Head Retopology

When bringing the head model from Mudbox to MAYA, I had a couple of problems. One of them was that because the model was so high poly, it was really hard to work with MAYA as it was running so slowly. The second problem was that MAYA crashed on me and I couldn’t use it for a couple of days. It came up that it was not responding and wouldn’t let me force quit the application for 2 days meaning I couldn’t even shut down my laptop.

I had my notes on retopology from the start of second semester but I also wanted to watch a tutorial on it as it had been a while since I’d seen the class tutorial. Jess told me about a short video on YouTube that went over the basics of retopology and I watched it which was very helpful.

Alongside my notes this helped me remember exactly how to do it. However, when I tried it didn’t seem like it was working quite the way I seen in class and on the tutorial.

As you can see from these images some of the lines went under the top layer of the model and made the topology look patchy. I wasn’t sure if this was due to creating the polygons too big so I tried to go smaller around the more detailed ares. However, when I started this, it didn’t look as low poly as I would’ve thought. I’m not sure whether this is normal or not. I had the surface of the model live so that the topology snapped to the surface.

Another thing I realised was that a lot of my polygons were very uneven looking and looked pretty messy which was probably due to my own fault as I don’t think I placed the points in the right place. If I had have taken my time and made the points more accurate this might have helped the shape of some of these polygons.

I used the relax tool a couple of times as I realised that this made the polygons neater and may have been relaxing them to the surface of the model, I wasn’t completely sure. When I went back on to finish off the retopology, I got it almost complete before MAYA crashed. It took ages to do but I did realise the more polygons I created the slower MAYA was getting which made it take longer than it usually would on a better laptop or computer. I may have got it completely finished if I used the Mac computers in uni.

Head Modelling

I took photographs of Jess to model for the head topology assignment. I took photos of front, left, right and front right angles to give me a better view of her facial features and shape of her head. When modelling I stuck to the basics; I did not model any hairs on the face or head. Maybe with more experimentation I would be able to do this.

To complete the assignment, I used the programme Mudbox 2017, switching between the different tools.

I started with the basic head model that was given on Mudbox and began to construct the nose. Using the sculpt tool, I stretched out the sides of the nostrils to copy the shape of Jess’. Pressing ctrl allowed me to invert the tool, which is how I created the nostrils and other indents in the skin before using the smooth tool to give a more natural skin-like finish. I found this was quite simple at the start until I started with the other features. I also experimented with the grab, pinch and flatten tools as well as the knife tool but mainly focused on the others.

I found that I completed the face features in order from easy to difficult; nose, mouth, eyes. By the time I got round to the ears, I had got the hang of the tools and the hotkeys which made it less complex.

I thought when sculpting the lips, the small space in between the top and bottom lips was the hardest to create. I couldn’t get the tool size small enough to create the small line so I had to smooth over the rough sculpt and use the grab tool to move sections of the lips and bring them together to give it a realistic look. Same goes for the eyes. It was difficult to get the crevice between the eyeball and eyelids small enough to look natural.

If I was to re-do this head model, I would spend more time familiarising myself with the tools so that I would be able to expand the use of the tools, and other settings, while modelling rather than sticking to 5/6.

Below are images of the model and the sculpture from the same 4 angles.

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Used this tutorial to help me get the hang of some of the tools in Mudbox before using it myself: