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

Modeling the upper torso

From: Modeling a Character in Maya

Video: Modeling the upper torso

The chest and shoulder of your characters are a particularly tricky area because of all the different movements that a shoulder can make. It can go up and down, and back and forth, and can rotate in so many different directions that it is really hard to create a single topology that can be most effective for all those different types of movements. The approach that I'm going to show you in this video is how to set up an average sort of "one size fits all" way of dealing with the shoulder. It works for vast majority of cases but you might need to adapt it for the specific situations you find yourself working with.

Modeling the upper torso

The chest and shoulder of your characters are a particularly tricky area because of all the different movements that a shoulder can make. It can go up and down, and back and forth, and can rotate in so many different directions that it is really hard to create a single topology that can be most effective for all those different types of movements. The approach that I'm going to show you in this video is how to set up an average sort of "one size fits all" way of dealing with the shoulder. It works for vast majority of cases but you might need to adapt it for the specific situations you find yourself working with.

Let's take a look at this Exercise File of sort of in-progress torso and we can look at it and zoom in, and see how the flow zone is going in this looping pattern up and across the chest, up and over the shoulder, and around the back of the body. It's kind of the a collar or cape shape, and this matches the human anatomy pretty nicely because in the real musculature of a real person, the muscles of the deltoid kind of follow in this pattern and they come down and meet up with the pectoral muscles and they go across the chest like this.

So this edge flow pattern really helps mimic the natural muscular patterns of the human body. And I am going to open up the other Exercise File that doesn't have a body in it, bodystart. So to start out, I am going to start with a primitive, just to give us a bulky shape to start out and then we will modify it and adapt it for our needs. I am going to select the Poly Cylinder and just use the X key to snap it to the center of the world and let's see here in this view. We will drag the height.

Something like that is roughly what we want. I am just going to the Channel Box for this object. I am going to Inputs and I am going to change the Subdivision Axis to 12. I just want to simplify it a little bit so we don't have so much detail to work with. I want keep it simpler. Subdivision Caps, I want to change that to zero so that the caps don't have any subdivisions just to make it easier to delete because I just want to go in here and delete half of this, because we only work on half the character at once. So I am just going to move this cylinder up so it's roughly over the body of the character, over the chest.

Let see how that looks in the Front and Side view. Okay. That's pretty good. In the Front view and in the Side view it could be just scaled a little bit smaller. Okay. So we need to get these polygons to go looping up and over the shoulder. It's pretty easy to do that. I am just going to zoom in and grab this one edge right here and turn on Soft Select. So I want to falloff to grab lot of these faces and I just want to rotate this about 90 degrees horizontal.

So I if move this up in the Front view so it's sitting up on top of the deltoid, you can see now we've got this kind of cape-like collar shape that's going across the chest and up and over the shoulder. Now we just simply tweak these vertices so they lineup with my reference. Let me spend some time to clean this up. Just a couple more tweaks here and there. Okay. Now let's extrude an arm out of this structure. We don't quite yet have exactly the topology we need to extrude an arm out.

We need to create first this sort of armpit underneath where the arm would go and then we can have this open space to extrude the arm out. So I just want to create a new face in between the front and the back of this. So I am going to go into Edit Mesh, and do Append to Polygon tool. I am going to click this first edge and I want to attach it back here to the back. So I made a new face for us. I am going to hit Enter to finish that, and then I can just do Insert Edge Loop, and create one edge loop right underneath the armpit. So if I move this down, now we've got this open space right here where we can extrude the arm out from.

I am just going to double-click this and it selects the entire open edge. I hit Extrude, I go into the Move tool and I just pull that out, and we have got an arm started. I am going to bring that out to the elbow. Now the shape of it is a little weird. If I use the Scale tool, I can just flatten that shape a little bit. Scale it to fit the reference a little bit. That looks good. We can extrude it one more time and I will bring out the wrist with a Move tool, and the wrist is even narrower. So I am just going to shrink that up a little. All right, close enough for now.

The next thing I want to do is extrude the torso down the abdomen a little bit. So I am just going to select these edges that are on the underside of our chest right now, and hit Extrude, and we're going to bring these down. I just want to see them closer the reference so I can see what I am doing with this. Okay. So it's a little bit off to the reference. It's pretty easy to just tweak this back into the shape. I see what this looks like from all the way around. All right, cool.

So we've got our rough block-out of the torso finished. It's very loose, very blocky, but you can see we have established the flow zones that we going to need later on. We've got this flow zone for the chest and the shoulder. We have got a flow zone for the arm and we started this flow zone for the abdomen. This approach to modeling a torso is very versatile because it's allows to you create either toony characters or realistic ones. The only difference is the amount of detail that you put into it and how far you push those details to match anatomy or your reference.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Modeling a Character in Maya
Modeling a Character in Maya

36 video lessons · 13881 viewers

Ryan Kittleson
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 6s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  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

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 Modeling a Character 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.