The blog is alive again! I've been enjoying my Summer and really just not thinking a great deal about University and such. I know, quite bad of me, but i
t was well deserved. But now, I'm getting back into the flow of it, and what better way then to resurrect my Blogspot page, and to talk a short while about some research I have been doing.

I have become quite fascinated by clean edge loops and flows, and professional topology. I started this by opening up some of my models from the second year. I wanted to see where I was going wrong, and exactly how I can improve on that stuff. First and foremost my main concern was with edge loops and clean edge flow. I needed to learn how to control the loops cleanly and in a professional manner. Too many times this year I've been in a position where the edge flows just weren't right, and I knew it. I just lacked the knowledge I needed to fix it. Now is the time for me to learn where I was going wrong. I have nearly achieved that, and actually have learnt a lot these last couple of days.

I want to talk mainly about controlling edge flows, and what I have found out. I have been looking into what I like to call 'five edge' and 'three edge' poles. Here are two examples of both three edge and five edge poles:
^three edge pole^five edge pole

Okay, so this may not make much sense to you right now, but bare with me - I hope that I can explain what the importance of this is shortly.

So previously I was convinced that these were errors in my mesh, and I was always getting down on myself about them, forever trying to remove or hide them in places you won't see. But I had to find out the real meaning behind these, and after some reading around certain forums, I began to realise that these are a good thing if used right, and can be used to control edge flows. (Thanks CGSociety)

So here, goes, I'll try and explain!

Consider this basic mesh, I literally made a Polygon>Plane, selected some faces and hit extrude, raised them and it lead to this image.

You may be thinking, 'fine, so what about it?' Well, allow me to explain! The edge flow on this put simply, is wrong. Totally wrong. This is where I was going wrong for a long time, and it took me some time to understand it, but now I can see how it is wrong. Basically, the 'three edge pole' here is causing an issue. If you wanted to put an edge loop in here :It would not work. It simply would do this :

This is because the loops wrong, told you didn't I? This means that Extruding things willy nilly is actually a bad idea. It can be fine in many cases, but in things such as head and body models, it's something you have to be aware of. If you extrude you have to reroute geometry. Something like this :

This means the flow all around is correct. It also means that you can insert edge loops on the top of the extrusion, or around the extrusion and the edge loop will follow it correctly. As you can see in the next image :

So it might seem simple on this image, but actually on a complex model it's a little bit tougher. But let's look at it closely and try to understand why this works after a basic reroute of geometry. You've now moved the three edge pole to a more suitable place, and you've created a five edge pole which is controlling the flow. In the next image I have simply highlighted these poles.
So how does this translate into complex human models? Well, simply put, you can do this on a larger scale to control your loops in your models for realistic deformation and clean, professional topology.

Still not convinced? Onto further examples.

In this image you can see where I have used a five edge pole to control the loop so that when I insert an edge loop in to control the edge it will automatically follow the flow instead of carrying on up to the top of the model:

I really hope this is making sense, because In my excitement over beginning to understand this I might dribble on a bit.
Again, in this image I have used a 'five point pole' to make the flow in the breast area flow around and up into the arm. Way better for animation, flow and a realistic look:
I have used this technique in key places on this model I knocked up today. I hope you can see my reasoning for using the five edge poles in these places, and I hope you can see why they work the way they do.

Here are some head models I found online which show how they work in head models. (I do not take credit for the following head models, they are merely being used to explain what I'm getting at)

Head model 1

Head model 2

Head model 3

In these images you can see how the 'five edge pole' has been utilized to achieve the desired edge flow in the face.

So what does this mean? Well it means that when you're using complex head and body models with a lot of geometry in them for reference when producing your own models, you can simply jump straight to these three and five edge poles and replicate them on your own model. Then when you insert edge loops after that, you can achieve a high resolution model easily as the loops will instantly appear in the places you want them to.

I really hope that in my haste to write this people understand what I mean, and I really hope it's of some help to some of my peers. Because I find this stuff so fascinating, and it's really the stuff you simply have to know in order to penetrate the rookie bubble of modelling.

Also, on a side note i've been covering nCloth for mine and Pol's upcoming project. I've realised how cool it is. Here are a couple of quick playblasts just showing a couple of tests I did regarding attaching the nCloth objects Vertices to an objects vertices. Also been messing and testing nCloth Nucleus' wind and gravity. It's really interesting.

Okay, clearly these aren't the most complex of animations. But really, it doesn't matter. Through tests like these I have learnt a lot, and I know that we'll be fine with regards to nCloth in the project. At least I believe that will be the case. Let's hope so!

Here's a model I've been working on. Really trying to get the edge loops right. Though there are mistakes still. The crotch area is a problem for me right now, that I have to try and rectify. Also the top of the back has two Five edge poles on the same loop. That's bugging me a lot right now.

Thanks for reading!

I am currently having a lighting issue in Maya, and would be most grateful if anyone can enlighten me as to what the issue is.

Okay, so here are the renders :
As you can see, the light goes through the solid cloth back of the coat, and shines INSIDE the actual coat its self. Completely wrong, and I have no idea why it's doing that. It's operating as if the coat is transparent, but it is not! The odd thing is that if I hide the coat the rest of the body functions just fine. I really can't work out what is causing this, so if anyone can shed some light then please, by all means, comment away!
Okay, that problem is resolved... I must have been a bit too tired last night, because it was something really simple. I had simply forgotten to turn the shadows on on the rim light. What a muppet. Here's a render where it's resolved :



tutorphil said...

It's alive!

well, hello again, Jonny - you're back from the dead I see; I wish I could help you with your Maya lighting issues, though, as you know, I'm not the man for the job; I'll prompt Alan in the direction of your blog... However, I can clearly see that you're up for more challenges in your third year and you're setting the bar nice and high... and now the words of advice from old father time; you're biggest challenge will be to keep your mind (and options) open in the early stages of your minor project; no sulking, no throwing the baby out with the bath water, and no settling for less; you're aiming for a strong concept and high technical accomplishment - not one without the other; remember, you're trying to make work that will a) get you a job, but b) more importantly, get you noticed in the first place, so originality and flair will be key; and it's not just me who says so; everyone I talked to at the New Designers Event in July, including the creative director of SKY, prioritised ideas people over technophiles...

Jon Stewart said...

Thanks for the reply Phil :D

The lighting issues are resolved now.
Don't worry, myself and Paul know we need a good concept, but we still aren't pushing some amazing visual and technical stuff to the back of our minds. It's going to be full of both.
We have some really nice ideas currently in the works which I'm sure you will like.
How is your book and such going by the way?

Pixipui said...

This was helpful :)

About Me

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I am a video game artist at Dovetail games, working on Train Simulator 2014, 2015 and an unannounced title. I also graduated from the CG Arts course at UCA in 2010 with a First Class.