Muscle Line Mapping

We now have a shape that resembles Grae, although it still needs a lot of work. He is quite a muscular character, so it's important that we map the muscle lines at this stage, sculpting in some of the more prominent muscles on his torso and upper arm.

Mapping the muscle lines will improve the model not just visually, but technically as well. Creating polygons that follow the correct muscle structure will help when it deforms laterthe polygons will deform correctly and give the impression of real muscles moving under the skin.

The Chest, Shoulder, and Arm

Let's begin work on the upper body by mapping his chest; then we'll move across to work on his armpit, shoulder, and arm.


Following Figure 7.14, add more detail to the chest, making it more pronounced. Carve in the collarbone, just above it.

Figure 7.14. Add a bit more detail to Grae's chest.


Add further definition to the front of Grae's shoulder before working on the armpit. The shoulder needs to be nicely rounded when it deforms, so add an extra division to help smooth out the area (Figure 7.15).

Figure 7.15. Defining the shoulder and armpit


Now start on the front of his arm. Use the Split Polygon tool to carve in the muscles, as seen in Figure 7.16.

Figure 7.16. Carve in the muscle lines at the front of his arm.


Following Figure 7.17, move around to the back of the arm, working on the shoulder. Don't be afraid to alter the shape of the arm slightly if the character needs it.

Figure 7.17. The back of the arm and shoulder

When you're satisfied with the chest, shoulder, and arm, we will proceed to map the muscles of his torso.

The Torso

Let's work on his back first.


Delete the edges highlighted in Figure 7.18 (middle). This will clean the back up to get it ready for carving in the muscle detail. This is illustrated in Figure 7.18 (right).

Figure 7.18. Map the muscles to the back.


Rotate around to Grae's front, and incorporate the stomach muscles. As happened with the back, you'll need to do some cleanup. Follow Figure 7.19 and divide the polygon that makes up his chest so you can add more shape to it, making it less flat and angular.

Figure 7.19. Split polygons to add the stomach muscles.

We are finished with the upper body, so let's move on to his legs.

The Legs

At this point, we will add the muscles to the upper legs only, as shown in Figures 7.20 and 7.21 (top). We won't do the lower part of the legs because they need quite a bit of work done to them, coming up in the section, "Adding Details." If we added muscle lines now, we'd just lose them.

Figure 7.20. Cut the muscles into the front of the upper legs.

Figure 7.21. Move around to the back, adding muscles and detail to the legs and backside.

While we are here working on the legs, we can also improve Grae's backside (,bottom). Notice the three large polygons just below the base of his spine. Divide these and work on the overall area to smooth it out.

The basic muscles are mapped onto Grae now, and we have added definition to some areas, smoothing them out to make them look more complete (Figure 7.22).

Figure 7.22. Grae with muscles mapped

Save Grae in his current state as Grae_Muscles.mb. He's coming along nicely, so let's start adding some details.

    Game Character Development with Maya
    Game Character Development with Maya
    ISBN: 073571438X
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2004
    Pages: 169
    Authors: Antony Ward

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