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3ds Max Character Creation - Chapter 1

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Date Added: 16th May 2014

Head Progression

Continuing with the head, I use the Cut and Edge Connect tools to increase the mesh detail around the eyes, nose and mouth. Eyelids are extruded from the eye edges and the vertices are pulled into shape. The mouth hole is filled, and formed into lips. A neck comprising of an eight-sided cylinder primitive is added and positioned.

It is important to establish tidy topology and an edge loop system as early as you can, so I use Cut to create radiating edge loops from the mouth, which converge at the nose corners. It can be a messy process, with lots of edge removing, pulling of vertices and edge cutting, so be sure to move and collapse any untidy vertices clusters left behind.

I want a very specific crease around her mouth, so the topology is a little unconventional in this instance. I add a sphere primitive with a simple poly color material assignment and positioned it to shape the eyelids correctly. I'll make the eyeballs properly later on.

Next, the nose is smoothed out, simple nostril holes are extruded inwards and shaped, and I start defining the creases around her mouth and cheek. Generally, the whole head is smoothed out and extra edges are added where detail and definition are needed.

A short cylinder primitive is added to form a placeholder for the ears, which I'll model later. The neck is attached to the head by cutting a matching hole on the underside of the head, then attaching the neck object, before finally collapsing the matching points of the two surfaces (Fig.04).


Head Refinement

The head is starting to look pretty good now, and is reasonably defined, so I'll add a TurboSmooth modifier to subdivide it. For the purposes of showing the topology on this image, I'm using Isoline display on the TurboSmooth modifier. Using the same methods as before, as well as Vertex Soft Selection manipulation, I gradually shape and build up the head to how I want it to look.

The eyelid edges are extruded inwards, as are the lips, and creases are sharpened up with the addition of closely placed edges. The eyebrow polygons are currently assigned a temporary sub-object material color, just to help visualize it. Eyelashes are made by extruding the upper eyelid edges outwards, detaching the polys, shaping the points manually, and giving them thickness by adding a Shell modifier.

The ear is shaped and attached using similar techniques to the neck, but I won't go into detail as the headscarf covers most of it, and we barely see it.

The hair comes next. A sphere primitive is placed to form the bulk of her hair. A cylinder begins the form of her headscarf, and a symmetrical strip of edited polys form her front bangs. A bow is made from more edited poly strips. A Shell modifier is added to give thickness. Temporarily adding a Shell modifier above the TurboSmooth modifier allows you to see the subdivided model's edges sharply, before you add any extra loops to tighten up the edge subdivision. The main hair sphere is rotated and bent, so that the hair ?flows' from the crown, and the bangs are shaped into curls using manual point manipulation (Fig.05).


Starting the Body

I'm happy with the head at the moment, so I'm moving on to the body. I will revisit it once I build up the whole model. I begin with a twelve-sided cylinder, which I flatten slightly. I turn it into an editable poly and delete the caps.

Next, I scale and move the edge loops on the body to create a waistline, hips and chest. I add edge loops using the Connect tool to create enough vertical sections to create the shape I need, but I'll keep things simple for now. The left half is deleted, and a Symmetry modifier is added to make it easier to work with. Edge loops are added to increase definition around the chest and shoulders, and a four poly selection is extruded out to form the base of a breast.

Another four poly selection is extruded out and shaped to resemble the shoulders and an eight-sided uncapped cylindrical primitive is positioned to form the arm base. The underside crotch edges are extruded to bridge the gap and the open hip edges are extruded down and shaped to form the thighs.

I then attach the arms by snapping the vertices of an eight-edged hole in the shoulders to the top of the arm cylinder, attaching the object, then collapsing the points along the join. More edges are added to the breasts and hips to smooth them out, and the arms are shaped slightly by adding edge loops (Fig.06).


Body Progress

I spend a while pushing and pulling points around the body to shape it how I want it. Soft Selection is useful, as well as edge constraints, so you can move vertices along edges without disrupting the volume or surface of the model too much.

Once I am happy with the shapes and level of definition, I subdivide it and begin blocking out the boundaries that the clothes will occupy. Her hot pants are defined with colored polygons in a Multi/Sub-Object material assignment. The neckline of her top has been defined with the Cut tool as neatly as I could and separated from the head/shoulders. The torso is looking pretty good now, so I'll move on with the rest of her and come back to it once I see the bigger picture (Fig.07).


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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Johnny Fraser on Sat, 17 May 2014 10:16am
I love Andrew Hickinbottom's work, its amazing. However im a little confused by this tutorial (yes im a noob), i hope someone can help. refer to fig 03 Take a box primative, turbosmooth and collapse, which gives you pretty much 4 quads per face, but then when AH describes using "edge rings" to connect, it being a sphere im not sure where the edge rings are, in anycase, I use the connect tool to make the extra geometry as Mr H does, but look again at Fig03, where did the centre horizontal edge go? Am i meant to delete this? Prior to AH chamfering the eye vertices he has a shpere(oid) with the front plane sporting a 4x3 config........ im lost.
Jemmoh on Fri, 16 May 2014 5:55pm
i like your technique i'd like to exchange modelling ideas with you
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