you the specific feedback you are requesting if we can see the ref.  That way we can tell if the anatomy of the ref is of, or if your interpretation of said concept is off
  • JustAfterDark
    @jose.fuentes In all honesty, Jose, you all are saying it's "off" based on your expectations of what this character should look like using (I asume) your knowledge in realistic human anatomy. I asked what exactly was off, and nobody answered, still failing to answer now.
    Now you want references in hopes you will be right and point out that this character is not properly based on the concept I used. The concept art is a series of manga drawings from 1998 by one of the most famous art directors there are now in the world. I don't want to reveal who the character is because I want to present the project properly, even if I do it as a WIP. I know it would be much easier to share it, please just understand that I was just seeking feedback on topology to begin with.

    But if you say she looks off, or lumpy, or derpy. What does that even mean if you don't back up those statements? Are her legs too long? Her waist too thin? What exactly is off based on realistic human anatomy? Teach me. If you don't say what looks wrong to you, I can't correct it.

    Thanks for trying to help.
  • jose.fuentes
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    jose.fuentes greentooth


    this is what I mean by lumpy, it has nothing to do with anatomy, but more of sculpt technique.  I grabbed a random image from the front page, look at the forms on the left, they are smooth one form transitions to another smoothly.  In your char, there's a lot of sculpting creating dips (under and above the lips), lumps (around the ear lobes), flat planes (around the zygomatic and temple) This is what I mean by lumpy

    A way around this to work slowly on your basic forms, don't subdivide too much and get a clean looking model first, and then move up 

    I know your original question is about Topology, but if most of the comments on here keep referring to your anatomy, might be worth to take a couple steps back, or start over, you're not super far along, to the point where if you were to start again, you'd get faster and a bit more efficient.  You can have the cleanest best topology in the world, but if your anatomy is off, people won't move past that.

    But again, this is just my opinion, in the end follow and do what you think is best 
  • JustAfterDark
    @jose.fuentes I'll copy what I posted earlier:
    Please note that I played a few months ago with alphas in Zbrush while learning. After many reprojections and trial an error with topology, I decided that I needed to relearn (self-taught) proper topology and many of those details got lost or deformed. So focus on primary forms. Thank you.
    I'm aware of the bumps, those are to be fixed later. I wasn't going to re-sculpt until topoloty/retopology was done for good. This is the main reason why I didn't share a high-poly before, because I know it's wrong. I wll certainly apply the techicques mentioned to fix any bump or lump, though. Thanks for taking the time to point the areas.

    There's a lot more work done in this than just the base mesh. I simply didn't figure out in time the correct workflow of things because I'm self-taught. That's all. I decided to finally seek feedback because I knew it would speed up my work. So with all that said, if topology is good and general anatomy is good as well, I can finally re-sculpt the details back.

    Can we say then the general anatomy on the body is good? Does it have anything wrong? Any bone or muscle misplaced/missing? Something is too big or too small?
  • vavavoom
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    vavavoom polycounter lvl 8
    I know it's hard starting out, I'm also teaching myself as I go along.

    The BIGGEST mistake I look back on now was steaming ahead trying to make a full character without a good grip on basic anatomy. I would sculpt away for hours and still not get things to click, it was crazy frustrating and i gave up many times.

    I regret the huge amount of wasted time when instead, If i'd listened to advice here, i would have started smaller and simple with something like a basic face plane sculpt, getting basic forms and shapes nailed before trying a full body high detail sculpt.

    Since you still don't want to share any reference pics, I can only say your character looks rather odd... there's too many problems in so many areas that it'd take a long time to step through them all.

    My advice, leave the body for now, get a nice looking low res face plane head done, share it here and go from there. It will be easier to improve and for the community to point out issues and guide you if you build up from a low res head and build up details step by step from advice given.

    I was hella stubborn when I started out and just couldn't see my own flaws, I convinced myself I didn't need to go through all the baby steps and that I could work it all out without what I thought would be wasted time making face plane sculpts and such, and go straight for what I had in my mind as a cool character.

    Let's see a good face plane sculpt , go from there and make your character look awesome~!
  • pior
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    pior insane polycounter
    "I decided to finally seek feedback because I knew it would speed up my work. So with all that said, if topology is good and general anatomy is good as well, I can finally re-sculpt the details back."

    When people ask you to post your references it's not for their own benefits - it's for you. Or more precisely : it is in order to be able to practically point out the things you need to work on, in a way that will be obvious to *you*.

    There are plenty of things to fix on this model regardless of it aiming to be stylized or realistic, and expecting people to break things down for you without providing your actual target imagery is, literally, a waste of time.

    I know this may sound harsh, but : at this time, technical things shouldn't be any of your concern. Spending time in a 3d program always gives the impression of making progress but it really isn't the case. Your best course of action at this time is to focus on 2d studies of the topic, and maybe quick dynamesh studies to learn about anatomy and stylization in sculpted form.

    And most importantly : good luck !
  • tahakitan
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    tahakitan polycounter lvl 5
    this model needs alot of work to be honest.  i would recommend to take some professional anatomy tutorials.  i think the best one that helped me in my career was the Grassetti courses.  he even made one just for females now.  its cheap and you'll learn alot more in a day than you probably will in a year or 2 by yourself.  save yourself the trouble and just do it.  https://gumroad.com/grassettiart
  • JustAfterDark
    @pior It wouldn't be a waste of time for me. I would really appreciate it. The way I'm understanding it, you need references to see if my anatomy is good or wrong. So, if my anatomy matches the references/concept art, what you are claiming to be wrong, will stop being wrong?

    This confuses me quite a lot. Maybe because I'm new.

    This high-poly sculpt isn't finished, and I'm in no way claiming it to be. I said that there are details missing, bumps, lumps and areas that lost primary forms (not only on the face, but the body as well) during the multiple retopologies/ZRemesh disasters. Those are to be fixed. But if that's not even the issue and we are talking about more general stuff, then I ask you to tell me.

    I can tell when other's people work is off without looking at a reference. I can tell when an arm or a leg is too long. I'm not asking for a full breakdown. Just type it down. Destroy my model. Tell me that is garbage if you need to. But just back up those statements.

    @tahakitan That guy is my hero.

    Thank you all.
  • pior
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    pior insane polycounter
    The problem is not that you are new - it is that you are quite self-centered :)

    Writing a full art critique complete with diagrams and redlines would take about two hours, only going over the most obvious parts. And that's not even counting gathering imagery to back it all up, maybe even going over the history of stylization in cartoons and animated features, and so on.

    Showing your intended goal would at least narrow things down a bit ; and most importantly it would clearly highlight the parts that you misinterpreted - like misjudging changes of direction, the fullness of convex forms, and so on.

    And no, I don't need references to see what's off with the model - with all due respect, you do ;) 
  • JohnnyRaptor
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    JohnnyRaptor polycounter lvl 11
    There was some pro tip from pior in there i think you missed so ill repeat it,

    "focus on 2d studies of the topic, and maybe quick dynamesh studies to learn about anatomy and stylization in sculpted form."

    You should bank what you got so far. Put it to the side. Stop thinking about topology and realtime.

    Start learning anatomy by doing focused exercises in 2d and 3d - focusing on real anatomy and proportion. Learn the basic rules before you start breaking and bending them.

    As it stands now, too much is wrong with your sculpt. Merely pointing them out will not help you.

    Walk before you try running.
  • kanga
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    kanga interpolator
    None of this stuff is probably what you wanted to read, but it's the best advice you will ever get.
  • vavavoom
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    vavavoom polycounter lvl 8
    This is by no means is a comprehensive anatomy critique (I'm no expert at anatomy sculpting), just an example of some of the many things that look wrong with the anatomy...
    yellow: this bone (clavicle?) seems to slope down way to far for me
    black: needs work to refine the shape, she doesn't look to have any armpits
    green: she looks emaciated here
    orange: does anyone have a bone here that sticks out like this? I'm not sure, but it looks wrong
    pink: her buttocks to thigh join is way to pronounced, need to bring it in and soften it i think
    blue: her ankles look like they would snap in a strong wind from the side view at least
    white: thigh is sticking out way to far in comparison and does not match the rest of the leg physique
    aqua: as with the ankles, looks like it wouldn't take much to snap those wrists from the side view

    there's plenty more... without even mentioning the face, which looks very 'derpy' and also creepy. In honest terms, she be ugly...

    If you really really don't want to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch, slide that subD bar down some notches, go over with the smooth brush to get rid of the many problem details and go about making a nice low res sculpt with less detailing and more focus on a better silhouette than what you have now.

    Everyone here has given you so much feedback and advice about where to go from here, people are very generous with new people starting out, don't waste it~!
  • vavavoom
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    vavavoom polycounter lvl 8


    It is called a clavicle! (phew) 
    see how they don't slope like yours

    Just to highlight what @pior said about the time it takes to crit problems with your sculpt.

    It's taken me about 30 minutes for these last 2 posts, not rushing it, but still...

    Make your next post a step in the right direction, people will continue to help you more if you do~~~~


  • vavavoom
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    vavavoom polycounter lvl 8
    @tahakitan That guy is my hero.

    Thank you all.
    Latsly, I think EVERYONE who has commented on your thread so far deserves your title of 'hero'...
  • vavavoom
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    vavavoom polycounter lvl 8
    The concept art is a series of manga drawings from 1998 by one of the most famous art directors there are now in the world. I don't want to reveal who the character is because I want to present the project properly, even if I do it as a WIP. I know it would be much easier to share it, please just understand that I was just seeking feedback on topology to begin with.

     And lastly lastly, please for love of god, share with us all the name of this famous art director and his works your character is based off... the suspense is killing me~!!!!
  • DavidCruz
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    DavidCruz polycounter lvl 7

    https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=anatomy for female sculptors&rs=typed&term_meta[]=anatomy for female sculptors|typed More here line up your female with their wire framed models and find the oddities between them.

    Hope that helps in addition to all of the above, you are getting more help than most i hope you rethink things and do not get discouraged, i learned with way tougher critic than you or most have gotten on this site.

    Good luck.


  • JustAfterDark
    Well, thank you all very much, from the bottom of my heart (even if it sounds fucking cheesy, I don't care).

    I'm already following Grassetti's tutorial on female anatomy and, oh boy... At least I got the 7,5 head proportions right. Well, almost.

    And no, this is my passion since a year when I first started with Maya and moved to Zbrush. No way I'm discouraged at all. I was seeking for a "why", that's all, I didn't disagree on anything. I just wanted to know what was off, wrong... I understand now that almost everything was wrong :#

    @vavavoom Thanks for taking the time to break it down for me, I got another break down in another site as well and yours is simillar. While watching the tutorial I understood that I need more than an explanation to get it right. And no worries, I promise I will share more about the project soon, meanwhile, you will have to wait :P Also, you made me laugh quite a bit with the break down, thanks XD

    Happy weekend everyone!
  • vavavoom
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    vavavoom polycounter lvl 8
    Is it Nobuhiro Watsuki?

    If i guess right, can I win a prize?

    Also, if you already got a breakdown from another site that was similar to mine, kinda feels like it really was a waste of time as @pior mentioned earlier...
    Maybe it's just me, but feels like a slap in the face to ask people to explain what's wrong with your character, and then say "i got a breakdown on another site that is similar". People might be put off taking time for future crits if they think you're probably already posting elsewhere where people have already pointed out and critiqued your work, so why bother wasting time on doing what someone else has already done somewhere else... 
    Sure, it's good to get as much feedback as possible, but if your not sharing references or anything else to let us know what's going on, it really does feel like, to say it again, a waste of time...

    Anyways, I've already posted way too much on this thread. I got invested initially because I could see myself and the mistakes I had made in retrospective,  so thought i'd try help out as others did for me in the past.

    Fingers crossed it'll lead to improvements.

    Good luck~!
  • jose.fuentes
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    jose.fuentes greentooth
    i would recommend to start over, it will help you a lot, if you want start another thread right at the beginning, Please post your ref tho (just makes crits way, way easier :) 
    Take this and learn from it
    I bet you the next time around, the character will be a lot better. Look up some character courses online, focus on anatomy, (its a long road, for everyone, and I still struggle with it on all my projects) 
    Some of the best artists I have worked with are self taught, but if you want to make it in this industry, please learn to take some crit, it will only help you.
    I look forward to seeing you progress! 
  • JustAfterDark
    @vavavoom Man, don't ever say that it was a waste of time to help someone else in need. I do really appreciate the break down. You pointed out things that the other person didn't. The more feedback you get, the better, as you said. It already led to improvements, mate, and much more to improve.

    @jose.fuentes It's not like I didn't take the critic, the latest post I think it shows that I'm really thankful for them. I simply needed to understand it. Now I do.

    Also, it's not the same to have a peer by your side telling with a pen in his/her hand pointing out what looks off in person. I'm sure that, in person, I would have got "this, this, this and this shouldn't go like this, should go like that". That was what I was looking for, I didn't disagree, as I said.

    Anyways, this has derailed too much already. I will create another thread to properly show progress with references soon. But first I will work the anatomy.

    Thanks guys.
  • JustAfterDark
    Before creating the new thread with the whole project, I wanted to show the changes made during these past day or two thanks to all the criticism, feedback, advice and help that I got. All was welcomed and appreciated and I just wanted to add as well that if someone felt that his/her time was wasted, it wasn't. Every word written got in to me and put me to work. I understood it wasn't a matter of "what" was off/wrong, it was a matter of me not seeing at plain sight, so thanks again for insisting and having patience.
    I hope to have moved in the right direction with my anatomy. Let me know. Thanks!

  • jose.fuentes
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    jose.fuentes greentooth
    keep it up! each one will get better 
  • JustAfterDark
    Latest development before moving to the new thread (promise). I focused on the arms and neck area, also retopologized again to fix some pinching around the hips in the previous post. Arms have been re-sculpted, shoulders, neck, back of the skull, ears and mostly the entire chest region have been tweaked.

  • JustAfterDark
    Tomorrow, if I can, I'll share the whole project. Final proportions update. Learned a lot these past few days.


  • JustAfterDark
    Really, final anatomy update before creating the new thread. I could polish some stuff a bit more but for the 1st character, I feel content, comparing what I knew two weeks ago to now, everybody will agree that I knew jack shit about anatomy :# Still much to learn but I have to move on and share the whole stuff.

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