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Thoughts on 3d Characters/Problems with hands

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Glad to have found this forum. I didn't find any kind of "welcome thread", so I'm just going to say hi right here. Hope you're not to hard on me in the beginning (:

I'm developing a classic rpg similar to Gothic/Assassin's Creed. So far it's working out really well. My main issue is that I mostly work alone. I need more outside input to get different perspectives, especially regarding  the characters.

5a739f5e5802f_Screenshot(39).png.8f3916858381edde1ff8998cdafd1f57.png5a739edab43b7_Screenshot(40).png.b7872b878a5eefe44b99921e3e677506.png

5a739edd385d6_Screenshot(42).png.e839df2933a6c170e05a87cdd4326107.png

 

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Screenshot (38).png

As of now, I have 119 different models. The workflow is: I take photos of volunteers (mostly friends or aquaintances) and project them on a base 3d model in blender. I'm getting better at this, but there is one thing that turned out a bit of a nightmare, and that is the hands/wrists. I've been painting for  years, so I'm fully aware of how hard hands can be. They're getting better gradually, the real problem are the IK bones for the wrists. They always twist in weird ways, but I'm really going for the simple style. If it works, it's half the battle,

Keep in mind that I always put my technological level back a few years, because that's much easier. I'm not one for fancy graphics anyway.

 

 

Love to see your thoughts (:

Edited by Felis Nigripes

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They look good in my opinion.  I see what you mean by the wrists, in the last picture with the sword, his wrist does look a little funny.  But I couldn't imagine trying to make it look more real.  Have you the ability to present your work against backgrounds or give them some sort of context?  

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4 hours ago, Felis Nigripes said:

and that is the hands/wrists. I've been painting for  years

The same concept of shape and form that is used in painting is also used in modeling. First you need to think of them as solid shapes, that is spheres, cubes, cylinders etc.

Start by importing a reference in Blender, I used the first image I could find:

HandStart.jpg.9ab1646546d1793cce1712ac6712a36d.jpg

Then use primitives and simple forms to fill in the hand and block it out. Remember to keep looking at your own hand as a secondary reference.

DoneTrace.jpg.b7a6b54dc338e3ade6cc9a87aedba341.jpg

The round shape you get by subdividing a cube with Blenders subdivide modifier. Just use scale, move and edit mode till your happy with the form.

Last confirm your shape and silhouette. Correct things you don't like, I extended my fingers here to make them longer. 

Confirm.jpg.e739b28b134fb72baa62df1d1b656dad.jpg

Now you have the shape and form of a hand. Re-mesh it by tracing.

For how to animate a hand with proper bending, google "Wrist topology" or search how to bend joints.

 

Just to be clear, all of the parts are simple forms stuck together:

Broken.jpg.31828a8207844d8735c9f36b7b0a6570.jpg

This trick works for all kinds of modeling. Think of it as the same as how a 2D artist would draw guides.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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Just now, Awoken said:

Have you the ability to present your work against backgrounds or give them some sort of context?  

You mean like in the actual scene? Yes, most of them are already implemented.

They do walk around, talk and do stuff. I still struggle with writing a complementary AI, which I would prefer over an asset. As of now they're restricted to one activity and maybe a dialogue.

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@Scouting Ninja That looks like a really good method. I would even be prepared to gradually change every single model if I manage to model better hands. I'll keep you updated.

Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

Edited by Felis Nigripes

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Very nice. Nice colors, compositions and proportions.

To me the wrist issues seem to come from wrong bone positions, bad weighting, or violated joint limits when posing. So more a rigging than modeling issue it seems.

UVs on clothes show non uniform scales here and there.

 

Edit:

It seems to me you have very soft weight transitions from hand bone to forearm, but in reality the transition zone is 2cm, so pretty small. I suggest you use 2 close edge loops for the wrist, weight the upper 100% to forearm, the lower 100% to hand. Then adjust the wrist joint position in case it's wrong and see how it looks when bending hands. Then you can try to blur the weights a tiny bit to get rid of the rigid look. 

What also helps is dividing the forearm into two bones, and use twist from Hand for lower, and twist from ellbow for upper part. (with twist i mean the rotation axis along the inner bone). This helps with any other bones as well, and can be animated automatically either with rig constraints in animation app or in engine.  But i assume you don't need this if characters do not act too artistic all the time.

 

Edited by JoeJ

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On 2.2.2018 at 11:07 AM, JoeJ said:

UVs on clothes show non uniform scales here and there.

 

Yes, they're kind of a mess. As of now, I change them so often that I never bother to scale them correctly, but that will come in time.

 

I worked on the hands a little, or more specifically the fingers, and I'm quite satisfied with the result:

5a7b0330beb2d_Screenshot(126).png.25adde659f52ddbc7c0478f6c25784d9.png5a7b03328df45_Screenshot(127).png.7c8cd661f3f8faac4e521ac7dd544f58.png5a7b033466f76_Screenshot(128).png.2ae21be1ec2ad134b53fb1ca00405444.png

The fingers are still crooked, but they're straighter and follow the movement of the metarig more precisely. I took a look at the pictures Scouting Ninja posted and adjusted them accordingly

 

As for the wrists: I'm still working on it. I have to do inbetween coding, animating, setting the scenes up and getting my life together. If everything fails, I'll just leave it at that and make it work somehow.

 

 

 

Edited by Felis Nigripes

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On 2/7/2018 at 3:48 PM, Felis Nigripes said:

I'll just leave it at that and make it work somehow.

It all matches your game style. Keep as is and focus on gameplay. It has a unique style that will put you apart from other indie developers.

 

Keep up the good work.

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The hand needs some work man, but i really like the style you are aiming for it really reminds me of the old Everquest days. I put in some suggestions for your hand. As for the wrists going all wonky, 3D can be a sensitive beast some times, but definitely a rigging issue if they are twisting on you when moving the arms or whatever, possible parenting issue? Maybe even the pivot points of the bones are different from each other, maybe the bones of the hands are set to Local, the arms possibly set to Global, something like this could cause some weird behaviors when moving one or the other in space.... Its been a while since i rigged to be honest but im just shooting out some ideas to look at, Basically you want it set up so when you move the arms the hands dont move, and i cant exactly remember the way to go about it but it seems like the hands are moving as you are moving the arms without you want them to?? Anyways man hope you figure it out dude! 

 

Keep up the Work! 

 

 

5a7b03328df45_Screenshot(127).png.7c8cd661f3f8faac4e521ac7dd544f58 copy.png

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I think you need to practice box modelling, also lookup how to control hard and soft edges.

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Posted (edited)

Working my way forward.

5aa13a332e7ce_Screenshot(191).png.2d804b576b584ac2f8eefb7532734c0d.png

Screenshot (192).png

 

 

I moved the thumb back, so now it actually aligns with the bone.

5aa13a316c929_Screenshot(190).png.d3a682a77d148417e5fe4a13db84d21f.png

 

 

I'm gonna try to change the position of the wrist and see how it goes. And check out the weight painting.

5aa13a2d0aa21_Screenshot(187).png.131328b32e2c539822cf30bf6c6abf57.png

 

 

I will definitely continue work on the blank base model so the new characters have the improved shapes too.

But to be honest, I don't know how many more characters I will make. I may resort more often to good old cloning in the future.

Maybe I will just take my time improving them bit by bit, putting in some practice along the way and making them unique at the same time.

I do the same with animations. Every character has their own unique set of animations. I'm convinced that it makes a difference in the end result. You may not notice it, but your subconscious sure does.

Edited by Felis Nigripes

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