Hey guys, in this tutorial I am going to share with you the process of modeling a formal pair of leather shoes. We will first make a low poly model and then add details to that model. I will start with the sole of the shoe and then move further. I’m using a reference image of a shoe which will help me make the perfect shape, though I will follow my own designs.
Let’s start. Open Maya and set the project folder. In the side view, click on View>Image Plane>Import Image, then open the side view of the shoe. Similarly, open the back image of the shoe in the Front view.
Open the Attribute Editor (press Ctrl + A), while selecting the image planes one by one in the Perspective view. Click on imageplane01, where the arrow is pointing.
Then put a value in the center column ( Y-axis), so that the image planes can spread out a bit and you can do the modeling with ease. These values can be in negative amounts.
Now Create a Plane and increase its subdivision width and subdivision height as needed.
Right-click and go to Vertex mode and then adjust the vertices according to the shape of the shoe’s sole.
Now jump into the Side view to adjust the shape of sole according to the side image.
Now let’s extrude the sole. Jump into the Perspective view and press 5 to turn off X-ray mode. Select all the faces and Extrude them downward (Edit Mesh > Extrude.) This gives an overall thickness to the sole.
After Extruding the sole, select only the heel faces and Extrude them once more. Our low poly sole is now complete.
Since we have made the sole, we don’t really need the bottom view now. We will use the Top view only. Therefore we will delete the bottom view image plane. Go to Window > Rendering Editor > Hypershade > Utilities. Then select the image plane and Delete it.
Now Import the new image view and open the top view of the shoe. Now you know how to import an image plane. When you import the image, the image plane may seem quite large compared to the shoe's sole. In this situation you can adjust its size by increasing or decreasing the values of Width and Height.
Because we are now using the top view of the shoe (which is for the right leg), we therefore have to flip the sole so that it can match with the image correctly. Go to Edit > Duplicate Special, set the scale X value as -1. Now move the older one (1) and place the new one (2) on the image plane. As you can see the sole mesh is not perfectly matched with top image plane, however we have to model the shoe yet and you know that we are using these images just for reference.
In the Perspective view select the top faces of the sole and Delete them.
After deleting the face,s select the border edge and extrude it inside. To Extrude the border edge, go to Edit Mesh > Extrude.
Go to the Side view, select the border edge and extrude it upwards.
In the Side viewport, select some vertices and move them downward as shown.
Now go to the Top view and adjust the mesh accordingly.
Extrude once more and adjust the geometry like we did in the last step.
Extrude the border edge one more time and also keep deforming the shape of the shoe accordingly.
Now let’s cover the paw area of the shoe. Select both sides and then Bridge them as you can see in the figure below. To bridge the borders, go to Edit Mesh > Bridge.
Now select the edges as shown the figure below.
After that go to the Side view and with the edges selected, move them upward and also Rotate them a little bit from left to right. This makes a fine slope.
Now select the only the center edge and then Move it upward a bit to give it a rounded shape like a shoe.
Now go to the Side view and then also Rotate it from left to right.
While still in the Side view, modify the mesh as you can see in the image below.
In Perspective view, select some of the top edges on the shoe and Extrude them as shown.
Now Select two vertices from the side view and move them down a bit.
Then select three vertices from the Top view and modify them so they're a little bit rounded, as shown.
Create some distance between these three selected edge loops because we don’t want any dents on the shoe surface. Therefore it is very important to create a gap between them.
Go to Edit Mesh > Insert An Edge Tool, and insert an edge as shown in the image below.
Now we have to fill the hole. Select the edge loop shown below by double clicking on the edge and the go to Mesh > Fill Hole, to fill the hole.
Then go to Edit Mesh > Split Polygon Tool, and use this tool to connect the edges as shown.
Now we have to adjust the mesh flow so that there won't be any dents in the mesh.
Select the edge loop that you can see in the Figure below.
Then go to Edit Mesh > Slide Edge Tool, and move this selected edge loop left a bit with the help of the Slide Edge Tool.
After that select the other one and move it also by using the Slide Edge Tool. This distributes the mesh flow evenly.
Now Select some edges on tip of the shoe and slide them backward with the help of the Slide Edge Tool.
Now select the shoe and press ‘3’ to check the smoothness of the shoe. Press ‘1’ to unsmooth the shoe again.
Now Select the edge loop highlighted below, but deselect the shoe’s toe edges.
By using the Slide Edge Tool, slide this selected edge a bit upward as you can see in the image.
Now go to Edit Mesh>Split Polygon Tool and create an edge on the shoe as shown in the following image.
Create the same edge loop on the opposite side of the shoe.
Now select the faces I have shown in the image below.
Go to Edit Mesh > Duplicate Faces and click on the option box.
The Duplicate Face Options window appears. Here check On the Separate Duplicate Faces option and then click on the “Duplicate” button.
This action makes a duplicated mesh of the selected faces. Now select the duplicated face and move it away.
Once again select the faces as I have selected them in the image below and Delete them.
Now put the duplicated mesh into the empty place.
Now select some vertices from both sides and scale them inside a little bit.
Now go to the Side view, and insert an edge loop to modify the separated geometry.
Since we have two separate entities now, we can hide or unhide whichever part we need as per requirement. To isolate the selection press Shift + I. And if you want to make the invisible geometry visible again go to Show > Isolate Select > View Selected.
Now the basic model of the shoe is almost done.
But the top part of the shoe seems too broad. So select the vertices of that part.
And with the Scale tool, reduce the width of that part a bit.
Now the main and basic part of the shoe model is ready. You can make all the further improvements in the design of the shoe as per your requirement.
Now we will create holes for the shoe laces. Pick the Split Polygon Tool (Edit Mesh > Split Polygon Tool) and make 3 square shapes on both sides.
After that we have to adjust them to straight in line and make holes by deleting the faces of squares we just made.
Let’s create the shoelaces. Create a Cylinder, set the Subdivision Axis to 8 and the Subdivision Caps to 2.
Squeeze the Cylinder into a shoelace shape.
And place it in the shoelace hole as I have shown in the following figure.
Now select the cap faces of the cylinder, then go to Edit Mesh > Extrude and keep extruding it to the other side of shoelace hole as you can see in the image. Extrude it in a curved line like a shoelace.
Now our shoelaces are ready.
Hide the back part of the shoe. Select the front part of the shoe and select all the faces except the sole, and then go to Mesh > Extract. This splits the sole apart from rest of the mesh.
Now isolate the sole. Select and cover its top surface which was deleted, by using Bridge (Edit Mesh > Bridge.)
Bring the back portion of the shoe back. Now we have to improve the shape of the shoe’s back part.
So this time isolate the back part and Select all the faces.
Now Extrude all the faces inside to create depth because a shoe is not made of only a single leather layer. This is required to give it a little bit of thickness.
Similarly select the front part of the shoe and make it an isolated selection. Then select all the faces and extrude them inside too.
Congrats! Our low poly shoe is now ready.
Now all we have to do is add some detailing to the shoe. We will start with the sole, so Insert 4 edge loops in the sole as shown.
Select two face loops and then extrude them inward.
Add supporting edges where you want hard corners.
Now we have to add the detailing to the back part of the shoe. Similarly add supporting edges to harden the corners.
Now add supporting edges to the front part of the shoe to make hard corners where ever you want.
Additionally I have made a simple logo to cling onto the shoe. To make the logo Create a Box with two horizontal and one vertical edge.
First of all press Shift + Alt + D, to Delete all the history; it will help to reduce the file size. Select the whole shoe and press Ctrl + G to make a group of all the parts together. Now with the shoe selected, go to Edit > Duplicate Special, and make a duplicate on the opposite side. Finally our pair of shoes is ready. Now in the next part of the tutorial, we will do Unwrapping, Texturing and Lighting of the shoes.
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