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Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 2

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In part 2 you'll continue building the He-Man action figure from the ground up. This lesson covers working on the main torso section, skirt, chest and back areas. With these sections blocked out and shaped correctly, you'll go through the process of adding the additional geometry needed to shape and refine the skirt pleats, abdominal muscles, pectorals and upper back muscles.


Also available in this series:

  1. Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 1
  2. Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 2
  3. Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 3
  4. Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 4
  5. Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 5
  6. Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 6
  7. Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 7

Project Overview:
This tutorial series covers the creation of an awesome He-Man Action Figure using Maya. This unique series will walk you through the entire process of modeling your very own action figure inspired by the iconic 80's character.

Rather then relying on digital sculpting techniques, author Soni Kumari will show you how to create the character using traditional poly modeling techniques. The He-man figure poses a number of unique challenges not found in your typical character modeling tutorial, from inter-locking limb joints, to stylized anatomy and plastic hair. You'll learn how to tackle each of these to achieve that classic 'action figure' look!


Step 1

So let’s start Maya and load the Complete Leg.mb file , which was saved in the first part of the tutorial. Now, go to Create > Polygon Primitives and then click on Torus.


Now draw a Torus shape on the grid with the Subdivision Axis set to 12, and the Subdivision Height set to 6.



Step 2

Place the Torus around the belt area according to the reference images.



Step 3

Press the F11 key to jump into Face selection mode and then with half of the Torus selected, just press the Delete key.


Now, press the F8 key to jump into Object mode. Then go to the Edit menu and select the Duplicate Special command.


This creates a mirrored duplicated on the other side.



Step 4

Now, while being in Face selection mode. Select two rows of faces as indicated in the image and then press the Delete key to delete the selected faces.


Press the F9 key to jump into Vertex selection mode and then arrange the vertices according to the reference images.



Step 5

With the Torus selected, press Ctrl+D to make a duplicate copy of it and drag it down to the lower part of the belt.


While in Vertex selection mode, arrange the vertices to make the mesh flow according to the reference images.



Step 6

Now select both the upper and lower halves of the torus objects and then open the Mesh menu and click on the Combine command, to combine the selected objects.


After combining the torus objects together, we need to create their mirrored parts too. So, with the combined objects selected, go to the Edit menu and select the Duplicate Special command.



Step 7

Now select the indicated edge loops on both the upper and lower torus objects.


With both edge loops selected, go to the Edit Mesh menu and click on the Bridge option box.


This opens the Bridge Options box. Here keep the Divisions value as 3 and then press the Bridge button to apply the bridge command.


After bridging the mesh you will have something similar to the image below. By pressing 3 on the keyboard, you can see the object in Smooth Shade mode.



Step 8

Now, press the F10 key to jump into Edge selection mode and select the bottom edge loop.


With the edge loop selected, go to the Edit Mesh menu and select the Extrude command.



Step 9

Now, Extrude the selected edge down and arrange it according to the reference images in both the Front and Side views.


Finally it should look like the image shown below.



Step 10

Now we will extract the selected faces for cloth modeling. So, open the Mesh menu and then click on the Extract command option box.


This opens the Extract Options window. Here turn off the Separate extracted faces box, then press the Extract button to apply the command.



Step 11

Now, we need to add more edge loops to the extracted object to get more deformation. So, with the skirt selected, open the Edit Mesh menu and select the Insert Edge Loop Tool.


And insert several more edge loops to give more details to the skirt.




Step 12

Now, select the alternative columns of horizontal faces and by using the Extrude command, pull them out and scale them down a bit as shown in the image below.



Now select the rest of the columns and Extrude them also. For now, this will be symmetrical. But later we will convert it into an asymmetrical cloth object, so we could modify it asymmetrically.



Step 13

Now select and Extrude the last faces of every column and Scale them down to make a pointer shape at the ends.



Also keep modifying the vertices to give the effect of wrinkles.




Step 14

Now we will design the cups on the belt. So create a new Torus in the Front viewport with the Subdivision Axis set to 16 and the Subdivision Height set to 8. And position it according to the reference image.


Also create a new Poly Sphere with the Subdivision Axis set to 16 and the Subdivision Height set to 16, and then put it inside the torus object.



Step 15

Let’s isolate the sphere and torus objects. So, with these objects selected, open the ‘Show’ menu from the Panel menu bar and check on the View Selected option. This will hide all the unselected objects.



Step 16

Now with the Sphere selected, press the F11 key to jump into Face selection mode, and then select the back faces and Delete them.


Press the F10 key to jump into Edge selection mode and select the triangulated edges and Delete them as well.


With the Torus object selected too, press the F11 key to jump into Face selection mode and then select the back faces and Delete them too.



Step 17

Now with these objects selected, open the ‘Show’ menu in the panel menu bar. And turn off the View Selected option, and all unselected objects will become visible again.



Step 18

Now, with both the torus and half sphere poly objects selected, open the ‘Mesh’ menu and select the Combine command, to combine the selected poly meshes together.


When you combine two poly objects together, the mesh's pivot point shifts to the origin. So, with the combined object selected, open the ‘Modify’ menu and select the Center Pivot command to keep the pivot point in the center of the combined object.



Step 19

Now adjust the belt’s cup object according to the reference images.



Step 20

Now, with the cup selected, press Ctrl+D to make a duplicate of it and then Scale it down and place it near the main cup.



Step 21

Use the reference images in both the Front and Side views for better placement of the small cup.


Just like this, keep duplicating and arranging them according to the reference images.


Following the same process, create the cups on the back side of the belt too.



Step 22

Now for combining the cups with the belt. First select half of it and press the ‘Delete’ key to Delete the selected faces.


Now, follow the same procedure for the smaller cups also.



Step 23

After doing this, first select all the cups and armor objects, and then open the ‘Mesh’ menu and select the ‘Combine’ command to combine the selected objects together.



Step 24

After combining, the mirrored part gets deleted. So we need to apply the ‘Duplicate Special’ command once again for all the combined poly objects. So, go to the ‘Edit’ menu and click on ‘Duplicate Special’.



Step 25

This makes a mirrored object of the combined object. Now, press 3 on the keyboard to see the result in Smooth Shaded mode.




Step 26

Now, we’ll start creating the character’s torso. So, draw a Cylinder in the perspective viewport with the Subdivision Axis set to 12.


Then place the cylinder just above the belt of the character. We’ll use this cylinder to make the torso part.



Step 27

Now select the right half faces of the cylinder and simply Delete them.


Also Delete the bottom faces.


Press F10 to jump into Edge selection mode and select all the top edges and Delete them. Here we’ll add the edges manually for better modification.



Step 28

With the torso selected, go to ‘Edit Mesh’ and select the ‘Split Polygon Tool’.


Then split and create the edges as shown in the image below.



Step 29

Now we'll create the mirrored torso part on the other side. So, with the existing torso selected, go to the ‘Edit’ menu and click on ‘Duplicate Special'.


This creates the mirrored part on the opposite side. Now select both parts and go to the ‘Show’ menu in the panel menu bar and turn on the View Selected option. This will Hide the other items in the viewport except the torso.



Step 30

We need several more edge loops. So, go to ‘Edit Mesh’ once again and select the ‘Insert Edge Loop Tool’.


Now insert some edges for better deformation, as shown in the image below.



Step 31

Now select all the top faces of the half cylinder, and then using the ‘Extrude’ command, pull those up a little bit.


Extrude once more and drag it up a little bit.


Press F9 to jump into Vertex mode and then arrange the vertices according to the reference images.



Step 32

Now jump into the perspective viewport and select the faces as shown in the image.


Jump back into the Side and Front views, and then Extrude the selected faces twice more.



Step 33

After extruding the selected faces, it should look like the image shown below.


Once again, being in the Side and Front viewports, press ‘F9’ to jump into Vertex selection mode and arrange the vertices according to the images.



Step 34

Now it’s time to add detailing to the abs. So, select the front four faces while in Face selection mode.


And use the ‘Extrude’ command to Extrude the selected faces outward a bit and then Scale them down a little bit too.



Step 35

Again select the top faces and Extrude those once more.


And also Extrude the front faces as we did in Step 34.



Step 36

After extruding three pack abs, maintain the edge loops properly.


Press F9 to jump into Vertex selection mode and adjust them properly.



Step 37

Now, we have to create the shape of the bellybutton for the character. So select a vertex around the bellybutton area and go to the Edit Mesh menu, and select Chamfer Vertex.



Step 38

After chamfering the vertex, insert an edge loop around the chamfered vertex and then arrange them properly as shown in the image below.



Step 39

After adjusting the vertices, the belly button looks like this.



Step 40

Now, for creating hard surface corners. We have to add several corner edges with the Split Polygon Tool as shown in the image below.


After smoothing, you can see the result.



Step 41

Now, we'll create the chest part of the character. So, jump into Face selection mode by pressing F11, and then select the outer corner faces.


With the faces selected, go to the Edit Mesh menu and then apply the Duplicate Face command.


After duplicating the faces, drag upward a little bit on the Z-axis as shown in the image.



Step 42

Now, press F10 to jump into Edge selection mode and then select the outer border edges.


With the border edges selected, use the ‘Extrude’ command to Extrude the edges upward a bit.



Step 43

Now select only the 9 center edges and extrude them again.


Extrude it upward two times as shown in the image.



Step 44

Now select the two correspondence vertices and then go to ‘Edit Mesh’ and then select the ‘Merge’ command to merge the selected vertices together.



Step 45

Merge the rest of the vertices like this, and then arrange them properly in both the Front and Side views.



Step 46

Select the rib cage border edges and Extrude once more.


It should look like the image shown below.



Step 47

Now select the indicated vertices and then go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and click on the Merge command.


Arrange the vertices both in the Front and Side views.


Now it should look like this image.



Step 48

Now, we will model the chest and back of the character. Select the top border edges and then use ‘Extrude’, to Extrude it upward.


Watch in the front and side views, and drag the extruded edge loop up to the lower chest area.



Step 49

After Extruding, edit the vertices according to the reference images in both the Side and Front views. You can adjust the vertices in Perspective mode also.




Step 50

Following the same process, keep Extruding up to the upper chest area and also keep adjusting the vertices in all viewports (Front, Side, Back and Perspective.)





Step 51

Now, select the six edges of the front chest area and Extrude them up.


Extrude the edges while looking at both the Front and Side views. This will help you go with the right mesh flow. Extrude the edges up to the lower neck area.



Step 52

Following the same way, select the four edges from the back area and Extrude them twice to the back of the neck.



And edit the vertices in the Perspective view too.



Step 53

Here we need to Delete some unwanted faces near the armpit. So, select the eight faces as indicated in the image and then press Delete, to delete the selected faces.



Step 54

To make the body of the character more muscular, we need to add some more polygons to the mesh. So, with the ‘Split Polygon Tool’ selected, start splitting the polygons.



Step 55

Following the same process, split the polygons as shown in the image below.



Step 56

Now select one vertex around the nipple area and then go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and choose the ‘Chamfer Vertex’ command.



Step 57

Chamfer the selected vertex as shown in the image. Then go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and choose the ‘Split Polygon Tool’.


Split the polygons as shown in the image.



Step 58

Now with the nipple face selected, Extrude it two times and then Scale down the last extruded face.



Step 59

To add more details, add one more edge loop.



Step 60

The indicated areas have a bad mesh flow, which we need to make correct to get the required shapes.



Step 61

So by using the ‘Edge Loop Tool’ and the ‘Split Edge Tool’, we have completed the edge loops properly.



Step 62

Now the mesh flow is properly set. You can see the result in Smooth Shade mode by pressing the 3 key.



Step 63

Next, we will add details to the rib cage area of the character. So, select the indicated faces around the rib cage side and Extrude them once. Pull the faces a little bit on the Z-axis and finally Scale them down uniformly.


Alternatively, we can select the separate faces and then Extrude and Scale them down uniformly.



Step 64

Continue to select faces and try to add more details to the surface geometry of the character.



Step 65

Select and Extrude some more faces for the rib cage bones.



Step 66

Now we’ll work on covering the upper neck area. So, select the two correspondent edges of the shoulder and then open the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and select the ‘Bridge’ command, to bridge the polygons together.



Step 67

After bridging the polygon, adjust the vertices in the perspective view.



Step 68

To complete the neck part, first select the upper border edges and Extrude them up to the neck area.


Adjust the vertices according to the image reference both in the Front and Side views.



Step 69

Now, let’s add some more detail to the rib cage. Add some more edges with the ‘Split Polygon Tool’. Hence it creates several triangulate edges.


So, select all the triangular edges and Delete them.



Step 70

Press F9 and arrange the vertices to give the surface bumps like rib cage.



Step 71

Now, select several back side polygon faces as indicated in the image, and Extrude them out and Scale them down a bit.


Also arrange the vertices.


Continue selecting other faces and Extruding them in the same way. Try to create surface bumps as shown in the image.



Step 72

Now, we’ll add more details to the chest to show the pectorals. For this, we’ll add more edges. So, with the ‘Split Polygon Tool’ selected, we create two edge loops.


Just like this, add a few more edges to show a couple of pectoral muscles across on the chest. And also keep adjusting the vertices as needed.



Step 73

Now, finally select the arm edge loop (border.)


Now Extrude the loop twice and then Scale it down. We’ll start modeling the arm and hand from this point.



Step 74

So, here we have created the torso of the character. In the next part, we’ll start working on the arm and hand parts.





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