View Full Version : Average soldier. Anatomy advice/critique hoped for.
03-07-09, 10:12 PM
My first zbrush character. Actually, my first anything artistic. Started off in zbrush but have gone back and forth with it and maya, and a little modo.
It's supposed to be a sort of average soldier, not too herculean or wizened or rugged or whatnot. I'd really appreciate any critiques, especially help just making sure that the basic anatomy is proportional. I plan to use this guy as the starting point for my other human characters so hopefully I can get him to where he is well proportioned.
I also plan to animate him, so I need to make sure I am not making any mistakes. I put in some pics of his base level mesh so if you see any problems please point them out. 2200 polies, about half of them in hands and ears. The idea is to try to make sculpting simpler but I am not sure how much that actually helps anyway so I might go with simpler ears. I'll put in some wireframe pics after I clean it up a bit outside zbrush.
Thanks! base1.jpg base2.jpg base3.jpg base4.jpg base6.jpg
03-07-09, 10:24 PM
I forgot to add these views. I think it looks a bit off from the back, but I am not sure what the problem is. The arms in general seem slightly off. I think it's the shoulder somehow but I'm not sure how to fix it.
03-07-09, 10:28 PM
I think the main issue to work on first are the proportions the legs are way to short, and the major masses are way off. Good texturing.
03-07-09, 11:01 PM
Hmm, it seems like that is off. Funny how the big things in plain site escape the eye like that. Thanks.
03-08-09, 03:38 PM
I agree, the texturing / medium detail and muscles are OK, but the proportions are weird. Look at the face, it's either too big or the head is too small, also the eyes are too far away from each other, and yes, the legs and feet are too small. But don't worry, it happens, that's why we come here, so that others can easily see the errors that look right to us. It's a matter of eye training I think.
03-08-09, 11:14 PM
Thanks a lot for the help, you guys are great. I think you are right and something is wrong with the head/face and having the face too big for the head could be the problem.
I made the legs bigger and I think I need to adjust the hips or something, that might be part of the issue. It does look better with the longer legs, though. Now that the legs are bigger it's obvious that the neck and arms are a bit small, as well.
I'll post more pics for feedback after I get it to the point nothing obvious seems wrong. I don't need it to have too much close in detail, but I'd like it to be as clean and proportionate as reasonably possible.
03-08-09, 11:57 PM
You need to get some anatomy books. It will be the best thing for you, because i'm seeing lots and lots of vague areas in the muscles. You're kind of putting them in the right place, but what will make your sculpted anatomy believable is a sense of how they attach, and work together to appear natural.
Pay close attention to the shape of things. I know it seems obvious, but you have to really look at what things are really doing. For example, clavicles have a bit of an S shape, as the curve backward form the center of the neck and meet with the deltoid. The muscles on the back/neck (trapezius) form the shape of a kind of stretched 4-pointed star, and pectoral muscles flow under the shoulders where they connect. Just check out any anatomy and you'll start seeing how everything connects.
I agree with above comments about proportion. Don't worry, nobody notices these things until someone shows them. This is a good start for having never done anything artistic before. Don't give up!
PS. Bridgmans anatomy is a awesome for sculptors.
03-09-09, 12:09 PM
That is a good notation about the clavicle. I will work on that, too. I guess I am sort of going head to toe right now, but anything pointed out like that is a help.
I do have anatomy books, but my eye is just very untrained still. I seem to be getting a lot better, but for me it has been very very slow going to get even this far, and most of the time I can tell when something is wrong but it's often still very difficult to figure out what.
03-09-09, 01:39 PM
The muscle definition looks pretty accurate, but I think his general proportions need some tweaking. His frame is very stocky, heavy, thick torso but rather slim limbs. His legs seem too short to me, but I think that they would work at that length if they were just a bit thicker. Arms could probably be a bit thicker too. Conversely, you could shave a little bit off of the midsection and just make the legs a bit longer, and he'd look good that way too. Good luck!
03-11-09, 12:59 PM
Yeah, I think that the limbs were a big part of the problem. I guess it was just all kinda subtley out of wack but mostly the torso was too big for the arms and legs and the chest too narrow.
The head was also way too round and the face was too big for the head, as was pointed out.
I lengthened the neck and the arms, too, and went head to toe and added in a lot of muscles that I didn't put in initially and took out some imaginary ones I added in. I didn't want to make him a muscle man or have muscles that look drawn on or too cut, but it just looked too amorphous the way it was.
The crotch looks a little odd but I was not sure what to do with it. I plan to make some clothes for him next, though. I also couldn't get the back of the shoulder quite right because of an issue with the base mesh. Looks like I'll have to fix up its topology a bit.
As you can see, there's a dramatic difference, so thanks for all the feedback. It helps immensely.
Any more advice would be great, especially for the face and eye region in particular, though it might be hard to see it in detail from the pics. The paint job got a bit smeared and was distracting so I turned it off.
baseman20.jpg baseman21.jpg baseman22.jpg baseman23.jpg
03-11-09, 01:28 PM
Wow, I gotta say this is a big improvement! Its good you're open to critique, you'll improve dramatically when listening. The most important thing is reference material. Its good to work from other artists anatomy studies but they tend to be somewhat stylized at times. You can't beat real life refs so start building up some good front, back, side views of all parts if you truly want to get more accurate. On the back, the deltoids are more pronounced like in the front view, extending inward more than what you have now. The thigh area in your first post had a more round and accurate shape and the shin in the new seems to trail off to the side and not into the knee. Overall, its really good and now its just a little tweaking here and there with ref aid. I think your head looks way better and real, nice job! Keep on brushin'!:D
03-11-09, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the encouragement. Those are good issues to address. It's strange because I really just don't see a lot of this stuff til it gets pointed out and then it seems super obvious. Having some input saves me so much time and frustration, so thanks again, everyone.
03-12-09, 03:34 PM
All right, I made those changes, too. Also a few more minor tweaks. Still can't get the shoulder quite right due to the base mesh having some issues in that area. I don't have any poles but I think I made the topology flow the wrong direction there.
Not sure what I will do next. The base mesh needs tweaking and rigging and skinning before I can animate it, or I can go back to polypainting and try to get decent at that, or make clothes now. Ultimately I want to make a specific character using the base anatomy and give him some equipment and pose him to make some 'concept' art and put him ingame, but maybe I should try to animate it now before I get a complete character which might have to have topology changes made afterwards.
baseman27.jpg baseman28.jpg baseman29.jpg
03-12-09, 03:54 PM
This is a very nice improvement!! Great job! At this rate you'll have anatomy down before you know it. :D
I think a few things need some attention:
-His thigh muscles still feel a bit mushy and undefined, although it seems like your moving in the right direction
-I think his legs may still be a bit small for his body, right now he kind of feels like he's the size of a horse jocky.
-Something about where his thighs plugs into his hips is vague. The shape of his pelvic girdle isn't clear.
-Maybe tip his head back a bit...if you drop a straight line from his chin, it would land more or less at the tip of his toes. For a character standing straight up like this, you would want the chin plumb line to land near the middle of his feet to feel balanced, otherwise he might feel like he's falling forward or backward (forward in this case, but it's minor)
Keep up the good work!
03-18-09, 03:27 AM
Thanks for those suggestions. The legs were a real mess, especially the hips and the buttocks. I spent all this time pretty much trying to fix them. I don't think the length was the issue, but everything was kind of out of proportion and the thigh muscles did not start high enough. I even found that I had the muscles backwards on the calves! I think the butt may be too big now, and the hips still need a little work but I just got too tired of it to keep on with it for now. At least the anatomy seems to be mostly reality based down there, though.
I also worked on the face a lot. It was still too squarish...I somehow made him have a ben affleck chin combined with a matt damon squarehead. Also, the mouth area was sort of recessed and the cheeks were not rounded and a million other issues.
I still need to do more for the face, but I'm not sure what. The eyes maybe need to be lower or closer together and the eyelid area has gotten all mangled from my many moves.
The base mesh is much better, now, too. I cut 300 polies off the hands and added 500 around shoulders and face, and arms and legs and redid the ear. Now the whole thing is 2400, but I think the polygons are all in places that will make life easier for me.
Any more suggestions, especially with face, let me know. I think eyes are biggest issue now, but not sure. I left the head position the way it is, the reason being he's in a more relaxed stance than models seem to get modeled in. From the references I see his head should be ok like that, though. I cut out the materials and fine detail because I keep changing/ruining it but here's some screenshots. Hopefully I am NOW finally ready to polypaint and detail...almost.
edit:actually, maybe the head is too far forward. It seems to have drifted more forward somehow....
baseman141.jpg baseman142.jpg baseman144.jpg baseman145.jpg baseman146.jpg baseman147.jpg
03-18-09, 05:07 PM
Sometimes I wonder if I've even seen a face before. I had the upper muzzle area depressed into face all this time instead of coming out and melding into nose. I never even realized it did that. I guess that's where the glaring wrongness of the profile has come from.
I still need to put eyeballs back in and rework some eyelids, though. Rest of face seems pretty ready to detail and paint, unless someone can spot some wrongness. I probably will not add in many wrinkles or lines, though.
Thanks for all the help, guys. It's surprising how much feedback helps me improve.
baseman150.jpg baseman151.jpg baseman152.jpg
03-21-09, 02:27 AM
There's really no surface detailing, I guess. I did paint a texture for it and move the head back, though. Also, a million little changes, I guess.
The actual eyeballs got all messed up somehow, so I probably have to fix those before I can make the eye area look right. That seems a bit off, too, but I am not sure what I should do with it.
baseman190.jpg baseman191.jpg baseman192.jpg baseman193.jpg
03-21-09, 03:04 AM
looks okay so far. you need to check your proportions however. legs are far too short. the eyes look a little big, and the necks a little long, buts its coming along
03-21-09, 12:28 PM
People keep saying that about the legs, but I have measured him pixel for pixel and the length is in same proportion for arms and hips and upper body now. I think it's just that his legs are spread out more and so are a bit shorter and also wider in that stance. Maybe if I make them a tad slimmer or something....
The neck I measured many times against pics and anatomy books, too, and it comes out ok. Maybe the shoulders are too low and that is causing it.
I think the eyes might be too big, though, the actual eyeballs. I sort of wanted to make them bigger than average, but it doesn't look quite right and I think that might be why. I have to make some new eyeballs.
The legs are short for the body unless that's part of the characterization.
03-21-09, 07:05 PM
Thanks for the pointers, guys. I think ultimate problem is that the arms are too long/big. I was going off the belly button, but it looks like the elbows should be somewhat above belly button...and my belly button is too low, too.
You guys are right and neck is too long, too. Top of pelvis too wide, bottom of pelvis too narrow. Calves too short.
I am not sure how to fix this, though. I don't want to wreck all the shaping I have done so far but the transpose tools and move brush seem too clumsy to do anything but make a huge mess of something like this. I could fix it in maya pretty for low level mesh but it can't handle the high level meshes.
03-21-09, 08:56 PM
Don't worry, you wont wreck it, is not that hard, just go to the lowest level of subdivision, and then use the move tool for the pelvis, and areas like that, and the transpose for the rest. but you have to do it in the lowest level.
03-21-09, 11:33 PM
my focus seems to shift to the shoulders they don't seem broad enough. or something.
03-22-09, 12:15 AM
Maybe the shoulders are too rounded? I think that's part of the problem with the neck, too. I did some work to try to fix that, do they still look weird?
It took me a bunch of tries and I still lost a lot of the details trying to fix the proportions, but hopefully the outline is closer than before. I was using myself as a reference too much and I have long arms and stumpy legs so I am trying to use more references from 3d.sk. Let me know if anything looks weird. baseman205.jpg
03-22-09, 01:29 AM
Sorry for spamming my relatively uninteresting project, but I wanted to post one more update for the night. I hope to get the proportions right this time before going back into detailing so any help is very appreciated.
03-22-09, 06:34 AM
Your project is good, the colours are good, and your doing a good job, you just need to learn to control the brush a bit better, and that just takes practice.
The face is pretty damn well made, your showing lots of potential.
Me myself am just amazed by a lot of what this program zbrush makes, never before have I seen models this detailed albiet with more responsibility for work on behalf of the artist.
03-22-09, 04:08 PM
cool texture painting on him
03-25-09, 09:00 PM
Rouncer, thanks for the encouragement and I agree about how amazing zbrush is. I did not intend to get into such depth, but I can't seem to stop myself. If I had to try to make detailed anatomy through normal modeling alone I'd have gone nuts by now.
TDunn87 - thanks for the kind words.
Here's my progress since then. I made new eyeballs that are not misshapen, and I scaled them a bit smaller than the last ones. It seems to get a transparent outer eye bit I would have to have the outer eye on a separate layer from the inner eye. I don't thinkt hat's super practical so I decided to skip it. I liked old eye painting better but this is ok for now, I guess.
Eye area in general still seems a bit off, and I think maybe the area around temples need something. Not sure what is throwing it all off, though.
I think the shins might need work, too, and something seems funny about the chest but it might just be the paintjob got smeared quite a bit in that area.
03-25-09, 10:02 PM
I think I found the basic problem with the eye. Turns out there is some kind of bone in your head under the skin. Sounds like science fiction mumbo jumbo, but it's true.
I guess it makes a knobby area just under and to side of eye on top of cheek. It's funny how many things like this I just never noticed, but the face just doesn't look right without that little bit there.
03-26-09, 08:46 PM
Unless someone notices something wrong, I guess the basic anatomy is more or less done. Thanks for the help, guys. I want to give him some clothes and hair next. I'll post my results when I have something worth showing or questions.
03-29-09, 05:40 PM
I can't seem to find a color I like too much.
hair1.jpg hair2.jpg hair3.jpg
03-30-09, 06:28 PM
I need to find or make some stencils that would make good texturing or patterns on the spacesuit, I think. A fine pattern of some kind would make it better and more futurey. I might just skip that and try to get him rigged and animated in maya as is, though.
I've read up on it and think I understand the process pretty well but it will be a first for me. Then I'll eventually get it posed and do some renders. Maybe I'll eventually render a really short but gratuitously violent movie.
03-31-09, 02:24 AM
A little too illogically gritty even though it's outer spacish?
03-31-09, 06:24 AM
well done, youve got a full character finished, thats something...
03-31-09, 01:02 PM
Yeah, I'm just happy to have one done. It turns out to be a lot of fun to do this stuff, once you get past the initial learning curve. I think now that I have a base to start with making some more artistic stuff will be much quicker.
03-31-09, 02:31 PM
I know this is pretty much after the fact, and I think your model turned out well anyway, but...
It looks like your camera was too close, and mounted too high to begin with. It's making the model's legs appear too short. I don't know much about photography, but I was told once to zoom in with my lens, and then physically back the camera out until everything is in frame; darned if it didn't work! Distortion was pretty much eliminated.
I don't think it's a bad idea to make the lower leg a litter longer (taller) than normal anyway, to make the figure somewhat more appealing.
Just my rambling two cents worth... Keep up the great work!
03-31-09, 03:26 PM
Actually, that's a good point and thanks for mentioning it. I did not really think much of perspective when looking at the references I used. The close-ins appeared to be off, and that has to be why.
I think maybe model needs little tweaks, still, but the basic body proportions seem ok. Maybe I will pull back cheeks slightly and make face a little less flat - it seems I have to watch all the time or he turns into a blockhead, due to too much frontal sculpting, I guess. The outfit and gun are nothing special, either, but that's ok for now so long as the basics are all in order.
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