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Stacey Garrison

Female Model Critique - New to this, need help!

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While I've done art for years, I'm really new to character modeling and I definitely have problems with the human form.

So, the people who give feedback to our game are saying the faces need work. But I don't know where to start, please tear these apart and help me improve them so our players are happy. I would be forever grateful!

I should point out that its possible for the player to deform areas of these faces, but this is the base setup, which I really want to get just right before worrying about the deforms/customization available to the player. (I'm ok with them making weird looking characters with the sliders, but I want them to start out at a good baseline.)

This is the female model in various lighting situations (and one different hairdo) as they appear in the game, plus a few views of my blender files.

 

femaleExamples.png

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The blender model faces look alright to me..  I think maybe the issue might have to do with lighting and perception based on that.  You notice on the first frame(top left) how there is light somehow hitting the bottom right(model's left) jaw line?  Feels unnatural to me, and that frame especially the face seems distorted by the shadows/lack of shadows where they should be.  That's what I see anyhow.  The modeling seems to be fine on its own, as far as I can tell. ;)

 

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I personally like how the faces look. :) It all depends on what you're trying to achieve visually and if you're getting that desired look. I'm sure sure about the ears though, they seem off.

You need to be careful when considering all feedback. What exactly are these individuals saying needs work on the face? Some people expect every 3D model to be 100% photo realistic, so consider what the actual criticism is and if it actually applies to you.

From a technical standpoint, you really need to work on your topology though.

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17 minutes ago, Rutin said:

I personally like how the faces look. :) It all depends on what you're trying to achieve visually and if you're getting that desired look. I'm sure sure about the ears though, they seem off.

You need to be careful when considering all feedback. What exactly are these individuals saying needs work on the face? Some people expect every 3D model to be 100% photo realistic, so consider what the actual criticism is and if it actually applies to you.

From a technical standpoint, you really need to work on your topology though.

Thank you! Can you give me a few pointers on the topology? I'm completely self-taught so there are just lots of things I don't know that I don't know.

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Just now, Stacey Garrison said:

Thank you! Can you give me a few pointers on the topology? I'm completely self-taught so there are just lots of things I don't know that I don't know.

Could you do a quick run down of your workflow?

Also, are you starting in quads first, then once it's game ready converting it to tris? I would like to see your quad version of this mesh if possible.

I can give you some tips but I'll need to understand how you approach each model. :) 

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8 minutes ago, Rutin said:

Could you do a quick run down of your workflow?

Also, are you starting in quads first, then once it's game ready converting it to tris? I would like to see your quad version of this mesh if possible.

I can give you some tips but I'll need to understand how you approach each model. :) 

Well, my workflow is something I'm not confident about, but I do start with quads. For this one I did a bunch of sculpting and then a retopo on top of the sculpt. I did try to get loops around the mouth and eyes. The nose is a little unusual at this point because I've poked at it with sculpting to get it more of a 'button nose' look than I had in the original sculpt.

 

Also this was the specific feedback we got about the faces:
 

""but i think the character faces need a lot more work. This is coming from someone who enjoys character customization and likes to look at faces, this is perhaps the biggest reason why i wouldn't try the game. Most of the time you're going to be looking at your character and to me the model really makes a difference. Ofc if it's only in 1st person or the players only use 1st person view they wouldn't really see it, but i think in general a lot of people who care about their character would use 3rd person view. The new models are definitely a huge improvement from the old ones, but i think there still needs to be more improvement. Eyes need a bit more detail with lashes and the pupil, I think mouth having better geometry would be nice. To me, even tho i like having lots of clothing options i would rather you work more on the face than new clothing options. "

 

quadsAgain.jpg

Edited by Stacey Garrison
pic wasn't working

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I have to step away for a bit but I'll write up some tips for you when I get back. :) 

Since you're retopologizing your sculpted version, are you creating geometry manually on-top and snapping to face of the sculpt? Or are you using a shrink wrap method, or mixed method?

Based on the "feedback" you received which appears to be just from one person... That advice solely depends on the art style of the game. You're going to get two different looks if you have the face like it is now, or add in eye lashes and eye brows like you would see on a real person.

Example:

FF 14 online:

image.png.930566b6c535221e865f71baa8fbb6b2.png

Black Desert Online:

image.png.a21beec9bdd8861b99d735c6802c16d8.png

Maple Story 2:

image.png.24c949bcff767f2877011e73ce5cd362.pngimage.png.0934eb936f8beb3e0f09dcd9b3490299.png 

Rift Online:

image.png.5e97890f0db3746f0da11b4dcf626f18.png

It all depends on your art style and how far you want to go. :) I'll post back later with some workflow tips for you.

 

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I have a few tips for you to start with. :) 

My suggestion would be to continue using a combination of modeling and sculpting to get your high res version of the face. Your only concern here is making sure the face actually looks correct and good based on your style. Don't worry about anything topology wise. Depending on how detailed you want to get you can bake your High to your Low. This is something I do on organic models majority of the time, others depending on what I need. :) 

Since you're new i'll go over high to low poly models.

I'll use one of my stone gargoyle heads I made on here for an example, I take a high poly model:

image.png.e082935b1f1c71238c8e7a84bb5f6a0d.png

This model is over 850k polygons which is way too big for a game, but it doesn't matter because what I want is the details for baking.

Once re-topolgized, the lower version I have the following at only 30k polygons.

(The topology isn't as important here because I'm not animating this piece)

image.png.5337216f02310669da04bc196a1ec2c5.png

image.png.fdca4b79f3b8a79d796747fb99341953.png 

 

Once I bake the High to the Low I get the following while still being at 30k polygons!

image.png.3e82007a718c1747cc3a7b94c06b97e0.png

Then you can add texturing and render it out:

image.png.710d80d2c9fc5b4b706d8962cb525685.png

 

This workflow works very well for artists like myself because when I'm working on the high poly version I only concerned about getting the shapes and look right, I don't care about topology at all. This is great because you can make faces, add wrinkles, creases, fine detail and simply bake onto your low poly version which is your retopologized model. There are other work flows too in which people do a lot of the detail through the texturing side by editing normal maps, I'll mix it up depending on my goals.

The reason for such a workflow as well is that your low poly models are not too heavy for games. You can UV unwrap them much easier then a model with 850k polygons... You can rig and animate them much easier as well, and add in modifications to the topology to make animations better.

Now onto the retopology issue... When working on your low poly version you need to consider a few things. Is the model going to be static, or will it deform in some way (animate)? I would still suggest you try your best to use the cleanest approach possible either way when learning. Normally I will care a lot more on the topology itself if the object is actually going to be animated.

Faces themselves should follow certain loop guidelines:

(I've taken these images from: http://wiki.polycount.com/wiki/FaceTopology as an example)

Bunk_poly_regions.jpg

image.png.3b7e296134ee86f6ef9afcb53e58a556.png

You will want to study these and other examples if you can find them as best practice.

Based on your models I noticed some issues:

image.png.3dfd3e672137a73bb00a7d1f23148660.png

1. You're mixing up density too much. This becomes a major problem when you start deforming the geometry or animating because areas with lower density when stretched will look horrid as the texture smears. I would also strongly suggest you try to even everything up as much as possible. It's going to be better for you when you get to the animation stage.

2. You're mixing tris with quads all over the place. The reason why I always try to work in quads is because if I'm doing another piece of the model such as ears or something that needs more geometry, I can simply take the face and subdivided it so I have enough to work with if I cannot create enough otherwise. The other reason is when you start animating what if you need to add more geometry to certain areas? I find that tris mixed with quads can break up the flow. It's also not about that "everything goes to tris in the end", that isn't the issue, the issue is not making things harder on yourself if you need to go in and change the topology.

You have many benefits: Working with loops, grid related operations, subdivision/subsurface, good edge flow - are just a few.

Some objects are going to have tris, but I'm talking about organic faces that animate. If you have to use tris or something else, then make sure it's not in a visible spot. It's not uncommon to have "so so" topology in certain areas because the real world and how we want it to be are completely different.

I simply would not want to work with any mesh not using quads during animation for organic creatures... When you get into hard surfaces, and robots for example, then using tris during animation isn't the same as organic so I'm sticking to the topic of human faces.

 

My advice would be to take any model that is high res. You can use one of your own or download one online. Load it into Blender and just practice re-topology. This is something that will come in time through hours put in, and just being exposed to a lot of models. :) 

Start with some video tutorials on this subject first:

 

 

I would really advise that you work to make your topology flow better. This will help greatly in the long run. You should also spend time learning how to sculpt human faces with good reference material from topics covering human face anatomy. Beyond that, just look for good reference material and have fun.

If you need more help let me know. :) Please post back with your updated topology once done.

 

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Ah thank you so much for all this great advice! I really appreciate it. We're doing some animation so this will help a lot with that. It'll probably help with the weird shadows people are talking about if the topology is much better.

 

Again, thank you for taking the time to write all this out. I'll be sure to go through it carefully and learn what I can.

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I think I've made some good progress with the model because of the great feedback. The only thing we're still not sure about is the lips. Anyone got any suggestions there (or in general)?

 

 

facesNew.png

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