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Modeling the Human Figure

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Date Added: 6th February 2007
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The Masseter and the Temporalis control movement of the jaw. These muscles are responsible for the closing and biting movements of the mandible. The muscles that open the jaw are deepseated inside the neck and are not readily visible.

The Frontalis is a broad, flat muscle located in the forehead. It wrinkles the brow horizontally and raises the eyebrows. It contributes to an angry or surprised look.

The Corrugator is a small muscle attached to the bridge of the nose. It dramatically affects the surface of the forehead when one frowns or expresses grief. By pulling the inner ends of the eyebrows together, it forces vertical wrinkles of the brow.

Circling the mouth is the Orbicularis Oris. This elliptical muscle has the unique characteristic of not being attached to any bones. Instead, it is connected to a number of small muscles pointing toward the mouth. It curls and tightens the lips. The creases that result from contracting this muscle radiate from the lips and can often be seen in the elderly.

The Orbicularis Oculi is another circular muscle circumscribing the eye. Its contractions create wrinkles at the corners of the eyes (crow's feet). Its primary function is to close the eyelids for expressions like squinting.

The Zygomatic Major angles from the side to the front of the face at the corners of the mouth. Its function is the energetic upward traction at the corners of the mouth. It takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown.

Located at the side of the nose are the three branches of the Quadratus Labii Superioris. Their function is to raise the upper lip for sneering.

The Triangularis and Depressor Labii Inferioris are responsible for the downward pull of the mouth and lips.

The Mentalis moves the skin of the chin and pushes up the lower lip.

Modeling the Head Steps

Fig. 6-3 Head Steps 1-4. 1). Making a box. 2). Dividing it and bevel extruding the neck down. 3). Dividing the head down the middle and shaping only half of it. 4). Adding extra lines for more detailed modeling.

Step 1. (Figure 6-3). After loading your photo templates of the head, create a box that is similar in size to your background images.

Step 2. (Figure 6-3). Divide the cube into smaller sections and bevel extrude the neck part down.

Step 3. (Figure 6-3). At the 0 x axis split the head down the middle and delete one half of it. In subpatch or subdivision mode refine the shape of the half head.

Step 4. (Figure 6-3). Split the half head into more sections and use the extra points to further refine the head.

Fig. 6-4 Steps 5-10. 5). Preparing the mouth area (dark part). 6). The darker areas show where polygons are split and points moved. 7). Merging to upper and lower lips. 8). Beveling out the mouth. 9). Beveling in the mouth. 10). Beveling in to start the inside of the mouth.

Step 5. (Figure 6-4). The illustration indicates the region where the mouth will be modeled. This darker polygon is where the mouth will be split and beveled.

Step 6. (Figure 6-4). Split the polygons and move points so that the configuration looks similar to the darker polygons in the illustration.

Step 7. (Figure 6-4). Merge the two polygons of the upper and lower lip so that the one polygon can be beveled in the next step.

Step 8. (Figure 6-4). Bevel out the mouth a little.

Step 9. (Figure 6-4). Bevel in the mouth to about the same plane as the polygons of the front face.

Step 10. (Figure 6-4). Bevel in the first part of the inside of the mouth.


Fig. 6-5 Steps 11-16. 11). Beveling the inside of the mouth once again. 12). A few more bevels complete the inside of the mouth. 13). Shaping the inside of the mouth and splitting the back polygons. 14). Refining the half lips. 15). Making the first bevel for the eyesocket. 10). Splitting the eye area in half.

Step 11. (Figure 6-5). Bevel in the second part of the inside mouth area.

Step 12. (Figure 6-5). Make several more bevels to complete the inside of the mouth.

Step 13. (Figure 6-5). Shape the inside mouth part so that it is rounder. If the back polygon has more than 4 sides then split it up into 3 or 4-sided polygons. Delete any inside mouth polygons that were created along the 0 x axis from beveling. The half inside mouth should be an open form.

Step 14. (Figure 6-5). Fine-tune the shape of the lips. The half mouth is now nearly complete.

Step 15. (Figure 6-5). Begin the eyesocket by selecting the polygon in that area and beveling it in once.

Step 16. (Figure 6-5). Divide the middle of the eyesocket and move points to give it a more almond-like shape.


Fig. 6-6 Steps 17-22. 17). Welding points at both corners of the eyesocket and merging the 2 half polygons (dark part). 18). Beveling in slightly to add a line around the opening. 19). Beveling in once more to begin the eyesocket. 20). Pushing and pulling points and splitting polygons to improve the eye opening. 21). Dividing and moving points at the cor- ner of the eye. 22). Beveling the eyesocket in several more times.

Step 17. (Figure 6-6). Weld the two points at both corners of the eye opening. Merge the inside polygon (dark area in the illustration).

Step 18. (Figure 6-6). Bevel the inside polygon inward a little so that you have an extra line around the eye opening (dark part).

Step 19. (Figure 6-6). Bevel the eye opening polygon in once again.

Step 20. (Figure 6-6). Split the polygons around the eye opening and refine its shape.

Step 21. (Figure 6-6). The corner of the eye (dark part) should now be split and shaped. This is the area where the pink membrane will be seen.

Step 22. (Figure 6-6). Continue work on the eyesocket by beveling it in a couple more times.

Fig. 6-7 Steps 23-28. 23). Completing the eyesocket. 24). Dividing polygons above the eye opening. 25). Dragging points down to form the upper eyelid. 26). Splitting the polygons below the eye opening to make a crease 27). Refining the jaw by splitting polygons. 28). Splitting polygons around the lips.

Step 23. (Figure 6-7). Bevel the eyesocket in once again. If necessary split the back polygon into 3 and 4-sided polygons. Shape the eyesocket to make it round enough to accommodate the eyeball which will be modeled in the next chapter.

Step 24. (Figure 6-7). Divide the polygons above the eye opening (dark area of the illustration). The resulting line will form the eyelid.

Step 25. (Figure 6-7). Drag the points above the dark part down and forward a little. Move the vertices of the top of the dark area back and up somewhat. This should form the upper eyelid.

Step 26. (Figure 6-7). Make the crease below the eye opening by splitting polygons. Move the points underneath the eye opening to create a line there. If your model has bags under the eyes you can easily shape one with the two parallel lines.

Step 27. (Figure 6-7). The polygons below the chin should be split. Move the resulting points to improve the chin area.

Step 28. (Figure 6-7). Now it is time to begin polishing the shape of the head. This means that polygons in certain areas will have to be split into smaller ones and some will have to be merged. Points will also be moved. If your software has the ability to spin quads, then use this option to find the best configuration for the different polygons. The dark parts in the illustrations indicate where you will have to split and merge polygons. Notice the change in polygons between steps 28a and steps 28b.  

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Sameer on Mon, 07 January 2013 7:35am
Very very informative... thanks a lot!
PETER HOFTYZER on Tue, 27 December 2011 7:06pm
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