Modeling a Character in Maya

with Ryan Kittleson
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Modeling a Character in Maya
Video duration: 0s 3h 3m Intermediate


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


- 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 straight forward 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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