Making Of 'African Mole Warrior'

This tutorial will give you some insight into working with textures and adding some details to our model. I decided to re-work my original "mole warrior model", which was based off of Feng's wonderful design and create my own "african warrior mole.

First off I did an internet search on some african warriors, which I felt was an exciting subject. The 3D Total Tribal CD offered alot of different textures that fit the african theme. I decided to put hanging cloth on front and back which looks nice but i felt i needed some more little details. I decided to add a bunch of colorful body rings, much like I saw in the reference art I downloaded. The trouble was how will I get it to sit snug against an organic shape body? Let's read on...
First, I took my subpatched body mesh

copied, and freezed the polygons

into place (this is a lightwave function, but I'm sure all programs have it). MAKE SURE YOU COPY IT...DO NOT DESTROY THE ORIGINAL SUBPATCH!!!! THE FREEZED ART IS JUST USED FOR GUIDES!!
Then I used my knife tool and cut in the path i want the ring to follow

If you're lucky, you can use an existing poly ban. I cut the belt in but used the existing poly's for the neck. From there, I copy the sliced polygons and paste it into another layer

I then delete all the vertices except for those that make up the actual cut. I then killed all the polys and left just the vertice. I then select those in order and make a closed spline

Again, each program is different, but what we're looking to do is make a guide for the ring to follow. So do what applies for your program. I am now ready to create! First make a cross section of the shape you want extruded. If you want to use UV mapping you'll need to make a UV at this point (there is no other way to texture this object with a texture map, so make sure you do the UV, you can always not use it!). Then make sure it is at the start of the spline. (The Little diamond on the spline for all you Lightwave users out there)

Then create a new UV map

It will give you something like this

Then hit the rail extrude and make sure to use the UV settings [figure 10]. And there you have it

You should have a ring, you may need to flip the ploys. The UV will now look like this [figure 11]. Once you apply the tetxure using the UV map it may look stretched like this

This is no biggie! Just go to your UV map and stretch it with the tool! Mine needed to be stretched quite a bit. The UV now looks like this

Just keep stretching it. I like to keep the texture view on in my perspective window. There you will see the art being stretched around the ring until it looks right

Here is the new ring with the body showing...perfect fit

The body has been re-textured with a fantastic 3D Total CD called "Alien Organic". I can't recommend this one enough! Just take a look at the CD. You'll love it. My only tip I can add to this is, don't be afraid to combine texture and different scales. For lack of example, think of an alligator. The pattern on his back is thick and big. As it makes it's way to its stomach, it becomes smaller and more fine. These areas tend to be lighter in color too. That's not to say it the "rule". But the brain will see it as more natural.

Happy modeling. If you have a question, please feel free to write me at

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