Monday, May 9, 2011

Character Modeling Research ssay

When modelling a character it is important to take into account the way in which the body and face deforms with movement. A sound model will allow the character to deform in the most natural way. A way to ensure that the model will deform correctly is to follow certain edge loop structure. While every model is different there are some basic guidelines which one should follow. One should take particular care when modelling the face, shoulders, knees and elbows. As these are body parts which perform a lot of movement.


Good facial modelling “means knowing about the relationship between features on the face, what the changes in those relationships will do to the expression, and how to be in control of all that with the simple tilt of the head or the addition of a crease” (Osipa, J). Therefore “good point layout isn’t simply modelling cleanly, with evenly spaced edges and quads; it is to model for movement” (Osipa, J). Bellow is an image from Jason Osipa’s book Stop Staring which demonstrates the effect good edgeflow can have on the movement of a model versus the effect bad edge flow can have on the movement of the model.

Jason goes on to explain that it is important to facilitate good movement from one face shape to another. All facial shapes will be modeled out of one basic shape and while each shape is important on its own, the motion it defines between facial shapes is equally important. “This is why good edge flow in the layout is not just technically important, it’s also artistically quite helpful” (Osipa, Jason).

Bellow is an image which illustrates the shape of the edgeloops which one needs for a face.

(Werner Ziemerink)

One will notice there are circular edge loops around the lips and nose. These edge loops will define the smile liness. The “creasing which happens here is probably the most pronounced on the entire face” therefore it is important that the edgeflow allows it to happen in the correct places and shape.

As seen above the eye area also follows a circular edgeflow however one needs to make sure that there is an “almost ‘gridlike’ area off th side that leads away from the eye towards the ear” (Osipa, J). This will help one get a natural compression around the outside of the eye.

Finaly the nose area, which acording to Jason Osipa is an area which is often approached in numerous manners that he believes each have there pro’s and con’s. However there is one edgeflow which he says is important it “is simply that the top-of-the-nostril feeds into the nasolabialfold and that whatever is happening underneath the nose allows for a lot of compression and expanssion of the lips later”.

The Shoulders

While the facial area is one where a lot of motion occurs there are other areas of the body which are equally as important, namely the shoulder. One needs to ensure there is good modelling and edge loop construction in the shoulder as to allow for realistic movement. According to Werner a common error which people make is to pull the arm directly out of the characters body without establishing a shoulder. Bellow is an example of an alternative way of modeling the arm and shoulder to ensure that one establishes a proper shoulder area.

Although this is not the only way to model a shoulder it is a good one as it creates an edgeloop which runs straight from the chest and around the arm. This allow for a more natural bend of the arm against the body.

An alternative way to do the edge flow around the should, as suggested by Werner, is to create the edge flow as seen bellow.This method is an alternative one which also works well as it acknowledges the shoulder area and therefore allows for natural deformation of it.


Ultimately it becomes appaarent that edge loops are not used purely because they help create an appealing mesh, but are rather used to assist in the deformation of the character. While the face and shoulders are not the only areas of the body which need edge loops they are two important ones. However by understanding edgeloops one can apply them to other areas of the body which will need to deform. The important thing to think about when building a model is how each areas is going to move and what will allow for the best deformation of the area.

Cited Work:

Osipa, Jason. Stop Staring: Facial Modelling and Animatino done Right, third edition. Canada: Wiley Publishing. Inc. 2010. Print

Ziemerink, Werner. Master Classes Luma. Lecture

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