Our website will be down for scheduled maintenance on Thursday, September 18, at 11 p.m. Pacific Time and should be back up by Midnight. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Forming the limbs

From: Game Character Creation in Maya

Video: Forming the limbs

So I've done some more work adding a little bit more detail to the body. So I've done things like flesh out the collar here up at the top. At this point I think starting my arms is a good idea. So if we take a look at the reference image, we can see that our character is kind of a big fat goofy bug with small spindly arms, so we'll do some extrusions with a small diameter to give him those insect-like limbs. Now of course your character might not be a bug, so you might want arms that are more muscular, larger, something like that. But we'll kind of go over the basics of forming a limb.

Forming the limbs

So I've done some more work adding a little bit more detail to the body. So I've done things like flesh out the collar here up at the top. At this point I think starting my arms is a good idea. So if we take a look at the reference image, we can see that our character is kind of a big fat goofy bug with small spindly arms, so we'll do some extrusions with a small diameter to give him those insect-like limbs. Now of course your character might not be a bug, so you might want arms that are more muscular, larger, something like that. But we'll kind of go over the basics of forming a limb.

Another thing to notice in the reference image is that he has these sort of little shoulder sockets that are coming off of the wing and the upper arm is actually coming out of the wing itself. This is kind of a cartoony character. The wing is actually sort of almost like a cape too because it has this little collar that comes up. So you could think of this almost as like a sleeve that the arm is coming through, and that's kind of one of the challenges sometimes of working with a cartoony characters, that you can't always rely on sort of the laws of anatomy as you go through your modeling process. So I'm going to switch to Face component mode here.

I'm just holding down the right mouse button, and I want to look at this face to start forming that little shoulder socket. Let's switch to the Side view just so you can see where I'm at. So in the Side view that's kind of the face that's over that shoulder socket. So I'm just going to do a couple extrusions here to start forming the geometry that will make that socket that comes off of the wing between the upper arm and the wing. So I'll click Edit Mesh > Extrude and I'll just do a couple of extrusions here. I'm just scaling this down. And Edit Mesh > Extrude again. Scale down again.

I want to push this back a little bit and that's going to kind of form a little lip as that shoulder socket transitions from the wing. So we'll Edit Mesh > Extrude one more time, and that's going to be our little sort of bump. That's the shoulder socket that comes off of the wing and transitions into the upper arm. So I'm going to Extrude one more time and that's going to form the face that we'll use to extrude and form the upper arm, and like we said before, just going by the reference image his arms are real spindly, so I want to make this a pretty small face.

So I'm going to switch to Front view just by clicking Spacebar and one additional thing to notice is that in this reference image, his arms are bent and we actually want to model his arms just sticking straight out, kind of fully extended, and that's going to make it much, much easier later on down the line when we go to do things like rigging for animation. If we try to model his arms bent like this, it's just going to create lots of headaches as we try to set it up for animation. So I'm going to deviate a little bit from the reference image here and that's okay.

One thing that's going to help make it easier as we extrude straight out, let me switch back to Side view here just by clicking Spacebar. We want to make some adjustments to the vertices that form this face that we'll use to make the upper arm. So I actually want to make sure that these are parallel to the X and Y axes, and that will just make it simpler as we do more extrusions to form the rest of the arm. So I'm going to turn off X-Ray Shading. That will just make it a little bit more easy to work visually. So Shading, uncheck X-Ray, we'll switch to Vertex mode.

I'm just going to hold down my right mouse button, Vertex, and for all these vertices around the edge of the face that we're about to extrude for the arm, we'll just select them in pairs, get the Move tool, and hold down X to snap to grid.

Okay. So I'll switch back to Face Mode. Now, we're ready to do an extrusion that will form the upper arm. So switch to the Front viewport, and I'll just do Edit Mesh > Extrude, and I want to extrude this straight out from the body. And rather than doing this in local coordinates, I want to do this in world coordinates, because I just want to take it straight out. So I'll click this local world coordinate handle and just bring this straight out. Now again, this face that I'm extruding for the arm, I want it to be parallel to the Y-axis.

So I'm going to switch to the Move tool, hold down X to snap to grid, just click-and-drag, and that's going to snap it parallel to the Y-axis. If we notice from the reference image, the arm kind of tapers down into this very, very narrow joint at the elbow. So I also want to scale this face down and I can just do that uniformly. Maybe move it up a little bit with the Move tool. Again, just looking back at the reference image, you can see right after the elbow, he has kind of got this bigger upper arm, kind of miniature Popeye arms.

So to form that geometry, I'll do a couple of more extrusions. So I'll extrude out and I'll scale it up just a little bit. Do Edit Mesh > Extrude again. This time I'm not scaling. I'm just going to bring it out just a little bit and then Edit Mesh > Extrude one more time and that will form the lower arm. So in addition to forming the shape of the upper arm as it transitions into the elbow, this is going to give us some geometry that will make it easier as the arm bends once we go and do some animation and rigging on this character.

So again, that lower arm is going to taper as it transitions into the wrist. So I'll scale that down a little bit. Then for the hand, we'll just do Edit Mesh > Extrude, just come out a little bit, and this will form sort of the base of the palm. And to do the thumb and the forefinger, I'm just going to switch to Perspective Mode just by hitting Spacebar.

So I want to extrude one more time. So Edit Mesh > Extrude, just bring this out, scale it down, and then grab this face for the thumb, extrude up, and just scale it down a little bit. So our character doesn't have very detailed hands. He is a bug, so I think that's okay.

As I go through this modeling process, again, I'll switch back and forth between Smooth Preview by clicking 3. I can get the smooth version, 1, back to normal, and you can see when I click 3, I'm not getting good amount of detail as I go through those transitions of the joints. So I'm going to go ahead and just add a couple of edge loops along the wrist, and at the elbow, and at the shoulder. I'll just do one right now. So do Edit Mesh > Insert Edge Loop, and just click-and-drag. So maybe right there and that's going to kind of reinforce that taper of the upper arm as it meets the elbow.

So as we can see if we turn the Smooth Preview back on, that taper of the upper arm gets a little bit more well-defined. So we can continue to add a few more edge loops at points where we need a little bit more definition, as the geometry transitions between limbs. For time's sake, I'll just skip ahead. Let's just see what this would look like with a few extra edge loops. So you can see I've added a couple on the palm, couple on the thumb, one at the elbow, and one at the shoulder.

If we turn on Smooth Preview, you can see you get a much better definition of the geometry. So the process for creating the rest of the limbs is going to be pretty similar. Just keep in mind that the key to creating interesting limbs is really to realize that there are changes in shape as we go from one joint to the next. It's not just a straight extrusion.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Game Character Creation in Maya
Game Character Creation in Maya

40 video lessons · 9100 viewers

Chris Reilly
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 50s
    1. Welcome
      39s
    2. What you need to know before watching this course
      1m 9s
    3. Understanding game asset creation
      1m 21s
    4. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 35s
    1. Setting up scene folders (Maya and Unity)
      3m 58s
    2. Optimizing geometry
      3m 14s
    3. Using symmetry
      4m 8s
    4. Extruding geometry
      4m 19s
    5. Sculpting geometry
      4m 1s
    6. Importing reference sketches
      5m 55s
  3. 37m 14s
    1. Modeling the head and nose
      5m 34s
    2. Creating the mouth
      4m 28s
    3. Crafting the eyes
      5m 11s
    4. Building the body and a wing
      10m 11s
    5. Forming the limbs
      8m 5s
    6. Adding finishing touches
      3m 45s
  4. 36m 11s
    1. UV mapping overview
      2m 43s
    2. UV mapping the body parts
      9m 18s
    3. UV mapping the face
      7m 40s
    4. UV mapping wrap-up
      3m 44s
    5. Mirroring
      4m 57s
    6. Texturing
      2m 46s
    7. Normal mapping
      5m 3s
  5. 46m 21s
    1. Setting up the skeleton
      5m 19s
    2. Building the spine
      3m 39s
    3. Finishing the skeleton
      4m 32s
    4. Rigging the legs and feet
      8m 35s
    5. Rigging the torso
      3m 49s
    6. Rigging the arms and hands
      3m 35s
    7. Rigging the face and head
      5m 9s
    8. Rigging wrap-up
      2m 27s
    9. Skin binding and weight painting
      5m 26s
    10. Animating in Maya
      3m 50s
  6. 29m 9s
    1. Exploring the Unity interface
      3m 3s
    2. Importing character and animations into Unity
      5m 50s
    3. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person character controller
      7m 14s
    4. Controlling animations with scripts: Third-person camera controller
      4m 4s
    5. Making read/write animations using UnityScript Editor
      4m 8s
    6. Controlling scripts with animation events
      4m 50s
  7. 19s
    1. Additional resources
      19s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Game Character Creation in Maya.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.