Coming in on Monday I got to work on modeling the character for our project, because of the nature of our project we all feel that it’s important that our character is very much proportionately and atomically correct.

using my subscription to digital tutors I found a tutorial explaining how to Create a Digital Human: Volume and Muscle, it focuses on teaching organic modeling techniques and a production workflow to creating the clean topology and establishing anatomical volume and muscle to create a realistic human from reference.

creating digital humans.jpeg
it contains over 5 hours of project-based training for artists learning the technical and artistic processes of creating digital doubles.
I followed this tutorial to help me make a base mesh for our character with good clean topology which we could later alter using a sculpting program
the course was a total of 42 videos, half of them being around 5 minutes long and the other half of the videos being around 10 minutes so it took a bit of time to get through everything. Fallowing the videos, I blocked out the torso, neck, and head then added topology for the eye sockets and nose while trying to refine the shape of everything.

I learned about the importance of the nasolabial fold allowing these steps. while Attaching the neck to head and torso I created the topology for the sternomastoid muscle, once the neck was attached I smoothed it out a bit.

Moving down I block out the lower body and create the topology for the behind and then moving back up to create the arm, the topology for the shoulder, and some topology for the extensor carpi radialis muscle group in the forearm, then finally blocking out the hands, feet, and breast. I had to reroute some of the topology so there would be some space for the sternum between the breasts.

With the whole form of the character blocked out I could now move on to refining the areas, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. when refining the eye I had to add some more resolution along the top and the bottom of the eye to better shape it, however the flow of my topology prevented me from simply using edge loops to solve this problem, so I had to reroute the topology into each other manually using the cut tool, when refining the nose I improved on the shape then extruded out the nostrils, and to refine the mouth I had to create geometry for the lips and topology for the philtrum.


I was a bit worried about how long it was going to take me to model the ear, especially since I had never really modelled a realistic one before, however the tutorials really helped break down the process of making ear by first creating and shaping curves and folds of the ear, combining them and filling in the gaps, attaching the ear was little tricky because I needed to reduce the definition around the border edge of the ear so it could be attached to the head.

because this is a realistic sporty character, muscles are going to be an important component, so some geometry needs to be in place for that. Having topology in place for the muscles will help a lot when we move this model into zbrush, it should also look good in the animation. I created topology and geometry for the trapezius and latissimus dorsi, the clavicle, the quadriceps and Knee’s, the calf muscles, and the abdominal area.

the face of my model didn’t look as nice as one in the tutorial once it was finished so I attempted to make the face more aesthetically pleasing, looking at trying to slightly edit the face and bring out more of the facial muscles, I tried using ZBrush however it proved to be very different from Mudbox or Maya so I downloaded and used Mudbox instead as I didn’t want to spend much more time working on this model.


The aim was not to make a normal map but simply move points around at an easier and faster rate than what was capable in Maya, I didn’t want to add any more polygons yet I just wanted things to be shaped a bit better.

once I was happy with the face, I made the character some clothes, following jennies character design, I first started to make a sports top, I duplicated my character mesh and deleted the unneeded polygons as a starting point, I had to also delete and reconstructed the chest because I didn’t want her shirt to fit perfectly around her breast, for the legging I just extruded out to create the ankle hems and a waistband as the legging are skin tight anyway.

I tend to find hair to be quite tricky, though I think I’ve found a good way of creating it. on digital tutors in the second part of Creating Digital Humans series, its shows how hair can be done using Nerb curves and lofts, I tried to follow the character designs hair as best I could, I’m hoping I can make the hair look much better when sculpting it

screencap 2017-02-20 16-15-29.jpg

what did you need to know, learn or focus on when creating the model?
• style of character

• anatomy
• topology

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 19.57.58

Last year, one final year project set out to work with the artist Anthony Cooley and bring his art and characters to life. Anthony Cooley created a collection of cards and prints featuring little kids wearing their favourite onesies, which later went onto inspire short stories about children seeking adventure in mysterious places and meeting new acquaintances along the way. Andrews group had a similar, yet different problem from us, their challenge was to transfer a 2D character into a 3D environment, for example, worms, and sonic the hedgehog, I want to bring light to these because they sort of failed in their transition, e.g. due sonic speed, the camera that represents the view of the player has a hard time keeping up with him which tend to lead to motion sickness, this wasn’t a problem in a 2D space as the camera could be always focusing on what was ahead of him lessening a chance of motion sickness and allowing the player to see what’s in front of sonic, giving time to react.


The problem we have is slightly different from Andrews team, while Andrews team had to figure out what changes they’d need to make to the original design of the characters so they could animate that character within a 3D space, the problem we face is that we need to create an appealing character while keeping it anatomically realistic while also making it visually appealing.
Inner workings
the Disney short inner workings all though visually appealing only really focuses on the organs of the body not the really the muscle’s or the body’s proportions, also the designs of those organs are for the purpose of storytelling and not for the purpose of educating, they are designed as character, not as a visual aid.


Good blends from Disney
inner workings may not be a good example of some characters that are both anatomically realistic and visually appealing, however, Disney does have some other good examples such as Tarzan, Hercules, Moana and Nani from “lilo and stitch”


3d examples
Brave – Merida

Hotel Transylvania – Mavis Dracula

Animated movie epic

big hero six

How to Train Your Dragon

James and the giant peach


Comic book style

anime and manga
I don’t want our character to look like an anime or manga character, however, the reason I’m looking at it is because something anime/manga tends to be very good at is maintaining anatomically realistic, the face, on the other hand, tend to be down to artistic license. The 1995 film “Ghost in the Shell” is a good example of a more realistic version anime/manga




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