Sunday, April 10, 2011

16: Head Topology Why Worry

If anything can separate a good model for animation from a stinky one, its topology. I remember a job I was involved with for the Sydney Olympics, remember "the best games ever". The company I was working for was asked to take a set of mascots that had been turned into clay marquets by Jozef Szekeres and animate a 3d version of these. Jozef's models where sent to Europe to be 3D scanned and at great expense. In those days 3D scanning was very new and very costly there was only a handful of companies doing it. So the price was in the tens of thousands. On the way to the scanning company one of the marquets had an accident and was unusable. A little known fact is that there were 4 mascots for these games. They were originally, Milly, Syd, Olly and Liz. Liz is the one that didn't make it and we were all very disappointed. We hoped all the others made it as 3D scans without further issue. But when the digital versions were sent to us to animate we were doubly disappointed. The meshes were totally unusable. Not only was the mesh for each marquet really hi res', but the topology was straight across and up and down. Nobody had realized that the scanners would not take into consideration the final models needed to be animated. It was a lesson that changed the way we communicated with scanning companies in the future. The issue was, the mesh may have been very high resolution but the topology for animating didn't exist at all.

Remember topology is key when it comes to animating, especially for faces. You can have a very low resolution mesh give excellent results if the topology is organized perfectly. I found a great tutorial that explains this better on YouTube. It is for Maya but it gives a very in depth explanation and Its still relevant for Blender 3D artists.

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