Metal Gear Solid - Grey Fox (My First Model)


Low Poly Wire:



This is the first real model I have done. I screwed around with XSI a little bit here and there, I’ve done maybe one or two tutorials. In two weeks here I’m starting a two year program majoring in digital animation for video games and film, classes in Maya, and XSI. I plan on making some characters for UT 2004 and HL 2 mods (class project) and more. So you can expect much better from me soon. This is a semi-lowpoly model (dont have the numbers right now) but in the smoothed image he has 2 levels of smoothing. This is just messing around before class starts to try and get a head start. What do you guys think of it for just starting? I think I’m going to texture and rig him so that I can put him in a pose, then I will move onto another project. I know the model isn’t great, but I really just want to get this one done and start on a better one with the things I learned from this model. I know there is still a lot wrong with it but I hope I did alright.


my best advice would be to get ahold of a good anatomy reference - my favorite is Hogarth’s Dynamic Anatomy. The Loomis artists anatomy book is really excellent as well. that will be a good first step toward modeling realistic human figures!


I will probably end up getting something like that. I didn’t have much to work with (just the concept picture above) so once I had better front/side/back view I would do better. I just found a good one of Raiden from MGS 2 maybe I will do that… Thanks though, I’ll check that book out sometime.


This is easier than it seems, suggestion of books for you, so you can get shape and form to your anatomy to your characters, some of these books may be harder to get but give it a shot, and do so references drawings for yourself, treat the model like it like clay, get clay if you have to:

George Bridgeman’s Life Drawing
Artistic Anatomy by Dr. Paul Richer on of the greatest books of all time
and Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist by Stephen Rogers Peck for reference anatomy
I agree the Hograth book will help you, because it breaks down the anatomy and form


Unfortunately, I can’t draw, at all. I wish I could, but my drawings would be terribly off. However, your post seemed kind of fragmented in structure and I really didn’t understand what you were trying to say at the beginning about something being easier then it looked?


The Part about it being easier than it seems is refering to, looking at the Human Anatomy in forms and modeling in that way based off it’s shape, basically flesh it out, you don’t really have to know how to draw, so to say, but it does help, to make it even easier for you, get a book call How the Draw the Marvel Way (Haha) I always laugh at this because I have the video and to hear Stan Lee say this, is beyond hilarious, but you can look at your own body for reference for shape and form, also think in volume as well, it’s not that hard once you get the hang of it, and look at the anatomy that way, look at the muscle structure and know the muscles, the Books that were recommended will help you a great deal, and model as if you modeling clay, get some clay and you’ll get the idea, Good Luck


A few suggestions for you ShadowXOR.

  1. NEVER use sub-d (smoothing) on a game model. It’s Bad. (I assume you know about the need to keep triangle counts low, well smoothing seriously kills your poly budget and unless you are normal mapping you will never need it for a game model.)

  2. Modeling is art. Like its been mentioned you need to understand anatomy in order to understand how to animate it or even model it. There a certain levels of freedom you have when modeling, but you still need to be able to make it believable. Go look at or they have plenty of resources and photo references you can use.

  3. No mater how bad you draw, it helps to draw. And the more you do it the better you’ll get. Drawing helps you figure out where to put geometry in you models because you are deciding where detail needs to be and visualizing it rather than guessing. You’ll never regret learning to draw, and it will help you to improve your modeling.

  4. It’s good to hear that you are starting a 2 year study program, but if you are serious about getting a job game modeling or animating, you should be practicing and developing techniques and learning the software as much as possible out side of classes. Just doing a couple of tuts a couple of weeks before classes start isn’t really enough. Your improvement in modeling will be directly related to the effort you put into it. Classes and courses can teach you to use the programs, and teach techniques when modeling but they don’t teach you to make a model like a pro. You need to put the time into learning yourself to be able to do that. Knowing theory and techniques don’t help if you’ve never used them. It’s like trying to drive after only reading an owners manual. . . it doesn’t work. You’ll notice once classes start that only a few people in the class will do really good and every one will wonder why. It’s easy they will be the guys that started modeling when they were 15 and learned to do it because they where really motivated, they loved the art itself, modeling was like a part of them. They will shine, not because they are better than every one else but becasue they aren’t there for any other reason than they enjoy it. Right now everyone wants to be an animator or modeler for games or movies or. . . because they see the special effects in movies and games and they are impressive and it’s the “cool thing.” They don’t realize that rarely is it one person doing those things, and even more rarely is it some one that just picked up a copy of Maya one day a EB and thought he might give it a try. I takes time to develop the skills, talents, and abilities to do that stuff and it take ALOT of motivation. You don’t go into game art for the glory or the money.

I’m not trying to discourage you, but thinking that in a couple of weeks you’ll be able to model like some of the other people you see here is unrealistic. Practice and don’t stop. You’re on the right track, so keep working at it.

Here are a few character modeling tuts that might help you.

Joan of Arc Tut (over used by many but still good for pointers and advice.)
Ben Mathis (poopinmymouth) character tut, it goes over everything
Ben has a lot of video tuts that are quite good too. For now that should be enough to help you out some. Good luck.


Why does smoothing cause polygones I dont get what you said O_o. You sure you didnt mean meshsmooth or something like that?


sub-division (sub-d)
is a kind of smoothing, he’s right. the polygins will be divided into more smaller polygon. he result is, that your model lookas smooth. you’ve got less hard edges.
meshsmooth rather is the same thing, i think.

  1. I will be using normal mapping in the future. I was just using the smoothing to test it out. I will be doing low poly models with mapping.

  2. I will be learning the deeper inner-workings of the human anatomy and other things such as structures, I will be putting a lot of work in.

  3. I’ve never been good at drawing no matter how hard I tried. But when I really try at 3-D I can get results. I’ll see how this works but I’m skeptical.

  4. My post wasn’t regarding how I feel about 3-D and more about just my test subject. I am actually very passionate about 3-D. I have always wanted to do it and I was JUST able to afford it. The demo programs always drove me crazy with their limitations so I was waiting for a full version. I’ve have fooled around with 3-D Studio Max, Bryce, Poser, and Cinema 4D. I would have spent much more time on it before if I had the oppurtunity. I just got XSI a few days ago and I am messing around with it as much as I have time. I signed up for a class because it will help me get jump started on the right path, teaching me the tools I can use to further my skills. I assure you, I will be working for top of my class. I will be doing the assignments for class thoroughly, consistently, and with the utmost effort. In addition I will be trying things out on my own. (I would like to make a HL 2 mod just for fun.) I love 3-D design, and texturing. I am already quite knowledgeable in Photoshop (years of use). I also have a computer that can run quality games and renders for testing. I understand a lot will be learning on my own, that’s how I learned Photoshop, all on my own. But, reading the owner’s manual always helps! I plan on doing both, the self-learning, and the owner’s manual. I have a friend who is skilled in 3-D to help me as well. This is what I have always wanted to do. I don’t merely think game design is the “cool” thing to do. I don’t know where you got the impression I thought in a few weeks I would be doing things as good as the other people here, I don’t think that. I merely said I will be putting out some better work in a few weeks after some classes, and experimentation. I planned this out. I have experimented with all the 3-D packages, and I decided on SoftImage, which I then ordered from their website. I assure you that you were left with the wrong impression. I hope you now better understand my goals, but thank you for your well-thought out post. GOod day. :slight_smile:


I do recommend that you do check out the sites mentioned by by Dhin, I use the poopinmymouth tutorial off 3D total, believe or not this is the best place for you while your in school, this gives you an extra edge, because most of the people here are in the industry already and have jobs working on the latest techniques, don’t take the critisism as bashing but more on helping you out, study some of the models from video games to see or if you can see how they were made, also there is a huge difference in Modeling for animation films and video games, so make sure you know that and understand that, it’s very important, there’s alot that goes into CG Modeling for games and I still want to see you give this a shot with this model you’ve started, yes school is starting or has started but if your serious, you might as well start now, CG Talk has some of the best modelers from around the world here and this could be the best place for you, I’m a rookie and I had to re-learn modeling techniques using polys, when I started I was using nurbs, and I didn’t know how to model in polys well, the way I wanted to, until techniques and problem solving was broken down, and learning some poly tools, I do nothing but have fun now, you always want to produce quality work, and I think that’s what most people stress here, is to help you be good or want to be good at what you do, if your trying to get a job in this field, good luck


I will definitely be examining all the resources that I can, especially ones provided by the educated here. This is by far the most professional forum I have ever been to, and one day I plan on contributing some quality work to it. I know that day is very far off but I plan on working on it. I am a very dedicated person and DO plan on going into the business of 3-D game design, and I understand that and film CG are much different. I will learn the nuances of both. Right now I am 19, and I’m going in full bore. I have plenty of time to advance and I am focused. Although ‘poopinmymouth’ is a questionable name I will still give that a shot. I am starting now. I may start this model over with newer references I have found. If that is the case I will just scrap the current one, and make a low-poly version without smoothing. Thanks for the advice. I’m sure you guys will be able to see me mature and grow throughout my education and I’m sure you can help me out with some rough crits and work me up to masterpieces. This forum appears to be THE forum for professional design. I also post on 3DBuzz but I use them for a more relaxed look on 3-D.

Thanks again.


I really didn’t eman to offend or even give the impression that you we going into 3D for “inpure” reasons. I’m simple long winded and tend to ramble. I do wish you the best of luck. (though you will still find that sub-d’s are evil if doing game models, even when normal mapping. . . get Zbrush) I really only ment to give the web sites I listed suggest that you use tuts for referances. I don’t think I’ve done any character model with out check after tuts just for pointers as I go. Anyway keep on keeping on.

Peace Out Dude.


You should have fun with grey fox, try to find some screen shots from the game to help you out too, you can only get better, like I said I’m a rookie too (read my name) and it will probely stay that way for a while until proven otherwise, (note I still want you to try to finish this one and still have a go at it, don’t give up on this one) :)!!!


You didn’t offend me, but I did get the impression. No harm done, it was useful information nonetheless. I have heard many good things about ZBrush, could you ellaborate though? I thought ZBrush was a painting program that you used to texture paint (even though I believe XSI implemented that as well) but I’m sure since ZBrush is dedicated it would do a better job. But how is ZBrush better for normal mapping? I just bought my XSI 4.0 Academic and ZBrush is something like $500 and I am broke! I’m also purchasing the 5 XSI Training DVD’s so I’m busted in the bank. Please tell me why ZBrush is good, and if it is truly an essential, because if it is I want it. I’ve also heard good things about DeepUV. However with XSI’s new UV unwrapping that probably isn’t necessary? Until I can afford it will I be O.K. without ZBrush or is it basically required for serious quality work?

And as for continuing with this Grey Fox I doubt it because I took a lot of shortcuts with my polies because I knew he wouldn’t go in-game and the Sub-D would cover up flaws. So I want to start over with a low poly model designed for low poly, not for Sub-D smoothing. I’ll probably do his katana first because I can texture it to get a feel for it. I’ve been wanting to texture something and that seems a lot easier then a full person. You’ll see it around here sometime, hopefully tonight. I have a busy night ahead but I want to try and push some modelling/texturing in there.


this is also a straight on shot of him.


That shot’s from the new one huh? the twin snakes, they re-textured everything, I love Metal Gear Solid the first one but part two I didn’t have a interest in, they did put alot of work into it, but it dragged out when playing it, and it made me go back to the first one because the first just goes right into it, the pacing was great, eventually I’ll enjoy part 2, but I think part 3 will get me in the flow of things of really wanting to play it, will see


Well I modeled a katana and it looks really good and it’s low poly with no smoothing. I’m proud of it. I practically collapsed last night with no sleep so I’ll have to put up pictures tonight, and I gave it a basic texture but I want to make a high quality one later… That’s for another thread though…

Hopefully I’ll start Grey Fox again this weekend.

Man texturing and UV’s with the katana were kind of hard, not too bad, but I can’t imagine making a human… @_@


no, it’s actually the original ps1 version. you can unlock different outfits when you beat the game.


Hey, Shadow,

I am on the same road right now. I have been practicing 3D for a while, and like most of everyone here I love 3D design because 1) My mom is a designer too 2) I love the creative energy put into it and 3) I get a big kick out of it…

I wish you well on your 3D journey, it may be rocky at first, but in the end it shall pay off. Until then, practice whenever you can otherwise you may get rusty. The book by Andrew Loomis is an indispensible tool if you want to design human beings…both on sketches and modeling…
I just finished a head recently and I am about to design the body, and books on human anatomy, video games, inspirational artists, and lots of Pepsi and fruit pies (LOL) are my driving forces.

You don’t even have to have the best drawings in the world, but in the end, it is what the final output will be like…

Good luck on your Quest to 3D Nirvana…and I will love to see your Gray Fox in the future…


Kashif C. Riley,
Neptune Imaging Inc.