How to model Polar Bear?


I am planning to model a polar bear. how to get “blue-prints” or references? i can’t find any. Also hope to be guided on how to model it, like how should i start off…(so as to ensure that my end result have good edge loops for animation).


Check Google.

You might not always be lucky and find perfect reference images.

Here ya go. Just go to google, put in polar bear and add side/front/top etc. and should be able to find some that match up.

okay… will these pictures be fine?

how should i start then? e.g. make a rectangular block… then subsurf… adjust/extrude… subsurf again… adjust/extrude… until i get the shape? Or start with the head, vertice by vertice… making sure the points match up to the references in front and side view?


Try both ways and use which ever seems to work.
At the bottom they model a fox with photo assitence.
Work it throug to get feeling how they model an animal

yup i went through that tutorial before (although i did not try to create the fox). I applied this vertice by vertice way to model a car quite recently… so im rather familiar with it. So basically… for animals… or organic objects/ living things… this piece by piece way of modelling is the standard way? I mean… as opposed to like creating a cube… then subdivide/subsurf…to slowly morph the cube into some detailed model? But i suppose the first way (tedious) where u plant vertice by vertice has more control over the shape of the edge loops… resulting in a smoother/ more refined model in the end?

Start with a head…i think box modelling would be what i would do…but its your project so you decide what method you want to use…tell us then…and we can guide you…:wink:

whoops!.. i have already started modelling. didn’t see your suggestion on box modelling… sorry…

haha had bad experince with box modelling previously… box modelling a human head… well turns out that the edge loops are not smooth and nice… rather… square/rectangular in nature… But well… thats also cos it is my first head model.

erm… ok back to topic … ya so basically what i managed to do till this post, using vertice by vertice method…

taa daaa!

feedback pls, on how i started off?

Looks like a box model, hweiee. If you are planning on animating this puppy, you’ll need the appropriate edge loops, sooner or later. At minimum, he’s going to need to open and close his mouth and his eyes, so you need loops around the mouth and eyes. He’s probably going to have ears that are much more mobile than human ears, as well, so you have to plan for that, too. If you start with a box, adjusting the edges from the box into animatable edge loops is going to be a bear (no pun intended :wink: )

You can use TorQ’s method, but you have to maintain the relationship of the loops to the features: in your attempt, you have traded the nose for the mouth. Won’t work. The bear’s nose is at the end of his muzzle, and the jaw is a lot deeper than a human jaw, but the loops that allow the animation are the same, and have to go around the mouth. The edge loop for the jaw will wind up circling the upper forehead between the eyes and the ears.

Anyway, the Noob to Pro fox, or wolf, or whatever, is not intended to show how to make an animatable model. It’s purpose is to demonstrate how to use background images to make a model, and, last time I looked at it, was pretty confusing. Maybe it’s been cleaned up.

So, my advice is two fold: study the threads of people who have done similar things (won’t find many on animals, but there are several on people, and the principles are the same), and take the advice you get here with a grain of salt, not everyone who gives advice gives good advice. After you’ve spent some time reading other threads, though, you’ll get to know who are the players and who are the playa’s.

Orinoco is correct. What you’ve done by extending the nose is to completely miss the loops around the mouth. In fact, you don’t have any loops as such, even the eye loops are missing. “Loopology” (I just made that up) is a complex subject that takes a little time to sink in. You could continue from here and create the necessary loops but it’s probably not the easiest way to approach it.

As for good tutorials, try this one but ignore Modron’s initial demonstration (sorry Modron) as it doesn’t develop loops. Scroll down to Torq’s post and see the difference between his lizard and Modron’s lizard. Look especially at the loops around the mouth and eyes - they are a work of art! You can almost feel the muscle structure in this very simple model. Torq didn’t make nostrils but you can see a poly sitting in just the right spot and this could easily be extruded into a simple nostril loop in much the same way the eye loop was made. Also, as Orinoco mentioned, you can see how a major loop goes from the jaw around and across the forehead - the other loops are contained within this loop. Your polar bear should be more like this - though you’ll obviously need a smaller mouth and a muzzle.

For a “better” side reference, try this. Be aware that when you use photos, you must ensure they are set at the correct angle so that major features align.

Take a look at this little movie clip link>
It’s from cgtalk forum in the topology thread and was posted by neox, It shows the topology of a head morphing into a pigs head, you will see how the same loops for a human head can be applied to the pigs head.


i stated my model from a plane at the black nose… then from there i added vertices to extend and “wrap” around the bear’s face. is this how i should start?

ok so i should redo mine? however, i do not understand why my model is considered “not following smooth flow of proper edge loops”. should i confine the muzzle and black nose to the “human nose” region, and the bear’s mouth to the “human mouth” region?

o… and the different coloured lines represent different facial muscles? or something like that?

and that mov clip is really cool… haha

AndyD, thank you for digging up Modron’s modeling thread (If he’d had the good sense to put it in the modeling forum, it’d probably be a sticky by now.) TorQ’s post is brilliant, as always. When is he going to write a book?

hweiee, to save you a bit of research, and to give a bit more prominence to a great tutorial, here is the image TorQ posted in Modron’s thread

It’s fairly self explanatory, he starts with a mirrored cube with the interior face deleted, and puts in new geometry with either extrude (e) or the loop cut tool (ctrl r). It doesn’t start getting lizard specific until step 6, when he places the eye socket on top of the jaw, up to that point, it’s a start for any animal with a muzzle. At step 6, instead of putting in an eye, extrude the faces in back to build up a skull, then put the eyes in once the skull has taken shape.

For an example, I’ve just started modeling a dog using TorQ’s lizard tutorial as a starting point, take a look at the face loops on the dog (see my sig.)

[The different color lines in the Better Face Tutorial are just so you know which line is which in front and side view.]

[To see how your edge loops are running, use the loop cut tool and put the mouse cursor on an edge you want to check. Blender will draw a purple line along the edge loop (Esc to avoid actually cutting a new loop)]

ok. basically I start off by making the muzzle/mouth by using the lizard tutorial by TorQ… then after step 5… i begin to shape it specifically to the polar bear? such as fattening the muzzle, etc?
and the dog u are modelling… how long did it take you to get to that 1st screenshot (on the first post)? a few days? or hours only?

It took me about 3 hours to get to the first screenshot, since then, I’ve had time to put in another 3 hours or so. Of course, this is my first dog.

orinoco, i created a little bit using what you told me… starting off with the TorQ’s tutorial. Heres a screen of what i have got… erm… i find the method rather difficult (i dun feel comfortable using this way… and am confused now about how the loops for the bear face should be.

(oh… just realised i closed blender after taking the screenshot… without saving the above file)

whats wrong with my first attempt? i think i wrapped mesh around the face rather nicely… except that it doesn’t have a mouth. would i be possible for me to adjust the model from my first attempt… adding a mouth… and er, are the edge loops incorrect? if possible can do a quick sketch over the first screenshot to illustrate the loops?

this is the screenshot for the 1st attempt, copied here again, for convinience.

thanks for all your help! =D

I don’t want this to sound mean but I think you need to a lot more tutorials before you continue with this. At the very least, you need to do a lot of reading about what loops are, why they are important and how to make them go where you want them to.

It looks easy when you see someone else’s finished model but it’s really quite an advanced subject. It is not easy. Pages and pages and pages have been written about it - and there’s still a lot of discussion going on all over the internet. To explain the whole theory and practice here in a couple of paragraphs would be impossible.

So, carefully study other people’s wire-frame models, wherever you can find them (try to get models from people with a good reputation). It’s going to take a long time to understand it - that’s just how it is. It’s also going to take time to make each model. Don’t worry about how long it takes, just worry about getting it as good as you can. Some people can model easily but suck at animation, others can animate but spend hours trying to make seemingly simple models. Some are great at both while others are average at both. Some people will never come to grips with either. It’s a struggle and you have to be willing to struggle to understand and improve.

Have you made the lizard from the tutorial? If not, then you should, it’s a great place to start. The fact that you aren’t comfortable with the method doesn’t matter. It’s not meant to be simple, it’s just meant to be correct. Playing golf is easy if you don’t worry about keeping your head still, swinging your hips, hitting the ball or getting it in the hole in a few shots. But if you want to play golf well, you have to learn technique and you have to do a lot of hard work before it starts to become “easy”.

I’ve attached one of my early attempts at a sheep’s head. The line I’ve marked as “Centre Loop” is a single loop that goes right around the centre of the head in a complete loop (it has no ends). On the centre image you can see some of the major loop regions. The area I’ve circled on the cheek is not a good example of loop structure and may need to be re-thought if I wanted to continue with this model. I offer it only as something to consider and I don’t claim it to be a great example by any means. This model took some considerable time and I deleted and re-built the area around the nose and mouth a couple of times (I was just learning what loops are, though I had built a couple of human heads at this point.)

Just take a deep breath and keep learning. If you stick with it, your polar bear will happen when the time’s right.


okay i understand. my experience (attempts) thus far is just 1 human head, 2 cars, and this polar bear… haha i have a long way to go…