The next step is to select the edges that separate the lobe and helix and bridge them by selecting the Bridge tool from the modo Tools menu under the Edge tab. Repeat the same process for the edges that separate the antitragus from the antihelix. You can see the new created geometry in green in Fig.06; this bridges the edges highlighted in yellow.
Modo 401 tip:
If you hold down Ctrl and press 1 or 2 on the keyboard you will gain access to the viewport pie menu. From there you can quickly customize viewport settings and shading styles.
Now let's fill the gap between the helix and antihelix, and the gap between the tragus and helix using the same technique. Select the edges highlighted in yellow, as in Fig.07, and bridge the separated parts. The next thing to do is generated the geometry shown in green in Fig.07.
It's time to give the geometry some depth since until now our auricle model was flat on a Z axis.
Select the loop inside the hole that's left by double clicking on one of the edges in the loop. Now extend the edges along the X axis. To access the Extend tool go to the Edge tab and press Extend. You can also access the tool by pressing Z on the keyboard. Again I am marking edges with yellow and generating geometry in green.
Another way to reactivate the same tool again is to click on the extended edges while holding Shift; do so and reshape the selected border with scale handles to make the ear hole shape as illustrated on the second image in Fig.08. Extend this once again on the X axis to make the ear hole channel and offset it a bit in the Z axis.
Modo 401 tip:
Use Del, 1, 2, 3 etc., on the numerical keyboard to quickly change viewport from perspective to top, font or right view.
The next few steps are going to make this model really pop out so make sure to follow them correctly. First select the group of polygons that form the six auricle parts, as shown in the first image in Fig.09. Now press B on the keyboard to access the Bevel tool, extrude the polygons outward with the blue handle and push the inside by using the red handle.
After that you should have something similar to second image in Fig.09. For the next step select three edges at the center of the antihelix, helix and the ridge that separates these two, as shown in the third image of Fig.09. Now press Alt + C to access the Loop Slice tool and click on the viewport to activate the tool.
Now it's time to make the edges smooth. Maybe the best way to do that is to select the Smooth brush from the Sculpting menu and swipe it across the hard edges with a few gentle strokes, but for those who look for a one click solution here is more straightforward tool. Go to the Deform tab in the modo tools and select Smooth. Set Strength to 1,0 and Iterations to 10 and press Apply. You can also experiment with your own numbers or combine the two techniques mentioned above. Your result should look something like Fig.10.
Now you have all necessary geometry for this frontal part of the auricle and it's time to reshape it into something more organic looking. Modo 401 sculpting tools are all you'll ever need for reshaping, proportioning and sculpting tasks. The sculpting process is not something that can be described step-by-step, but I will do my best to point out the most important moves. In order to do that I marked the areas that should be treated with the Smooth brush with blue, inflated areas with green and areas that should be moved with red. If you want to view your geometry in subdivision, press the Tab key. Take a look at the ear from the front perspective and pull out the middle part of the helix and antihelix.
Since the auricle is slightly rotated outwards in relation to the head you should demonstrate this by rotating it on its Y axis by about 20%. Now all that's left to do is build the back of the auricle. Follow the instructions shown in Fig.12 and select the edges highlighted in yellow to extend them. You should generate geometry that looks like the green polygons in Fig.11.
At the end feel free to upgrade this model as you like by adding more supportive edges or reshaping it with the modo 401 sculpting tools. Using the amazing render inside modo I managed to make a decent render in a couple of minutes (Fig.12). I hope that this tutorial will lead you to similar or better results and see you in the next chapter.
To see more by Anto Juricic, check out Prime - The Definitive Digital Art Collection