Thursday, 4 October 2012

Modelling a Biped for Rigging

We were given an alien T-pose drawing by our Maya tutor. We were asked to create a 3D character model to be rigged, animated and presented on a turntable. After we were given a quick refresher on some of the important modelling tools in Maya, we were left to figure out how to model the character. I enjoyed this approach, as I found it encouraged me to experiment with the tools.

This was the first I had modelled a full humanoid model. Instinctively I placed a polygon cube and began modelling from the centre of gravity (The stomach). I worked on creating one half of the model for the geometry to be mirrored when complete. I mainly used the extrude tool to follow the contours of the drawing, and found myself often tweaking the vertexes. I was constantly thinking about the edge flow and how my model would bend when rigged. The 'insert edge loop' tool came in useful when adding in extra loops particularly around joints. When the model became more complex, usually when working on the head of my character, I found the 'interactive split tool' gave me more freedom when adding in extra edges and vertices.

One problem I faced was trying to model the face after I had created the neck and skull. With the transparent view on, all the edges were visible, making the front view appear confusing. I was able to complete my model by constantly referring to the perspective view, however in future, perhaps it would be much easier to begin by modelling the face and then model the rest of the body.

Finally, after mirroring the geometry of my model, the head merged fine, however, the body left a large gap running down the centre. When modelling I must have not completed the body up to the line of symmetry. To resolve this, I used the 'merge edge' tool. It almost felt as if I was sewing up the gap, completing my model. I also isolated the main body on a separate layer to the eyes, keeping my work organised and giving me the ability to make certain layers invisible when rigging:

Un-smoothed Showing Polygons.

With Smooth Preview.

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