1. #1

    Default Human mouth How?

    How does one go about sculpting a human mouth that can be animated later?

    Do you just sculpt the person with there mouth open? If you sculpt the mouth in an open position how far should it be open?

    What about teeth do you sculpt them directly on to the mouth or do you add the teeth by some other method via other object?

    Help is much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2010


    Mouth slightly open is probably the best. Teeth, gums, and tongue can be separate objects, unless you're planning on flying the camera down the character's throat.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2002


    Once you start talking about animating the sculpt topology comes into play and you've got more to worry about than just open mouth or closed. What I've been working on with my own pet project follows this workflow:

    1. Sculpt Concept bust first. This way I'm not restricted in my sculpting and can just do what I want. I start with a sphere, or whatever other base mesh is handy and block out what I want. I generally do this mouth closed, as that an open mouth distorts the face.

    2. Export the sculpt via Decimation Master to my re-topology tool. In my case, that's my old version of 3dsmax with Polyboost. It could be topogun, blender, silo, whatever will allow you to build a new mesh easily snapping to the old one. You could do this in ZB, but I find it's topology tool irritating and limited. Traditional poly modelers have a lot more tools and flexibility.

    3. Using your retopo tool, create a new mesh following the necessities for animation. What does that mean? Big subject, too big for a simple posting. I'll link some references at the bottom to help. In short, you have to build your mesh so that its edgeflows will support the movements you want it to make when animated. At this point I would be diverging from the original sculpt, using it as reference, to create an open mouth (closed to a slit), with a mouth cavity inside the head. I would also create a mesh for the upper teeth/gums/maxilla, the lower teeth/gums/mandible, maybe a separate one for the roof of the mouth/uvula/back of the thread, a separate one for the tongue, and a mouth "sock" to enclose the whole sha-bang back in the head.

    4. This new mesh with the good topology I would then bring into ZB for reprojection of details from the concept sculpt. I would do this piecemeal, polygroup by polygroup, as that trying to do the whole head at once often results in projection mistakes. I'd also be prepared to return to my modeler and alter my mesh, because often, what you thought would project well simply doesn't. Most often that's because you're expecting too much of displacement. You'll need to take special care to isolate out the new opened mouth, because its structure won't support a direct projections. Basically you'd mask off all the insides of it and only project the outer surface of the lips at most.

    5. Next you import the inner mouth pieces as subtools, sculpt them as appropriate.

    That's it in a nutshell for my workflow. Here are those links I promised:

    Hippydrome's site is the best I've seen for articulation (topology) for animation. It's one of the black arts of modeling, in my experience, and he does a great job of presenting the problem and his solutions in a clear way.


    If you're inclined to a more book oriented learning, Jason Ospia's book, Stop Staring, is the best I've found for facial rigging, modeling and animation. I highly recommend it.


  4. #4
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    Jul 2009


    Sculpt mouth open. It helps retopology, have this in mind.
    Later, after retopo you may close it, and some more sculpting there. Where? In zbrush, blender, etc. These are the limits of sculptris. These are the limits of sculptris logic.

  5. #5


    You can use this as your starting point.

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  6. #6
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    Apr 2004


    whoo hyppodrome was very good.. good old days!
    Good DAY sir!

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by elvis75k
    whoo hyppodrome was very good.. good old days!
    Indeed I used hippydrome also but the site is incomplete and content is missing. Those animated .gifs are good resource for learning topology.
    Last edited by maciej; 08-12-11 at 05:03 AM. Reason: adding

  8. #8
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    Jun 2011

    Default re

    It also depends on your rendering needs. I did WIP in 3DRad using Papagayo and some basic mouth shapes. I did the mouth shapes in Wings3D using a basemodel and just moving vertices. In this case, I was using vertex animation, rather than bone animation. This actually might be possible using a Sculptris model, no retopo. Or you might look into something like CrazyTalk Which animates 2D images, like a Render of your 3d model.
    Also you need to think of your computers rendering capabilities, Sculpting a full mouth is Great for Movies, but is huge waste of vertices for a game model. You might could get by with a half sphere and put the detail into the texture.

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