Method to my Madness

For the past year, I’ve created characters for my project by first modeling the head, importing a model from Makehuman, decapitate the head from the Makehuman model and attaching it to the head as I create other parts to the character like clothing, etc.

The reason why I do this is because I’ve tried to make a body to the characters I created in the past only to fail at every attempt.

The point that I’m trying to get across is this. Is my method is a form of “cheating” the modeling process? I would like to hear your input on this matter.

Depends. If one of your goals is to learn as much as you can, yeah you’re cheating. If your goal is to get something done then no, it’s not cheating; you want to use all the resources you can get.
So called “cheating” is also encouraged but that means doing it in a smart way: if you’re in production mode, you want to save time in modeling but without the end result taking a hit because of it. Preferably you should reuse your own models because you know how you made them and the reasons for their topology, so you also know how to edit them and which one to use as a basis.

The human body can be meshed in different ways. Studying models made by others is not cheating. That is how we all learn. Using model made by others and claiming that it is yours, is cheating.

I recommend that you take the Blenderella Character Development DVD. Once you finish this DVD “cheating” won’t be in your vocabulary.

That’s the last tutorial I used to make a human body. I made the head using a different tutorial but I can’t even get past the neck.

It might be good to start out with very low poly and work your way up to high poly studying topology along the way. That’s the way us older people did it because; that’s just the way it was done.

Yeah, I’ll do that off and on. For now, I’ll stick to my previous method.

Here is basic approach I take to model upper body.

Body is basically cylinder made in oval shape by scaling Y-axis down. Neck extrude from top in tapered fashion “A”. Cylinder number of sides depends on number of sides on the neck interface under the head. At “B” loop vertices gets edited to form body contour. Neck base gets a tilt. Try to locate Clavicle line going up to shoulder. Create area where arm needs to come out. At “C”, neck and arm are extruded, as body forms are refined:

The transition from the head to torso may be the hardest part. Trying to find ways to merge the two different resolutions can be a bear. There are people who model with sculpt methods too.