Noob basic modeling - help! (some nudity)

Okay - so I’m just beginning with Blender. I figured a good idea would be to make some characters as mesh, add hair (all those hair tutorials) and animate them (like in the walk tutorials).

I kind of wanted to do a really good job and blow everyone away with my first attempt :rolleyes: but alas, I’m already hitting enough problems that I think I should pull the plug and get some feedback on better ways of doing things… I’m beginning to waste some serious time patching up holes that keep appearing all over my model.

So then, attached is the mesh I am working on. I’m making a torso of a little girl, to be transformed into a full figure (yay Pixar here I come!) Here are the problems I am running into…

http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/827/bodies7xi.jpg

Go here to download the blender file: http://tinyurl.com/8p738
(file name: girl5.blend and just over 1Mb - Go down to “click here to download”)

  1. Look at where the buttocks meet the tummy, and where the tummy meets the ribs. A whole lot of awful triangulation probably caused by meshes having different numbers of lines when making the boolean join (union). What is an efficient way of simplifying / correcting the messy merge areas? It looks really awful, especially when I choose to set smooth to the entire shape!

  2. I know to delete vertices I use the X key. What about adding them? (Example - the lines in the breasts are too straight, so I want to subdivide more circles into the area in order to manipulate a better curve) What is the best way to do this? (I’m thinking delete the point at the nipple and begin to extrude the breast again may be the simplest)

There are other things, although I’m getting tired and have already spent way long on this. It’s at a point where I want to start tidying up the shape, although I’m wondering if there are better ways of going about things. Individual erasure and addition of vertices seems like a terribly long way of going about it if there are better techniques.

On layer two - there WAS a problem that I can’t seem to reproduce anymore. When I union merged the buttocks to the main body (try on the middle one) the left buttock suddenly lost some of its surfaces. I think I fixed this with the lose double edges function… I’m not sure, it may have been through converting triangles to quads. Anyone know of the issue, please enlighten me.

Oh - I’m also working on the hand. Again, finding it very difficult to edit after putting down the basic shapes (bit of a mess). Someone did show me another way (how to make a hand in 3 minutes) which I think I will study because it’s the kind of simplification I perhaps need all over.

Please stop and tell me how I can do things better… preferably faster and ways where I’ll have less mesh holes to fix.

eh does she doesn’t look very realistic
does she get a baby? :frowning:
try to make her more realistic
or is it a styled person? :wink:

Yes - stylised. Her head would be about as big as her body, limbs would be wiry (hands would have three fingers like in the one being modelled in the blender file).
I’m not trying to showcase it here - I know it’s way off. I’m after advice on more efficient ways of going about this.

I recommend looking at this thread:

https://blenderartists.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=58316&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Also, do a search in Elysiun for “Torq’s better face tutorial” and you should get to a thread with good edge-loop modelling advice.
One other thing, whenever you want advice on modelling, please supply a screenshot of your model, non-subsurfed, in object mode with “draw wires” on. That will help us to help you much more effectively.

Thanks for your tips. Okay, here’s one of the mesh…
http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/4892/bodies5yt.th.gif
As you can (now) see, there’s quite a bit of bad triangulation I’d like to smooth out.

Hi there Lancer

It looks like you took some Primitives and added them together with boolean operations. The problem with this technique is, that you’ll allways see what the base objects where. Plus: It’s very hard to get a clean mesh.
If you like to model with Primitives, you should try Metaballs instead of Meshes.
Or you could use your current mesh as a reference and model a new mesh around it (i’d start with plane and use the subsurf and the mirror modifier).

Good luck!

Okay - I decided to go the slow way and extrude the cylinder which was her main body down over her stomach and buttocks while point by point adjusting each new layer to fit, in order to recreate the whole thing as a single mesh. Very painstaking but at least it’s probably a lot better polycount-wise.

Now I’m down to her ahem butt and I’ve got a new problem. I need to make some more lines. While I could just say “who cares? I’m probably going to slap over some clothing”, I still want to know how to do this. Here’s what I have at the moment…

http://img494.imageshack.us/img494/2162/nearlydone3bj.jpg

What I want to do is add some extra vertices so that it becomes possible for me to raise each buttock separately, leaving the gap between them sunken in the centre.

Probably the new vertices will look something like this…

http://img494.imageshack.us/img494/4106/buttcut1zi.jpg

How do I go about drawing these extra vertices? (I added them in red to the above picture using GIMP) Someone on another thread (this one: click here)had a similar problem but I still can’t make much sense of the answers given. CTRL-R draws lines around the entire figure, and W key (sub divide) ends up with a whole lot of extra triangles making the mesh very complicated very fast.

Can someone tell me how to add some precise lines? (can’t I just select a line and saqy “add point to middle?” and then procede to make faces from the new areas? Also I don’t know how the knife tool works in the other earlier mentioned post.

Got it! The W key was the right answer, but it helped when I figured out that I didn’t need to delete the extra vertices this produces manually - all I needed to do was select corners of the intended face area and use F. Provided the area was straight enough, it would delete interior vertices replacing them with a blank face.
Model starting to look much better (with help of vertice smoothing function).

I think the next step would be to cut the model in half, mirror the half remaining and then stick them back together. I understand this is quite common. Where do I go for a tut on this trick?

http://img494.imageshack.us/img494/2162/nearlydone3bj.jpg

Holy crap this has got to be the funniest thing I have seen in a long time.
Honestly, I am not trying to be rude or discourage you in any way.
Good job so far!

Keep working at it, this is a very hard subject to master. I feel that you started creating your mesh in the style that (possibly) ZBrush is done. You need to work your mesh in a more standard way that Blender is commonly used, such as Quads. So far I see that your recent wire image is leaning towards that style.

Funny? Ah well - I am a complete newbie to blender. Made it a Christmas Break resolution to take a look at it, so this is my first attempt.

Worked out how to merge the two halves. They don’t meet exactly (overlap) so the trick is to work around the “join” area, pick a pair of vertexes and use ALT-M to fuse them together (at center). After this is done, the normals will be out (seam look ugly still) so need to recalculate them.

http://img497.imageshack.us/img497/604/body50bo.jpg

http://img82.imageshack.us/img82/1857/front7cd.jpg

At last the body is pretty well complete minus a bit of touching up. (Add belly button, work on smoothing the butt out a bit maybe), Next I will be able to add arms, legs and start to animate something :slight_smile: Looking forward to this.

What’s ZBrush?

I meant funny as in a big butt appeared onto my screen.

ZBRUSH is a 3D rendering program, like Blender. You can apply basic shapes to create a new shape.

Ill give you a better idea - start with making some simple stuff. %|
Car modeling, furniture modeling… anything, but not character modeling!

Character modeling is for at least medium-experianced users. Certainly not for someone who (judging from the screen you posted) spendt less than a week learning blender.

Ill give you a better idea - start with making some simple stuff. %|
Car modeling, furniture modeling… anything, but not character modeling!

Character modeling is for at least medium-experianced users. Certainly not for someone who (judging from the screen you posted) spendt less than a week learning blender.

:frowning: Make that about four weeks. The first were spent going through a series of monthly tutorials from Linux Format magazine. I also made a few “simple” things like a robot dog to study hinges / bones etc but figured there was no reason to waste your time with them.

The whole point in me trying this one out is that I want to get beyond just sticking a few cubes and tubes together and calling it a washing machine* and actually work on modelling something from my imagination. No it’s not realistic body proportions but it’s at least in character with a rough sketch I did on paper.

  • no offence to anyone who’d modelled a washing machine… I wanted a “square” example

Thats why you need to model washing maschines at first - to learn modeling complex meshes, how the subdivision works (a MUST in character modeling), how diffrent types of shading look on difrent triangle/quad meshes, and how to arrange the mesh, so you can change/fix something in it without deleting half of the vertices its made of.

You can learn all this when modelling a character, but it will be twice as hard.

The choice is yours. :slight_smile:

P.S. Any mod out there delete one of the double post, and kill my ISP for selling me a lagy internet connection please. :stuck_out_tongue:

Definately, this is the best solution. I’ll show you how to do if you want (look for my next post).

Here is how to clean up your mesh since joining multiple primitives with boolean operations clearly doesn’t do the job.

Its how I would do it.

We will cover the existing body that you did with four-sided polygons.

  1. We create a plane primitive in front view, and move it forward in side view so that its close to the belly…
    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c164/guillaumelepage/Clean%20mesh%20tutorial/cm1.jpg

  2. Then, we subdivide 2 times the plane we just created with [/i]W->Subdivide[/i]… then we scale the whole object so its wide enough to cover the body.
    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c164/guillaumelepage/Clean%20mesh%20tutorial/cm2.jpg

  3. We will mirror one half of our plane so that we just need to shape one half of the body (the other half being mirrored). To do this, delete the vertices as in the following screenshot. We select them and X->vertices
    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c164/guillaumelepage/Clean%20mesh%20tutorial/cm3.jpg

  4. At this point, make sure the object center is on the YZ axis plane. We mirror the whole thing on X axis with the mirror modifier in the Edit buttons.
    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c164/guillaumelepage/Clean%20mesh%20tutorial/cm4.jpg

  5. We select the vertices individually or in small group and move them to cover the belly region.
    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c164/guillaumelepage/Clean%20mesh%20tutorial/cm5.jpg

  6. When we have the belly approximately covered, we extrude some vertices up the Z axis to create new polygons. Make sure the polygons are about the same size.
    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c164/guillaumelepage/Clean%20mesh%20tutorial/cm6.jpg

  7. Again, move the vertices to follow the underlying mesh as a guide. To add the extra row of vertices on the following image, I used loop cut (ctrl-R). This is the procedure to follow until the mesh is completely covered (extrude new polygon, move the vertices…).
    http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c164/guillaumelepage/Clean%20mesh%20tutorial/cm7.jpg

Hope this help. Its kinda botched but its just to show how to do. If you have questions I’m sure theyll get answered as well here. 8)

The washing machine…

Well, he has a point. You do learn a lot while meshing within a tutorial. So here’s my famous tutorial that is designed to teach you a LOT of stuff (for the beginner), but not take a long time.

Visit this…
http://free.hostdepartment.com/B/Blender3D/cantut/index.html

Yes it is the Soda Can. :smiley:

Wow! Thanks for the effort you’ve gone into putting that lil’ tutorial together with all those screenshots, Batman!

I never knew about the mirror modifier… I take it that means the mesh additions you do to one side will also happen on the other? Very cool trick to know.

I successfully simplified the mesh (post prior to last I think) by going up to the top vertices (upper torso) and extruding it down over the tummy & buttocks, layer by layer, molding the edges snugly each time as I went. Took a while for this newbie, although I think it’s probably as effective a method as the common one I’ve seen where artists put 2D drawings or photographs of the models into the background as a guide.

I’m going to have my day of rest now (maybe tidy up the house a bit) and will return to study the technique you’ve given about adding another plate… especially that mirror trick.

Hey one question for now… I know that it’s possible to gather a range of vertices and use “merge to center”. How about after several rotations and things where a group of vertices which should be in a straight line go wonkey? Is there a way of selecting them all and then running some function to make sure they are in a straight line but not all at the same point? (e.g: along the z axis or using a path as a snap guide).

Okay - two questions… someone said in here that wire screenshots are best. How do we make rendered 3D wire screenshots like this one which DanBoghean posted in the “Newbie Workshop” tutorial?
http://img76.imageshack.us/img76/697/rocketwire9bd.jpg

P.S: Oh - just hit refresh before posting this, and have just seen the extra notes from Spin. Thanks also… I think your site is going to keep me kind of busy. :smiley:

To your second question: in the material windows, create a new material (or use the existing one) and check the button “wire” (very easy to spot button). It will do the trick.

To align vertices along a particular axis, I select them and scale them along the perpendicular axis while holding down ctrl until the distance between those vertices is 0 (they are aligned).

For example, if you want to align a row of vertices along the X axis, scale them down along the Z or Y axis.