Jasmine Wongus (jazze)

36 replies · posted

Need help with a little project

Hi! I wonder if anyone can give me some pointers as to how to go forward with this kitty cat sculpt:

Since it's a sculpt, of course it'll be insanely dense, like so:

I know I need to retopologize it, but I don't have much time in the evenings to do it the painstaking way. I'm also watching my funds where deciding on whether I'd like to buy RetopoFlow. I haven't sculpted much, but I'd really like to finish up the cat and put some textures on it and some fuzzy fur. I have an idea for a cute scene!

So, if anyone can help me out, that would be wonderful. Thank you so much in advance!

  • jjazze
    I have been really enjoying Retopoflow since I bought it. Still has a few random bugs here and there so I would recommend making a duplicate project and saving often if you get it.

    For me it is worth the money. You can look up my post regarding my first experience with Reotopoflow in Blender 2.82 if that helps.


    Regardless, I would recommend the coursework on retopology in general. Jonathon Williamson covers it well for the retopology of the Orbot drone in the fundamentals of retopology course. And I would also recommend the mesh modeling bootcamp where Jonathon Lampel teaches about topology tools/techniques  in general. Great content there that has really been helping me improve my modeling and retopology skills from noob to, well, less noob haha. I also only have evenings to work this stuff and it is more of a  hobby I have enjoyed picking up to melt my life stresses away.



    • Hi, Shawn! Thank you so much for your reply; it definitely helps me think about the RetopoFlow, and those retopology courses! I glanced at them briefly but got scared. I admit! Ha ha! But definitely worth checking out, so I'll do that! I'll check out your link as well, that's going to be very helpful to me. :D

    • Hi again blanchsb ! I looked at your experience with RetopoFlow, and I really your shark! Some of the bugs would make me wait, but I see they've been taking care to fix them, so that's great! I'll think a little longer before deciding to get it or not.

      For the time being, because I'm just making a static render of the cat, I'll try a remesh. But I'm looking forward to also learning retopology again! I seemed to have worked along with the lessons you've linked to, but it was a while back and I am RUSTY. Ha ha! So...never hurts to start over. :D Thanks again!

    • Thanks jjazze 

      Yeah that shark was a labor of love during the stylized shark course. I finished him just as they had released the beta for retopoflo on blender 2.8

      I had already bought it in preparation for the live stream and it was really cool to use it to do my own first retopology outside a tutorial.

      I did a sub-d modifier for the render but if I baked the normals I am sure I would get similar details. (Even with sub-div the face count was 10x’s less). It was quite a lot of fun using retopoloflo. I’m excited for it to have an official release.

    • That's so cool, blanchsb! It sounds like a great help and time-saver... I sure need that these days. Ha ha!

  • Hi Jasmine, if you are not going to animate this, you could try a remesh.

    First save a copy of this file!

    Then use the quad remesher:

    Press the button and select the number of faces you want.

    Then you can do a bit of clean-up using the Slide Relax brush in Sculpt mode. (Do enable the Wireframe Overlay, so you can see what you're doing.)

    This will not give you a great topology, it's not meant for retopology,  but it's all quads and super fast. You might even use this as a start and the do a manual retopo where needed, in case it needs a good topology.

    • Hey, spikeyxxx ! Thanks so much for replying! I was looking at the remesh feature, tried it out. Though I did the voxel side. That's something different! I didn't know about the Slide Relax brush! I still have plenty to learn on the sculpting brushes. Useful stuff!

      I'm wondering if I also need multi-resolution to sculpt in and bring back some details, like the mouth on my cat. Hmmm!

  • jlampel I have a little trouble! Please help, or anyone who stops by. :( See, I tried doing the multiresolution modifier on the cat, got to the lowest level, and I think I messed up where to put details. Once I made smaller details in the sculpt, I got a warning, and some nice looooong waits as I tried going up a level. I had about 7 million vertices, and my computer does NOT like that.

    Right now I can't put up an image, I keep getting an error. :(

  • Hi Jasmine,  make sure to use at least Blender version 2.82. There were some improvements and bug fixes done on the Multires lately.

    The difference between 2.81 and 2.82 is enormous. (Did a small test with a 9 million vertices Suzanne on an old computer.2.81 more or less froze and 2.82 just let me sculpt happily...)

  • jjazze  I don’t have any experience with multires modifier.
    I hope you have a backup copy.

    Get into the habit of saving and prior to trying something new it is a good idea to increment the save number (like cat_1 and then save as cat_2)

    machine tools add-on has a great save menu that ties to ctrl+s and has


    • blanchsb , thanks! I have been doing backups! Unfortunately, at one point I forgot which backup was which, and destroyed a backup that I needed. :( I usually put the date, the filename, and a, b, etc. if it's changed on the same day.

      I'll check out the add-on, though! Maybe that'll help where my memory sometimes fails. LOL!

    • spikeyxxx , blanchsb and jlampel for your help so far!! I got back home not too long ago, so I gotta make time tomorrow or a bit tonight to try again. I think I can make it work! Knowing that I could probably get WAY simpler than 7mil polygons, and of course, pinch (I use it, but I don't...USE it, you know?), that makes me ready to try again! I want this poor kitty to have a scene! And fur! And a pink nose! <3

  • crew

    In addition to what Spikey and Shawn mentioned, I'd just add that multiresolution is almost certainly unnecessary here. Since you'll get smoother results on the less detailed areas if the mesh is less dense, I'd recommend trying the Simplify brush with dynamic topology instead to set the detail to be much lower around everything except the mouth. Alternatively, you could keep your polycount relatively lower (at least far lower than 7 million!) and use the pinch brush to get edges in that area closer together without dynamic topology. 

    Hope that helps!

    • Thank you, jlampel ! So I used that multiresolution for naught. ;_; Awwww...I guess for the simplicity that I need, I really don't need to punish myself with more complexity. ;) I'll update soon with progress! Hopefully I'll be able to upload the image successfully next time! I don't know why it didn't let me upload it. It wasn't huge or anything.

  • Hey! So, slowly I'm working on simplifying, like you've all been teaching me! It's actually quite a help to turn on the wireframe viewport display, too. Now I can see all the cruddy dense spots easier! :D I shall continue when the time is mine again. Night night! ^_^ Thanks for all your help, again blanchsb , spikeyxxx , and jlampel ! I'll keep this topic updated as I go.

  • Hey! Okay, I managed to get 200k+ polygons on the kitty...some are triangles. I'm impatient now. I just wanna paint up the poor thing and give it ground... I was thinking of maaaaybe a scarf with a bell on it. Heh! I wonder if I should make a little cloth mesh of a scarf and use collisions to drape it around kitty. Hmmm...I think I'll try a cloth simulation! That would be fun! ^_^

    Here it is, just a progress render without a material:

  • jlampel, I thought of something: I want to do a little texture painting on the cat's body, and right now I know there aren't very good edge loops for seams after I've sculpted. What must I do next to ensure that I can make some seams if need be? For instance, if I want to add pink for the nose or something like that, but may the edges that I need aren't flowing how I'd like.

    • hi Jazze, long time... the next step for making seams and such and to put materials on is to retopologize so uv's can be made to assign materials and such to...

    • Hi, me1958424 ! It has been long!! Good to see you, and thanks for the advice! I guess I'll find a way to do it as quickly as possible. I'm so slow that I do need to leg up. Ha!

    • crew

      Yep, Mark is on the money! Retopologizing is your best bet. Strictly speaking you don't have to, but you'll end up with jagged seams otherwise. If you're painting basic colors I doubt anyone would notice, but for anything more than that you'd probably want to keep 'em clean. 

    • jlampel Oh! Then I know what I must do... For my sanity, I'm going to get that RetopoFlow. I'm too slow on my own, and I get so frustrated! I saw the jagged seams with a teddy bear I made lately. Not too nice, those jagged lines. :( Still, I'll do it for the convenience.

      Thanks, all!

    • jjazze  I’d recommend watching the retopoflow 2 and 3 livestream if you haven’t used it. Retopoflow 3 is pretty much Retopoflow 2 adjusted to work in Blender 2.8

      I like the livestream for Retopoflow 3 and jlampel  was doing a great job “stalling” (while Jonathon was logging in) by teaching basic tools of Retopoflow, but once Jonathon joined he basically began retopologizing quickly to show the effectiveness of the tool, but there wasn’t as much teaching going on. I kinda had to pause a few times and take notes after watching his key strokes and such, haha. But I know they said that the previous live stream was better for an introduction if you have never used it. 

    • Thanks, blanchsb ! I'll take a look at them, 2 first! That's good info, too; now I know what to watch for. :D

  • Hi again jlampel ! I have a problem: I want to try out RetopoFlow, but it hasn't worked since I installed it. Here are some images ( I tried with other forms, too...sculpted and everything. I forgot to show that in the picture. Still couldn't select):

    Besides a warning about it being beta, sometimes Blender doesn't even show the tool at the header. When it does and I press the "Make Target" (or whatever it was called), I'm in the new area, Contours is selected, but I can't do anything. There's no cursor or anything, just the symmetry line. Even that actually works.

    When I press escape to leave RetopoFlow, suddenly I can't select anything in the regular Blender window. That bums me out. :( I just bought it a few days ago. :(

    EDIT: Never mind...once I restarted the computer, it worked. I have to remember that I hold Ctrl+drag to make a new contour or whatever. Phoo! I'm still gonna look at those livestream vids!

    • Ohhhhh. I forgot to mention jjazze

      i remember my frustration opening retopoflow and stuff not intuitively working for me. Hence why I directed you to the videos because once I watched them I started realizing how the tools all worked together.

      Here’s some of my notes from the Retopo 3 Video: they may or may not be helpful

      Contours Notes

      Poly stripsPoly PenAlso, there was a bug with contours not working for me at all when I first used it. I didn’t try rebooting my computer but I reached out to the developer on their 👾 bug  page  he gave me a version with the fix within the day!

       I’d also recommend saving a copy of your project BEFORE you start AND doing a save often because it is still in Beta.

      I toggled full screen view while retopoflow was active and while taking a screenshot of my shark I seem to have activated a stack overflow or something because blender froze and i lost my project up to that point (I hadn’t saved so really I lost everything). I was goofing around with the tool most of that day so it was no biggy. BUT Lesson Learned!

      I also recommend reporting the bugs you find since it is in beta.

    • Thank you, blanchsb ! I'm sure the notes will help some; I learned a few things so far, but it's a little tough to get used to.

      I'd been watching the version 3 video, but freaked out because I couldn't even get the thing to work! I was so frustrated. I wasn't sure, though, about reporting the bug because I didn't know how to best formulate my issue. I should report it anyway, but I'll try and reproduce the problem. I'm glad I managed to get a screenshot, though it was only that cube one.

      At the time, I couldn't make RF work when I just restarted Blender, so I just assumed I needed to restart my computer and refresh things. I'm glad that worked. We'll see what happens today. :)

      I'm also a little daunted by how I'll need to make each feature work with my cat, since it's no longer fully symmetrical. I guess I'll just turn off the symmetry and see what happens. I'll recall your notes as well, and update here!

    • Yeah, your model is not symmetrical but it is kinda close for things like the face.
      i think this is possible: You could probably do a work flow where you use symmetry on parts that are symmetrical and then turn it off for parts that aren’t.

      that may be tricky since I have never done it personally.

      modeling something like this teaches a lot of good lesssons for future modeling projects though.

      like next time:

      Do I want symmetrical from the beginning and then pose it at the end?

      Making a plan for you the modeling process will go down:

      Blockout -> sculpt -> retopo -> rig or shape key

      obviously get more detailed plan for each situation but at least you carve a path early on and expectations are set.

      I think this post of yours will be great training for others coming for reference.

    • Awesome! Yes, I'm certainly learning a lot. Next time I definitely want to keep things symmetrical until I'm completely done sculpting. This sculpt is more like a figurine, and that's because I was scared to do too much with it. I'm learning so much, and this retopology part is going to be something else! Ha ha!

      It's a good idea for me to make plans, too. I just jumped in with everything, with this fear that I'd make mistakes. I made so many little ones that it doesn't scare me so much right now. Thanks! You're really helping me! I shall continue!

    • crew

      Nice notes blanchsb ! We're working on updating the keymap, so hopefully everything will be a bit more intuitive soon. 

    • jlampel - Thanks for chiming in......the ability to keymap is definitely my number 1 expected feature! Put a few extra cookie crumbs on that for me!

  • Hey Jazze , great work so far. Not spoke in ages , hope things are well with you . I look forward to seeing this piece progress. Keep up the good work!

    • Ahhh, thanks, frikkr! It's been a while, yeah! Things are well, considering the times. Ha ha! I hope things are well with you, too! I'll keep showing progress on this, and I'm getting some great advice. :D Thank you so much! We'll chat more soon, I hope!

  • I got a link through GitHub to a more updated version on RetopoFlow; works better now. Gee, I hope they can somehow put that in the Blender Market. Seems like anybody can access that right now.

    Anyway, I'm using a practice mesh and trying out contours, and PolyPen for getting into the inside details. I just need to remember that retopology class to figure out what I should do to best close the retopology.

    Oh, blanchsb , I confirmed that link on GitHub that I mentioned above, where the shift + middle mouse wheel seems to work now in decreasing the face count. I let them know in that issue. I'm glad I found that post, too! I was going to post the issue, myself! I'm nervous posting things on GitHub. I'm shy. Ha ha!