Adding Details


Adding Details

With Grae's muscles now in place, we can begin to flesh the model out. We'll start at the top and work our way down, adding details as we go, leaving the head, hands, and feet until last.

In the color render, Grae has some impressive definition, but we don't need to model it all. Most of the detail will be drawn on with the texture, we can then use some texture effects to bring the detail out of the model (more on these in Chapter 9, "Texture Painting"). After modeling Kila, you should have a good idea of what to look for when adding particular features to Grae. Here are some reminders:

  • Check for large polygons that make areas look flat and angular. These can be subdivided to smooth the area out while also allowing it to deform better.

  • Keep an eye open for small polygons that add nothing to the overall look of the mesh. As the model will be viewed from a distance for the majority of the time, these can be deleted.

  • Finish with a clean, grid-style mesh, quadrangulating the mesh wherever possible to make it easier to read.

  • Focus on the model as a whole; rotate around it checking its silhouette to make sure the edges flow smoothly.

With these guidelines in mind, let's start with a look at the main part of Grae's body.

Body Detail

The first area we can enhance is at the very top of the model, at the back of the shoulders; you can see in Figure 7.23 that it is presently quite angular for such a large area.

1.

Using the Split Polygon tool, divide up the larger polygons and smooth the area out (Figure 7.23, right).

2.

Next add some detail to his stomach muscles by extruding the faces (Figure 7.24). Select all the faces that make up the stomach area and go to Edit Polygons > Extrude Face. As you move the blue arrow outward, each face will be extruded along its normal, the direction it is facing.

Figure 7.24. Extrude the faces of the stomach for more definition.


Earlier in the book we set Keep Faces Together to always be on (Polygons > Tool Options > Keep Faces Together). With this active, all the extruded faces will be welded, making the stomach area one single mass. In this case, though, we need each face to extrude separately.

3.

Look in the Channel Box for the attribute Keep Faces Together and set it to off. Then use the green and red cubes at the end of each arrow to scale each face inward (Figure 7.24, middle). Finally, smooth the hard edges and you are done (Figure 7.24, right).

Note

If your budget won't allow the extra geometry, you could rely on the texture to add this detail to the stomach instead. Adding a bump map (see Chapter 9), or even a normal map (see Appendix A, "Normal Mapping in Maya"), will give the illusion of detailed geometry, even where there is none. This being said, these two techniques do have their restrictions and cannot always be used effectively.


Figure 7.23. Smooth out the very top of Grae, making the back of his shoulders less angular.


Before continuing, keep looking around the main body for areas you can improve by smoothing and adding detail. Once you are completely happy with the shape, proceed to the next areahis lower legs and feet.

Leg Detail

We skipped the lower legs earlier because there was no point in working on them until now. At the moment, they are pretty basic and are in dire need of some detail, so let's add some.

Lower Legs

As demonstrated in Figure 7.25, we will begin by dividing up this portion of the leg at the first knee-bend. There are sections of large polygons here making the area look flat and angular, so add two divisions above the knee and three more below it. Using the guide images in your image planes, tweak these new divisions to get the correct shape.

Figure 7.25. Divide the flat areas around the knee.


Staying with the knee, let's add some definition. The following steps are illustrated in Figure 7.26.

1.

Select the three faces at the front of the knee (Figure 7.26a).

2.

Use the Extrude Face tool (leaving Divisions set at 1) to pull these faces out (Figure 7.26b).

3.

Select the top of the extrusion and use the Extrude Face tool again, this time setting Divisions to 2. Pull the extrusion upward in front of the leg (Figure 7.26c).

4.

Work on the new faces, collapsing the top edges to create the point (Figure 7.26d). Don't delete the inner, back faces created by the extrusion as these could be seen as the character moves around.

Figure 7.26. Add detail to the front of the knee.


Let's move on to the next joint in his leg, the one at the back. Again, this looks quite angular, so add some new divisions and adjust them to smooth out the joint. As you can see in Figure 7.27, these divisions don't need to go all the way around the leg.

Figure 7.27. Add new divisions to the next joint.


With the overall shape of the leg in place, we can next work in some more detail, adding the knuckle to the back of the leg.

Back Leg Knuckle

Let's begin by adding the top part of the knuckle. Do this by extruding the three faces shown in Figure 7.28 and then adjusting the vertices to get the right shape.

Figure 7.28. Extrude the faces at the back of the leg to create the knuckle.


The final leg area we will build, before moving on to the foot, is just below the knuckle at the back of the leg. This is where the first claw will exist. You can add this easily using a procedure (Figure 7.29) similar to that just used to create the knee.

Figure 7.29. Add extra geometry so you can create the root for the leg claw.


The Foot, with Three Toes and Claws

Now we've arrived at Grae's foot. Currently no geometry exists for this, so, following Figure 7.30, extrude the edges at the bottom of the lower leg and scale them to fit the general shape of the foot. Then switch to the front view and scale the vertices again, so that the bottom-front of the leg matches what you see in the image plane.

Figure 7.30. Add new divisions to the next joint.


Next, we are going to create the three toes, so save your current model and start a new scene. All three toes are the same, so we can save time by creating one toe and then duplicating it for the other two.

1.

In the new scene, create a cube with a Width and Height of 1 and a Depth of 3. Set Subdivisions Along Width to 2, Subdivisions Along Height to 3, and Subdivisions Along Depth to 5 (Figure 7.31a).

Figure 7.31. Sculpt the toe from a basic cube and add a claw.


2.

Following Figure 7.31b, select four faces on the top nearest the front.

3.

Extrude these faces up, making sure that the extrusion has four divisions (Figure 7.31c).

4.

Sculpt the block, making the shape of the toe.

To complete the toe, we will create a claw that sits on the tip. The claw is constructed out of a simple cylinder, which is then tapered to create the point. You can see the finished toe in Figure 7.31e.

5.

Create a cylinder with Subdivisions Around Axis set to 4 and Subdivisions Along Height set to 3.

6.

Remove the bottom faces that create the cap.

7.

Weld all the top vertices together to create the point.

8.

Adjust the other vertices to create the claw shape then position it where the claw should be.

9.

Finally combine the toe and the claw.

Clean up the scene and save as Grae_Toe.mb.

Now let's bring the toe into the same scene as the main model and combine them.

1.

Load your current Grae model and import the toe into the scene.

2.

Position the central toe first. Then duplicate it twice for the other two (Figure 7.32), making sure you rotate the outer ones out slightly so all three toes aren't parallel.

Figure 7.32. Import the toe and duplicate it, creating three.


3.

Combine all the toes with the main model so we can stitch them together, creating a single piece of geometry.

4.

Remove all the rear faces from the main foot, as seen in Figure 7.33 (left).

Figure 7.33. Stitch the toes to the foot.


5.

Use the Append to Polygon tool to fill in the gaps between the foot and the toes (Figure 7.33, right).

6.

To finish Grae's leg, spend some time adding detail to the main foot. Fill in and round the bottom, adding hooflike creases to the front, as shown in Figure 7.34.

Figure 7.34. Add definition to the foot.


Now create a mirrored instance of the foot and have a look at the model as a whole. Ask yourself if the model looks correcthow are the proportions? Then make any necessary adjustments.

When done, delete the history and save as Grae_WithFeet.mb.

Creating Grae's Hands

Each of Grae's upper arms is quite different from the other, so we will tackle the hands next because these are the last parts of the model that are similar. This will bring the arms to a stage where we can edit them separately.

We are not going to waste time creating the hands from scratch, since we already have a hand model we can use: Kila's. We'll chop the hand off Kila's latest model, adjust it, and use it for Grae.

1.

Load the last version of Kila you worked on, Kila_DeformTest.mb.

2.

As illustrated in Figure 7.35, select the faces that make up her left hand.

Figure 7.35. Select the faces you want to extract.


3.

Go to Edit Polygons > Extract and open up the options for this tool. Make sure that Separate Extracted Faces is checked, and then click Extract.

4.

The hand is now detached. Select it and go to File > Export Selection, and save the file as KilaOpHand.mb.

5.

It's best to edit this hand while it's in its own scene, so load the hand file you just exported.

To make the hand easier to edit, it should first be leveled out. The best way to do this is to select all of its vertices and correct the rotation, first in the top view and then the front. Note that this correction has already been done to the file of the same name on the CD (07 Kila_OpHand.mb).

With Kila's hand leveled out and ready to edit, we can proceed to adjust it to become Grae's. In the artwork, it looks like he only has two joints in each finger, whereas Kila's fingers (like ours) have three.

TIP

If you are unsure about any specifications check with your manager. Even something as simple as one fewer joint could create problems if you make an incorrect assumption.

6.

Remove the extra polygons used for the third joints of each of Kila's fingers (Figure 7.36, middle).

Figure 7.36. Edit Kila's hand to get Grae's.


7.

With these polygons removed, go ahead and alter the hand until it looks more like Grae's (Figure 7.36, right).

When you're finished, save the new hand as Grae_Hand.mb.

As you can see, you can easily achieve other, different hand styles by altering one base hand. There is no need to remodel a new hand completely from scratch. Next we will attach this new hand model to Grae's arm in the main model.

1.

Load the file called Grae_WithFeet.mb.

2.

Import the new hand into the scene, manipulating it until it's the correct size and has the proper orientation and position.

3.

Combine the hand with the rest of the geometry and weld the wrist area, making it solid and removing any gaps (Figure 7.37).

Figure 7.37. Import and attach Grae's new hand.


Save the file as Grae_WithHands.mb before you continue.

Arm Detail

With Grae's hands in place, we can now work on the rest of his arms. This time, since the arms are very different, we will first need to create two separate arms.

1.

Remove the mirrored instance, if you have one, and then select the faces that make up the left arm (Figure 7.38). As it's mainly the lower arms that are different, we only need to select the polygons from the middle of the upper arm.

Figure 7.38. Detach the main part of the left arm.


2.

As you did with the hand, go to Edit Polygons > Extract to separate the arm from the torso.

3.

The pivot for the arm will automatically be in the center of the world, so you can safely duplicate and mirror it without any adjustments. Select the arm and go to Edit > Duplicate, making sure you have set the Scale value in the options to 1.

4.

To finish, delete the history on all three meshes and freeze the transformations, which will reset the 1 Scale value back to 1.

5.

To help balance things out, create a mirrored instance of the main body.

As you can see in Figure 7.39, you now have a full character againbut you can now work on each arm independently. So let's add the arm detail.

Figure 7.39. The full character with separate arms


Figure 7.40 shows the progression of the left arm. Carve in the detail around the upper arm before using extrusions to create the two spikes.

Figure 7.40. Add detail to the left arm.


Following Figure 7.41, work on the right arm. Thin down the upper section before using a cylinder to create the area underneath.

Figure 7.41. Add detail to the right arm.


Look around the whole mesh now for any other spots where you can add definition or improve the shape (Figure 7.42). When you are completely happy, save your work and move on.

Figure 7.42. The Grae character so far


Giving Grae a Face

We have arrived at the final part of the main model for Grae, the face. To create Grae's face, including the open mouth with all those menacing teeth, we will follow the same procedure we used for Kila's more agreeable countenance in Chapter 3.

Outer Face

Figure 7.43 illustrates the following instructions for creating the majority of Grae's face.

1.

Begin by selecting the polygons that make up the face, and subdivide them by going to Edit Polygons > Subdivide (Figure 7.43b).

2.

Work on the head vertices until you get the general shape (Figure 7.43c).

3.

When you're happy with the overall shape, move on to the mouth. Build in the lips, and remove polygons to create the cavity of his open mouth (Figure 7.43d).

4.

Carve in the eyes by cutting the outline into the mesh and deleting the inner faces (Figure 7.43e). Create a sphere to act as a dummy eye so you can achieve the correct shape for the eyelids.

5.

Finally, work on the whole head, making adjustments until it is correct.

Figure 7.43. Building Grae's face


Teeth and Inner Mouth

With the outer face complete, we can build Grae's mouth, gums, and teeth. To begin, we will create a tooth the same way we created the claws for his feet. Then we can proceed to create the rest of his mouth, including his gums and inner mouth.

1.

Create a basic cylinder with Subdivisions Around Axis set to 4 and Subdivisions Along Height set to 3.

2.

Remove the top faces that create the cap of the cylinder.

3.

Weld all the base vertices together to create the point.

4.

Adjust the other vertices to create the tooth shape.

5.

Position the first tooth as shown in Figure 7.44 on the left. Then duplicate it for the rest of the teeth on the left side of Grae's mouth, scaling the new teeth to match the concept sketch.

Figure 7.44. Create the teeth on the left first.


Grae's upper gums are visible in the concept artwork, so we'll follow Figure 7.45 to build the gums into the teeth area.

1.

Hide all the surrounding geometry, leaving just his teeth visible.

2.

Combine all the teeth, making them a single object (Figure 7.45a).

3.

Select the top-front row of edges and extrude them upward with three divisions (Figure 7.45b).

4.

Weld the vertices between the upper edges of the gums and the top of the teeth.

5.

Adjust the new faces, creating the appearance of gums (Figure 7.45c).

6.

Finally, duplicate and mirror the teeth, giving you the right side. Combine the two sides and weld the vertices down the center (Figure 7.45d).

7.

To create the inner mouth, unhide the head geometry and extrude the edges around the lips inward to form the inside of the cheeks and throat. Remember to weld the back vertices so you can't see through the model.

Figure 7.45. Combine the teeth and build in the gums.


Follow the procedure in the section "The Tongue" in Chapter 4 to build Grae a tongue. Alternatively, you could import Kila's and scale it up.

To finish off the head we need to give him some eyes. We can use the same method for creating them as we did with Kila in the section "Modeling the Eye" in Chapter 4. (Or we could just use the eye we've already made for her and import it into Grae.)

Grae's head is now complete (Figure 7.46).

Figure 7.46. The completed face of Grae