Problem modeling


I have to be the worst modeler and I’d really appriciate some help. I model using LightWave and will start in MAYA, once i get the hang of things. It takes me forever to model anything. I draw things out, i rack my brains trying to see whats meant to wor in my head, but nothing…It ends up messy, and looking only a little simular to my sketch. I saw the thread on topology, but it doesnt explain what it is, and i cant find any info on the net.

My questions to you are:
-whats the best way to model something? If you say, “it depends on the model or what you want to do with it”, then how do I know what is the best way for a model, and what are the different ways I can go about doing it? (what I’m interested in modeling is a man, and a cartoon charactor for animation)

  • how do you make sure that your mesh looks/stays clean?
  • Where can I get any info on modeling? Im more into the theory side of it, not the program and tools side of things.
  • Are there any good video tuts? Free and to buy?
  • Are there any exercises or maybe something I should learn to get better quicker, at modeling?

Thank you very much for your time, even if ya dont reply,

  1. There’s several techniques, depending on what skill you’re currently at. I found that when I began several years ago, this technique really did it for my models. Not only did I get full control over the edgeloops right away, I got the form I wanted to. I’ve eventually progressed to other techniques, but that must be something you find yourself.

2 - 3.
Here’s something about cleaness:

Here’s about the modeling and edge loop:

To get better you have to be good at drawing, there’s no excuse. That’s the fastest way to get better at modeling. It took me 6 months after I began learning how to draw to reaaaally see the difference in my models.


I disagree sort of… I mean it is cool to be able to draw for sure, but I am able to model chars just fine… just a quick sketch will suffice if and when required, but I really don’t believe in the “you Have to be good at drawing in order to learn to model”

Sorry, it just ain’t so, least ways with me… infact, I find it to be the other way around… modeling has helped me see to draw better , maybe even the rendering more so, as shading is starting to come as well with those drawing skills nowadays :slight_smile:


yep… im not by far a great drawer… im kindah shitty drawing, especially characters. it doesn come close to what i model.

and my models do look if i can draw good hehe :smiley:
its all about proportions, and knowing perspective. you jsut need to be creative, aldo drawing helps to get you a better idear before modelling. it could help, but it could also block other options out, i very much improvise when modelling. if you get good at that, it will give you much nicer results… do what looks best.

and about they way thats best to model that depends… i like polygon modelling. extruding faces, and puzzling your character/object together. gives a nice control. and you can do everything an area at a time.


I also knew how to model before I started to draw, I modeled real good. But… I would’ve NEVER ever reached where I am today in such short amount of time just to model.

Of course you don’t agree with me, because that would not justify your position as modelers because you don’t draw. You have not even the slightest idea of what being able to draw do when you’re a modeler. It has nothing to do with getting ideas down on paper or anything like that. It’s all about forms, how well you’ve developed your “third dimensional sense”, and that (despite of what you might say) will only reach that far if you don’t draw.

I’m a bit self-critical though, because this is something I work with and not to be as good as I can be will never get me far. So if you’re a hobbyist, it’s fine to just use other’s model sheets all your life and have that limited sense of dimension.

Of course, some are born with this sense, but they’re often also good drawers.

Sorry guys, ask any professional and you’ll probably get the same answer.


true… you can get better faster when drawing good, its a thing im practising on :wink:
aldo i do admit its a plus, creativity can go much further than the ability the draw. yes the key lies in know depth and perspective, is that a thing you learn with drawing… yes it is, but also learned in 3d aplications when your busy with that.

when you are good in drawing, it will give you a head start, but in the end, a creative person will go far beond that, drawing is a thing you can learn , creativity is something you do or do not have.

also knowing recources etc. the greatest characters consist of a mix of allready existing things combined. its like seeing things in the clouds,feng zu’s way of sketching idears is a good example of that, especially if you cant draw.

im glad i can do …but i think its more about the creative aspect, than drawing, or modelling.


You see, for me, creativity is to express oneself in any way possible. Creativity is not to sit and copy other’s characters in a technicial fashion like modeling.


People are different, each of us… let’s just accept these things and go on… I mean there are as many different approaches to things as one would like to invent eh…

In the end, the model is done, or it is not, it has detail, or it does not, it has character, or not hehe… if drawing things out assists you in “seeing” these things better, then great, and if you just model, without reference from drawing, then also great…

I know guys who draw exceptionaly well, but can’t model a fart, even after trying it out time after time over the past few years… and I also know people who can’t draw, wo have made stunning models in the same period of time, and would never have created what they “saw” if it wasn’t for learning to model…

Just do what you feel at home doing, and let the creativity of the end piece tell the story…

time to go do some modeling now :smiley:


Thanks for the replies guys. Some of what has been said has been helpful, so thank you for that.
Is there any literiture on modeling? Like the techqniues and such? Maybe some examples? Any video’s would be very nice,


i agree with CgMonkey:buttrock:
draw is important…
skecth is a drawing…:slight_smile:

try to use your hand feel the power of your sense and u imagination



draw what you see, then draw what you think, those things you drew when you saw, you can mix and match with what you think, at it works out in the end. Thats what Ive found at least


cgMonkey is right about the drawing thing. And there’s other stuff too that help. Like clay sculpturing, origami, and whatever.

But it all comes down to the same thing. Contours makes sillhouette.

And now Q&A with the Don.

Whats the best way to model something?
Start with a box. Extrude till it define your volume of your character. Cut in the poles, Then cut in the loops that will form your Contours. Then move points till your sillhouette is complete.

How do you make sure that your mesh looks/stays clean?
[/b]Delate unwanted loops and terminate a loop with a tri. (it can be fixed later) And when you want to add details to a loop, start inside out, not outside in.

Where can I get any info on modeling?[/b]
Ask cgMonkey :slight_smile:

Are there any good video tuts? Free and to buy?
[/b] Laszlo Sebo waz giving away two videos last time i checked.

Are there any exercises or maybe something I should learn to get better quicker, at modeling?
[/b]There are only 3 rules.:-
Rule one : Practice
Rule Two : Look at rule one
Rule three : look at rule two


hm i dont agree that box modeling is best way to start... some people get confused when they start from box... it is much easier to extrude :) ... and about drawing well monkey is right for sure... i cant do good head because i don`t know to draw charcters good… now i started learning topology + drawing characters and it is much better now


I use box modeling for the body and poly modeling for the head(altought i made a pretty complex head using box one time). Box modeling is better to get the proportions right really soon in the model, and the poly modeling is good to make a mesh look clean.


i always get confused when i start from the box… :slight_smile: … hm now i can make nos and eyes good … but i have problems with lips can`t do them right no matter what when i start from box! :slight_smile: :frowning:


hey thanks guys. great replies. I have found that drawing and modeling has helped me with the other. So if i’m modeling, then my drawings get better, and vince verser.
I have tried using both the extrude and box methods. Box method is a bit of a pain, because it gives me a square look. And the extrude is a pain connecting the eyes, nose, mouth, etc. But I’ll get through it I guess.
markovicd - With topogogy, where are you getting your information from? can you share please? I too, would like to learn.


its all here


I have read that thread before, but it sounds (to me anyway) to be more of a discussion, and not really explain the theory behind it. I can’t find any thoery on topolgy.



That thread is the bible of face topology to me, you can learn all of what you need from there, also are another thread for the body topology. When I read that thread the first time, my modeling was really improved.


hm… i started reading but it is very hard to read so manny pages + 56 k :slight_smile: