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Creating a low-poly pilot like character, Part1: Sculpting

By Knut Austegard
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
3ds Max

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Next up is the fingers. Use an 8 sided cylinder with 5 segments for each finger. Extrude the two polygons where the nails are out a couple units. Build the hand like on the image below. Use the same tecnique on the backside of the hand.

Copy one of the fingers (shift-dragging the polygons and alighn it to the thumb). Explaining the process of building the polygons around it will be hard so you'll have to set with these images. The Thumb is marked in red, seen from different angles.

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Rotate the arm 90 dgrees on the Y-axis in the top viewport and move it up to to shoulder height, obviously We need 10 vertices when connecting the tho parts. These 10 edges will do perfectly fine. With them selected, add a Spherify modifier to the stack and set its value to 25% (1). This roundens things a bit. Add an Edit Mesh modifier and select the 6 polygons you just spherified. Extrude them out a bit and delete the original 6 polygons. Use the Target-Weld tool to weld the 10 new vertices to the 10 on the arm (2). Also make a new segment on the shoulder by chamfering the edge-circle closest to it (3). Dont forget to set the hole jacket to Smooth Group 1. If you want you can highlight the shoulder vertives and add a Relax modifier to smoothen ot out a bit.

Now if you look at the upperbody, it didnt looks so awfully cool did it? :| The jacket looks very tight and uncomfortable. Lets make the arms a bit thicker and decrease the size of the sleeve. First select the ring of edges (1), chamfer them, and scale them individually (2). Then select all the sleeve vertices, scale them down, and stretch it again on the X-axis (3 and 4). Also make the arm thicker by scaling the vertices (4).

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Create yet another 10 sided cylinder and place it at the neck. Rotate it 90 degrees (Z-axis). Set it to 3 segments convert it to Edit Mesh, delete the top, botton and right polygons and use an FFD 3x3x3 modifier to make it fit the sketch. Attach it to the body and target weld the vertf from the chest to the neck. Note the vertice i circled, here you'll have to target weld two vertices, not only 1. Neck is marked in red. There are countless ways of making a head, so I'll just have to pick one :) First we're gonna make the goggles, then build our way down to the neck. We'll make the goggles with another approach. Make a Box in the front viewport, Length=16, Width=25 and Height=3. If you wonder where I got these numbers from, then I'll have to dissappoint you with saying that there is no magic involved, just pure guessing while having your goal in mind.

Enough Ranting, lets move on. Shape the box like tshown on the picture. Highlight the 3 polygons on the front-left and extrude them out 0.1 units. Then bevel them -1.5 units, extrude them out a bit, 3 units works fine, and finally scale the polys down a bit. Set the "Glass" polygons to Smooth Group 1 and the "Leather" polygons to 2. Delete the polygons on the back as we will not see these, and the two on either side.

Add a bend modifier to the goggles. Set its Bend Axis to Z, Angle to 80 degrees and dont forget to place the bend gizmo at 0 on the X-axis (Front or Top viewport).Add an Edit MEsh modifier to the stach and make the rest of the goggles by shift dragging the 3 edges on the right in a cicular bane around the head. Also decrease the "Height" (remember you set it to 3 units) to about half of the original. Notice that I changed the glasses' pointing direction to something more forward. Dohis by moving the vertices manually.

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The nose is extruded from the edge closest to the middle under the goggles. Make it about as wide as to the beginning of the glass part on the goggles.

For the mouth, create a 16 sided cylinder with 4 segments, with the center of it in the corner of the mouth. Delete top, bottom and right polygons, attach it to the body, and use the scale tool on the 1st, 3rd and 5th set of vertices to shape the lips. Add an FFD 3x3x3 modifier and use it to make an little smile on the lips. Move and weld the verts as shown on the picture, and shift-drag the corner of the mouth down.

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Weld the 3 vertices as seen on the next picture. The chin is made by extruding edges as seen here.

Connect the nose and the mouth by building a polygon between them. Also create 3 polygons between the mouth and the coggles. With only these three polygons selected, either A: Add a Slice modifier to the stack. The original slice tool creates unneccesary vertices, so we'll have to use the modifier, or B: Use the Cut tool to split the three polygons. If you want perfectly straight cuts which is not the case here, I suggest using the Slice modifier. Make sure the polygons are set to a Smooth Group 2 before you start. Move the vertices where you made the cuts around so it looks like real cheekbones. Clean up where the nose meets the cheeks by building new polygons manually. Also throw on a Relax modifier at the corner of the mouth to smoothen it out a bit.

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The prcess of making the ears is not that hard. Create two polygons behind the mouth area and use the edge you see up there in the corner to make a 6 edged half-circle which represents the ear. Also make an extra line of polygons behind the ear.

I decided not to make the hair as wild if you dont mind me using that word, as on the sketch, only a big lump which will have a hair-texture. These 4 steps explain how the hair is made. Set the hair polygons to Smooth Group 3.

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