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Modeling a Character in Maya

with Ryan Kittleson

Video: Welcome

Demonstrates how to create professional, realistic 3D characters from scratch in Maya 2011.
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  1. 2m 6s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 31m 38s
    1. Navigation and views
      3m 7s
    2. Using Smooth Preview
      1m 34s
    3. Using the Extrude tool
      5m 58s
    4. Using the power of Soft Select
      3m 54s
    5. Adding new detail to an existing model
      3m 52s
    6. Using the Sculpt Geometry tool
      4m 35s
    7. Working symmetrically
      5m 17s
    8. Setting up the image planes in Maya
      3m 21s
  3. 18m 43s
    1. Proper edge flow
      6m 4s
    2. Attaching separately modeled body parts
      7m 6s
    3. Managing your scene
      5m 33s
  4. 45m 43s
    1. Beginning the basic facial structure
      6m 40s
    2. Making the head and neck
      5m 13s
    3. Refining the mouth
      4m 47s
    4. Forming the eyes
      7m 20s
    5. Building the nose
      3m 1s
    6. Crafting the ears
      6m 18s
    7. Making the teeth and gums
      8m 14s
    8. Modeling the tongue and eyebrow
      4m 10s
  5. 26m 28s
    1. Modeling the upper torso
      5m 33s
    2. Working from the waist down to the feet
      4m 55s
    3. Constructing the palm and thumb
      4m 18s
    4. Making fingers and finishing the hand
      4m 54s
    5. Applying artistic principles to the body
      6m 48s
  6. 13m 28s
    1. Drawing the NURBS curves for hair
      8m 57s
    2. Sculpting the polygonal hair clumps
      4m 31s
  7. 20m 43s
    1. Modeling the pants
      6m 16s
    2. Creating the shirt
      8m 7s
    3. Making the shoes
      6m 20s
  8. 22m 16s
    1. Creases and hard edges
      7m 22s
    2. Cleaning up problem areas
      5m 0s
    3. Putting on the finishing touches
      4m 58s
    4. Adapting one model for many characters
      4m 56s
  9. 2m 19s
    1. Recap and further recommendations
      2m 19s

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Modeling a Character in Maya
Video Duration: 0s3h 3m Intermediate Oct 12, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

View Course Description

In Modeling a Character in Maya, join author Ryan Kittleson for a thorough demonstration on how to create a professional, realistic 3D character from scratch in Maya 2011. The course illustrates how key concepts and tools such as Soft Select and polygon extrusions apply to character modeling, and provides a simple step-by-step approach to building character anatomy, including the torso, limbs, hands, face, and hair. Also included are tutorials on modeling clothing and shoes, and refining character features to reach the final product. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Maya 2011 Essential Training

Topics include:
  • Smoothing out rough, polygonal surfaces with Smooth Preview
  • Fashioning limbs and features from an existing model
  • Manipulating polygons to create detail
  • Using the Sculpt Geometry tool to make organic changes
  • Modeling facial structure and the body
  • Creating hair with NURBS curves
  • Modeling pants, shoes, and shirts
  • Forming creases and hard edges
  • Fixing problem areas
  • Applying the finishing touches
3D + Animation
Ryan Kittleson


Hi! I'm Ryan Kittleson, and I'd like to welcome you to Maya 2011: Modeling a Character. In this course, I'll show you how to take advantage of Maya's powerful modeling tools to create a cartoony character that can be animated, adapted into other types of characters, and above all, one that really looks great. First, I'm going to demonstrate some of the most commonly used tools in character modeling, like Extrude and Smooth Preview, and how they can be used to build a character. Then I'll show you how to break down your character design into bite-sized pieces for easy modeling, like separating the head from the body.

I'll teach you how to avoid common pitfalls and how to detail and refine your model to professional standards. I'll model the character one part at a time and show you how these tools and skills apply in practice for the final body, hair, and clothes of our figure. Character modeling for animation involves some concepts that go a little beyond the basics. So you should already have an understanding of Maya's interface and fundamental 3D concepts before taking this course. In my years of building characters, and experience in teaching character modeling, I've come up with this approach to modeling that's straightforward and easy to follow.

It'll work in versions of Maya back to 2009 and for years to come. Well, I hope you're as excited to start modeling as I am. So, let's get to it with Maya 2011: Modeling a Character.

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