So the first character modeling vid I published on YouTube still gets tons of hits… but it’s a bit long in the tooth. So here is the new improved version, updated for Maya 2016!
Female body modeling tutorial:
This modeling tutorial follows the James Taylor PATENTED CYLINDER TECHNOLOGY© workflow:
Step 1: create a cylinder!
Step 2: make it look like a girl!
Seriously though, I model on top of brand new image reference. I hired a model to pose for some photos, she was a huge help and a good sport.
In general, the better quality the image reference we start from, the better our final results will tend to be.
Modeling the male and female bodies takes a very different approach. Despite the fact that we all have the same bones and muscles, there are significant structural differences between the sexes. A few rules of thumb:
- women have narrower shoulders and waists, and wider hips.
- the point where a woman’s neck meets the clavicle is lower, giving the appearance of a longer neck.
- women generally have longer torsos and shorter legs, compared to men.
- coloration is stronger on women’s faces (think lips and cheeks).
Aesthetic differences in creation
When it comes to the two sexes, I find my approach is different for men and women.
The male form tends to emphasize complexity and detail – think exaggerated musculature bulging all over the body. To this end, I like to block out the basic form quickly, and then get sculpting quickly, to add detail everywhere.
The female form tends to emphasize simplicity and subtlety- as a contrast to the male form, we don’t expect to see a lot of muscular shapes. Instead, we expect to see long areas of smoothly flowing detail, interrupted occasionally with subtle hints at detail.
That means that when creating women, I like to spend a lot of time in the modeling stage, because that is where the bulk of the work happens. Consequently, the sculpting stage is much shorter than it is with a male mesh.
And now, without further stalling for time, the video:
MAYA 2016 FEMALE BODY character modeling tutorial
There’s only so much I can fit into 18 minutes on YouTube…
Download the EXTENDED CUT tutorial – it’s 3 times as long! Much more detail and explanation, especially focused on creating proper anatomy and tweaking the body shape. Ultra high quality, meant for off-line view and study.
Or, you can download the completed character model here! From a learning standpoint, there’s no substitute for actually being able to inspect the model itself.