Sigh, I remember when she was just a square (warning nudity)

Well this is actually the first work I’ve been pleased enough with to show. I started this about a year and a half ago modelling from a plane. I don’t like box modelling much, although as I near the end, my modelling uses that technique more.

I mainly started this as an exercise in getting proportions right but also figuring out how the human muscles flow so I could understand why certain topologies are better rather than just copy them from another model like makehuman (which I wasn’t aware of when I started). Actually, the first 6 months of modelling, I was using Maya and I originally intended her to be a cartoon character.

After getting frustrated with Maya’s modelling setup, especially the subdivision surfaces, I got a copy of Blender and haven’t looked back. The more and more photoreal images I came across, the more I wanted my character to be realistic too so gradually I tried to turn her into Cameron Diaz. Things didn’t quite work out as planned and I switched from one hot girl to another modifying the topology as I went.

Over time I settled into the way of modelling using subdivs and I’ve seen so much por… er, artistic references, I have seen what each muscle looks like in pretty much any position imaginable.

My main intention was actually to make a model that was low poly enough for a game but with subdivs can look photoreal. So low poly was my aim from the outset and that made things so much more difficult. There are about the same number of polys in one makehuman hand as there are in this girl’s entire body (~1500 give or take).

I actually used the makehuman ear though. I had my ear finished and the topology was fine but there were too many sharp edges that I realised I needed more detail. So I had the choice to either increase the polys on mine or decrease the polys on makehuman’s and I chose the latter. Mine was 75 polys originally and makehumans was about 200. I eventually got a compromise at 107.

Overall the mesh detail has spread out pretty well into roughly 3 sectors: the head with 500 polys, the middle+ arms 500 and the waist + legs 500.

Now for a game, that will translate to 3000 tris since I’m using quads so it might be a bit much but the ears, hands and feet could easily be modified to get it lower. The main reason I like low poly models is the control and that it’s easy to fix the surface when it messes up.

The lack of detail and even some oddness in the surface from the low poly nature of the model I hope to make up with textures. Maybe bump maps but I like the idea of normal maps more. Displacement maps if I’m lucky.

I have some proportions to iron out here and there, then finish the UVmapping/texturing and finish the rigging. Silly Blender flushed all the bindings when I joined it to the makehuman ear mesh so I have to start again now :(.

You will notice some of the bones sticking out where you wouldn’t expect e.g. the spine (yeah, yeah and the breasts - I might use softbodies though :P). I see a lot of models that construct the spine like a real one but the bones are quite hard to grab so I do it this way. Of course I might change my mind if I decide to make it an IK chain.

The other thing that’s been bugging me is getting hair and clothing done. I’ve still to look into that and in that case, I won’t likely be finishing this soon. I want to use RiCurves with 3delight and more advanced shaders and lights than Blender has as well as better AA but we’ll see.

Another thing you might notice is the planes in the background. That’s how I do my references. I find it easier than background images because you can adjust position, scale, rotation very easily. I find it most useful for getting the profile image the same size as the front image.

The easiest way is as follows:

  1. check reference image size e.g. 640x480
  2. make a plane facing the right way and go to object mode
  3. hit n and enter the size but scale down the resolution so e.g. use 6.4 for sizex and 4.8 for sizey or 0.64 and 0.48 depending on what size your model is. It doesn’t really matter as long as you get the aspect ratio right.
  4. Go to UVfaceselect mode and select the plane. Then go to the UVeditor and open the image. If you go to textured mode, you should see it in the 3d window. If it’s the wrong way, press r and select rotate uv co-ordinates.
  5. align the camera to the image and scale or rotate it to fit your model or if you are just starting from scratch, match your references to each other.

If your image is the wrong way round, you can just flip the plane normal or rotate 180 degrees round the vertical axis.

Anyway, here’s what she looks like so far on subdiv level 1:

And I should add, I’m pretty lazy so updates here won’t likely be all that often ;).

update: wow that was quick eh? I’ve fixed the crease on the inner breast. Again I wasn’t using enough polys.

:smiley: Nice stuff you got there. Look like we both have the same aims as well.
From your model I love her head. It would be nice if you post the wire of her head and ear. Legs and hands are not that realistic due to the lack of polys. But you could fix that with displacement map. Over all it is a great piece with high level of realism.
Goodluck, hope to see the new update soon.

osxrules, So far it is a great job! Keep on going!
I know it can get difficult sometimes. At this moment I’m also busy with a female and I’m also struggling to get some realistic hairs now…

If you want to have a look:

(I haven’t posted any update lately, also lazy :smiley: …more because of lacking free time)

Thanks for the comments guys.

I’ve been checking out the progress of your model Wim. It’s been going very well. I hope you have success with the hair.

I have more pictures to show:

Firstly I fixed the crease on the chest and then wires of all the major parts:

Looking nice, although she seems a litle cold :wink:


I’ll maybe give her a bikini or somethin’ :).

OK, I have modified the topology yet again - nose, breasts, waist, shoulders and bottom and in the process managed to add 100 polys :(. But on the upside, I have more control and less triangles. I think I’m done screwing with the topology now. I did start to do the UVmapping and thanks to LSCM, it was coming out great but some of the topology changes meant I had to keep starting over and over.

So what I’m going to do now is the rigging so that if I find for any reason my topology is still wrong, at least I won’t mess up the UVs again. Well, I will but it won’t matter because I won’t be doing the texturing.

I’m also using a newer CVS version of Blender that has the b-spline bones in it so I can experiment with the spine rig. I almost had a problem though because I was using an older CVS and the new one crashed when loading the files I saved with it. Fortunately, they opened in 2.37 and I resaved them and opened them in the new version. I’m not sure if that’s a reliable thing to do after the rigging because of the new bones but we’ll see.

OK, I decided to change some more topolgy. I didn’t have enough control over the eyebrow so I added some geometry. I also fixed the ear - there were some bits out of place and there was some pinching. I also fixed the breasts again. I can’t stop playing with them :). I don’t know what I was thinking before - the fix was pretty obvious.

After trying to texture the eye, I decided to remodel it to make it easier so that’s why it’s grey now. I also modelled the inside of the mouth. I joined the mouth to the mesh because it makes the lips better. I have the teeth modelled but I want to keep them separate so I can move them out of the way.

I also rigged one of the arms. Thanks to the new rotation constraints, the IKs are going the right way. I’m not happy with the rig yet so I will probably redo it but it helps me see that there’s no creases where there shouldn’t be.

As before, the proportions aren’t correct yet. Some of the topology changes mess the proportions up so I’ve decided to leave that until later.

The model looks great, except for the forhead, her head looks mishapen as it is. Otherwise no complaints. COuld you pictures of your rig as well?

Yeah, I was in the middle of testing out some facial expressions to see where the creases were going. I’ve had to add more vertices again but they were pretty necessary. A lot of the model has parts that are proportioned differently from how they will be at the end. Making the model look right in terms of lighting and creases is my priority at the moment.

Just to clarify, did you mean the top of the forehead being higher than the back or the bulging eyebrows or perhaps something else?

There’s not much of the rig at the moment. The arm is just a standard IK chain. Like I say, as it is just now, it’s not working quite how I’d like but when I get it set up properly, I’ll post pictures ;).

Thanks for the feedback. :slight_smile:

The bulging forhead, looks like a bunch of vertexs were pulled up creating this tumorous growth in her skull. Uh, that didn’t sound to nice, but not sure how to put it.

OK, I hope this one is better. I remember the change I made that messed up the head shape:

There are quite a few areas like that - probably not as noticeable as a swollen head - but they still need fixin’. I’ll get round to it sooner or later.

I’m wondering if I should model finger-nails or not. I did one nail already and it’s pretty easy. Also, it’s one of the things that would be hard to fake with displacements or bumps. I didn’t do it before because of the polys involved. It would add about 350 verts. However, I think I’m going to push the target number of vertices up anyway.

Originally, it was 1000, then 1500 but with the inside of the mouth and eyeballs, it’s up to about 1750. So if I set a rough target of 2500, that should give enough freedom. It’s not an unrealistic low poly count either. The characters in Jak and Daxter for the PS2 had 5000 polys each so 2500 quads seems reasonable. Now that even the PS2 etc. are outdated, I think I should start using a more modern definition of low poly.

I didn’t actually intend it to be used in a game really anyway - I just prefer to use low poly because my machine is kinda slow and I hate when high res models get out of control because they can be a nightmare to fix.

OK so I’ve been working on the proportions a bit and I modified some more topology. I can’t believe I thought those images before were OK to post, she looked hideous. I’ll probably think the same about these images in a few months too.

The updates include:

  • modified nose. neck and eyebrow topology. She has an odd expression at the moment as a result of testing for proper creasing
  • adjusted neck, ear, lips and head proportions now that I am content with the topology
  • remodelled shoulder completely because it wasn’t deforming right
  • modelled fingernails and toenails pushing polycount up to 2340. Toenails also meant I had to remodel the toes and thumb
  • adjusted hand topology to get better lines n the back of the hand. Not sure if I will model the creases on the palm or leave that to a bump map. I’m moving towards the latter due to poly count target
  • gave the poor girl some elbows. I think I pulled the bone at the wrist out too far as a result so I will tweak that
  • I adjusted the breasts to be better proportioned so they look less like a botched boob job
  • Some of the back was remodelled along with the shoulder area
  • the knee topology was adjusted slightly
  • Some overall proportions were adjusted to get the whole body in more realistic proportions. By realistic, I still mean like a model but a model that hasn’t been deformed by some horrible accident

The legs still need a bit of adjustment because they were the last thing I changed and I haven’t gotten round to tweaking them.

I feel in light of recent nudity/porn threads, that I should just clarify this won’t turn into anything seedy. It may eventually include tasteful nudity but I’m not sure yet.

Concerning the rigging, I am actually working on a derivative of this mesh for a project I’m doing for someone and it is already fully rigged with facial expressions so I hope to be able to transfer that rig across but it is taking priority at the moment. Progress on this should still be fairly steady though.

Anyway enough chat, here are the new images:

I just want to say, she’s really, really skinny. Like, not healthy skinny.

Did you plan out your topology? I am going to create a character starting sometime next week. I would like good topology, and it appears your character has it. Although it seem that either optimum draw isn’t on your sub surface so, it draws all of the wires of the subsurface rather than just the cage wires. I would like to see the cage wires, unless you have a very high amount of polygons and it isn’t sub- divided.

I am going for a more stylized appearance so she may indeed be a little bit skinny but I actually like that in a woman ;). Again, some proportions aren’t finalized, that stage will probably only come after/during the texturing, which comes after the rigging. One of my references was actually an anorexic to get the outline of the bone structure so that may have had an influence. Also, all my other references were skinny.

When I first started the character I didn’t and it’s not a good idea. That’s really what took me so long. I eventually started planning the model as I went and modified each bit adding detail where necessary. The main problem I had was probably trying to keep the triangle count down. When I adjusted some loops, I had to adjust other parts of the model too so as to avoid ugly tris. Don’t be afraid to use tris but use them sparingly and try to keep them in places you don’t see them. I think I have about 150 tris and 2200 quads or so. Nearly all the tris are between fingers and toes or in the ear/nose cavity. In 2.4, there is a menu item to select tris, which is very handy for seeing where they are in your model.

References are the most important thing to use. Definitely get photo references for proportion but start with references for topology. I would recommend looking at BgDM’s Brandon Lee topology as that’s very good and also Shadowman99’s work - he’s made a few models and he has the topology worked out very well. Also, Wim posted a link, which has a similar topology to mine but it’s probably even cleaner and you will likely get there in a fraction of the time it took me using the technique they use:

I actually used 3 main references for my topology. Makehuman is pretty good, though it was too high poly for me to use directly but I would recommend using the ear. You really can’t get much better than that ear for modelling and you would just waste too much time. I also used the wireframes from the models used in the animatrix and a WIP model sheet from a guy who works beside Steven Stahlberg. Because I was using a minimal amount of polys, it was often hard to follow their topology so what I tried to do was model the low poly model in such a way that the subdiv model followed a similar topology.

I was considering posting wires with optimal draw. The only reason I didn’t was because there are so few polys that it is sometimes hard to judge where the loops are going especially as optimal draw seems to draw some shapes different from how you’d expect. But I’ll probably post some optimal wires later if it will help.

I think I have a decent grasp of the ear modelling. Search for my portrait wip here. I think its either on pg 2 or pg3 on wip. Although I haven’t attempted a large scale body yet, and it sounds fun! Wish torq would make a tutorial that covers the basic edge loops for the body.

Edge loops for the body. From Stahlberg. Later in the thread there’s some really nice work there.

He seems to be using 5-sided polys and 3-sided. I wouldn’t have even considered doing that even if Blender supported n-gons but the results he gets are amazing and I think that’s the important thing. If you focus too much on getting theoretically pure topology, you can waste a lot of time. All that really matters is if you get good results.

Anyway, here are the optimal wires.

I am going for a more stylized appearance so she may indeed be a little bit skinny but I actually like that in a woman .

She’s not a little skinny, she’s extremely unhealthy skinny. Almost anime skinny. I’m not saying skinny is bad but your proportions are wrong. For one thing, if she was that skinny her breasts wouldn’t be that big or perky.

Perhaps you’re right and I will say that some proportions aren’t finalized but the model matches exactly with all the photographic references I’m using in the area you’re talking about so I’ll leave it for the time being. I’ll keep it in mind when I come round to finalizing the shape of the model though ;).

PS if you don’t think girls that skinny can have breasts like that, try typing veronika zemanova into google. Yowza :D. OK probably fake but there are honestly some skinny girls with natural breasts that size.