Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!


Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more


Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

submit tutorial
1 | 2 | 3
Character Production in 3ds Max - Chapter 1

| Your Rating:
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half
(8 Votes)
| Comments 1
Date Added: 17th October 2013
Software used:

The first thing you need to do before starting a project is to have an idea. It doesn't need to be precise from the start and you don't need to have the whole process planned out from the beginning, but you need at least the general direction. In this case I want to do an old musician (old, but still rocking) with a cool attitude. The next step is to gather references to refine the idea and start planning what it is I want to make.

I start by looking at pictures of the Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osbourne, ACDC and then Bruce Springsteen. I'm going to use all of these musical icons as references for this project. The goal is not to recreate any of these characters, but to try to capture their cool and relaxed feel. I also want to create a funny mouth shape and show my old man blowing out smoke, so I gather references to help create that look as well.

The next step is to create the base head to work on. Sometimes I create a very rough head model in ZBrush, which I then sculpt from a cube. When I do this I focus on creating the main features like the eyes, nose and ears etc. I don't add any detail at this point, but take it into 3ds Max and then rebuild the topology using the Polydraw option. Sometimes I just like to start from one of my existing models to save some time. For this model though, I want to build a new, clean base head model with some nice edge loops and make it my new base head model for all my future projects.

Before you start working in 3ds Max it's good to adjust your Units setting (Fig.01). Go to Customize > Units Setup and select Metric for the Display Unit Scale and International for the Lighting Units.

Fig. 01

When I model a head in 3ds Max I just focus on the topology of every part (eyes, nose, etc.,). I don't really concern myself with the overall look of the head, because once the model is done and I'm happy with the edge flow, I know that I will be able to bring that model into ZBrush and deform it the way I want more quickly than I could do it in 3ds Max. It's just something I like to do.

I like to model the head by starting on the inside of the different parts. For example, when modeling the nose I start modeling the inside of the nostril and then expand the geometry out (Fig.02). To do this I change my Reference Coordinate System to Screen so I can now move stuff around based on what I see on the screen. Then I select one or multiple edges and extrude them by holding Shift and dragging them where I want to have them. I apply a Symmetry modifier with the Show End Result feature on so I can see the other side of the nose.


continued on next page >

1 | 2 | 3
Related Tutorials

Robots in ZBrush: Cartoon exosuit

by Pierre Rogers
published on 2016-10-12

Keywords: scifi, robot, character, cartoon, sculpt, zbrush

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (2)
Comments 0 Views 4125

Maya modeling: Modeling the torso

by Jahirul Amin
published on 2013-08-22

Keywords: character, human, torso, modeling,

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half (38)
Comments 5 Views 136199

Know the Basics: ZBrush – part four: FiberMesh and UVs

by Ricardo Manso
published on 2016-09-15

Keywords: Ricardo Manso, ZBrush, basics, tutorial

rating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star none (0)
Comments 0 Views 3479

Bringing Martha to life

by Ricardo Manso
published on 2016-05-02

Keywords: Ricardo Manso, Maya, Martha, caricature, making of

rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star none (12)
Comments 0 Views 9458
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Salma on Tue, 22 October 2013 5:37pm
Great!!no horrible words
Add Your Comment..