Best way to model organic body

What is the best way to start modelling a body of a beast, like a troll. Should I start with a tube, cube, plane, what’s will make this the easiest for texturing/rigging? Thanks.

I have not tried it myself but I think Sharpconstruct will work well. It is a organic modeller, because you can push and pull a model like clay. So you can give it a try if you want, otherwise I usually start of with a cube to make some of my models. here is the page for sharpdconstruct:

First you want some reference pictures of what you want to model. A front and side view is best. Just draw it yourself. Doesn’t have to be perfect - the model can be tweaked a lot more easy than the drawing. Then what I do is add a cylinder near the bottom and just model up.

There a lot of methods, the two largest being box modelling and vert modelling and their spin-offs.

Box modelling is when you basically start with a shape, i.e. a box, tube, etc. Extrude it and make general forms and then start detailing. Its very effective, but I think it only does simpler, lower detail characters justice personally. I don’t feel the same amount of control over where my vertices are or where the model is head with this, plus I tend to wind up just deleting and redoing every vertice as I go along. However, for more simple characters or if you plan to be doing details in something like sharpconstruct or a similar program it can be worthwhile.

Vertex modelling is where you basically start with one vertex and from that extrude all you shapes and details. You do wind up making a few more mistakes this way if you don’t have a vision of where you want your model to go though. I think it gives better control over where portions of the model are going and the model as a whole, and can lend itself to adding major details. However, it easy to get carried away with this method by adding to many vertices, making an unnecessarily complex model. Just like the above method this one lends itself to being edited with something like sharpconstruct, but you can add more details more easily and with better flow before taking to an external program.

Its really a mixed bag of comfort and skill level. If your looking for it to be a little easier, you should probably try box modelling, but if your trying to gain a little more control and overall satisfaction with your model (afterall, vert by vert takes slightly longer) then go with vert by vert method. Either will and can produce excellent results.

Thanks for the speedy replies!

Thanks Forte, your post was very good, thanks for your time, I appreciate that. I think (at my level) I’m going to go with box-modelling.

ive tryed both i like box modeling a lot but i kninda combine them like i make a basic shape then i add vetexs were needed

Here are some tutorials for modeling low polygon characters, they are for 3ds max but still useful.

Env’s Bongo tutorial is probably worth a read. It’s straight forward box modelling and creates a great looking model… and it’s BLENDER!

The tutorial is done in an older version of Blender so there may be quicker, easier or slightly different ways of doing some steps but in general, it’s a great guide and if you look at Enrico’s site, you’ll see that he knows what he’s doing.

It won’t show you how to make a humanoid but the priciples are the same.

Here’s a non-Blender tutorial on box-modelling an entire humanoid body:

Great Links AndyD and Lamoot! The last link (entire humanoid body) Is awesome. Thanks guys.

Box modelling with subsurf.

If Im doing a complicated model I start with a simple shape with subsurf set to 3. For more detail, I’ll change the subsurf to 1, apply it, then set up subsurf again. That way the extra verts are in the places I want and I can mess with them

Play with the effects of loop cutting, proportial vertex editing, creasing and extrusions on a subsurfed model so when you model an acutal object you know which of these to use for each part of it.

Deciding between box-modelling and vert-modelling is not an objective matter at all. In my oppinion neither of the methods is “better” or “worse” for any given task. Instead, what it comes down to is preference.

When box-modelling you start with a very rough shape and then start adding details and refining sections until you’re satisfied. Basically you extrude until you have the right shape blocked out and then you cut and add edge loops to add details and adjust the edge flow. This method is great if you need to see the model before you, like I do. I can’t lay out proportions in my head, which is why I suck at drawing. When drawing on paper my proportions are always way off. Box-modelling is a more explorative approach on modelling where you start with only a rough idea and see where the process takes you.

Vertex modelling is for people who have exact visions of what they are trying to achieve. You concentrate on small areas and it’s easy to loose your sense of proportions if you don’t have a natural sense for things like that. If, on the other hand, you can draw very well (or even better - draw without sketching the rough forms first) then this might be the way to go for you. You don’t gain greater control over the mesh, not objectively. You do, however, get your edgeflow quicker than with box-modelling and you get small areas of your project “done” in a shorter amount of time. For example if you start modelling a head of a creature, by the time you’re done with the head you’re done with it. When box modelling you only have a very rough outline and usually model the whole body first and then start detailing stuff. I find myself working all over the place when box modelling. One day I’ll work on the ear, next day the eyes, next day the nose, then the ear again, etc. Then I find I need more detail in another part of the body, which sends an edge all the way to a part that was already finished, so that I have to either adjust the edgeflow or adjust the already finished part of the model.

So, what it comes down to is preference. Try both and see which way suits you better.
And, yes, Blender lends itself more to vert-modelling. It misses some tools that could make the life of a box modeller easier, for example N-Gons and some tools that help you in adjusting the edge flow of a mesh. Wings is supposed to be a great box-modeller though I haven’t tried it yet.

And for people saying that box modelling works only for simple meshes: AFAIK Gollum was done with box modelling. (Or at least there is a quick timelapse on the making-of documentary of LotR showing exactly that).

Very imformative post there, Sandman, thanks for your time. Just wondering, what does “AFAIK” mean? And for all I know (guess)?


Very imformative post there, Sandman, thanks for your time. Just wondering, what does “AFAIK” mean? And for all I know (guess)?

Just wondering what google is…

I really need to start modelling in blender. Just keep putting it off.

AFAIK = As Far As I Know

One of the more common internet abreviations.