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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.
Modeling clothing based on the body is quick and easy, like we saw in the previous video on the pants, but what if the article of clothing doesn't match the geometry of the body? In this video, I will show you some ways of modifying the initial clothing creation for other styles. Let's look at the Hank concept art. I am going to go into the side view here and zoom out a little bit. He is wearing a tight-fitting tank top that's a good candidate for extracting from the body. Although the neckline of the shirt closely matches the edge loops on Hank's neck, the sleeveless cut of the shirt doesn't follow the geometry of the body at all.
I will be using a cutting tool to cut that sleeveless edge, but first let's just extract the shirt as if it were a typical T-shirt. I am going to go into Perspective view here, and let's turn on Edged Faces, so we can see what we are doing. I am going to select a ring of polygons just underneath the pectoral muscles and grow the selection until it looks like a shirt. So I am going to select one and then Shift+Select the one next to it, and let's grow the selection to see what happens.
You may have to experiment with just the right row of polygons to start with. I will just grow it one more time. Okay, now we are going to extract these polygons off of the body like we did with the pants. Let's go down to Edit Geometry and make sure that it's set to Normal. Okay, it is. Let's now use the Move tool to pull this off of the body. I am going to hold down Shift while I move this, too. All right! And we will just expand it out a little bit. And let's call this shirt.
If we were making a regular T-shirt, we would almost be done by now, but let's practice with a tool called Quick Slice. Okay, let me get out of the body's Polygon Selection mode, so we can go into the shirt. Now I want to make sure that any cutting I do to one side of the shirt happens to the other, so let's put a Symmetry modifier on this. And I want to make sure that it didn't accidentally weld anything I don't want to be welded. Okay, it looks pretty clean. If I crank up the Threshold then you see we have problems, but it looks like at 0.1 it's doing a good job.
I also want to hide everything except the shirt for now, so I am just going to drag over everything and then Alt+Click on the shirt and right-click, and we will go to Hide Selected. I am also going to make the shirt see-through so that I can see the reference through it. Now to go into the front view. And it looks like this view is set to Wireframe, so let me go to just change this to Shaded so that we can see the reference.
Now I would start making this cut we are talking about. I want to change it from Shaded to Edged Faces, and let's go down to Editable Poly. Now let's use Quick Slice. I'm going to go into Edit and select Quick Slice. What this is going to do is draw a line on the model and then cut every single polygon along that line. So what I want to do is see where the line of the shirt is here on the reference and then just click once and then drag and then click a second time along that line and then right- click to lock it in. All right! Let's look in the Perspective view and see what happened here.
I want to turn on the end result so we can see that cut on both sides, and I am actually going to turn off See-Through. Okay, so you can see that Quick Slice created this new cut all the way through the model. Now let's go into Edge mode. Edge mode automatically selects the last edge that was created, whether it's through Quick Slice or Swift Loop. I am just going to hit Delete to get rid of that. It might be a bug in Max, but for some reason it also looks like it's selecting the centerline, but it's not really. It's okay.
Now the sleeves are a separate object, so I can go into Element mode and just select the sleeve and delete it. As it is, this edge is pretty ragged, so let's straighten it out a bit. I am going to go into the Border Edge Selection mode, and select this border edge. I am going to start moving and scaling this around, so I want to make sure that my Constraint is set to None, rather than Normal. Then I am going to use Scale to flatten this out. So I just hit R, and I am just going to scale in one axis until it all flattens out.
And let's look at this in the front view so we can line it up with the reference. It looks like I might need to move and rotate it a little bit. Okay, that's looking pretty good. Let's get out of Border Select mode and go to Vertex mode, and I want to go into Perspective view for this.
Another thing we need to clean up now is some stray vertices. When we flattened that border edge some polys effectively turned into triangles with verts left along the edge. So you can see there are some stray vertices, like right here, like right here and here. We just need to get rid of those. So I'm going to Ctrl+Select all of these stray vertices, and then we will remove them. And let's click on this and just click here.
Now I will just go into Vertices and click Remove. Let's take a step back and see what this looks like. Okay, it looks like a few things might need some tweaking to look a little bit nicer, but for most part, that's pretty good. Now let's unhide the rest of the character and see how the shirt fits. I am going to get out of Vertex mode and just right-click in the viewport and go to Unhide All.
It looks like there's one little place up by the shoulder where the shirt is poking through the body. For the most, the rest of it looks pretty good. I will just go into Vertex mode and use Soft Select to fix that up. I am going to tweak this a little bit more, and I will go ahead and fix this area that got a little weird down here. Okay, not bad.
Let's check out the bottom of the shirt. It looks like I could get it tucking into the pants a little bit better. I am going to use Soft Select and the Move tool to kind of tuck this in. Pretty much all the way around the shirt, it could be tucked in better. Let's take a look at this from over here. You might have to do a little bit of back and forth in adjusting the Soft Select to get just the area that you want to move. Okay, great! Now the shirt is between the body and the pants, just like it would be in real life.
Finally, we need to give the shirt the appearance of thickness. I am going to go into Border Edge mode and select the collar. We can turn off Soft Select for this. And I am going to hold down Shift as I move this down, and maybe I will scale it a little bit too.
And now I am just going to extrude that edge one more time so that the thickness kind of curls around to the inside. So I am going to go into Scale mode and hold down Shift while I scale. And now I will just move that down a little bit too. It doesn't have to be terribly precise. Okay, that's pretty good. It looks like there is one little issue where the Symmetry is merging some things that shouldn't be merged, so I am going to go to the threshold, bring that down a little bit so I fix that problem. Okay, back to Editable Poly.
Now to do the same thing for the cutoff sleeve. I am going to go into Scale mode, hold down Shift, and just scale this in a little bit. And I will go into Move mode and Shift+Move one more time. So there is some more tweaking that you could do to get that shirt looking just right, but it would take a while, and it would be kind of boring to watch. Along with practicing some techniques from before, like Shell, Symmetry, and extracting, we also learned a few tips and tricks when it comes to cutting existing models to form different shapes.
These methods can really be useful in all kinds of situations.
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