How to achieve a level of detail like this?

First off, I know I am an intermediate learner at best and the picture I am about to refer to is made by a pro. Still, I think I know some of the theory of modeling but I can’t help but look at shots like this in awe:

I found it here (click).

What I keep wondering is:
How do you achieve this level of detail? I mean, without getting lost in the mesh?
Let me put it more precisely:
The guy states he used parts of the original body mesh to make the armor.
But how do you put those leaves on it?
How do you follow the outline of the mesh for placing the several armor parts and straps and stuff? Retopo? Shrinkwrap? Only with a LOT of patience can I get it to do something like that (and it won’t look that good!).
How do you keep the mesh that clean and even? Look at the wire: It’s mostly not only quads but QUADS :spin:

Surely some of you have input on this. Thanks in advance, it will help me lots. And even if it is only for keeping my sanity :smiley:

But how do you put those leaves on it?

  • Model it as a separate object or mesh within the object.

How do you follow the outline of the mesh for placing the several armor parts and straps and stuff? Retopo? Shrinkwrap? Only with a LOT of patience can I get it to do something like that (and it won’t look that good!).

  • Shrinkwrap would be my best bet, otherwise careful placing

How do you keep the mesh that clean and even? Look at the wire: It’s mostly not only quads but QUADS.

  • The mesh doesn’t look that complicated. I think more time was invested in the shaping of the mesh than creating complicated topology. I could count less than 10 poles for the entire body (taking mirroring into account). I also see that the head is denser than the rest of the mesh, but I don’t see that many T-poles , so the head may be a separate mesh too.

Lots of questions here. I’ll take them one at a time.

How to keep from getting lost in the mesh.
The numpad slash key transfers you to local mode, where only the selected object is shown. If you only have one object, you can select the part you want to work on, make it a separate object (temporarilly) and then rejoin it when the work’s done.

H key is the hot key to hide selected vertices (Shift+H to hide unselected vertices.) Useful for working on sections of a mesh when other parts of the mesh are getting in the way. Alt+H unhides.

Alt+B allows you to draw a box around a section of the model, and you’ll only see what is inside the box. Alt+B toggles back to normal

Keeping it quad.
Start with quads, and don’t subdivide. Use the loop cut tool (Ctrl+R) when you need more edges.

Form fitting clothing.
One technique is to take the skin mesh and duplicate selected parts (an edge loop going around the arm, for example) then scaling the selection up just slightly, and extruding the edges back down to the skin. This gives you a base to work from. Some of the straps, shoulder pads, possibly the skirt, look like they might have been done this way.
Retopo can be used to do things like the leaves.
Alt+B slices through the armor and the body mesh can also be used to place armor verts right on top of the skin.

Mostly, it’s patience, and having a lot of techniques in your arsenel. No one way will suit every situation.

Probably alooooot of practice.

Well put question from 13bullets… and good hints from the seniors.

My 2 cents are that the artist probably used some special tool / software for some parts (the gloves for example are too detailed to be modeled the classic way, in my opinion).

I have to say that Alt-B thing is completely new and a nice addition to my knowledge.

Thanks all for the great contributions.

Thanks for all your answers!
Taking your advice into account and being PATIENT :eek: I managed to continue on the character I had started. Because of the many accessoires of the character I try to mimic (the Witcher from the video game) I had created this thread. Not sure if I should post those images here but since I don’t have a WIP for it yet it might be okay… :slight_smile:

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If your work is the dress it’s coming along pretty nice.
Don’t forget to post some wires when you’ll be ready to do it: as you know they are the most interesting part.

Topology is hard to learn, and the only real way to get it down is to practice. Practice, practice, practice.
Of course, there are resources that will help shorten the learning process a bit.

http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=93651

This will give you a jump start on understanding poles and loops and how to control them, but you’ll still have to learn how to layout topology on your own meshes. It definitely takes work, but it’s very important, and it’s the first thing you should learn when doing modeling.

I have a tutorial on Subpatch modeling. Not for Blender, but the theory is the same when it comes to mesh planning. Maybe that will help some. :slight_smile:

THanks, Richard Culver, for that link. Also thank you, Hobo Joe, for the link to “Poles and Loops”. Those are both nice resources though, as I’d stated, I have some experience in modeling.

Yes, Carrozza, the dress is my work, as is the rest of the model :slight_smile: There are some quick wires in the attachments.
I think I’ll make it a WIP but that will have to wait 'til next year :smiley:

Which reminds me: Happy New Year to y’all! Have yourselves a nice party :wink:

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