A party wherein I figure out how to rig Verachantesse’ legs and shoulders (better than before) and re-do her breast and face topology because Blender 2.80 can’t do subdivision surfaces in any reasonable timeframe.
Well, let me tell you. I started to try to re-rig her legs, but the subdivision surface modifier was so slow that I decided I need to add strategic polys to her mesh to make her more smooth while working with her. Her calves and thighs were relatively straight-forward, but her breasts were a 3x3 grid of quads extruded, which just wasn’t enough around the edges when far from her aereolas.
So I completely deleted that entire part of her chest and re-did it as a flat formless chest, then marked off a 5x5 grid of quads, formed them into the basic shape of a breast, and extruded. Then again and again, making it smaller each time.
Then I did some mumble mumble magic and sculpted them into the proper form.
Okay… now what? Next I had to re-rig her from scratch, because too many mods to the base mesh. While I was at it, I fixed her toes and experimented a bit with her shoulder/hip placement.
After re-creating the rig from the metarig, I was amazed to see that her leg deformation was nearly perfect.
It turns out that between corrective smooth and armature that does not preserve volume, you get some really great deformations right out of the box. Let’s take a look at a few poses, shall we?
The Leg Deformation
And then… just wow.
She’s doing ballet. She’s touching her ankles.
I even decided to put her into some silly spidergirl pose which is anatomically-incorrect, but looks pretty legit anyway.
Try not to look at spider girl’s ankles.
I told you not to look at her ankles, but you looked anyway, didn’t you?
While we’re here looking at things we’re not supposed to look at, let’s take a peek behind the curtains again, and see how I’m achieving all this. To the right is the shot of my workspace from the hero image.
What do I do? I go edit her mesh, highlight the quads that are most problematic in the deform, create a vertex group, then create a corrective smooth that only affects that vertex group. I also have a general full-mesh corrective smooth at the bottom of the modifier stack to catch any other mild/minor problems that my four main ones don’t cover.
I’m having so much fun with these extreme poses. This is literally the first time in 15 years of poking at Blender where I actually have my model so far outside the A pose you wouldn’t know that was the basis.
Here are the four corrective smooths I use to achieve the look:
- Her butt.
- Her arms (shoulders, elbows, wrists)
- Her thighs/upper legs. The front side and a fair bit of her genitals
- Her knees, to catch when her legs are bent a long ways
The butt area has always been a huge problem area for me, and now I’ve almost perfectly solved it. It looks great from most angles and acceptable from nearly every angle.
The Stomach and Shoulders Deformations
I’m really impressed with how well her stomach deforms at the extreme forward bend pose. It folds up, bunches up, and acts pretty much like a stomach really does when a girl bends over like that. At left, an angle that really catches it and makes it obvious. This was merely a happy accident. There are no shape keys involved, it’s just how her mid-section deformed when I put her in that pose.
Just to be clear, there are no shape keys anywhere in any of these poses. Everything I’m doing here I’m achieving with Rigify and corrective smoothing (though I guess I should mention again that I’ve added toes and scapula to the Rigify metarig).
At right, another prettier angle of the pose from above that shows how well the butt corrective smooth does. I don’t have many “from behind” shots of her, because I like to see her face, and seeing her face and her butt from directly behind seem to be incompatible. Perhaps because her neck still deforms a bit oddly, and it is quite time-consuming to get her neck and shoulders lined up for a full 100-130 degree twist.