Newbie in way over her head.

I’m working on a model of a wolf(read: canine of unknown pedigree) and I’ve absolutely no idea what I’m doing (Working through trial-and-error, a mishmash of various tutorials, and various references) I’ve attached thumbnails of what I’ve got so far, but I’m thinking of just scrapping the whole thing and starting again (for the sixth/seventh/eighth time. I’ve lost count exactly where.)
First off, is this salvageable at all? tips for making the body less boxy would be much appreciated, regardless of whether or not I’m going scrap it, as I’ll doubtlessly run into the same problem again.

Secondly, I haven’t even looked at the paws. I’m not sure how to even begin shaping them into something other than vague club-feet.

Thirdly. I have looked at the ears and face, especially the ears and eyes, and I gave up on them for the time being. Any tips/tricks/links to tutorials would be beyond awesome. Especially the eyes. I don’t even know where to begin for the eyes.


Press F9 then Set Smooth. And in the Modifiers tab, add a Subsurf modifier, default settings.

IMO, the “side view” is quite good. The “front view” could be better. Specifically, the feet look like sticks (give them some natural volume) and the head is too narrow. Google Images might help.
You might also want to take a look at threads on this forum, like this one.

Adding details is just modeling work. You subdivide edges and add/remove/move vertices. All you need is a good model (e.g. from Google Images) and a lot of patience.

One last thing, don’t scrap it!

And welcome.

I noticed that his sides aren’t symmetrical, which tells me you’re probably working on them separately. Nothing wrong with it, but it will result in a lot of extra work that’s not strictly necessary. What I’d recommend instead is that you add a central line, lop off half the model (left or right) and add a mirror modifier. It’ll save you an immense amount of work in the long-run.

An important thing about wolf eyes is to make them sit toward the front of the head, for that peircing gaze that wolves have. One thing I would do, is to go to a taxadermists site, such as van dykes, and study their taxadermy forms, which have all the little details, but without the hair. I don’t know if they have one for a wolf, but that might have a coyote, which is similar.

the van dykes site had this, bit it’s not really a view I can use, but I’ll keep looking for a pose at an angle I can play around with a bit. I did find a conservation site with a ton of shots, though, so I’ll use those for now.

I deleted the right half of the model, and I’m liking the mirror modifier. ^~^

is there any way to make certain parts of the mesh temporarily disappear without deleting it? it would make tweaking the head so much easier.

thanks for the help, all of you.

There sure is. Select the parts you want hidden and hit H. Poof! When you want them back, hit Alt-H and they’ll magically reappear.

There’s an excellent thread on mesh topology (loops, poles, etc) – looking at your mesh, it looks like you might find it helpful, particularly if you intend to experiment with rigging this guy for animation.

I think this is quite salvageable, in fact, it looks pretty good. As has been mentioned, all it really needs is more TLC, time, and work. If you’re planning to animate this, then you’ll have to work on topology quite a bit-but judging from the polygons you’ve got going right now, it shouldn’t be too difficult to add the right loops. It WILL take lots of time though.

You could really benefit from a mirror modifyer, just to cut the time down in making both sides symmetrical. As for the shape, it’s pretty good, just keep work at it and find as many reference images as you can.

Now, as for the head, I think you may actually benefit from watching some human head tutorials. Really, when it comes down to it, the human and most mammal heads are very similar-just distorted a lot. This means that the topology could end up being very similar. I haven’t actually done any animal heads yet, so I can’t say for sure how effective this will be, but I think it may be worth the time.

Good luck, I’d love to see more on this.

Updates! (I’ll make a WIP thread tomorrow when I’m less lazy.)

I’ve tweaked the body a little, and succeeded in rounding it out a bit, I think. I’ve started shaping the front legs, but I would dearly appreciate any suggestions in what tools to use to split the toes.

I also widened the head a bit.

I’m not planning to animate it, exactly, but it will need to be sort of posable. I’m assuming that it’s the same basic thing, aside from the actual animating.


You haven’t added a WIP thread yet, so I’ll just comment here.

Posing it, you COULD make do with just modifying the vertices, IE selecting, rotating, etc. That’s if you really didn’t want to add a rig, and the advantage this way is that you don’t necessarily need to pay as much attention to the topology. However, adding a rig is debatably quicker than reposing it once, and definitely quicker than reposing it twice, if that makes any sence. A basic rig in blender is pretty quick. (A really really good one on the other hand… )

Aha! I knew I was forgetting something

I don’t relish the idea of repositioning everything by hand, and if I get into the habit of doing that, I’ll be screwed when I actually want to animate something.
I’m not sure what adding a rig entails (take pity on my ignorant nooblet self) but I’ll have to learn sometime, and since I’ll likely be reposing it several times, I might as well add the rig, and call it a learning experience.