Building the hips, legs, and feet
Video: Building the hips, legs, and feetThe hips are another area that require special attention, because of the way the legs can move in complex ways. We'll be setting up a flow zone for the hips that follows major creasing and bending angles. Let's look at what it is we are trying to accomplish with the hips. I am going to zoom in here and hit Alt+W to go see the reference full screen. Notice the diagonal nature of the edge flow with the hips. This is because the legs rotate around the angle that goes from the crotch up to the hip. Creases also form along this line, so it's natural to put the edge flow in that direction.
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Modeling a Character in 3ds Max with Ryan Kittleson covers the process of designing and building a 3D human character that can be used for feature film, broadcast, and games. The course begins with an overview of the 3ds Max tools and techniques used in character modeling, and how human anatomy is represented using 3D geometry. Once this foundation is in place, the rest of the course goes step by step through the actual process used to model a simple human character from the ground up, including facial features, musculature, and details such as hair and clothing.
- Extruding edges and faces
- Working symmetrically
- Setting up the image planes
- Creating the basic facial structure and features
- Modeling and fleshing out the body
- Creating the hair with extruded NURBS curves
- Modeling clothes
- Putting on finishing touches
- Understanding UVW maps and seams
- Dealing with UVW maps across multiple objects
Building the hips, legs, and feet
The hips are another area that require special attention, because of the way the legs can move in complex ways. We'll be setting up a flow zone for the hips that follows major creasing and bending angles. Let's look at what it is we are trying to accomplish with the hips. I am going to zoom in here and hit Alt+W to go see the reference full screen. Notice the diagonal nature of the edge flow with the hips. This is because the legs rotate around the angle that goes from the crotch up to the hip. Creases also form along this line, so it's natural to put the edge flow in that direction.
Let's go into the Perspective view. I will continue building from where we left off in the last video. Go ahead and select the edges at the waste and continue extruding them down to the hips. I'll hit Q to go into just Select mode, so we don't have that thing in our way. All right, I am just going to Shift+Move down to extrude these edges, and let's tweak the vertices to fit the reference better.
So notice how I've got the edges lined up with crease that forms from the crotch that goes up to the hip. I also want to take a look at the back side. There is also going to be the same line that forms the crease underneath the buttocks, so I am actually going to make this line a little bit more horizontal here. I'll tweak this shape and make it a little bit nicer. Now on to the legs. We can't really extrude legs out of what we have right now, because there's no divider in the crotch that would separate the two limbs. Let's make some new edge loops so that we have a place to build the crotch.
I'm going to get out of Vertex mode, and let's go up to Graphite Modeling Tools > Edit and get Swift Loop. And I just want to create a new loop, kind of up the middle of the chest, down to the crotch on the front side and then also on the backside, and then kind of down the spine. Now let's use the Bridge tool to make a new polygon across this gap. Let's go into Edge mode here, and I'll hit W to get out of Swift Loop mode, and let's just select these two edges down here along the crotch.
And let's go up to Edges and Bridge. All right, it just created a nice new polygon right there in between. I want the crotch to bend downward as it goes back, so I'll add a loop in the middle and tweak it. So go back up to Edit > Swift loop, and we'll just put a loop roughly here in the middle. And we'll go into Move and just scoot it down, so we get a nice little bend in the middle of the crotch. Great. Now there's a place from which we can extrude the leg. Let's go into Border mode and select this open edge here. I am going to go into the Front view and just hold Shift as I move this down, to extrude down to the knee.
I want to get rid of this angle, so let's go into Scale mode and I am just going to scale this down to flatten it. Let's make sure it lines up in the different views. Okay, looking pretty decent. Now let's extrude once more down to the ankle. And I'll just scale it a little bit more to fit it to the reference. Now I am going to extrude once more down to the bottom of the foot. And I'll use scale here to flatten it out.
So it might have a little bit of an angle to it still. I am just going to make it totally flat. Let's see the bottom of the foot here from Perspective view. Okay, so it's open. We need to fill this. So let's go up to Geometry (All) > Cap Poly. Now we just filled in that whole at the bottom. Let's finish up the foot by extruding the front-most polygon. I am going to go into Polygon mode, and let's go ahead and pick this polygon right here, and we'll just extrude it forward. All right, let's just tweak this shape.
It's looking a little bit weird. I'll just select a few vertices and shape this so it looks a little more like a foot. Okay, it's pretty blocky, but we are going to be doing much more refining in later movies. The important thing is that we've got the flow zones nailed down at this point, so adding more edge loops in the future is going to be a breeze. Again, this method is ideal for the majority of character designs, but it may need to be simplified or augmented for more extreme needs.
By understanding how the edge flow of the hips relates to the anatomical structure, you can also better create all kinds of limbs on fantasy creatures or any other type of design.
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