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Low-Poly Character Modeling and Texturing

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(Score 4.59 out of 5 after 78 Votes)
Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:

Next is the torso

For the torso, we'll do it a little different. Instead of unwrapping and then adding symmetry on top, we'll unwrap the whole torso already mirrored. So you can right-click on the symmetry modifier and collapse all right now.

It's a lot easier to hide symmetrical textures on the legs or shoes then it is to hide them on the front of a shirt. Perfectly symmetrical cloth wrinkles on a shirt front often look bad, so we're only going to mirror portions of the texture.

Start out by putting an Unwrap UVW modifier on the torso, expand the + sign so you can select Face, select the entire model and click the Cylindrical button. Move and Scale the gizmo so that it fits the torso as best as possible.

Next change to Vertices select mode, and click the Edit button.

My plan is to mirror the sides and the back, but leave the front as it is. First I selected half the back, detached it (Ctrl+D) and then Flipped it horizontally and moved it over top of the other half of the back.

Next I selected the half of the side on the right that I wanted to share UVs with the other half. I Detached them (Ctrl+D) Flipped them horizontally, and moved them over to the portion of the other side that matched them.

There was one more thing I needed to tweak on it before I could consider it done. The faces that make up the shoulder are very small in the UV unwrap because they're at an angle from where the projection was coming from,
so they're very stretched in comparison to the rest. So I selected the verts of the collar and pulled them upwards to increase the length of the UVs for the shoulders.

Once I'm satisfied with the unwrap I fit it into the square, render a UV image, save it, close the edit window, and right-click on the Unwrap UVW modifier and choose Collapse All.


And now we move onto the Arm

So select the arm. It should be by itself since we detached it from the torso. You can wait until you're done with the unwrapping to put a symmetry modifier on it. For now put the Unwrap UVW modifier on it from the Modifier List, expand the + and click Face selection mode and select the entire arm.


Click the Cylindrical button. None of the automatic axis will actually line up with the arm's angle. Instead rotate and move the gizmo until it's about the correct angle and then click the Fit button and it'll hug the arm better. Check from multiple angles to see if you're getting the best angle on the arm.

Also remember to scale (make sure it's set to scale on Local Axis) so the checkers are closer to square.

When you've got the gizmo to the best size and shape you can, click the cylindrical button again to deactivate it and click the edit button to open the UV Edit window.

Just like with the pants, the edge that's in the center of the inner side is the one that we want the seam to fall on.
Go to vertices selection and select any faces that are on the wrong side of the seam that should be on the other
side, Detach (Ctrl+D) and Move them to the other side.

Clean up any stretching or squished areas, and when you're done, freeform transform it into the square, render the UV texture out, save it, close the edit window, and collapse the stack.


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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Glenn Campbell on Mon, 15 February 2016 11:28pm
The best 3DS Max tut online. Superbly handled and capable of engaging users at all levels of experience. A great deal of work went into this, a great deal of expertise was shared freely and by far and away the most effective, interesting, absorbing and enriching short course of its kind on the internet. My sincere gratitude for your efforts; I trust your career has since been nothing short of meteoric, as I'm certain mine will be, influenced as it is by you. That was awesome and more fun than you can shake a stick at.
Maru on Sat, 27 December 2014 4:20pm
Thank you for the tutorial! I would like to ask about a little detail, since I've just started using 3d max, it's quite confusing for me. Well, it's about the first step in the second page. I connected the two vertical edges of the foot, but i don't know how you got all the other edges :s Would you please explain it to me?
Again on Thu, 06 February 2014 11:06pm
Best tutorial for unwrapping !!! lots of usefull tips !!!
SEMO on Mon, 01 July 2013 10:14pm
great tutorial , can i make one by max scripts that include all process in order if i want to use this script in making human models ?
Chris on Mon, 03 June 2013 12:59am
Nice tutorial, very informative! I recommended this to some fellow students for a project we are doing. Well done!
Sudhir on Sun, 31 March 2013 3:39am
Very good tutorial for beginers I've made the same thing in 3ds max
Kjuu on Sun, 25 March 2012 4:03pm
Great tutorial. I'm just starting with 3d graphic and that helped me alot. Thanks! PS. XellD, it's much easier to use planes and apply images on them. Then you can easily manage their size.
Sizza on Mon, 27 February 2012 10:03am
A very in depth tutorial, just what I'm looking for, need to download 3DS MAX to try it! Thanks for your time making this.
ErroR on Sat, 25 February 2012 3:27pm
Excellent tutorial. Covers everything in-depth while keeping it pretty simple. Will definitely try this soon. Thanks!
Djcliverson on Thu, 26 January 2012 10:40pm
Great tutorial, these were my first few days of 3d graphics, and you teached me really a lot, easy and funny, thank you so much
Tanbeen Amin on Tue, 17 January 2012 10:26am
Thank you very much for your tutorial... :) i needed this ..!
XellD on Tue, 03 January 2012 12:08am
OK, i don't know if this is still recently read, but I got stuck already on the first page. When I add Backgrounds for front and left viewport (even if I take yours), they end up not being the same height for the feet (also both pictures have the same resolution and so on, as you mentioned). I found many people on forums having the same problem: the background image cannot be aligned inside of 3DS Max. What can I do about that?
Krisu on Wed, 21 December 2011 4:32pm
That is what i was looking for, this kind of tutorials! Thanks you all so much! >_
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