Customs: What's the best method for modelling TF faces?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Ruizu1990, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. Ruizu1990

    Ruizu1990 dark energon is one hell of a drug

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    Hi
    I started 3D modelling with Blender approximately one month ago. I have no experience but have been watching a lot of tutorials online.

    My eventual goal is to create new faces for some figures that I own.

    I modelled Arcee and Bumblebee in Blender. No intention to 3D print these, they were just for practice.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I use the typical method that most 3D artists use when they're modelling faces. The one that maps out the facial muscles via edge loops. I have had to adapt it to TF faces. I then use a subsurf modifier to smooth things out.

    The biggest struggle I have is achieving hard edges, especially since I use the subsurf. I use the bevel tool to get a hard edge but the result is mixed.

    Eyes are also a problem. They always end up rounded when I want them to have hard geometric edges. Arcee can get away with rounded eyes, but it looks odd with male bots.

    What method do other people use to model transformer faces (particularly the blocky G1 style)? It doesn't matter if you don't use Blender, I just want to know how other people work.

    I also have Fusion 360 but I use it for mechanical items like guns and stuff.
     
  2. EpsilonEta

    EpsilonEta Well-Known Member

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    Nice work. I'm working in Blender myself and there is (at least) two ways of making hard edges and there should be a lot of tutorials teaching it. One way is to create an extra edge loop and the otherother is to select the edges and set them to sharp (or someting like that) I don't remember the shortcut...

    Ok, just googled sharp edges and got this:

    Apparently the "make sharp" will cut your mesh and will need some extra work before 3d printing (if you where planing that later) Adjding extra edges is probably the best option and sound a bit like what you where trying with bewel. Could you show the wireframe? I will post some pictures of my own later when I get home.
     
  3. Ruizu1990

    Ruizu1990 dark energon is one hell of a drug

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    Thanks, cg cookie is great.

    Here's the wireframes

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. EpsilonEta

    EpsilonEta Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I meant edit mode so I could see the mesh before the subsurface modifier. Still it doesn't really matter. I can see most of it (It's just a lot more cluttered this way)

    So I have tried a bit myself now and I think that using crease is the best option. It mostly give the same result as adding edge loops without the extra geometry that have to be manipulated while you are still working.
    The tutorial I linked did mention that crease gave distorted normals (resulting in those shadows) and had to use edge split to fix it but that hardly happened to me. Probably because I use flat view rather than smooth (maybe).

    I had a lot more but for some reason I can't upload images now (tried two browsers, logging out/in, restarting computer) Will try tomorow
     
  5. EpsilonEta

    EpsilonEta Well-Known Member

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    OK, now it work. I also saw a tutorial that used bevel to create extra edges without curving the original edge. They just increased the segments to two and set the profile to one.
    I knew this worked I just hadn't thought to use it that way.
    0.png


    Here is what I meant to post yesterday. I made a simple eye shape (hexagon) to demonstrate which edges to crease and how it's effected by the subsurface modifier.
    1.jpg

    As you see, only the slope toward the eye sharpen. This is what I suspected was the problem and from your wireframe I can see it was.
    In order to make the corners sharp you need to select the edge in the corner.
    2.jpg

    Here I actually used bevel (ctr+B) to make one edge into two as three would be overkill here. Just creasing the corner edges didn't work here you probably want to sharpen both anyway so I still think crease is better but extra edges is almost as good here.

    And if you don't want super hard edges you can adjust the crease value. A value less then 0 will have the same effect as two extra edges at corresponding distance.
    3.jpg
    I don't really know what a value between 0 and 1 does (I always set it to 1). It's probably easiest to experiment and see for yourself (shift+E to crease and ctr+R to edge loop, sometimes you have to manually select and subdivide to get the edges in the right places)

    Finally I tried subdividing my head/helmet for IDW Arcee (I cheated with the face and modified a downloaded human one).
    RC1.png
    I ended up needing to crease a lot of the edges but the remaining ones are smoother now. I very much prefer the crease as I would have needed A LOT of extra geometry and future adjusting would be a nightmare.

    As I said yesterday it might be the smooth shading that don't work with crease and here is an exampel.
    RC2.PNG

    If something wasn't clear just ask.
    Good luck.
     
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  6. Hot Shot.

    Hot Shot. Well-Known Member

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    From an amateur's standpoint, I believe you may be overthinking the modeling aspect of it. For the heads I've made I started with a flat plane, subdivided it a few dozen times, then manipulated it into the front plane of the face. Then I extrude the other planes of the face from there and tweak everything with proportional editing, and use the Space and Relax looptools to smooth things out as I go. I keep the nose and lips as separate objects.
    upload_2019-1-26_7-55-5.png
    upload_2019-1-26_7-57-10.png
     
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  7. Ruizu1990

    Ruizu1990 dark energon is one hell of a drug

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    Thanks, it's interesting to see how others do things.
     
  8. Ruizu1990

    Ruizu1990 dark energon is one hell of a drug

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    Lots to think about here, thanks!
     
  9. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    I use the crease function that @EpsilonEta talked about. I used to use the extra edge loops but, again like he said, I found the extra geometry to be difficult to work with.

    For eyes, it probably sounds a little sloppy but I like to just model a piece in the shape of the eyehole and use it with a Boolean to just cut eyeholes into the face. I don't bother to bevel edges that small because it won't make much difference in the 3d print and I'll have to sand it anyway. I like to have the eyes modeled separately so that they're easier to paint and then just insert them through the back of the face (I do heads in three parts - helmet, face, eyes).

    Also, just FYI, I don't apply any of my modifiers until the very end. This way I can always make changes easily or, as in the case of the Charlene figure I'm working on (posted in the radicons thread earlier today) I can adapt her into a completely different character by just dropping the booleans that merge her clothes into her body and then make new clothes for the new character.

    And I just want to say that your work on Bumblebee and Arcee looks great. The only thing I can see that needs work is the hard edges you're already working on. That and you might want to reduce some of the curves on Bumblebee's face to make him look a little more robotic - I did the same thing when I was doing an Arcee face. Made her too curved and human looking.
     
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  10. Ruizu1990

    Ruizu1990 dark energon is one hell of a drug

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    I've been using the techniques suggested to start on an Optimus Prime. I achieved the effect I was looking for :thumb 
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Optimus Prime is watching YOU :eek: 

    Still needs a little more fine tuning but I'm happy :) 
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019