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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
So now that we have got some of the heavy lifting out of the way, let's go and do something a little bit more simple. Let's do the tongue and the eyebrows. These are pretty much tweaked out boxes. They are going to be pretty quick to get through and this is going to show that sometimes a simple approach is the easiest. I'm going to start with the tongue. So for making the tongue, I want to start with a poly box. I am just going to drag it out in the top view. I want to zoom out here so I can see what I'm doing. I also want to be able to see it in the side view as I create.
So, I am just going to hold down X so I snap to this grid point and I want to drag it down to this other grid point down here. And I want to drag up the height and you can see it in the Side view how high this is going to be. We can always just scale it later if it's off. So looking in the Perspective view, we have got this box here. We just want to give it some more subdivisions so that we can shape out this box and turn it into a tongue. If we go into the Channel Box, you can go to the poly cube and we want to give it some more subdivisions. Let's just try it giving it some four subdivisions in the width and let's give it some depth subdivisions as well,. Let's try four.
So what we want to do is take this shape and just edit it a little bit. I am going to go and select some of these edges here and just move this down so we get a little groove going down in the middle of the tongue. We also don't need these faces at the back of the tongue. So I'm just go to select these and delete them. We are going back to the front of the tongue again. Let's see what this looks like smooth. So we've got a little bit of a dip in the middle but it's not really a groove so much, is it? It's just this indentation. So if we take these edges right here on the sides and then squeeze them a little closer to the middle, it's going to create a sharper indentation.
Click on the Scale tool and I will just pull those a little bit tighter. You can see in the Smooth Preview that we what we get is little bit more of a groove. If I undo that, you can see the farther apart they are, it is a more smooth channel. And if we redo that, then we'll get a little tighter crease. So that looks good for basic tongue. I am going to zoom out and let's fit this tongue into the head.
Let's shrink it down a little bit. That's a little bit big for a tongue. All right, it's okay that it's intersecting with the mouth. Nobody is really going to see it back there. So that's okay. Now let's do the eyebrows. Let me move my Side view so we can see up close on what's going to happen with the eyebrows in all these different views. So the easiest place to make eyebrows is in the Front view because we can see in the reference with the eyebrow is exactly, and I'm just going to draw out a box.
We will make this box roughly the shape and size of the eyebrows. It doesn't have to be exact just again. So we've got a box and we can move it now in the Perspective view so it's more in place on the front of the face. I will zoom in on it. So now I can break this box into several pieces, just like I did with the tongue. We can go into the Channel Box and increase the subdivisions and the widths or the depths and the height. So let's try four subdivisions in the width. Okay. So we have broken that up a little bit. And now all I need to do is select some of these vertices and just tweak them a little bit to give the eyebrow a little bit of an arched shape.
So now you can see when I turn on Smooth Preview, we've got a nice little blob of an eyebrow. And let's see what it looks like from all around. And it doesn't quite fit on the head but that's a simple enough fix. We can just rotate it till it matches the angle of the forehead and move it into the place. Let's see what that looks like from the distance. Okay. So that's pretty simple, pretty straightforward, but sometimes that's the easiest solution or the best solution to any problem you might find. You don't always have to make everything really complex and detailed. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.
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