Modeling a World of Warcraft Orc

Welcome to my first tutorial. You see what we'll be working on right above. The low poly model should come out to about 800 triangles.

When I say Smooth Shift, I mean turn on the smooth shift tool(shift-F) and click once, then proceed to tweak points and polys using Stretch (h), Move (t), and Drag (ctrl-t) tools. You can make a poly by selecting four points clockwise then hitting the p button. If the polygon is faced the wrong way and invisible hitting the f button will Flip it back over. If your using other software it shouldn't be to hard to find equivelant tools.

Excuse the image quality, I'm trying for fast load times. There also may be some spelling and grammar errors. Any questions or comments e-mail me at This only covers modeling. K, have fun.

Lets start with the torso.

First, make a box with 3 segments on the X axis and one segment on the Z axis. The numeric panel has the fields to enter in segments. Most tools will have fields you can enter into the numeric panel.

Pull the points around by selecting them and using the drag(ctrl-t) and/or the move tool(t). Make sure the polys where the legs are going to come out of are angled by pulling the outside points upward. Define the shape of the back bone by giving it a slight indent.

Smooth shift out the polygons for the legs and upward into the torso. Make sure you smooth shift multiple polys at once. Four for the leg an eight going into the torso. shaping points as you go along the best you can. Try to use all the viewports to get the proper shape.

Continue to smooth shift up the body pulling and shaping polys and points with the drag and move tools as you go.

And here we have more smooth shifts...Use the rotate tool and rotate somewhere around the red point, in the side view, to tilt the shoulder area a little more forward.

Here's our first bandsaw(yes, that's what BS stands for in the picture ;). You can also probably use knife in this situation because it's somewhat organized. You need to cut the polygons going all the way around the model. This will define our pectoral region a little bit and give us a little more to work with on the back also.
Select two polys next to eachother in the direction you want the cut to go. Then use the bandsaw tool. Auto should be selected in the tool menu.

Before I continue to work on the shoulders and legs I'll put the head on the body, atleast for this model that's how I did it. So the next section covers the head.

For the head we're going to start out with a flat polyon. Give it 4 segments on y axis and 3 on X axis. Some of the stuff I don't remember exactly how I did it. I actually had to backwards engineer it because I didn't have the layer backups for the next few screens.

Time to start shaping the head. Try to give it a curvy feeling from the top and side view. This is a back engineered face too, the first actual face I have backed up has the nose and laugh line around the mouth area.

Time for some smooth shifting. This time instead of pulling the geometry away from the surface we are going to slide it inwards along the surface and try to keep it generally the same level as the surrounding geometry. Smooth shift then tweak the polys with stretch and drag and move tools. Select the inner SS'd polys and stretch them all in at once placing the cursor in the side view and pulling from about the right edge of the solid circle inward.

Here we Smooth Shift in more detail for the eyes and nose...Well, and mouth area, too.

This is what I'm talking about when I say proper flow. Smooth Shift so that the edges go up and over the nose area and under the mouth.

Pull the nose out of the head and tweak tweak tweak. If you see parts of the model that need tweaked at any time, then fix them before you forget or it becomes to late.

Here we are defining the mouth area and where the lips are going to be coming from.

The last SS was going outside of the laugh lines. This one is inside, I'm not sure if it would matter if you just did 2 SS's from the outer edge instead of one from the outter then one from the inner.

Again, a backwards engineering problem. Tweak the eye area if needed and delete the polys I have crossed out in the side view. Also, similiar to the way you pulled in the eye area SS the mouth in.

Now that I think about it I think I may have selected all the polygons and Smooth Shifted them forward instead of selecting all the points around the head in order and Extending them backwards. It would probably be easier to select all polys and SS them at once instead of trying to select the points in a circular order.

Extend the four points... Thinking... I should have took notes when I was modeling. K, I think there's an easier way. But I'm just going to follow what my red scribbles say.
#1 lower right. Extend the four points twice and make sure the second extend the points get put on the zero X axis. Select the four points and hit (ctrl-V) for set value and put them on zero on the X axis. Then make 2 polys by selecting four points in order on the top of his head then hitting (P) Also, make sure that you delete excess polygons that the extend tool creates.

Do the same type of thing but only one extend and put the points on zero for the five points on the back of the head. Then make polys under the chin and under the cranium. Again, extend makes excess polys so delete them.#2 and #3 select half the head of polys and delete them then use Mirror and in the front view and drag down the exact center.

Select the all the polys in the dotted area and smooth shift twice. The first time just pull the polys out defining the jaw line and the second time stretch all the polys flat.

I'm just noticing the tri behind the jawline. You may have to delete two polys, one on each side of the head, and weld to get the neck to have the proper amount of sides to weld into the head..

Time for an ear. Should be easy compared to the last couple steps ;) Smooth shift those two polys out once. See, easy.

Now Smooth Shift poly on the top of the ear upwards and size the poly down to almost a point.

Since WoW orcs have a bit of a hunch back we'll Smooth Shift from the front polys instead of the top for normal bi-peds. I put an X just to show that you don't touch this area. Also, make your first smooth shift for the arms.

Before you start smooth shifting the legs out make sure they're five sided. More thinking, writing a tutorial is harder than I thought.

K, easy. Select the two top polys right below the side of the belt/waist. Not the two directly on the side but one of the ones next to the direct side and the next it further towards the front or back.

Now under conctruct tab, way down hit the additional tab and then hit bandglue. When you hit that the polys merge together all the way down the leg(or not very far if you only have a couple SS's). Before you do this yu may have to cut and paste the leg to make sure it doesn't merge polys up into the torso. Do this with the back two polys and the front two then merge all the points and make tri polys in the wholes I have marked in the screen.

Oh, and weld the head in point by point.

After you struggle through that then smooth the heel down and like the ear take the front of the heel and smooth it forward into the rest of the foot.

Adjust the toe of the orc to something similiar to this.

K, here your going to have to use the band glue on the four edges of the arm to make it four sided. Or you could weld the proper points befor you start SSing all the way down the arm.

Select two polys with the line between them being the one that you want to delete and use the band glue tool

This is one of the parts I'm not going to go over really detailed. This and teeth. But the teeth shouldn't be to hard. The teeth don't actually attach directly into the head, just two smooth shifted boxes for the fang/tusks. And just two sets of about 4 or 6 polys each one set for the top row and one for the bottom row both rounded to match the contour of normal teeth going back into the jaw. The tops of them arn't pointed, they are flat but with texture alpha maps they look like they are pointed polys with more detail than they actually have.

To make the hands you start out with a cube and cutting an L shape into it(plus a couple more cuts), from there you can pull two fingers from one edge of the L and two from the other. Then you kind of flatten the hand so the back of the hand doesn't look like a hard corner. With some good point welding to get it back into the arm you have a neat hand hand. :)
Give it a try first, if you can't figure it out then download the hand here and weld it into your model. I'm going to let you guys model the teeth by yourself :)

Bandsaw some details in and pull the points into the glove to make it look like the arm goes into the glove. Reason I didn't SS it in is because I didn't notice till afterwards the arm definately goes into the glove on some Blizzard screen shots.

K, another fun part.

Cut then Paste the to polys that I put a dot on. Then select the other polys above them that share the point and pull the point in the direction of the arrow with the Drag (ctrl t) tool. Delete the poly I have scribbled out.

Now make a cut on the dotted line. Bandsaw is easiest to explain, although there are other ways (split poly, knife, and more). Select the poly and use Bandsaw tool. If it doesn't cut the right direction undo and try even or odd in the bandsaw tool.

From there just make two polys out of the blank area. See the dotted lines in the next screen.

I think I explained it all in the last couple paragraphs. Go back and read them if you don't have it yet, and use this and the last picture as reference ;)

This is another one of those areas I'm trying to get good flow. As seen by my arrows in this picture.

Select his arm and rotate them out to the sides like that to get him ready for rigging and texturing.
Point the feet forward for now. After his is rigged they can be pointed back out, or where ever they need to be pointed.

The model must be trippled to be put in a game engine.

If you made it all the way to the end, congratulations!! I may be re-writing a couple parts of this some time to better explain the hard parts. You should end up with about 766 triangles. Questions E-mail me at

Hope you had fun!

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