Male 01April 2008
This post contains my first attempt in figure sculpting. Before that I adventure myself only into body parts and not the body as a whole. As reference I used the amazing photo collection on http://www.human-anatomy-for-artist.com. I spend a few days on every model and started always with the same basemesh, except for the female body. As always I did some sketches to grasp the overall shape. After this I subdivided the mesh in Zbrush once and blocked-in the main masses. At this stage it’s important that you see the single parts in relation to each other.
I left myself time on the lowpoly mesh. If it looks kinda wrong with a few polygons, it will definitely look wrong with many polygons. I think for defining a human face on a basic level, you never need much more than ten to fifteen thousand polygons. I took a step forward not until I was satisfied with the look of the model at the current state. It gets harder and harder to make large changes on a higher subdivision level. If I had to correct large parts of the model, for example the position of the head, I stepped down through my subdivisions and made the changes there.
Because I build the models only for testing purpose, I considered them as finished before I add the last subdivision level for final detailing. Don’t forget to check the article section. I have made this model available for free download.
Head and hair are made out of the same piece of geometry. If I would shape this for production I would definitely keep them apart. If you use the same basemesh to build different human characters, a lot of pinching and stretching is going on. So it is necessary to retopologize the mesh. Only a clean mesh with logical edge flow can be used for rigging and animation.
The female body is something very special. The basic anatomy is almost identical to the male body. The bones, muscles and ligaments are the same, but it’s different to model a female character. You have to be careful when modeling muscles and boney landmarks. It’s easy to push them to hard and end up with a sculpture that looks to masculine. On the male body it’s not tragic when the biceps brachii becomes too big.
The last image shows the basemesh that was the same for all three models. Only for the female sculpting I have moved the vertices a little bit.