low-spline realistic human head

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low-spline realistic human head

Postby Alex » Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:22 pm

well,

may be low-spline and realistic are two incompatible features, but for realistic I just mean not-toons. That is, for example, marvel-style rather than manga-style or disney-style.

It's just that I didn't find any tutorial showing a low-spline human head. All the tutorials on the AM site use a large number of splines, and often with low-quality results anyway..

I'm going to do some tests on this subject. I'll try to use as few splines as possible while keeping a realistic enought shape that fits to animation too. I have some experience with toons modelling and animation but this is the first time I try with the realistic style. I'll see what comes out..

Meanwhile, does anyone know any resource or site or tutorial or whatever on this subject that I could use to learn from ?


regards, Alex
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Postby sascha » Sat Apr 09, 2005 10:55 am

I agree, most freely available A:M models use by for too many splines. The modles made by William Eggingtonare an exception, but they are cartoon characters.

When starring with patch modeling, I found the head modeling tutorials by Anto Matkovic quite helpfule, but the old sPatch tutorials seems to be gone...

For the woman head model (that's on display at the JPatch front-page) I used the following approach: First I took front and side view pictures using a digital camera and telephoto (200mm) lens (you don't need ultra high resolutions, so digital zoom or postprocessed magnification will also work. Just try to be about 5 meters away when taking the photos, as wide angle close ups will distort the face too much).
I started with the outline in sideview, then modeled the holes for mouth and eye in front view (just the left side). I extruded one or two rings out of the mouth and the eyes, and aligned them (using the x/y/z lock buttons and all 4 viewports). Then I made the nose, connected it to the eye and mouth. Later I added the nostrils using 5-point patches, and modeled the forehead and the chin. When the face was done, I completed the head and made an ear. I connected it to the head by breaking some splines and reconnected it using some 5-point patches.

I have not yet tried animating it, so maybe I have to change a few splines. On the one hand, using as few splines as possible makes adding morphs easier and keeps the surface smooth. But you should consider adding some extra splines to be able to articulate the "feature lines" in animation.

Note that the orthographic projection in the modeler gives no sense of perspectivity. It is often useful to render some shots of the model using different lenses (say 50 and 135mm) during modeling to see how it looks...
(right now you'll have to load in into the animator, but I'll add a perspective mode to the modeler some day. As an interim solution, I'll add a way to invoke the animator from within the modeler and vice versa...)
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Postby Alex » Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:05 pm

hi,

thank you for your help. As for matkovic, it is a nice introductory tutorial, but that kind of approach is quite obsolete, and it's not good for animation anyway. As for Eggington, they are very nice models, but it doesn't help since there's not any human model. As for your head example, it is very nice too, but it doesn't seem too much realistic to me. It is quite manga-style rather than marvel-style. Moreover it doesn't seem too much low-spline either to me.

The challenge with a realistic human head is that it is probably the most sensitive subject ever. We, as humans, are very familiar with facial expressions, so any error in a realistic model is easy to catch.. Things are different with toons, monsters, dragons, aliens etc. they are less sensitive thus easier to model..

During this time I searched on the web. Unfortunately I didn't find any useful tutorial. It seems that nobody was successfull in realizing a low-spline realistic human head before. This makes the challenge more interesting..

I'll try to apply the edge loops techniques typical in SDS modelling to splines. A SDS model typically uses many loops, but using splines it should be possible to reduce the needed loops number, since patches are a higher surface order than simple SDS quads.. I'll publish the result of this test when/if I'll get a good enought result.. Please let me know if you have any interesting idea..

Is there anyone else interested in this subject, or it's just me and Sascha ?
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Postby sascha » Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:13 pm

The challenge with a realistic human head is that it is probably the most sensitive subject ever.

I think the studios use 3D scanners if the are looking for realism. 3D modeling programs might be better suited for cartoon style 3D animations...

since patches are a higher surface order than simple SDS quads

I have little knowledge about SDS, but IIRC I read that Catmull Clark SDS are equivalent to a mesh of cubic B-splines... And I've got no expirence with Maya, but from what I've read it can switch between NURBS and SDS representations. I've downloaded their learning edition once, but never got time to test it...

Is there anyone else interested in this subject

I'm sure... please keep us up to date!
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Postby Alex » Sun Apr 17, 2005 5:54 pm

I partially agree,

though I don't believe a scanner can replace an artist. Since as far as I know it can't guess the right topology for animation. This may result in problems trying to animate the scanned static shape.

For example, if you scan a cube the scanner computes the right topology for the static shape and gives a perfect static result. If the cube has to morph into a sphere during the animation process, the topology computed by the scanner may not fit. While an artist who knows the shapes the cube has to morph to, can design a right dynamic topology for it. It is the same with a human face that has to morph among expressions..

As for modellers fitting toons better, I totally agree. Toons are easier to model and animate. Indeed, in my opinion a too much realistic model may be even a bad point, if the animation system can't fit it. I mean, from the overall result point of view, a realistic model needs a realistic animation too, and many animation systems doesn't fit. While a toon can handle less realistic animation systems better..

I also like toons much more than realistic characters, because they can fit the fantasy of the artist better. Nevertheless, trying to model in the realistic style is an exciting challenge.. And here it is the first head I was able to shape. I'm not satisfied with the mouth corners yet, but the overall spline setup is low enought, and it reflects the underline muscles setup of the human face, so it fits realistic animation quite well. While of course it doesn't fit toon-style animation.

For example you can't move the eyebrows too much, or in the wrong way, as a toon can, otherwise the forehead muscles break. This is normal and wanted. A realistic head fits realistic animation only. So to correctly animate it you have to check how the muscles move behind the skin and move the right splines accordigly. Note that the cheeks spline setup allows an easy blow pose too.

Image

http://www.theothersideworks.com/temp/realhead.jpt

Comments and suggestions are very welcome. I don't expect this to be the definitive setup, though I worked hard on it. For sure it can be improved. I'll post it on the Spiraloid forum too, to see if we can get some nice advice from some professional artist..

http://cube.phlatt.net/forums/spiraloid/viewtopic.php?TopicID=1135

Also, I'd like to provide it in AM format too for more compatibility with other artists. Is there any hope for a quick and dirty AM exporter ? Just splines, without patches, materials etc. would be enought to exchange models with AM users.. And how is 04 going ?

Finally, there's the bug I already reported. In the obj export, multiple coincident vertices are generated. I didn't use any peaked spline so this shouldn't happen..


bye, Alex
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Postby sascha » Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:04 pm

Very nice, looks promising.

I like how the mouth was modeled. My only complaint is the upper part of the nose - it appears to be to wide (or flattened) - addind an extra (vertical) spline and moving it +z should help.

I'll check the issue with the coincident vertices in the .obj export again...
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Postby Alex » Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:07 pm

Unfortunately I didn't get any reply from the Spiraloid's artists yet. I guess they don't like splines too much since the most of them are subsurfs artists.. And posting about jPatch on the AM site is forbidden.. sigh.. If no one can improve it, I guess this is as far as I can go at this time.

Thank you for your comments anyway.. I feel the need to stress that without jPatch I probably would never have the option to play around with 5x patches and hooks, and the head above would never be done .. So, thank you very much indeed for this nice and powerful tool !


bye, Alex
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