Week #3 —7125GFS CGI: Character Modelling

In week two, we learned how to model a female human head. This week we have moved on to the body. Some of the more important takeaways from this class include:

  • Always maintain good topology. A character model is no good if it deforms every time it is animated to move.
  • Always prepare polygon surfaces for extrusions, even if it (temporarily) causes some issue with overall form. Surfaces can be corrected afterwards.
  • Make sure the front and side views of your concept/reference are perfectly aligned. This makes the modelling process that much smoother.
  • Maintain clean lines on concept/reference. Messy lines lead to assumptions of model shape.

I’ve already been introduced to all the tools we used during class. But it is yet to be seen if I’ll learn anything new from the tutorial videos of week 3.

As it was last week, we didn’t get to the end of the materials meant for lesson 3. That was left for use to do in our own time.

Unfortunately, half the CGI: Character Modelling work for this week has been about catching up on content from week 2. It’s a little frustrating that it’s going so slowly but I want to make sure that I’m doing everything correctly. The good news is, the tutorial videos are very informative. They’ve taught me that it will take practice to properly understand how to model a humanoid body in 3D space. While having a model sheet is extremely helpful in this regard, some details are left up to the modeller. These include the volume and depth of features that aren’t obvious in a character model sheet like the cheeks and the brow. There are also the compromises the modeller would have to make when a hand drawn feature doesn’t pan out when converted to 3D.

Once I get on top of the weekly content, I’m hoping to do some more modelling practice. Perhaps I might look at other methods for modelling the various human features.

Aside from that, the other half of the work has been around my first piece of Assessment, the character concept.

This week, I’ve done some research for inspiration and reference material for the body, head and hair. I’ve also done some sketches of the character.

It isn’t completed yet but I intend to change that very soon.

I have to admit, it took more time than I thought it would to land on an idea that I liked. I didn’t want there to be a specific theme to the character but at the same time I didn’t want to be completely plain and unoriginal so I eventually settled on this design. When it is finished, it will depict a normal, working-class, dark-skinned woman with short hair. The part of this that took the longest to figure out was the hair. Hair like this should be relatively simple to model in Maya so long as the sketch is accurate.

Okay. Confession time.

This is due tomorrow…

However, I fully intend to have it completed before class and have it submitted on time. All I have to do is work on it for a few more hours.

Here’s to hoping it all goes well.

Aspiring graphic designer and 3D modeller. Graduate of Bond University. Avid Disney fan.