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Modeling the Human Figure

By Peter Ratner
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Date Added: 6th February 2007
Software used:
3ds Max

782_tid_fig12.jpg
Fig. 6-12 Steps 57-61. 57). Dividing and moving points for the upper part of the ear bowl. 58). Splitting polygons and moving points to make the ear flap. Smoothing the section between the ear and the head. 59). Dividing and moving points to refine the shape of the ear flap. 60). Splitting and pushing/pulling points to complete the ear. 61). Mirror duplicating the half head. If necessary, refining parts of the head with Symmetry on.

Step 57. (Figure 6-12). Model the small dimple at the top of the inside ear after splitting some of the polygons.

Step 58. (Figure 6-12). Sculpt the ear flap after dividing polygons. Make the transition between the ear and the side of the head smooth. It should appear seamless.

Step 59. (Figure 6-12). Continue modeling the axis. Mirror duplicate the half head and make sure the points are merged at the center seam. If needed, with Symmetry on finish the head by moving points.



Modeling the Torso

The chest is built around the bony structure of the ribs, spine, shoulder blades, collarbone, and breastbone (Figure 6-13). These bones support the muscles and protect the internal organs. In its most basic form, the chest is cone shaped. Twelve ribs on each side form the walls of the upper torso. Each rib fastens to the spine, and the top nine are also attached to the breastbone in front. The upper torso bones greatly influence the muscles. These bones will often show on the surface and affect the outside structure. Modeling the chest incorporates this bony framework. The collarbone and shoulder blades define the top shape of the chest and make it seem wider than it is. The movement of the shoulder bones appears significantly noticeable under the skin. The spinal column is discernible in the center of the back. The breastbone forms a flat downward wedge in the middle of the chest. The lower part of the ribs is often visible along the forward sides of the chest.

782_tid_fig13.jpg
Fig. 6-13 The upper body skeleton.

The pelvic area contains the hipbone which influences the pattern of the muscles, hence determining the shape of the lower abdomen. On the sides you can usually feel and see the upper contour of the pelvis. All the actions that the human body is capable of originate in the back of the lower torso. From the hips and pelvis, these movements are transmitted up and down the entire body.

The Muscles of the Torso

782_tid_fig14.jpg
Fig. 6-14 The muscles of the neck.

The visible muscles of the front neck start behind the ears, angle toward the center of the breastbone and attach to the collarbone (Figure 6-14). The back of the neck has a large triangle-shaped muscle named the trapezius. It supports the weight of the head in the back.

The chest muscles proceed outward toward the arms to form the front wall of the armpit (Figure 6-15). The trapezius muscle that originates at the base of the skull radiates across the back of the neck toward the shoulders and down where it converges in the middle of the back.

It is interesting to note that muscles do not end at the joints. Rather, they cross over them to attach to bones on the other side. Mobility would be impossible if the muscles did not cross over joints. Since the muscles become thinner at the joints, beginners often think muscles end there. So the tendency is to draw, sculpt, or model the figure as if it was made up of separate sections. Sometimes this is called the "sausage-link syndrome".

A vertical central groove divides the front part of the torso. It originates at the pit of the neck and ends at the navel. To the artist it is useful for placing the masses of the chest.

782_tid_fig15.jpg
Fig. 6-15 The muscles of the upper body.

When the arms are raised, the abdominal or thoracic arch becomes a highly visible form below the rib cage. It almost acts as a line separating the upper torso from the lower one. The upper part of the torso is more bony in appearance while the lower torso has a fleshier look. The waist is high on the female and the buttocks form a butterfly shape.


Modeling the Torso Steps

782_tid_fig16.jpg
Fig. 6-16 Torso Steps 1-10. 1). Selecting or making a polygon at the bottom of the neck and beveling it down. 2). Starting the torso shape by making it broader. 3). Slicing across in several places and moving points in at the waist. 4). Dividing polygons some more for extra points that are moved to improve the torso. 5). Dividing polygons and pulling/pushing points to make the neck and collarbone. 6). Splitting polygons at the upper back to form the shoulder blades. 7). Merging polygons in the breast area and beveling outward. 8). Beveling the breasts again and forming the shape around the nipples. 9). Beveling several times to make the nipples. Dividing the breast polygons and moving points to improve its shape. 10). Splitting polygons and pushing/pulling points to form the lower ribs and navel.

Step 1 (Figure 6-16). At the base of the neck, select the polygon or create one first from the points there. Bevel it down to the groin area.

Step 2 (Figure 6-16). With Symmetry on, make the torso wider.

Step 3 (Figure 6-16). Slice across polygons to divide them. Move the extra points to create rough shape of the torso.

Step 4 (Figure 6-16). Split polygons on the torso again and model the curves of the back and sides.

Step 5 (Figure 6-16). At this point you can delete half the torso along the 0 x axis. You should find it easier to just work on one half and later mirror duplicate it. The illustrations show both halves so they can be seen in relationship to each other. Divide polygons at the front of the neck and upper torso. Push/pull points to shape the neck and collarbone.

Step 6 (Figure 6-16). Model the shoulder blades after splitting polygons.

Step 7 (Figure 6-16). Merge the polygons at the breast and arrange the points to form a round shape. Bevel extrude this polygon.

Step 8 (Figure 6-16). Bevel out again so that the polygon becomes smaller where the nipple begins. Remember that the breasts point outward and the nipples up.

Step 9 (Figure 6-16). Bevel the nipple out and in about 4 times. Weld the points at the tip. Refine the shape of the breast. You may need to mirror the torso just to see the relative distance between the two breasts. Of course their shape varies a great deal and should be proportional to the size of your model.

Step 10 (Figure 6-16). Split and model the polygons of the lower ribs and navel.





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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 175148, pid: 0) Sameer on Mon, 07 January 2013 7:35am
Very very informative... thanks a lot!
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(ID: 74051, pid: 0) PETER HOFTYZER on Tue, 27 December 2011 7:06pm
FINALLY A STRAIGHT FORWARD TUTORIAL ON THE BODY. THANK YOU
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