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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 the belt is another opportunity to practice some modeling tricks that go beyond the basic tools. Again, we can base the belt off of the existing pants model so that we can be guaranteed that it will fit perfectly. This is a cartoony character so I'll be simplifying things, rather than going for realism. My first thought when going to make the belt might be to extract some of these polys that are going around the waist. Let me turn on Edged Faces to show what I'm talking about. So I can grab some of these polygons right here around the waist of the pants; however, the edge loops in this area aren't evenly spaced.
If I were to extract these polygons, the belt would have uneven height. In this case, I'll first extract from a piece that I know to be even. The top edge of the pants where I extruded inwards for thickness has a uniform width, so let's select that ring of polys. I'm going to go into Editable Poly mode and go into Polygon mode, pick one of these, and then Shift+Select one next to it. Then we can extract these into a separate object. Go into move mode by hitting W and then just Shift+Move them down a little bit.
And I want to clone them to a separate object. I'll call this belt. Now we need to scale it just a little bit bigger so that it's larger than the pants. We need to get out of Polygon mode and then select the object that we just made. Hit R to go into Scale mode. Now when we extracted, it created a new pivot point here at the center of the world. So what I need to do is move this pivot point so that it's more centered around our belt objects. So go into the Hierarchy panel here, Affect Pivot Only, and we're going to center to object.
We can turn this off now. Now right now we're ready to scale. And now we'll to scale this out. It looks like Max accidentally got in a mode that I don't want it to be in. The scale is set to Select and Squash. So I'm just going to change this now to the normal scaling mode so that it scales uniformly in all directions. I'll just make this a little bit bigger. And it looks like I might want to move it back a little bit too.
Let's see how this looks all the way around. Pretty good. This is going to be the top edge of the belt. Now to get the height of the belt. I'll get that by using a Shell Modifier. The Shell Modifier takes any polygon surface and basically extrudes the whole thing to give it a thickness. So I'll find Shell in here. And it looks like it shot it up in the wrong direction, so let's go into the parameters here. Let's bring the Outer Amount all the way down to 0. And actually we want to make the shell go in the other direction, so I'm just going to bring up Inner Amount and go ahead and set it to a height that basically looks good for a belt.
That's pretty good. Let's tweak the shape of this so that it fits the pants a little bit better. I want to lock in the Shell Modifier, so let's convert it to an editable poly. Now I can go into Polygon mode and select the ring of polygons around the bottom edge. So I'm going to select one and then Shift+Select one next to it. Now I can move this forwards or backwards or however I need to to get it to fit the pants better. So it looks like I might need to scale a little bit in this direction and actually maybe widen it a bit too.
There may be some places where the pants are poking through the belt or the belt through the pants. This would be a good place where you could go use the Paint Deform tools to push the pants in a little bit so that they're not intersecting with the belt. For now I'm just going to put it a TurboSmooth on the belt to see what it looks like smoothed out. So let's get out of Polygon mode and go get the TurboSmooth. It looks like the belt rounds out a little too much and gets kind of soft and mushy. We can fix that by adding some holding edges like we did with the fingers.
So I'm going to go back into Editable Poly, and let's go grab the Swift Loop tool. I just want to insert some edge loops towards the top and the bottom and then also on the inside of the belt. So actually, I just zoomed in really close here, and we can through in some loops on the inside and right-click to lock that in. Now let's see what happens when we show the end result. So we're getting a much tighter edge here on the belt.
Now to do the belt buckle. There are lots of buckle designs and shapes we could go with. Now that you've got a lot of modeling techniques under your own belt, you can try flying solo and make a buckle that's all your own. You could extract the belt, you could start from a new box or a sphere, or you could combine different methods. This is a good chance to practice what you've learned so far and try something new. So let's zoom out and see what this belt looks like. It's looking good. We extracted the polygons of the belt from a place of known thickness and then used the Shell Modifier to add uniform height.
Now we've got a belt that doesn't have any of the waviness that we would have got from simply extracting off the pants.
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