Beginner Question about High Poly Modeling Workflow

Hey guys,

I have been using Blender (which is awesome) for the last couple of weeks. I have been going through various modeling tutorials and I want to experiment a little on my own. I want to create a finely detailed muscular character… something like the Hulk or the other image that I have uploaded. Please keep in mind that I am doing this only for learning purposes. Through this exercise I want to get better at modeling. I am not looking to animate/rig what I create.

I am specifically interested in the torso (and the arms after that) and I am wondering if the kind of detail depicted in the picture can be achieved by creating a basic box outline of the torso and arms and then adding in the details through edge loops.

I have looked through Google, Youtube and various Blender forums and I have come across a few different methods of modeling.

  1. Box modeling/Edge modeling, then subsurf then arrange edge loops (which I find easy until creating the basic body… finely sculpting the muscles and so on on through this method has been very tough so far)

  2. Box modeling then using the sculpting tool and multires feature to create layer after layer of details on the initial box model. (I am still getting familiar with the sculpt tool).

  3. Box modeling the basic shape and using subsurfs and then creating normal and UV maps to create the detail. (I know nothing about mapping as of now but I have some tutorials which I will be looking at shortly)

My plan is to use each of these methods to try and create the HULK character shown in the attached picture. I know that methods 2 and 3 can create such an end result. However, I am wondering if such fine detail can be achieved through method 1 i.e. box modeling and edge modeling.

So my main question is as follows:
Is it possible to create something so detailed (by detailed I mean just the muscles shown in the pictures and the way they cut into the body and out of it… not stuff like veins on the hands and so on) with just box and edge modeling using the knife tool and the edge loop cut tool?

And a secondary question would be, which of the 3 methods would you recommend as the easiest and quickest to achieve such an end result. I know that everyone will have their own preferences but I’m sure that some methods will have advantages over others.

Thank you for reading this insanely long post and thank you in advance for answering my question.


There’s a reason the ZBrush logo is on that picture :wink: .

It’s theoretically possible to model something like that with edgeloops, but it would require a crazily capable artist to achieve the level of detail shown on the second picture (I think the anatomy itself is rather terrible on that one, but that’s not the issue here).

Just sculpt it.

Option 3 doesn’t make any sense. You create normal maps by baking down from a high poly, so err, yeah.

Thanks a lot Zwebbie! I only noticed the Maya logo in that picture… Didn’t see the Zbrush one… Sculpting it is then…