22. I apply a new material to the object to see how it looks in a silhouette form. During the whole process of building the model we should be looking out to make sure the silhouette looks interesting, proportionally correct, and as close to the concept as possible. To apply a new material to check this there are two ways, as follows (Fig.22a – Fig.22b):
• The first is to simply press [M] to open the Material Editor and change the diffuse colour of the applied material to pure black. Then deselect the model and view the silhouette.
• The other – and perhaps better – way is to select the model, and above the modifier panel where the model's name is written, click on the colour swatch next to it. This is the colour of the wireframe, the object's default colour without material. If you apply a pure black colour here you can then go to the Display tab (the fifth tab from the left), and click on the checkbox for Object Colour. The model will now be displayed simply with the colour of the object and no lighting. This is very useful for working on the silhouette of the model and versatile in that you can simply switch back to material colour when you want to go back to a lit model view.
23. The legs are going to need some attention before proceeding, and I'm going to start by simplifying the connection between the sticking out bone and that second joint – it's more twisted than I would like it to be for a simple base mesh. I go about reworking the area; I remove a number of edge loops in the bone section, and in the foot also. It's important to think which areas will be deformed during walking or action with the character and put more polygons into those sections. Areas that will always remain static, and especially areas that will remain straight, need far less polygons (Fig.23).
24. Flatten out the bottom of the foot and shape it so it resembles the concept art. It's important to note the foot is basically a hoof, and is solid. There are no toe areas, so the foot will not bend when walking. This means we can reduce the polygons on the topside of the foot by collapsing some edges and forming triangles (Fig.24).
25. Continuing the head, I'm going to put in edge loops that range from the bridge of the nose to the bottom of the chin. Even if it's not perfectly tidy, it's important to block out all the basic topology loops in the face so that we can later alter the shape and quickly add detail by inserting new edge loops (Fig.25). Just as with a nurbs model we might create these sections separately, stitch them together, and then add detail through isoparms.