With the characters turn around done, I have started the modelling process dividing each view in different JPG files, sharing each pair the same image size proportions and saving them separately. I adjusted the sizes of the drawings for each image so that both views have the same proportions and share the same ground line.
Only for topology purposes, I used these two tutorials made by James Taylor as reference so my model could be animated.
The next step was opening the JPGs in Maya. I made two perpendicular planes that matched the front and the side view putting the images as material of them so I have a reference for each view. I put some distance between the area I was going to use to modelling and the position of this planes so they didn’t disturb me in the modelling process.
I started modelling by positioning cylinders for the torso, the arm and the leg (I worked only in one half of the body due to the symmetry of it) trying to figure out how many divisions I would need for each one of them. I positioned the vertex so the profile of the front and side view match with the reference, trying to follow the flow of the body rotating the edge loops in one or another direction.
Once I had done this for each of the parts, I deleted the caps of each cylinder and combined all the parts to connect them vertex by vertex. I did the foot and the hand in the same way starting by a cube wit 4 divisions and extruding the faces separately. For the thumb, I copied one of the fingers and placed it in the correct position modelling and rotating wherever it was necessary. As in the others parts, I combined it with the rest of the model and joined vertex.
For the head, as was the most difficult part, I followed to the letter the process of the video, doing one by one the steps explained in it. Nevertheless, in one point of the video James Taylor give up on doing a necessary loop necessary for animation. This surrounds the upper part of the nose and goes down surrounding also the mouth loop. As I wanted to have this loop, I tried to figure out how to do it moving vertexes, avoiding triangles and transforming five sided polygons into quads till I got what I wanted.
After doing the head, As the tutorial didn’t say how to join the head to the neck of the model, I had to figure out how to have the same number of polygons in both connection borders. I redirected some polygon flows so the loops were going to the opposite side of head symmetry part and thus have the proper number of polygons.
During each part of the process I had been setting the shape of the model to the reference moving from the low poly representation to the smooth one.
Once I had the model more or less finished, I used the soft selection to move and rotate some vertex or parts of the model to have a better stand position or having a better result.
I ended extruding the back of the eye towards the back of the head so I have space to place the eyeballs made with spheres. I modelled the hair from a cube slicing the polygons and relocating their vertex, using extrude wherever it was needed. After having the shape of the hair, in smooth visualization, I positioned it using my image reference and cutting some of the faces on the surface of the head (it is possible that for the final result I will have to remove the bottom part of this object to optimize the poly-count as they will not be visible).
For mere aesthetic purposes I give each of the parts a material to approximate the colour of the final model.
Here are some images of the process:
And here the turn around of the final result:
With the body of this character almost finished (I would need to model the eyebrows and the topology of the interior of the ear to finish it), the next step will be to do the other character body to follow the same pace in both models.
James Taylor (n.d.) Maya HEAD MODELING for ANIMATION Tutorial [Online video]. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhtI-vKx8YY > [Accessed 09/10/2016].
James Taylor (n.d.) Maya Bodybuilder CHARACTER MODELING Tutorial [Online video]. Available from: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spi4lGxnMZg > [Accessed 09/10/2016].