During my specialization project, I had to follow the process that teaches me how to develop a right topology, especially for a character model, I got a chance to read research blogs and watch some effective tutorial about the 3D modeling during my specialization. My main focus or research topic was topology and in my past few trimester I developed few character models, but those models were just alright, topology was poor because when I tried to rig them there was a lot of deformation, but this time I literally work on every single vertex of my model to develop good topology workflow. This time in my model I’ve used quads and avoid Ngons and tried to keep my workflow smoother, quads are always good for deform and shade well.
When we are doing character modeling, the face is the most important and sensitive part which we have to consider with extra care. Facial topology is very important, but technical and complex too. There is no any certain rule to follow there are many different ways to do it. Facial topology has several loops which help to deform well and the most common method as far I know and watched the most of the tutorial is the eye loop, this is the area where most of the facial structure is dependent.
Alright, My specialization was a stylized 2D game character Guile from street Fighter. Why I choose a character for my specialization? The answer is when I was doing my VFX project in last trimester we required few 3d assets for our VFX sequence, though it was not really big assets, but still need it and for any model it is very important to understand the topology and honestly, I’ve modelled almost every trimester, but topology was alright, so I decided this time I want to learn more about the topology and character modelling is a good way to understand topology.
My 1st step was lots research and planning, so I created the Pinterest board where I tried to save lots of reference images which can be very helpful during my modeling process. The 1st thing you need to start with is the reference image of the character. I tried to sketch first, but I can draw a front view very well it takes time, but I can draw. The only problem to sketch for me is the side view and match it with the front so I decided to leave and found the reference image from the internet. It was good, but I did change his hairstyle.
I set up my reference image because it is highly recommended to use the reference image so that we can get a basic shape and we can plan better before the start and I did it.
After setting up my reference image in max the next thing I started modeling with box.I started with a box to get a very rough basic shape of my character. This is the 1st step to get in shape and you can get a rough idea how your topology will flow and this the main area later where all the topology will connect.
Initially, I got a shape from neckline to the waist and apply a symmetry modifier so that I can focus on just one side and this is a very helpful tool in the modelling process.
The next thing is to start is hand and leg, so I choose leg first so I complete my body first. The leg is not really complex what I did just extrude and got in the shape it’s simple.
The next challenge is hand. In this modeling, I model separately and got the basic overall shape of biceps and triceps, and I model the palm and fingers separately and blocked my shoulder then later target weld with the body. I blocked very basic foot’s shape.
Facial modeling is a little time consuming and technical too. The 1st step I followed for my facial modeling is the loop around the eye and then the 2nd loop is around the mouth and blocked in the contour of the face.
As you can see in the above picture, I started building my eye socket , modeling the mouth and modeling the cheek bones, and later filled the gaps of the face with the help of the cap and cut tool to maintain my edge flow. This was not an easy process it takes a lot of time because my model was stylized and reference image was not very clear It was difficult for me to follow the exact same with the reference image and my model is little different from the actual image but that’s ok.
Later I have a model nose, ear, and overall shape. Once I have done all this process my next task is to refine my topology. There were lots of extra loops around the head, which I need to remove so that I can target weld my head with the body.After attaching my character head to his body, the basic structure is ready, then I had to start his extra accessories like a vest, trouser, and his hair. I have finished my character 3 weeks earlier so I have time to experiment little further and I started researching on hair & fur modifier which is normally used for hair. I watched few tutorial as well and I successfully created the hair and gave him desired hairstyle too.
I started hair with the line tool as you can see in the above picture which is not looking bad at all but I have a chance to learn new thing so why not real hair looks far better than box hair.
I create a separate head mesh for the hair so that it won’t affect my model.
This above picture is the final look of my model after the hair style.