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Cinema 4D Facial Retopology And UV Workflow Concepts

C4D Modeling, UV, Retopology, Mirroring to preserve A-Symmetry and more.

Length: 2 hours 26 minutes

Introduction video:

Price $49.97

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Chapter Descriptions


This tutorial will be the first of a three part series around texturing and rendering a realistic head in various skin shades. In part 1 of this course, a base head model will be checked for bad topology. A set of teeth will be retopologized and the head will get a UV map. Of course, we will be using Cinema 4D and Unfold3. However, one can follow along in the software of choice.

Mesh Check

After modeling a head, it is always good to check its topology. Usually, the structure of the mesh is a compromise between the requirements for different end goals. For texturing, high resolution detail and rendering, the mesh needs to have even quad topology free of 3 or 5 edge poles. For posing, morphing and rigging, a hi-res mesh will be a handicap and one needs to understand edge loops, so that there are non-uniform quads and the above-mentioned edge poles. Complex edge poles, N-Gons, triangles and isolated points should be avoided at all times. Cinema4d mesh check and project info will be used to correct errors.


A head mesh should always be a-symmetrical in its final stage. Usually, I already have detail sculpted in and the head looking as I had imagined it. For certain operations, I need to temporarily re-symmetrize the mesh without losing its vertex order, e.g. for rigging and weighting your mesh or for creating UV symmetry. The best tools for symmetry (modifying the mesh in mirror mode and recreating symmetry) are Cactus Dan’s symmetry tools.

Retopologize Gum Area

A head is not complete without gums holding in teeth. Holger Biebrach’s workflow scripts, the HB modeling bundle, c4d’s poly pen and sculpt grab tool will be used to retopologize an anatomical model of an upper gum area starting out with an empty mesh.

Retopologize Teeth Area

The same tools as in Chapter 03 will be used to retopologize a set of upper teeth (left side) but this time from an existing mesh, namely a primitive cylinder. When everything is complete a mirror of the teeth will be created to the right side of the face using the CD joint mirror tool which can be found in Cactus Dan’s joint and skin tools.

Exporting Mesh

The head will be exported now as a Wavefront OBJ file. Select Save could be used to export your selected mesh only instead of the entire file. However, Select Save works smoothly for e.g. FBX meshes, but for OBJ’s it is more complicated. Riptide Pro, for example, has many export options for OBJ’s and one can make presets as well. (Select Save, comes in a plugin collection, free plugin)

UV - Sets

This chapter will be a quick overview of making a near stretch-free UV map for the base head in Unfold3d.(Headus UV would do as well!!!). And it will be imported into Cinema4d, again with the help of Riptide Pro.

About The Instructor

Elise Tak is a visual artist, born in the Netherlands and working/living in NYC. Her work has been shown in leading galleries, museums and art institutes all over the world. Articles about her work have appeared in Flash Art, the New York Times, Art magazine a.o. In her art Elise Tak blends day-to-day reality with cinematographic fiction. She uses the imagery of film and popular culture to create a rich fictional and visionary world, while at the same time discussing contemporary, socio-political issues. For over 30 years already she has dedicated herself to the creation of an ever-growing body of work consisting of movie posters, film stills, lobby cards, studio portraits, billboards, set pictures, movie trailers and biographies, featuring the lives and careers of 10 fictional, yet ‘world famous’, movie actors. Elise Tak works in both traditional (color pencil drawings and acrylic paintings) and in digital media. In 1994 she started using a computer, creating ‘digital drawings and paintings’ (using Photoshop). Very soon, 3d software became the perfect medium to create the fictive character actors and their backdrop scenery. Photoshop, Modo, Mari, Substance Painter, 3DCoat, Headus UV and Unfold3d frequently will be supplementing the deficits of Tak’s principal instruments of creativity, zBrush and Cinema 4d. For exhibitions and presentations Elise Tak’s computer works are executed as large, top quality C-prints. By continually experimenting with new developments Elise Tak will always be pushing her own artistic skill to new limits.

Project Contents

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