Klaus wants to die (animated short)

Hello everyone,

in the next two weeks I’ll (hopefully) realize a small animation for university. Here are the first renders and the original sketches (I didn’t draw them, they’re done by Elisabeth Jakobi - a friend of mine).
My topology is awful, don’t ask for wireframes.

Since I am still working on the mesh, there are no image textures at the moment. Later in the process I’ll draw most of the wrinkles by handy (to match with the freestyle lines).

At this stage I worked four evenings on the character. I’m quite slow, this is my first real character.

comments and critics welcome,


Nice, but for animation, good topology is vital. Better to have critique on poor topology so you can fix it, than rig the character and discover you can’t get the topology to make the facial expressions you need for your short.

I agree and disagree with Orinoco. If this is a class project, it is vital that it be handed in on time. I’ve worked weeks on a character to get it exactly right, but it’s not an option here. Teachers will know what is possible for students with a school workload. I suggest making checkpoints for things that are vital to the animation. If you have time left over after finishing the checkpoints, you could spend time refining the animation.

There are always trade offs between time available and quality. Since this is a ‘first real character’, having some more experienced animators take a look at the mesh might produce those checkpoints that would speed the overall project. No one is saying that all crits have to aim for a perfect topology. It might even be the case that some of that awful topology is good enough and can be left alone.

But without seeing the wires, the poster is left to struggle on alone…

You’re absolutely right. Here they are.

can a few triangles cause problems later on? On three or four spots I couldn’t prevent triangles (but they are hidden under the hair, no animation will take place there.

I wouldn’t worry about triangles under the hair because those areas are not subject to much change.

The topology looks pretty good. There are faceloops around the eyes. lips, and from the forehead all the way to the chin. Your character is unique so doing standard topology may not be for this character. That being said, I think people usually do faceloops from the nose to the chin instead of from the nose to the forhead. It’s common for wrinkles in the cheeks to start near the mouth and curve towards the nose. The topology I suggest helps with deforming those wrinkles more realistically. Of course, this is a cartoon character, so realism might not be a concern.

okay, thanks for your suggestion! I hope I can change it later on (if it causes problems with the animation), but I have to leave it like this for now… the clock is ticking :slight_smile:

goal of the day: basic rig. done.
there are still some weight painting issues (on the chest, the shoulders, the butt and the belly. I will address them tomorrow. Hopefully I have the face and body rig done by tomorrow evening.

This is awesome! I’m also working on a one minute animation for school, I posted a WIP, here a couple of days ago asking for topology advice :). I completely agree that time is super important but however, having a clean good topology early will save a ton of time when you finally animate it

Triangles can always be handled. I understand they are in a non moving spot but quads quads quads are vital. Triangles are evil. :slight_smile:
This video is extremely helpful in understanding how to deal with these problem areas.

thanks a lot for the tip! very good tutorial.