Human character modeling technical workflow question

I was wondering if there is a generally accepted way of modelling humanoids, or bipedals in general. As in, which body part do you start with, or do people model them individually and then sew the parts together? I generally start by making the pelvis area, then extrude from there, make the torso, arms, legs and finally head. I am very interested in hearing your workflows!


Well, generally speaking, people usually model a simple base of the whole character and then proceed adding necessary details rather than making separate body parts and sewing them back together. It all depends on the persons preference in 3d modeling. But if you think about it, making parts of the body separably might not be the best idea because you could end up with insanely different amounts of edges on body parts, which would make sewing them together very difficult. Then again, “blenderella tutorial” uses this method, go check it out.

I usually start with a cylinder or a box the rough size of the torso: pelvis to neck. I add a few loop cuts to this, rough shape it to suit, then add arms, legs, neck and head. After shaping these new additions, I add hands and feet. After I have shaped everything and checked proportions, I’ll start adding details, like the face, fingers and toes, ears, more detailed musculature and bony landmarks (knees, ribs, elbows, clavicles and shoulder blades, etc.) I finish the model off working on the hair and clothing.

I’ve tried individual parts sewn together, but the only time it has worked for me is when, to save some time, I took an ear from one model and pasted it onto another. In general, the problems of proportion, number of vertices at the connection points (Blenderella overcomes this by insisting on specific vert counts, but I’m not that organized when working on my own projects) and just getting the parts positioned correctly in relation to each other makes it unworkable for me.

These days, though, with sculpt available, many artists are throwing together a base mesh, and then using sculpt. I’ve yet to do enough practicing with the sculpt tools to make this a viable workflow for me, but, one of these days…

Anyway, I don’t claim this is the generally accepted way, just my way. In an artist community, finding a generally accepted way is probably like finding out how to herd cats. :wink:

Welcome to BlenderArtists :smiley:

There’s no need to mention sculpting here because both ways of modeling can be implemented when doing retopology. I think that best advice to our friend would be that no matter what technique he chooses, he should always thoroughly analyse the organic creature and visual the topology in his head before he starts modeling in order to make the end product more professional looking. In the end it doesn’t matter what technique you choose as long as the end product is of good quality. Note that some models would require different modeling techniques and that is something that you need to figure out on your own.

Thank you very much for all the input! I usually have issues when connecting the head to the neck and when extruding the arms, they look rather… i don’t even know the name of the shape. Bagel shaped i guess. All the tutorials i watched are different, so i figured i’ll just go and make characters again and again and just practice :slight_smile: Thanks again for the responses!