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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 can be tricky because of the way it comes into such close contact with the skin. By creating the clothing directly from the body, not only does it become easier to manage, but it's faster, since you already have the geometry created for it. Because the pants are pretty much the same shape of the legs, we can just steal what we've already made for the legs and repurpose it for the pants. In order to extract the pants, we need to select polygons on the body that are roughly in the same place as where the pant should be. Let me show you a few selection tricks that will help us get what we want.
I am going to go ahead and select Hank and make sure we can see our polygon edges. And I want to move down to the legs where we can see those more closely. Let's go into Polygon mode. I am going to select one polygon here on the leg and then Shift+Select the polygon next to it, and then do the same thing on the other leg, in the same location. Ctrl+Click one and then Shift+Click one next to it. Now I can grow the selection until it includes all of the legs and some of the waist.
That's pretty good. You might realize that your original ring selections were too low or too high. To correct it just deselect everything and then redo those rings selections a little higher or lower. Now to create a new object based on the selection. We already know that by shift-moving polygons, we can break them off into new objects. But with the pants, we need them to be in the same place, just a little bigger. Here in the Editable Poly menu, I will just scroll down to the Edit Geometry section. Right now, Constraints is set to None.
We want to change this to Normal. Now let's go into move mode and see what happens when we hold down Shift and move this. Now all the polygons are expanding outwards according to their normals, or the direction that they're facing. Let's get this just a little bit bigger than the body. When I let go of Shift and the mouse I get the option of cloning To elements or to a new object. Let's make it a whole new object. And I will name it pants.
Okay, let's get out of Polygon mode and switch to the pants object. Now I am just going to take a step back here and evaluate, see how this is looking. All right, pretty decent. I am going to need to change the shape of it a little bit, however, because pants don't usually droop down in the front like this, so I want to change the shape a little bit so it looks more like pants. Let's go down to the Edit Geometry section and make sure that is the way we want. We no longer need to move things according to the polygon normals, so let's set this back to None. All right let's go back up and go to border selection.
I want to change the shape of the top of the pants, so I am just going to select the top border edge. And then let's go the Soft Select and turn that on. And let's see, let's bring down the Falloff, so it's not selecting everything. That's pretty decent. Now I am just going to use scale, move, and the rotate tools in order to get this better into shape. So see I just hit R to go into Scale mode. And let's just flatten this out a bit, and also rotate it forward a little bit.
I am just going to move this around till it looks good, just scaling and moving and pushing and tweaking. It looks like I might need to push and pull some individual vertices here, so I am just going to grab one of these and just move it around till it looks good. I want to make the body see-through so I can see what's going on with the pants I'm going to make the body see-through and then click OK.
Back to the pants. I am just going to keep tweaking a few things. And I will just keep refining this. It looks like this needs some tweaking. Okay, that's generally pretty good, although there are some weird things happening where things are bending at kind of strange angles, so I am going to use Paint Deform to smooth those things out. Let's get out of Vertex mode.
Now what I want to do is go to Paint Deform. And I want to make sure that I turn on Mirroring so that same thing happens to both sides. However, there is a little bug in 3ds Max where you can't change those settings if you have Relax/Soften selected as your brush; you can only do it with one of the other selections. So I want to choose Push and Pull and go to Paint Options and click this little arrow here and click Brush Options, and we will just make sure that Mirror is turned on here. Okay, let's close that, and now we can go to Relax/Soften, because when Relax/Soften is chosen as a brush, you don't have the Option of changing the mirror settings. Hopefully they will fix that in later versions of Max.
Okay, so the brush is a little big. Let's just the Size down. That's pretty good. And the Strength, let's bring that down too. And I am just going to use this Relax/Soften to even out some of the spacing of these vertices. It looks like I might have gone a little too far there, maybe a little bit more careful with this.
And maybe I want to use Push and Pull to make sure that the pants don't penetrate inside the body, so I will just switch to Push and Pull, and let's see how this works. I just want to make sure the pants are kind of evenly the same distance away from the body all the way around. Okay that's pretty close. I am just going to do one more pass of relaxing, just to work out any rough spots.
Okay, now let's select the body and go to its Properties and make sure it's not see-through anymore. I just want to check the distance all the way around. All right. That's pretty even. Anytime that you need clothing or accessories that closely relates to the shape of the body, you can use this technique to quickly create them. It works well for belts and wristbands, masks and hats, anything like that. It sure saves time over modeling these things from scratch and then trying to force them to fit onto the body you've already made.
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