maya 2016 female body modeling tutorial

Maya 2016 female body modeling tutorial

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.

Gender differences

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).
  • etc.

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

Want more?

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.

5 thoughts on “Maya 2016 female body modeling tutorial”

  1. Hi M. Taylor,

    I modeling a head with your tutorial … I end up with the edges I don’t know how to remove and above that I don’t understand how they got there …
    So I will wish to remove edges, knowing they have no vertex peaks, the control + DEL does not work, and when I decide to remove the face, the famous edges move on my mesh ????
    The quirk is that in mode 1 these small edges are no longer visible: 3 mode only!

    Here is my Pics :

    Thank you anyway

    1. Good news, this isn’t actually a problem – it is just a rendering artifact for smoothed proxy in Maya’s viewport. When you unsmooth, you’ll see that those faces and edges aren’t there. This is a simple display bug, you should proceed as if everything is normal with those faces!

  2. i have important question… but first i want thank you for your fantastic way in teaching… the question is … there is specific number of divisions for the cylinder to start working …. i mean it will be so helpful if you confirm that ” when you start male models start with thats number of divisions for the cylinder for torso and this number for eye cylinder shape etc …. and when you start female models start with this number…. i hope you got my point because im not very good in english so its hard to explain.

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