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Scar12166

Furry Mesh Head Help

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So I am rather new to the entire 3D Modeling area, I took a college course which used Maya, but of course Blender was a complete change for me.

For the past week or so I have been working on a mesh head of my character I created.

This is my progress..

Scarhead.jpg

The seam on the lower jaw is actually where it is separated to add Talk and chat motion, but I had a few questions (An any criticism on the actual head would be great.) regarding the options I am not sure how will work in SL and I can't find exact tutorials on it.

-I wanted it to blink and I know I you have to do it with invisible motions, but I can't find any help regarding on how to get that set up to work with a script.


-Secondly, it currently is made up of 18,432 Tris. Is that sort of high for a furry mesh head, if so, where could I find some info on decreasing it? I have it rezed in Sub surf 2, any lower makes it look tacky and blocky. Going kinda with both questions, the head will also have separate ears, fur tufts for cheek and back of the head area, does that also go against the Tris count and does that bring up issues with which bone they will be attached to or will it also require scripting.

 

Alternatively, if anyone can point me at a good tutorial for any of the questions, please link them. I have spent hours searching for help on a lot of this with no avail.

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Two levels of subdivision multiply thye triangle count by about 16 times. It is likely that the vast malority of that is completely  uneccesary.

First, did you apply smooth shading (Select all; Mesh->Faces->Shade smooth) before subdividing? If not, you should always do so.  It is a common mistake to rely on subsrf with flat shading to obtain smooth looking surfaces. That is very wasteful.

Secondly, subsurf invariably leads to ludicrously high triangle counts because it is indiscriminate. It subdivides everywhere. You really only need extra edge loops close to and parallel with the more sharply creased edges. Subsurf will add them evertwhere else as well, including perpendicular to straight creases where they do nothing. If you have to use subsurf, then you need to remove all those extra edge loops afterwards (Select edge loops; Mesh->Delete->Dissolve, with dissolve verts option checked). Alternatively, instead of using subdiv, add the required edge loops just where they are needed (Loop cut & Slide), then select them and their neighbours and smooth vertices (Mesh->Vertices->Smooth vertices) or smooth modifier.

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I haven't applied the Subsurf fully, but yes, I always place render on smooth before starting.

Because I haven't made Sub surf 2 permanent, I think I may turn it off and go through the proccess of manually adding the edge loops. It'll be a pain, but like you said, I won't get the extra edge loops to worry about. Thanks for the help on that portion.

 

EDIT- I turned Sub down to 1 An it dropped the Tris to 5312. Wow, for the amount that needed fixing, that is a huge drop. Glad you pointed that out.

Scarlowerprimfixed.jpg

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Let me give you some quick advice.


Don't worry so much about how the model looks when you are making it. If you take any game character you've ever seen and stripped them of their textures, you'd see that they aren't what you thought they were. They are not perfectly smooth at all.

Likewise, when you apply textures, the blockiness will not be noticable.

Long story short, you'll need a few duplicates of the eyelids at different positions from opened-to-closed. All of the above will be uploaded with the head, so in game they will be linked and you'll use a script to cycle their transparency. How to write that kind of script is a question for the scripting forum.

Also, I could be wrong, but I don't think the separate jaw is technically necessary with a mesh head. Rather, I know I'm not wrong since I've seen it done, I just don't know exactly how it is done or what the potential consequences of doing it that way are.

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"Don't worry so much about how the model looks when you are making it. If you take any game character you've ever seen and stripped them of their textures, you'd see that they aren't what you thought they were."

Yes. And to add to that, now that we have normal maps, they can have much more (fake) detail than is there in the mesh geometry. I guess that was a major reason for adding normal maps - better appearance with fewer triangles = better performance. You can make your mesh as detailed as you like, then bake the normal map onto a much simpler low poly mesh. Then the only thing you need to pay attention to is the outline silhuoette from viewable angles. That's where you can't hide the low poly reality.

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Here's 2 scripts you can use for blinking, that a good friend gave me a while back. Put this in the root prim of the head.

Eye Blink Control

 

integer min = 3;
integer max = 15;

default
{
state_entry()
{
llSetTimerEvent(min + llFrand(max - min + 1));
}

timer()
{
llMessageLinked(LINK_ALL_OTHERS, 0, "blink", NULL_KEY);
llSetTimerEvent(min + llFrand(max - min + 1));
}
}

 

 

Then put this one in each eyelid.

 

Alpha

default
{
link_message(integer sender_num, integer num, string str, key id)
{
if(str == "blink")
{
llSetAlpha(1.0, ALL_SIDES);
llSleep(0.5);
llSetAlpha(0.0, ALL_SIDES);
}
}
}

 

Hope that helps,

Heavy

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Wow. you all have been a considerable help!

 

First off, Rahkis, should I use a completely new and seperate mesh piece to simulate the blink and just stretch and copy as I go?

Thank you both for the tips on using less detail, I guess I sort of got that newbie attack and felt it needed to be as smooth and 'complete' as possible before realizing it is sucking up a lot of memory. I am not sure how normal maps work but would that make it much more difficult for texturing? I am not an artists but luckily I have a friend who is willing to give it a shot with the little knowledge I know of texturing. 

Also about the detached jaw, if you come across any sort of info, I'd be willing to cry a few hours in a corner on scripting than have that tacky seam. I know it won't be so badly visible when it is textured, but I really liked how it looked before I chopped it up and added the extra sides.

An Heavyhauler, thanks for the scripts! Does the integers mean I need at least three copies but less than 15, or is their a specific number I should be going for?

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My strategy for the eyelids would be to model them in the closed position. When I'm ready to animate them, I would separate the eyelids from the rest of the head, duplicate them and move them into their appropriate positions. I'd use blend-shapes, but you don't have to.

Edit: just to explain, in my experience it's easier to open closed eyes than to close open eyes. That's why I model with the eyes closed.

And as for the jaw, my thought is that if you just weight the jaw to the jaw bone, it should move. I am not sure if that's true or not, but it's my guess. I'm with you, though. The seam would be a deal-breaker for me.

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I am gonna give that a go tonight and see if I can get that working. A question about uploading..Do I need to upload each piece by themselves and link them from inside SL somehow or can I have each new eye lid location on different layers in blender?

Still not quite sure how the uploading and what needs to be with what thing goes.

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No, they don't need to be on different layers at all. They only need be separate objects. When you export, you'll use the "export selected" checkbox and will select all the parts you want exported including the armature.

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Alright, that is good to know, I added them to separate layers just because it was easier for me to see what needed to be move and where, but what portions needed to be rigged? Figuring it is just the head, I am assuming only a few areas such in the eyes and jaw?

 

I also took sub completely off and fixed the blocky areas with my own edge loops. It doesn't look too bad, and as you said, I am assuming most of the areas I see oddness won't be noticable when it is textured. If any spots stick out, let me know so I can try to shift and smooth it. I just felt like I would sitting and picking at the areas forever as I tried for a perfect smoothness.

scareyelids.png

 

I am a bit surprised I brought the Tris down even further than the first time. With the five eyelid duplicates and the lower jaw included, it is now only 2630. There isn't much left to add to the actual base of the head except teeth, which I don't think will jump my number above 3k.

Also, while I was messing around on the beta grid and uploading an older variation to see price and such, I noticed the Land impact was rather high. Now I think I was using the Sub surf version, but I was curious what sort of number are you hoping for in the land impact when uploading mesh?

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I don't know. Define rather high.

A head is probably one of the more complex things you could upload, so it probably is high.

Also, since you were just test uploading it, I am assuming you didn't already have LODs ready, so you probably just used the same mesh for all LODs.

In that case it would be really high.

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Something like this is likely to have a high physics weight, even as the default convex hull, because it's very rounded. Make sure you look at the download weight (More Info link in edit dialog) in case the LI is the physics weight. Attachments don't have physics, so the physics weight doesn't matter. The download weight is a reasonable guide to the rendering resource used, and is therefore something to consider even though attachments don't use any parcel LI.

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