My name is Andrew Hickinbottom and I am an experienced character modeler, with a preference for stylized pin-up characters.
I will be using 3ds Max, V-Ray and Photoshop for this series, though the steps can be adapted to suit your preferred software. Basic knowledge of modeling tools and general program functionality are required.
Concept and Reference
During a comic convention I was exhibiting at, a girl called Olivia was my table neighbor. She is an illustrator, and she also does some modeling/photography work. I decided to base a personal piece on her.
Fig.01 shows the main reference photos I took myself. I had a rough idea of the theme and scene – a cheeky life-drawing session, using a nude model in the foreground, a large canvas, and a bright window as compositional elements to frame Olivia.
Fig.02 shows my early attempts to block out some rough pose ideas using ‘Suzie’, a character I made in 2006. I get frustrated trying to sketch my ideas on paper, so it made more sense for me to quickly pose a previously rigged character and take screenshots.
Blocking out the Head
As with most organic things I model, I begin with a box primitive. A TurboSmooth modifier is applied and collapsed, so I am left with a low poly ball made of four-sided polys. I cut it in half, and apply a Symmetry modifier so I only have to work on one side. I select the edge rings around the sphere and use the Connect tool to create extra edges, which smooths it out.
Next, I begin the eyes by chamfering a point to create an eye hole. I use the Cut tool to create a hole for the mouth. The Cut tool is also used to create the basic form of the brow and nose. I cut extra radiating edges around the eye hole to make it rounder and extrude the nose/brow polys. I add an extra edge loop circling the face to smooth it out and to begin a jaw line, and define the mouth hole further (Fig.03).