does everyone have different face topology?

I am learning this and I understand the loops and the flow, what I dont understand is how they make a person look toon like and also, how the persons topology creates a mesh that looks like them. is there more in debt stuff on this? one 2 pictures is Anna Hathaway and the other is a toon which I would like to know how to make a person resemble this. looks like the eyes are just bigger. I got these images from Google images


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the nose is way different, and the brow is different to accommodate the huge eyes. also, I think the chin and jaw are somewhat slenderized, and the whole thing is simplified. one thing you might try, is taking a head of realistic proportions, and using a mesh deform or lattice modifier to test some variances of proportion before modelling or sculpting.

Toons are ‘stylized’ humans. There is more to it than just larger eyes, although that is certainly part of it.

The first image is a ‘typical’ high school aged blonde girl. You’ve noticed the larger eyes, take a look at her neck: much thinner than any real neck has any right to be. Same thing for the diameter of her arms, legs and waist. A real girl who was that skinny would be anorexic, no smooth rounded arms and legs, caved in cheeks, like a starvation survivor. But the toon, with her skinny arms and legs, has a nicely rounded butt and perky breasts, and appears in the best of health.

Toon stylization also takes liberties with bony landmarks. For example, the rib cage: if you take a look at the side views, you can see where the torso outline bends… that’s the only indication the artist gives you of the bottom of her ribs. Or her knees: a slight bump in an otherwise smooth leg, which in a real person looks like a bag of rocks.

For more in depth stuff on drawing stylized humans, look for “How to draw Manga” books, videos and documentation. DeviantART has a whole group dedicated to teaching how to draw Manga characters, so go set yourself up an account over there and check it out.

I understand the certain loops and the way they have to go. what I don’t understand which may be a dumb question is. how the topology makes a certain face from a image? I would like to model my niece and I am wondering. if i have the front view and I use the right methods I should be able to finish the side and back of her head? here is a few pictures of someone putting facial topology on images I found on Google images.

so pretty much if I use the right methods over a face it outlines the image for me in 3d? even though it the same process of making anyone else and the quads same size etc. its the image of the curves that sculpt the person? do you know what I mean? Or am I confusing anybody with this question? if you look at the Emma Watson picture (shes hot) anyway the topology seems different or it could just be more divisions?


I was wondering, I notice a lot of people do different face topology. i am not sure if this is because we all have different face structures or… it could be the difference between high and low poly.

also, i ask this other day but know one answered. i was wondering. is there a certain way to do cartoon face topology? so you can turn a person into a animation figure. pic below of what I mean. the cartoon women is what i mean but do a replica of someone.

I am going to start using the grease pencil to draw out my topology on the reference images.

only problem is though, is when I do one ortho say the front, then I do the back. topology is nice but, messes up the model because there is no side and there mesh are just flat. so… i was thinking about doing a quick mesh and then learn retopo to do the certain loops and flows for the topology to make the model more refine.


Threads merged

No need to clutter up the forums with repeated threads

no one answers.

oh never mind. see i am not getting responses in my email or I get one. now when you combined these threads I didnt see these other post.

Actually, everyone does not have different face topology. Face topology is pretty much the same, whether it is a toon, a realistic portrait, or even an animal (a mammal, at any rate.) The “topology” is the major loops that define the structure of the face. Since all mammals have eye sockets above the nose, a muzzle, a hinged jaw attached underneath the skull and ear canals behind the eyes and above the jaw, the topology that supports modeling heads is about the same.

I don’t know exactly what you mean by “topoology”, but it’s usually thought of as a pattern of loops. What makes one face look different from another is the exact location of those loops. The muzzle loop, for example… (that’s the loop that surrounds the nose and mouth, called ‘smile muscle’ in one of your diagrams.) That loop can be oval or circular, narrow or wide, pear shaped or apple shaped… and any minor variation will make the face look different. Plus, the muzzle loop provides a base for positioning the nose and mouth closer to or further away from the skull. In some people, the nose and mouth are more or less in line with the forehead, in others the nose and mouth project forward a bit. When you have a muzzle loop in place, you can move the nose and mouth forward or backward independantly of the rest of the face. Move it too far forward, and you have a cat. Further forward, a dog. Go forward even more and you have a horse or a giraffe.

Basically, what I am saying is that the premiss of your question, that everyone has a different face topology, is mistaken. If you look at any well made face, you’ll see the same loops. High or low poly has nothing to do with it. High poly simply means you can put in more detail, at the expense of making modeling a lot more difficult unless you use tools like sculpt or proportional editing.

You seem to have collected a lot of good reference images, and you seem to have an idea of what you want to end up with. If I might make a suggestion: begin your model. Post your work in a ‘work in progress’ thread, and go from there.

You’re not going to get it by asking endless vague questions. You’re going to get it by doing it, making mistakes and correcting your mistakes. You get better with practice, and thinking about it is NOT practice. Do you know how the cat learned to swim? :evilgrin:

In some ways I feel like this is a “rule of thumb” thing. In theory it may be possible to develop and use a particular topology to define a lot of faces. (In this case refering to a particular mesh layout and not in general. I think Daz3D built most of their content creation model around that. Two or three main characters and something like 500 morphs. And MakeHuman doing a similar thing.) In practice though, when modeling from scratch it may be more efficient (not just easier for modeling, but rigging/animation) to go with less loops or add edges where needed to define more prominent features on a particular person’s likeness or character design. What’s desirable for wrinkly old man tends to be different than what looks good on a Barbie doll, right?

However for animation purposes, most good face models do have a fairly consistent edge flow pattern even if not the exact same amount of loops or terminating in the exact same spots. The pattern of loop placement is pretty much what’s been illustrated in one of the previous replies. Regardless of some variation, it’s likely you’ll still see something like a “mouth loop”, “eye loops”, “goggle loop”, and “muzzle loop” for lack of a better description.

Of course Orinco right above has some really good advice. Just gotta put the time in. :slight_smile: