In this first part of this tutorial we will cover some basic techniques that will allow you to easily and efficiently model the human ear. Following step-by-step instructions won't be quite enough on their own to make this happen, but a true understanding of shapes and the relation between them can lead you to a successful model of an ear.
So let's say few words about the anatomy of the ear. The ear is a very complex organ both in its function and shape, but fortunately for artists most of the hearing organ is hidden inside the skull and only the outer part is visible. So we are going to model the outer part of the ear, which we are going to call the auricle.
Unfortunately it's impossible to save artists from Latin names because learning these names can be truly helpful when it comes to modeling such complex shapes. Although the auricle is made up of 15 or more different parts, for the sake of simplicity I will cut it down to the most basic ones that form the primary and secondary shapes. The most expressive and longest part of the ear is the helix, which is the green part of Fig.01. As you can see it curves from the earlobe around the auricle and ends almost inside the center of it.
Next to it is the antihelix (blue area). This is cartilage that is Y shaped and ends at the upper helix. The superior and inferior crus is between the antihelix legs and is a triangular shaped cavity called the triangular fossa (orange).
Surrounded by the helix and antihelix is the superior concha (yellow), which is divided from its lower part – the inferior concha – by the end of the helix.
The bottom of this cavity is surrounded by the Tragus and anti-tragus (light blue).
At the bottom of the auricle is the lobe (pink), a soft cushion that hangs almost freely from the antitragus. There are a few parts that cover areas in between, but in order not to overload this tutorial with Latin names I have simplified the auricle into these six major parts. When modeling the ear most of the smaller parts will be generated by bridging edges between major parts.
I guess now it's time to do some modeling but before that we should do some planning. The plan is to make an image plane that we are going to use as a template for laying down polygons using the Pen tool in modo 401. So the next step is to lay down the blueprint for the polygons as you can see in Fig.02.
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