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The Clumsy Noob shows some modeling steps

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Posted (edited) · The Clumsy Noob shows some modeling steps

Considering that we are basically a printing forum, modeling still comes up a lot. So, I just finished a pain of a sculpt. This does not mean I did not like it, but it did get tedious. And, I am always an advocate, sometimes maybe a bit strongly, for people to learn how to model no matter what your bent of desire may be. Technical, character, abstract, whatever, just learn. It opens up creativity and freedom beyond downloading everybody else's works. I am not against this in practice though. I will download models when I find an exceptional one that I can honestly say that I would not be able to improve upon. Some models out there are just amazing and even better than my modeling skills. Most are just, meh......


But, here I start with a basic philosophy: Make a very basic character 'actor' that I can pose for my starting points. In this case I am using 3DS MAX.

I start off with just a basic figure. During this modeling process, I am using a philosophy of 'edgeloops' for two reasons:

  1. Really easy to bang in the basic shapes
  2. Makes it easier for the next part of the process

Just half a man.....maybe the ex was right after all ?



This makes life much easier to deal with. I only have to make one side and then add a symmetry modifier to complete the other side.



Notice how overly large the latisiumus dorsi is. That will not be so as soon as we add a meshsmooth on it. This is a subdivision modifier and it relaxes the corners.



Now, this is just the beginning of what this guy will do. No real finger definitions or even toes. But he is ready to get 'boned.' Yes, this is a proper term. Getcher mind outta the gutter! There ain't enough room for you AND me! ? Here I am using the CAT Tools (Character Animation Tools) because they are just so danged fast to get done what I want and when I pose this guy, I will be setting keyframes for each pose. One character and I can make as many poses as I need for the individuals in the sculpting phase.



Then I 'skin' him. He was great with a nice chianti and fave beans.....Buh DUM psssshhhhhhhhh


Basically, this slaves the mesh to the bones so that when you move the bones, the mesh follows. Now, keep in mind, I am not refining my skin. I am not doing animation. I just need something that will give me a scaffold, no matter how distorted. This scaffold will keep proportions while being abstract enough to serve as a blank canvas to build upon in the sculpting phase. Time to getcher pose on mah main dood....



And without the bones:



Looks all squiggly. Well, I can see what I want to do and, really, that is all that counts. I am pretty sure that you can see the basic idea too. But, this is all I need to get started. During this phase, I am making poses and capturing mesh copies of each pose to put together as a rough concept. Still plenty of wiggle room though.



Here are the three main poses to start with and I added the basic geometry to become the mound of death......



At this point, I want to also make sure I am working within a scale that will fit my chosen display base. So, I make a display cover to scale and stick the guys in there and make them fit.



Now it is time to start sculpting and make some sense of this abstracty kinda mess I have made. I then import each element into 3D Coat to make the final structures through volumetric sculpting.



This is the isolation of the main character. Since he is the center of focus, I work on him first.



As lumpy as it is at this point, I am beginning with the bone structures and then putting the muscles on top of that. The bones drive everything. This does not mean I will avoid hyperflexing or hyper extension to get more dynamics, but it is always where I start. I have never subscribed to the 'silhouette theory'. I studied the masters and how they would block in a nude figure to find where all the wrinkles and bends would be when draping the figure. here the head has been cut off from the main imported pigure and added a stock 'dummy head' to put all the main parts of the skull and face into place.



Once he is pretty much finished...there is always a bit of back and forth as the idea develops and he has to interact with more and more of the piece, but he is pretty well done....time to stick him with a fork babies.........



Without bogging down too much as there are a lotta steps and such, I want to point out details that I will always model in, even if not noticed. Part of it is following through with the idea. Part of it is that if I decide to move something, the underneath part is still all there. In this case, a thumb in the eye whilst tossing the guy around. Also at this stage, when I have added fingers and toes, they are all akimbo to stress the whole body being shocked with pain, or motion. I supposes they toeses ain't roses..... I had also, by this point, started to really emphasize the troglodyte nature of the other characters. Beatle brows (see what I did there?), Popeye forearms, etc.



As an example of modeling under the parts that may not be seen, here is the boot crushing a face......



The face under the boot......



And de hair be goin' SPLAT.......



As I went through the characters and refined them, I tried to keep each one a bit different in visual response. In this case, he is calling for mommy like a brave lil' troglodyte should.....



This face is not hidden, but not really standing out either. But I do not want to cheat the piece. So, here is the face and head



And as he falls, his luscious trog star hair adds to the dynamics of his movement....that and he is listening to some thrash boot in his noggin after the beating he gots.....



And, not everyone has long, luscious locks to be stroked and fondled.....I am sure even they had male pattern baldness back then....ever notice that all Neanderthal reconstructions show them all with a full set of hair" Bollox I say!!




At the finishing stages I did add a few things....falling clubs from the dying hands of the troglodytes and since I got some CT scans done, I snuck in my own skull, vertebrae and ribs into the piece.


And, the final piece as it stands just before printing.




One side



Mini Version is being printed now at a smaller scale just to hold it. The final will be printed in two parts as it is just too big, even for the S5! Ack!!


Edited by kmanstudios
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Posted · The Clumsy Noob shows some modeling steps

Nice work! Reminds me of a Frazetta painting. Do you add details to figures after they have been posed?  It seems like it would be easier to add the details (facial features, muscles, etc.) when the figures are in a neutral position and then pose them after.

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    Posted · The Clumsy Noob shows some modeling steps

    I add the details at different times since I can rotate around the model in all sorts of ways after the face.


    And, yeah, I was unleashing my inner Frazetta. Everybody in the fantasy/sword and sandals type of art does that quite a lot.

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