Week #7–7125GFS CGI: Character Modelling

Well… as I said in my last post, this week has been mostly dedicated to finishing off assessment two. But I did not do so without experiencing a few hurdles along the way.

After finally completing a base body mesh, which included the arms, legs, body, clothes, and head, I decided to work on retopologizing the mesh.

Retopologizing is basically where we go through and edit the topology of an existing mesh. The base mesh that I created followed along with the Eliza model example that we’ve been following along with since the beginning of the trimester. However, the mesh topology doesn’t really lend itself to very effective deformation.

Then again, with the Eliza model it doesn’t seem as necessary.

As I mentioned in my previous CGI: Character Modelling post, moy model is supposed to be more proportionate and also is supposed to have more anatomically correct musculature. The Eliza model is less realistic in terms of proportions, so the topology suited it relatively fine.

However, to ensure proper shaping and future deformation on my model, I would need to retopologize it.

Unfortunately, the process of retopologizing was taking much longer than I had anticipated. I had only managed to complete the body and arm before I realised I wouldn’t have enough time. So from there I decided to instead focus on completing the model using the original base mesh.

It was a good thing that I did this since I was only just able to finish the assessment anyways.

I’m quite happy with this outcome but I know that there is room for improvement. Having made this mesh, I know of all the little elements that I’m not satisfied with. Most of these trace back to the lack of a retopologized mesh.

The hands and feet could definitely use some proper shaping. The mesh isn’t dense enough in those areas to allow for it. This is also the case for the arms, the chest, the pelvis, and the area between the mouth and the nose.

There are some parts that turned out really well though. The hair was definitely more difficult than I thought it would be. I went through a number of methods trying to model it. I eventually settled on the quad draw tool and live surfaces. Funnily enough, I forgot about the single strand of hair sticking in front of the face. I only realised after completing the texturing stage.

The eyes turned out good as well. I managed to find a tutorial that did not make use of external images. The texture for the iris was made entirely in maya.

I know I’ve already mentioned the hands but it is still a sore spot for me. If there was one place on the whole mesh that needed more careful shaping and detail, its the hands.

They’re supposed to be gloved hands but the shape looks very unnatural. A lot of time will have to go into properly shaping and refining them later.

At this time, I feel very motivated to go back and finish the retopologized version of the mesh. Not just because I’m a perfectionist but also because it might very well be necessary going into assessment three.

Assessment three requires us to build upon assessment two by taking the complete character mesh and fully rigging it. The end result should be a model ready for animation.

In order for the mesh to deform correctly when it bends and twists, I will need a mesh with proper topology.

Hopefully, by next week I will have made some progress with this.

Aspiring graphic designer and 3D modeller. Graduate of Bond University. Avid Disney fan.