Male 01

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 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.

Male 02

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.

Female 01

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.


  1. Pedro Amorim says:

    Really cool man! Is there a way to share that basemesh?

  2. Martin K. says:


    You are a true artist both traditionally and digitally.

    Martin K.
    Marketing and Education

  3. Joker
    Selwy says:

    Pedro Amorim says:
    September 29th, 2008 at 11:16 pm
    Really cool man! Is there a way to share that basemesh?

    Hi Pedro,
    You can download the free model in the article section. I have used the same basemesh for all sculpts you see on this page. Open the file in ZBrush, step down to the lowest sudivison level and delete all higher levels. Then use the smooth brush to get rid of all the character specific thing I modeled for Arthur (name of the model) and you have the raw basemesh again. I could help if you use the transform tool to stretch out his arms and legs. If you’re not a Zbrush user, just mail me and I will send you the basemesh as OBJ

  4. Mattia says:


    Comliments for your great “Male 01” model and thank you for sharing it.


  5. Danny says:

    Great great site and work you have her. Adding to my links and inspiration folder for sure.

  6. Paul says:

    arhh truely inspring love visit again and again

  7. vaibhav says:


  8. Kenny Lei says:

    Awesome model indeed,I learned much from your work.thanks.there’re not many people in the CG industry willing to do the “basic thing”,and their works always looks “horrible”.I don’t want to be one of them,so sculpting would be a very good self-teaching thing to me. thanks ,your works give me strength.

  9. sepal says:

    awesome model. I hope to get your skills.

  10. cedrico says:

    Hello and happy new year to everyone reading!
    First let me thank you for sharing your artwork here, i’am a huge fan of your style (both traditionnal and cg).
    I greatly learn from your anatomy skills.
    I have one question though, i realized sculpting and adding volume to a mesh is quite straightforward, carving nicely with small folds is very difficult to me in zbrush. I downloaded your arthur model i couldn’t replicate the small folds and wrinkles with my brushes on your mesh. Would you mind commenting on which workflow or brushes you used to make them, cause the polycount is very small on your amazing mesh and still holds a very skinflow and folds ?
    THX a bunch.

  11. Obaid Farooq says:

    wow. this is the best ever sclupt of anatomy i have ever seen super cool.

  12. zhaorongsheng says:


  13. ali says:

    hey men your realy awsome artist guy
    are you coming from another world

  14. AKHIL says:

    wow great sir…i respect u sir….awsome knowledge in anatomy

  15. Frell says:

    Hi Selwy, i’ve been a fan of your work for quite some time now. I mainly posted because i was interested in getting the .obj base mesh from you. I really want to learn more about anatomy but i dont want mesh flow issues to mess me up and its best if i focus on just sculpting.

    On your next body sculpt, it’d be great if you could record it and playback a timelapse with commentary/subtitles on what you’re doing. Im interested in the steps you take to complete characters like this.

  16. Danny R says:

    I think with tallent like this, it needs to be put into training, as I would perchase it right away. Its one thing to build a base, sculpt it anatomicaly correct, but another to bring life into it, which is what Selwy does so well.

  17. Lopa says:

    Awesome. I am learning 3d Max & it inspired me a lot. Can you plz. send me OBJ file.

  18. fahd says:

    hi ..

    i just wanna ask u somthing !! did u use normal map or disp on this character to get this qulity ? and did u use mesh smoth to smoth the character or just low poly !! ?

  19. Gail Ellison says:

    I am just a student at a community college, so I have to look for artists on the internet while I learn ZBrush, so I know when I’m getting close. Right now, I keep referring to your stuff, and hope to raise the bar. I’m not as good as you are, but in the event I improve (a lot), who do you look to for inspiration, or to take your work up a notch? I think it’s interesting you are a wood sculptor. I have been using Bruno Walpoth for reference images for young models. Anyway I hope to get ALMOST as good as you someday. Thanks for the great inspiration.

  20. Xin Zhao says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your work.
    I find it to be a great source of inspiration.

  21. todd richman says:

    I only work in rhino and maya. could you send me the .obj file?

    your work is super inspiring and i would like to begin following your footsteps.

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