Building on knowledge

I’m going to build on the last two weeks’ worth of discoveries with a bit of a slide show indicating some of the variations of this new-found technique as I went through and finished the model’s head.  Combining these with what we’ve gone through already, it’s starting to form a picture of a comprehensive skillset that can efficiently model entire figures.  If I can compare it to anything, I’d compare it to custom plate fabrication, where you break down your character into a set of plates or shapes, and those plates have to be fabricated to fit the number of polys along each edge.  So any way you can arrive at what the parameters of each plate are, then you can apply the techniques already discussed.
For example, as some of the illustrations below will demonstrate, even if you can landmark key points of a surface in three-dimensional space say… using Locators for example… you can string curves through them forming the boundaries you need to proceed.

You can see the green cross-hairs I strung the EP curve tool through to achieve the cheekbone area of the face.

If a shape is a little too awkward to do in one pass, you can always break it down further, as described in the previous entry.

Bottom of area...

The bottom part of the same area.

And bridging the two together.

But what if, for example, the rest of the body you’re going to attach this head to only has 16 polys around the neck, while your head is being  modeled at a higher poly count?  This isn’t all that unexpected a situation, as the face often is modeled at higher resolution for the sake of accommodating the smaller features of the face as well as providing smoother animation for the subtleties of facial movements.  The rest of the body isn’t as nuanced as this, except perhaps for the extremities of the hands and feet.  In any case, the gap must be bridged, unless the parts behind clothing aren’t going to be modeled at all (binding multiple objects representing the emergent and visible parts of the model only).  I ran into that situation here.  I wanted to limit the back left quarter of the neck to a width of four polys.  But this is what I had to work with:

Yeah...

If you look carefully, you can see already my thought process.  I intend to take the last four polys and spread them out wider, but there isn’t a place for those remaining five polys to go, right?

OR

IS

THERE?

Now the extra polys have been routed around the base of the neck rather than down the neck into the rest of the body.  I did partition out the neck area to receive them too, but that’s a function of the principle above about sub-dividing areas.

I’ve modeled a couple more heads and a hand in the span of time betwween last week’s entry and today’s using these procedures and I have yet to run into a situation that using it, in conjunction with a little creative thinking, hasn’t been able to resolve.  The hand I did already had the rest of the model waiting for it, but when I imported it in, I was confident that it would blend seamlessly with the rest, and it did.  That’s not something I can say for all the character modeling work I’ve done thus far, but alas, I didn’t know then what I know now.

But what if you want a surface with a continuous, smooth, single edge loop of polys running around it, rather than a shape bounded by four separate edge loop flows?

Go from this...

To this...

By merging to center these three vertices in each 'corner'.

That’s it for this week.  If there’s more to be mined from this method that I can dig up, you’ll see it shared here.  Until then, the subject may wander to other venues again…

Fin.

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