getting into character modeling


I’m just getting into character modeling and wanted to ask this question…

Do most character modelers start with the T-pose?

That is, while looking at work by others I see these great characters in really great poses. I’m still in the t-pose phase of my characters, so they seem to have no “life” to them. I’m trying to be patient and finish the modeling, looking past their boring exteriers, but it got me thinking if this is what everyone does. Model first, then rig and pose.



I’m no expert(by a million miles) this is just my opinion. But if your going to animate a model then yeah you would rig and position it at the end. If I’m going to just sculpt a static presentation model then I’d move it as soon as possible. Like block out the basic proportions. Then position it how I want to then refine and detail it.


well usually you start at a neutral pose so that when it comes to rigging it will be a lot easier and its easier to check proportions and such from a neutral pose


Thanks for the replies, they make a lot of sense.

In my case I have one character that I’d like to consider using in several stills, but in different poses. So I’m not animating per se, but I do want/need the ability to change his position. My other character I think should then be posed early-on, in the low poly stage.

This answers my question.

…thanks again for the help.



I’m sure you can find lots of different opinions for this. Some may start from a more natural, arms almost down-pose because then it is easier to model and sculpt a natural shape. Then they may change it to T before rigging. Some keep to T-pose for modeling, rig the character and fine tune the mesh when posed more naturally.

Modeling pose arm-angle you choose depends on how you plan to animate. Most of the time we keep our arms at lower than 90-degree angle, so it would make sense to model in a pose that suits that intended range of motion. Many favor pose that has arms at about 45-60 degree angle out from body sides.

Especially when you model in lots of detail, muscles, tendons and all, it is helpful not to animate the model far from that modeling pose. Rigging all that detail to deform just right in all poses is a pain, so we ease our way by modeling to a pose that’s roughly in the center of the inteded motion range. Saves us some rigging trouble. If you do go for high detail model and also want natural deformation, muscles and so on, AND wide range of motion, I would go for T-pose and then go crazy rigging it.

I tend to favor T-pose ofr the ease of rigging and the widest range of motion it gives. I like to stress-test my characters, make sure they can do extreme poses even though I may not ever need them.

  • Niko


If it is a character that is being sculpted for illustration, I believe that it is fairly commonplace to model the low-rez in the t-pose, then bring it into z-brush and create the needed joints there to pose it correctly. If I’m not mistaken you can turn on and off the joint influence in Z-brush to switch between the posed character and the T-pose character.

That is just me piecing together information from what I’ve heard. Can anyone confirm that process?


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