View Full Version : Trouble with the Body

12 December 2009, 12:05 AM
Hi all, to give a little intro, this character will be for an animation I'm doing as my thesis. Some of you may know that I made a car last time as my first model and I figured, human should be a nice stepping stone to learn more and get a better grasp on modelling. I honestly did not think it was that hard, after dealing with so many problems on the car. NOPE! Wrong...humans are 100x harder than cars.

So here are some screen shots of my body >.> so bad I know. I'm trying to figure out how to add definition without making the mesh too heavy before smoothing takes place (this is new for me because I modelled my car the improper way...didn't rely on smoothing and ended up with a ton of polygons).

Anyway, I was just looking for some tips and suggestions on how to get some definition, especially in his arms, armpit, and chest area. The legs though the inner part looks super flat, and it is, I will try to fix that on my own.

So far to model I've started with a cylinder cut it in half, etc, etc and ended up with half a cylnder with 6 faces as the torso and continued from there.

Techniques/Tools used: extrude, split polygon tool (rarely), insert edge ring loop tool (common).

NOTE: The finished body in some of the screenshots is a reference to see how the flow works and despite having it, I am having no success with my model.
Back - shaded (
Chest - shaded + wireframe (
Front - shaded (
Front - wireframe (
Side - shaded (
Side - wireframe (

Thank you in advance everyone! :)

12 December 2009, 02:43 AM
Have a look here ( there's a whole series of tutorials by loic zimmerman. This is the first chapter.

12 December 2009, 05:07 AM
thanks! That helps some but I am still having trouble determining how to define the muscles and what not. I know you use split polygon tool and edge loops but I am still unable to get proper definition. My dude looks so flat and no where near refined :(

Organic modelling is tough!!! I've spent the entire day on just that model you see so far and not getting anywhere fast.

As well, how do I make it so that I only select the verts or edges or faces in front and not behind?

Like I have this other model I downloaded for reference and the back of the model is invisible and when you rotate the camera it disappears accordingly and you can ever only select the items in front.

12 December 2009, 07:51 PM
Usually you can add definition later after you smooth if at first you get the proper underlying shape and edge loops.

I know alot of organic modellers model their basic model in maya or a 3d animation package then take the model into a sculpting program such as Zbrush.
Zbrush can handle alot more polygons then Maya and work in very high detail.
Then take their model back into maya later for animating. Most of the time Normal maps and displacment maps are created in Zbrush then applied to the lower res model.

You want to turn on backface culling on your model so then you wont select the back faces.
Under the shape node of your model look in Mesh Componet Display and there is a backface culling drop down box.


12 December 2009, 08:54 PM
Harthorg, thank you so much for the useful information!

Yea I know people sculpt in like zBrush but didn't know that they did the body's muscles and stuff in it too...just thought like random stuff like scars or details on the face. On top of that I did not know that they also added definition after smoothing. At this point I MAY have too many polygons though I am unsure. So would you suggest that I bring it into zBrush and try to sculpt it? or continue with what I am doing? Cause I have the general shape of the body as you can see but just needs some definition and what not.

Also thank you for the tip on the backfaces. Helps a LOT haha :)

Here's an update of what I have been working on. After many hours of aggravating modelling lol I only got to there :( Arm is what I've been working on.
update (

12 December 2009, 09:13 PM
Its really up to you if you want to go into Zbrush, but if you want to practice your organic modeling and edge loops in maya then you should keep doing what your doing.
Your arms are starting to look nice. Id say just keep looking at other peoples work and edge flows and try copy those.

I think it would be best to finish your model the best you can in maya then take into zbrush for all the small muscle definition and smaller details.

I should really do another organic model for practice myself haha.


12 December 2009, 09:24 PM
haha ah okok and yea I should practice :P lol since I want to go into the field lol...and this has taught me so much lol after all the headaches I think I'm starting to get the hang of it...though I don't want to jinx myself hehe.

Got the leg to look less um...flat in the inner part lol not gonna define the chest area...I find that rather difficult to make it look right...sigh...more practice lol

Thanks man! :D

I assume the subtle indents and stuff in the chest area and what not are done in zBrush? or can they be accomplished in Maya too? cause if I add more edge ring loops it won't help and will just complicate it by putting too much stress in unwanted areas. So I try to use split polygon tool but I just end up with a triangle sometimes...not 4 sided polygons or w.e. :S

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12 December 2009, 09:24 PM
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