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Create a Classic He-Man Action Figure using Maya: Part 5

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In the fifth part of the He-Man Action Figure project, you'll make final adjustments to some of the leg muscles to add more definition, and begin constructing and detailing He-Man's armor from a series of primitive objects. This includes modeling the chest plate, wrist bands, belts and strapping.

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

So let’s start Maya and load the file Complete Model He-Man.mb which we had saved in the last part of the tutorial.




Step 2

Before starting to model the armor objects, we need to refine some muscles of the character. So, with the leg part selected, go to Show > Isolate Select and then check on the View Selected option. It will hide all other objects except for the leg, so we can now work on the leg quite easily.




Step 3

Now, we’ll insert several edges manually. So, go to the Edit Mesh menu and select the Split Polygon Tool. Please note, the Split Polygon Tool has been replaced with the Interactive Split Tool from Maya 2012 onwards.




Step 4

With the Split Polygon Tool selected, add edges around the thigh (front) and hamstring (back) muscle bulges to make the sharp cuts as shown in the images below.






Step 5

Once you are done, press 3 on the keyboard to Smooth Shade the mesh. Refine the vertices, if needed.




Step 6

With the leg object selected, go to Show > Isolate Select and then check off the View Selected option. Now all the other parts of the model will become visible in the viewport.




Step 7

Now, we will start creating the body armor for He-Man. We will make it with the help of a polygon primitive object. So go to Create > Polygon Primitives and select Plane.



Create a plane around the chest.



Then Rotate and arrange it on the chest, as shown in the image below.




Step 8

We need to insert several edges into the plane to add detail. So, go to the Edit Mesh menu and select the Insert Edge Loop Tool.




Step 9

With the Insert Edge Loop Tool selected, insert edge loops as per the required design.




Step 10

With the Plane primitive selected, press F10 to jump into Edge Selection mode and then select the four corner edges as shown in the image. Then go to the Edit Mesh menu and select the Extrude command.



Extrude these edges and Scale them outward a bit, as shown in the image below.




Step 11

Now, let’s prepare the mesh to work with Symmetry. So, press F11 to jump into Face Selection mode and select half of the plane, and then press the Delete key to Delete them.






Step 12

Now re-select the Plane and go to the Edit menu and click on the Duplicate Special command.



This makes a duplicated instance on the opposite side. Now, we can edit and modify the plane symmetrically.




Step 13

Now, press F9 to jump into Vertex Selection mode, and then select the lower vertices and adjust them according to the flow of the chest armor belt.




Step 14

To create the design on He-Man's chest armor, we need to insert several edges as shown in the image. So, insert the edges with the help of the Split Polygon Tool.




Step 15

Press F9 to jump into Vertex Selection mode and then select the center vertex. Then go to the Edit Mesh menu and select the Chamfer Vertex command.




Step 16

After Chamfering the center vertex, the newly created verticies need to be arranged into a circular shape, as shown in the image below.




Step 17

To add some thickness to the chest armor. First Select it, and then go to the Edit Mesh menu and click on the Extrude command.




Step 18

Now, Extrude it up and outward a bit, as shown in the image.




Step 19

Select some faces as per the design.



Then Extrude these faces a bit outward as well.




Step 20

We need to subdivide the faces to add more detail. So, go to Edit Mesh menu and select the Insert Edge Loop Tool.



With the Insert Edge Loop Tool selected, insert a few new edge loops as shown in the image below.




Step 21

Press F9 to jump into Vertex Selection mode, and then arrange the vertices to achieve the proper shape.




Step 22

Select the 4 Faces shown in the image below, and Extrude them outward.



Extrude the same four faces once more, and then Scale them in a bit using the Scale Tool.




Step 23

Now, select the circular face in the center, and then go to the Edit Mesh menu and choose the Extrude command.



With the Extrude command applied, Scale the face down one time, as shown in the image below.




Step 24

Once again, select the circular faces for extrusion.



Extrude the faces outward a bit, as shown in the image.




Step 25

Now, with the polygon mesh selected, open the Show menu from the panel menu bar. And go to Isolate Select, and check the View Selected command option, to isolate the selected object.




Step 26

Press F11 to jump into Face Selection mode, and then select the middle (side) faces.



And also select all the backside faces (which are not needed), and press the Delete key to delete the selected faces.



Now you should have something like this.




Step 27

Now, Extrude the top spherical shape as needed, three or four times.




Step 28

After extruding, we again get some unwanted side faces. We need to Delete these too, as we did previously.



Also Align the vertices accordingly.




Step 29

We need to insert several edges for a more smooth and rounded shape. So, go to the Edit Mesh menu and again, select the Split Polygon Tool.



Then insert the edges as shown in the image.




Step 30

Following the same process, connect the gaps with new edges for a better mesh flow.



After doing this, select the Insert Edge Loop Tool, and insert edges around the corner faces to get more crisp edges of the surface.




Step 31

Add two additional edge loops to create the belt of the chest guard.




Step 32

Press F9 to jump into Vertex Selection mode, and then select the four vertices shown in the image below. Then go to the Edit Mesh menu, and select the Chamfer Vertex command, to Chamfer the selected vertices.



After Chamfering, it should look something like this.




Step 33

To make the proper rounded shape, we split the faces as shown in the image below.




Step 34

Select the Vertices and arrange them to make a round shape for the hole.




Step 35

Press the F11 key to jump into Face selection mode and select the circular shapes, then Extrude and Scale them down slightly inward.





With the same faces selected, apply an Extrude and drag them inside the surface a little bit.




Step 36

You can now check the result in Smooth Shaded mode, by pressing the 3 key.




Step 37

To turn off Isolation mode, open the Show menu in the panel menu bar and inside the Isolate Select sub-menu, check Off the View Selected option.



In this way, we have completed the chest guard.




Step 38

Now, for creating the belt. Press the F10 key to jump into Edge Selection mode, and then select the edges as shown in the image below.



With the edges selected, Extrude them as shown in the following image.



Following the same process, keep Extruding continuously four times. And then arrange the new edge loops so they are offset from the body.




Step 39

Merge the vertices together which are quite close, just to reduce the topology.



Following the same process as before, Extrude the upper edges five times over the shoulder.



Continue Extruding, and then close the geometry by aligning it with the bottom of the belt shape.




Step 40

And finally Merge the parallel vertices together, to close the loop.




Step 41

Now, to add thickness to the belt, select the border edges of both sides.



Use the Extrude command on the selected edges, and then Scale them down a little bit inside.



Also do the same for the border edges on the inner side of the belt.




Step 42

In this way, we have completed the chest guard armor, but we need several more edges to reshape and detail it properly.




Step 43

Now, go to Edit Mesh menu and select the Insert Edge Loop Tool.



With the help of the Insert Edge Loop Tool, add several new edges as shown in the image below.




Step 44

Press the F11 key to jump into Face Selection mode and select the indicated faces. Then go to the Edit Mesh menu and select the Extrude command.



Then Extrude the faces twice, as shown in the image below.




Step 45

Now, to make the corners sharp, insert new edge loops on the corners of each shape.



Now, by pressing the 3 key, we can see the result in Smooth Shaded mode.




Step 46

Now, we will create the wrist armor for He-Man. So, go to Create > Polygon primitives > Pipe.



With the Pipe command selected, create the pipe polygon primitive on the perspective grid as shown in the image below.




Step 47

Now, Move and place this pipe at He-man's right wrist. Also press the F9 key to jump into Vertex Selection mode, and reshape the vertices to fit over the wrist.




Step 48

Now, select the outer faces and Extrude and Scale them down a little bit, as shown in the following image.



With the same faces selected, Extrude them inward on the Z-axis as shown in the image below.




Step 49

Press the 3 key to see the result in Smooth Shaded mode.




Step 50

Next, create a polygon Sphere primitive with the Subdivisions Axis and Subdivisions Height set to 10.




Step 51

Press F11 to jump into Face Selection mode, and then select the five rows of faces on the bottom half.



Press the Delete key to Delete the selected faces. Theoretically, we need to make a hollow semi-sphere.




Step 52

Now, Move and place this semi-sphere poly mesh on the wrist band, as shown.



With the semi spherical poly mesh selected, press Ctrl+D to duplicate it and then arrange the duplicates around the right wrist band.




Step 53

Now, with the right wrist band object selected, go to the Edit menu and click on the Duplicate Special Options box.



In the Duplicate Special Options window, check on the Copy radio button and then click on the Duplicate Special button to apply the command.



You can see the wrist armor is now placed on the left side also.




Step 54

Now, select all the wrist armor objects on the right side. And go to the Mesh menu and select the Combine command, to attach the selected polygons together.



It should now look like what's shown below.




Step 55

We don’t want to make the wrist armor identical on both sides. So, select the left wrist armor, go to the Show menu, click on Isolate Select and then check on the View Selected option to isolate the selected poly mesh.




Step 56

Press the F11 key to jump into Face Selection mode, and then select half of the armor mesh. And then press the Delete key to delete the selected faces.




Step 57

After deleting the faces, press F10 to jump into Edge Selection mode and then select the open border edges on both sides. Then, go to the Mesh menu and select the Fill Hole command.



After filling the holes, Split each corner as shown.



To make a hard corner edge, we need to insert an edge loop at the corner of the mesh, as shown in the image below.




Step 58

Now, with the left side wrist armor selected, click on the Show menu in the panel menu bar and select Isolate Select, then check off the View Selected command.




Step 59

Now, to make the wrist armor a different shape. Press F9 to jump into Vertex Selection mode, then select the upper vertices and stretch them up a bit.




Step 60

Then go to Edit Mesh and select the Insert Edge Loop Tool.



With the the Insert Edge Loop Tool selected, insert four horizontal edges as shown in the image below.




Step 61

Now, for designing purpose, press the F11 key to jump into Face Selection mode and then select several faces, as shown in the following images.






Step 62

Now use the Extrude command on the selected faces, to Extrude them up a little bit, as shown in the image below.




Step 63

Also create a Sphere object and Delete half of it, as we have done previously. Then place it on the armor as shown by making several copies of it.




Step 64

Here I have inserted several edge loops at the corners to make the edges crisp and sharp. Also Duplicate the semi spheres, and place as shown (below) to create a sort of design.




Step 65

Now, to make the armor’s belt, select the faces indicated below.



Then Extrude them once.



Keep Extruding around the arm to complete the armor's belt.




Step 66

Finally, select all armor object meshes on the right side and go to the Mesh menu, and click on the Combine command, to combine all of them together.




Step 67

So, we have now completed the modeling of the body armor. In the next part of the tutorial, we'll look at the process of modeling He-Man's weapons.