Advertisement

Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 4

by
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the fourth part of the project, you'll learn how to design and build He-Man's Face, Head and Hair starting from a single plane object. Due to the overall style of the figure, this will require precise adjustments and careful edge placement to ensure the final topology of the model matches the reference as closely as possible.

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!


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

Step 1

Let’s start Maya and load the "Complete Torso and Hand.mb" file which was saved in the last part of the tutorial.


First we will delete the history, because it is not necessary to use the history list for our modeling purposes. So, first select all the created polygon shapes and then go to Edit > Delete by Type > History to delete the history of the selected meshes.



Step 2

Now, select all the polygon shapes and then click on the ‘Create a new layer and assign selected objects’ button. This creates a new layer titled - ‘layer 1’.


Now, click on the Hide/Unhide button to hide the layer 1 objects.



Step 3

Now, we’ll start modeling the head of the character. So, first click on Create > Polygon Primitives and then select Plane.


Then drag and draw a small plane around the eye area.



Step 4

We’ll first create the eye outline. So press ‘F10’ to jump into Edge selection mode and then select an edge of the plane. Then go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and select the ‘Extrude’ command.


With the ‘Extrude’ command selected, extrude the edge 5 times around the upper eyelid as shown.



Step 5

Following the same process, Extrude the lower edge 6 times to reach the starting point. Now, press the ‘F9’ key to jump into Vertex selection mode. To close the edge loop, select both the opposite vertices and then go to ‘Edit Mesh’ and select the ‘Merge’ command to merge the selected vertices.



Step 6

After merging the vertices, arrange them to make a shape like an eye.



Step 7

So far, we have edited only in the Front view. To make the geometry curved according to the real eye, we have to work in the Side view also.


So, select the 2 corner vertices in the Front view and pull them back on the Z-axis in the side view as shown in the image below.


Next, select the other side of the corner vertices and move them on the Z-axis up to the corner of the eye, as shown in the reference image.


Follow the same process with the other vertices to make the shape curved.


For better editing, you can edit the vertices in the Perspective view also.



Step 8

Now press F10 to jump into Edge selection mode and select the 2 upper corner eyelid edges and then Extrude them up once to the middle of the eyebrow area.


Following the same process, select one lower corner edge of the eye and Extrude and drag it down to the nostril area.



Step 9

Now we have to create the mirrored part of the face for the right side. Before that, we will move the transform gizmo to the center of the grid.


With the mesh selected, press and hold the ‘D’ key and also press and hold the ‘C’ key for Edge Snap, then drag with the middle mouse button onto the grid.


After releasing the ‘D’ and ‘C’ keys, the transform gizmo appears at the middle of the face as shown in the image.



Step 10

Now with the mesh selected, click on the ‘Edit’ menu and then select ‘Duplicate Special’.


Now, you can see the instanced and mirrored polygon mesh on the opposite right side.



Step 11

Now, we'll start creating the mouth shape. So press ‘F11’ to jump into edge selection mode and then select one lower face. With the face selected, go to the ‘Edit’ menu and click on the‘Duplicate Face’ option box to open the Duplicate Face Options window.


In the ‘Duplicate Face Options’ window, turn off the ‘Separate duplicated faces’ option and then press the ‘Duplicate’ button.



Step 12

After duplicating the selected face, move it to the upper lip area as shown in the image below.



Step 13

Now press ‘F10’ to jump into edge selection mode and then select one side edge and Extrude it 5 times to form the shape of the upper lip.


Also don’t forget to arrange the mesh flow in the side view according to the image reference.


In this way, we have completed the lower and upper lip's outer shape.



Step 14

Now, select 2 edges of the upper lip and then Extrude them up to the nostrils.


Extrude 3 lower eyelid edges down to the upper lip as shown in the image.



Step 15

Now, we have to merge the separate vertices together. So go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and then select the ‘Merge Vertex Tool’.


With the ‘Merge Vertex Tool’ selected, click and select a vertex and drag it onto the corresponding vertex to merge both of them.


Following the same process, merge the rest of the vertices as shown in the image.



Step 16

Now we will subdivide the faces for more detailing and cover the face geometry. Go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and then select the ‘Insert Edge Loop Tool’.


With the ‘Insert Edge Loop Tool’ selected, insert several edges as shown in the image.



Step 17

Press ‘F9’ to jump into Vertex selection mode and then arrange the vertices to make a proper mesh flow. After that, start merging the corresponding vertices together as indicated in the image.


After merging, it should look like the image shown below.


Also, arrange the vertices in both the Front and side views according to the reference images.


Jump in the Perspective view and try to edit the vertices according to the required face shape.



Step 18

Now select three upper eyelid edges and Extrude them up once, and then do the same with two lower edges also as shown in the image.



Step 19

Merge the close vertices together.


Following the previous step’s process, Extrude the upper eyelid edges once more and do the same with the lower eyelid edges. And finally merge the vertices as well.



Step 20

Now, press ‘F10’ to jump into Edge selection mode and then select two edges around the nose area and Extrude them down according to the nose flow shown in the reference images.


Keep Extruding the edges following the reference images for a proper mesh flow.


Also, continue Merging vertices as shown in the image below.



Step 21

Now, select two corner edges of the eye and their corresponding edges too, and then go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and click on the ‘Bridge’ option box.


This opens the ‘Bridge Options’ window. Keep the divisions set to 1 and then press the ‘Bridge’ button.


Now, you can see the connected faces as shown in the image.



Step 22

Now select the edges of the hole which was created after the bridge operation, and then go to the ‘Mesh’ menu and select the ‘Fill Hole’ command to fill the empty space.


The ‘Fill Hole’ command fills the empty space by creating a new face.


For seeing the completed work we have done so far, press ‘3’ on the keyboard. We have to work a lot more work to shape it like a real face.



Step 23

Now select the indicated edges and Extrude them once more.


Edit the vertices in the Perspective view also.



Step 24

Now select five upper edges around the forehead area and then Extrude them twice. Always work while looking in both the Front and side views to ensure you follow the mesh flow properly according to the reference images.



Step 25

Now we will cover the back portion of the head. So, select two edges and Extrude them towards the back portion of the head.


Continue Extruding five or six times towards the back head portion.



Step 26

Now press ‘F9’ to jump into Vertex selection mode and then edit the vertices to make the shape rounded.




Step 27

Select two edges from the forehead and then Extrude them up.


Continue Extruding the edges up to the back head portion as we did previously.



Step 28

Also merge the corresponding vertices together as we have done previously.



Step 29

Following the same process, select the rest of the forehead edges and Extrude them following the image references.


Continue Extruding about five more times up to the back portion of the head.



Step 30

Merge the corresponding vertices as we have done previously.



Step 31

After completing the forehead and half of the back head area, we will now work on the rest of the frontal face area. So select two lower ears edges and Extrude them down.


Continue extruding up to nine times and cover up to the lower chin area as shown in the image.



Step 32

Now press ‘F9’ to jump into Vertex selection mode and then arrange the vertices according to the image reference in both the Front and side views.



Step 33

Now we need to fill the gap between the chin and cheek area. So go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and select the ‘Append to Polygon Tool’.


With the ‘Append to Polygon Tool’ selected, first click on the outer edge of the lower lip and then click on the upper edge of the chin and press the ‘Enter’ key.




In this way, we append three more faces as shown in the image below.



Step 34

Use the same ‘Append to Polygon Tool’ for the side upper cheek area as shown in the image.



Step 35

With the ‘Insert Edge Loop Tool’ selected, add one edge loop on the upper lip part and two edge loops on the chin area as shown in the image.


With the ‘Split Polygon Tool’ selected, add 2 more edges as shown in the image below.



Step 36

After this, append 3 faces by selecting the ‘Append to Polygon Tool’.



Step 37

To fill the empty area, first select it's border edges by double clicking on it, and then go to the ‘Mesh’ menu and select ‘Fill Hole’, to fill the empty area.


Now it should look like this.



Step 38

Now using the ‘Split Polygon Tool’, insert the edges as shown in the image below.


Now take a look what we have made up until now. We have to work a lot more to make it look good.



Step 39

Now we will complete the nose shape. So with the face mesh selected, go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and select the ‘Append to Polygon Tool’.


With the ‘Append to Polygon Tool’ selected, click on the border edges and press ‘Enter’ to apply the command.


This fills the empty area and now it looks like this.



Step 40

Now we need to add some more edges manually. So go to the ‘Edit Mesh’ menu and then select the ‘Split Polygon Tool’.


With the ‘Split Polygon Tool’ selected, add two edges vertically around the nostril area as shown in the image.


Add one more edge horizontally around the nostril area.



Step 41

Now adjust the vertices in both the Front and side views according to the reference.



Step 42

Using the ‘Split Polygon Tool’, add one more edge horizontally around the nostril area as shown in the image below.


Again, adjust the vertices in both the Front and side views according to the reference.



Step 43

Using the ‘Split Polygon Tool’, add one edge vertically around the nostril’s side area as shown in image.



Step 44

Now, adjust the vertices according to the nostril shape.



Step 45

With the help of the ‘Split Polygon Tool’, add one more edge horizontally around the nostril area as shown in the image.


Insert an edge loop around the nostril.


With the ‘Split Polygon Tool’ selected, add 3 more edges horizontally around the nostril area.



Step 46

Now edit and arrange the vertices to make it more of a nostril shape. Then select a face which will be used to make the nostril hole.


With the nostril face selected, use the ‘Extrude’ command to Extrude the nostril hole face upward to make the shape of nostril hole.


After modeling the nose, it should be looking something like the image.



Step 47

Now we will complete the lips. So, select the lip border edges.


Then use ‘Extrude’ to Extrude and Scale down the edge border.



Step 48

Move the extruded edges on the Z-axis inside the mouth.


It should look like this.



Step 49

Now, with the ‘Insert Edge Loop Tool’ selected, add one more edge loop as shown in the image below.



Step 50

Adjust the vertices to make it like the lip shape.


You can see the result of what we have made so far by pressing ‘3’ on the keyboard.



Step 51

Now, let’s work on eyeballs. Draw a polygonal sphere for the eye ball and place it inside the eye socket.



Step 52

In the Perspective view, select the eye border edges.


With the border edges selected, use ‘Extrude’ to Extrude the edges a little bit inside on the Z-axis.



Step 53

Insert an edge loop to increase the edges.



Step 54

Then select the vertices and try to sculpt the upper eye socket to something similar the image shown below.



Step 55

Make a copy of the eye ball sphere and place it inside the right eye socket as well.



Step 56

Now, let’s complete the back side of the head. Select the last three edges and Extrude them downward twice, then arrange the shape according to the side view reference image.


In the Perspective view, it should look like the image below.



Step 57

Again select an edge of the back neck area and Extrude it while following the image reference.



Step 58

Select the last extruded edge and then drag and align it with the right side polygon mesh to make it a rounded shape like a neck.


Edit the neck edges both in the Front and side views to match with the image reference.


Now it should look like this in the Perspective view.



Step 59

Next, we have to work on the empty space to make the jaw and the chin. So let’s add some edge loops to maintain the proper shape, as shown in the image below.



Step 60

To fill the empty area, go to ‘Edit Mesh’ and select the ‘Append to Polygon Tool’.


With the ‘Append to Polygon Tool’ selected, first click on the chin edge and then click on the first neck edge and press ‘Enter’, to apply the ‘Append to Polygon Tool’ command.


Following the same process, fill the rest of the empty spaces.


Also do the same thing with the upper head area as shown in the image.


After completion, it should look like this.



Step 61

For more detailed sculpting, we have to add some edge loops. So insert two more edge loops as shown.




Step 62

Add one more edge to maintain the quad loop and also arrange the vertices in Vertex selection mode to follow a proper mesh flow.



Step 63

We have now built the basic head shape of the character. Now we'll sculpt this and add details according to He-Man's face.


After arranging the vertices and edges, it will look now something like this.



Step 64

Now, we have to take care of the triangulated faces.


So, let’s add several new edges as shown in the image.



Step 65

So we have reached this point so far. The face looks well built, but we need to add more details to it.




Step 66

Now we'll attach the head mesh to the torso mesh. So click on the ‘Hide/Unhide’ button in the ‘Layer Editor’ panel to Unhide the layer objects.



Step 67

With both the separate body parts selected, go to the ‘Mesh’ menu and click on the ‘Combine’ command to combine the selected objects together.



Step 68

Now, select the neck edge loop and then Extrude it downward to connect it with the torso.



Step 69

Now we will merge the corresponding vertices of the neck and the head meshes together. So press ‘F9’ to jump into Vertex selection mode, and then go to ‘Edit Mesh’ and select the ‘Merge Vertex Tool’.


With the ‘Merge Vertex Tool’ selected, select one upper vertex and then drag and drop it onto the lower corresponding vertex to merge them together.


Following the same process, merge all the matching vertices together. But, according to the head and the torso edges, we won’t have matching and equal vertices all the way around. We may have several unmatched vertices left. So we have to always maintain the number of these edges as per the requirement.




Step 70

For maintaining the flow, we have to insert several extra edges and then merge the vertices as shown in the images shown below.




Step 71

You can see the jointed area which looks quite hard and crisp. This is because the head polygon mesh is flipped. So we need to fix this problem.


To fix this problem, first select the body mesh and then go to the ‘Normals’ menu and choose the ‘Conform’ command.


After applying the ‘Conform’ command, it should look like this.


Now, the problem has been fixed. You can see now there are no hard edges at the joint.



Step 72

Now we have to make a duplicate of the full torso and head mesh again. So with the body mesh selected, go to the ‘Edit’ menu and select the ‘Duplicate Special’ command, to duplicate it to the opposite side.


Hence we get the other part also.



Step 73

For seeing the edge loops on the mesh, we have to turn on Wireframe mode for the shaded option.


We need to add more details to the forehead area.



Step 74

So let’s add several edges to the forehead area as shown in the image.



Step 75

Now, try to adjust the vertices to give it a little bit of a frowning expression.



Step 76

Now we'll make the teeth for the character. So jump into the Top view and then go to Create > Polygon Primitives > Pipe.


With the Pipe command selected, drag and draw a pipe object in the Top viewport.



Step 77

Put the pipe near the mouth area. Press ‘F11’ to jump into Face selection mode and then select half of the faces as shown in the image.


Press the ‘Delete’ key to delete the selected faces.



Step 78

Then insert the pipe polygon mesh inside the mouth and place it as the teeth would be. It will look something like this.


Make the duplicate copy of the upper teeth by pressing 'Ctrl + D', and place it as the lower teeth.



Step 79

It will look something like this.




Step 80

Now we'll model the eyebrows of the character. So press ‘F11’ to jump into Face selection mode and then select four continuous faces around the eyebrow area. With the selected faces, go to ‘Edit Mesh’ and select ‘Duplicate Face’.


After duplicating the selected faces for the eyebrows, drag them outward a little bit on the Z-axis.



Step 81

Now, insert an edge loop in between the newly extruded eyebrow mesh.


Press ‘F9’ to jump into Vertex selection mode and then adjust the vertices like an eyebrow shape.


Now press ‘F10’ for Edge selection mode, and then double click on the outer border edge loop to select it.


And Extrude the selected edge loop and drag it on the Z-axis, as shown in the image below.



Step 82

Now, we'll model the character’s hair. So create one sphere polygon object and place it on the head as shown in the image.



Step 83

With the sphere polygon mesh selected, press ‘F11’ to convert it into Face selection mode, and then select the faces around the face mesh area.


Delete those selected faces.



Step 84

Press ‘F9’ to jump into Vertex selection mode and arrange the vertices both in the Front and side views according to the reference images.


It should look something like the image shown below.



Step 85

After arranging the vertices for the hair mesh, we need to make an edge loop. So with using the‘Split Polygon Tool’ selected, add edge loops to either side of the ear area.



Continue adding some more edges for sculpting and adding detail.



Step 86

Now, for adding some depth to the hair mesh, double click on the border edges to select them.


And then use ‘Extrude’ to Extrude the edge loop inside a little bit on the Z-axis for depth.



Step 87

To make hair wrinkles, add several more edges as shown in the image.


Then select these new edge loops and scale them down universally on all axes.



Step 88

Press ‘F11’ to jump into Face selection mode and select a column of faces as shown in the image below. And use ‘Extrude’ to Extrude the selected faces a little bit outward.


Select another column of faces and do the same thing as we have done previously.



Step 89

Following the same process, Extrude the columns of faces one by one and adjust the vertices to add hair wrinkles.




Step 90

So now, we have modeled the face, head and hair of the He-Man character.




Step 91

Finally save the file as "Complete Model He-Man.mb". And in next part of the tutorial we will learn how to model He-Man's armor.





Advertisement