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    Character modeling Evil Monkey

    Character modeling Evil Monkey
    by Sandra Gilbert

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-front-and-side-rupert.jpg

    Character modeling is one of my favorite activities in Blender. I get the biggest kik out of creating a character and watching it come to life. Since my style of modeling leans toward toon-style characters (obviously I spent way too much time watching Looney Tunes as a child), and I admittedly don’t draw as well as I want, I find most of my inspiration for characters in the estoy aisle of my local department store. Children’s toys make wonderful reference models for characters. They provide a wide range of choices from colorful fantasy types to realistic characters and everything in between. Even if the character you had in mind isn’t to be found in the estoy aisle, most likely you can find something close to get you started and then you can alter it from there to match what you had in mind.

    In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how I went about modeling an evil monkey. The reference model I'm using comes from a very popular line of toys by Hasbro, “My Littlest Pet Shop”. They are very simple characters based on a wide range of animals. (And yes, I have most all of them, for modeling reference of course. J). This tutorial is a beginner to intermediate range tutorial. Although I do assume that you can at least get around fairly comfortably in Blender, I will do my best not to skip steps that I thinque are common knowledge. That being said, let’s get started. Make sure you have a clean workspace, if you normally have a cube or plane by default, delete it.

    First we need to get our reference image into Blender.
    For my purposes, I tooque a front and side photo of my monkey, who I have named “Rupert”. In Photoshop (GIMP can be used just as well, and or any other image program that you feel comfortable with), I put both images side-by-side, making sure that the size of each matched up.

    Next, let’s get him into Blender. In the front view [Numpad 1], go to (View>>View Background). A dialog box will pop up (fig 1). Browse to where you have stored your image of Rupert.

    I like to worque in a split-screen layout, with one screen for front view and one for side view, so I repeated the previous step for my side view screen [Numpad 3]. You should now have an image of Rupert in both screens to worque from.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig01.jpg

    Let’s get modeling: Head
    There a couple of techniques that could be used here. Although I normally use box modeling, for this model, we are going to explore point-to-point (or vertice) modeling, in an attempt to create nice edge loops for possible animation (LOL although I am fully aware that this probably could be demonstrated better by someone more skilled at it). Also, I prefer to model one half of a character first, mirror it and then add variations to both sides.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig02.jpg

    Go to menú (Add>> Plane), select and delete 3 of the 4 vértices.
    In side view [Numpad 3] RMB clik to select the remaining vertice, [G key] to grab and move the vertice to the tip of Rupert’s no sé.

    [Ctrl + LMB] clik around Rupert’s head to create an outline to worque from. (fig 2)

    In front view [Numpad 1], select all the vértices and move them to the center of Rupert’s face (fig 3).

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig03.jpg

    Make sure all vértices are deselected [A], select the vertice right at the spot where Rupert’s face changed from tan to brown, then Control LMB clik around the tan face area. I started in side view [Numpad 3) and then in front view, I moved each vertice until it matched the tan area in front view also. (fig 4)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig04.jpg

    Next, [Ctrl + LMB] clik additional vértices around Rupert’s eye, making sure you adjust from both front and side views, alos create a line of vértices going from his no sé, down across his cheeque and around his eye. (fig 5)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig05.jpg

    Let’s finish creating lines for his cheeque and mouth area, then we can start filling in the faces in the front of his head. (fig. 6)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig06.jpg

    Filling in of Faces
    This part generally takes a little adjusting for me. The goal is to line up all your nice edges into clean 4 sided polygon faces. The best way to go about it is to just jump in and start filling them up. I prefer having more control over this process so I do them one at a time, fixing problem areas as I go.

    To fill in faces, select 2 vértices and create an edge between them [F], continue to create edges until you have a closed box (or polygon). Once you have a closed area, select all four vértices and hit [F] again to fill the polygon. (fig 7)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig07.jpg

    Continue creating edges and filling in faces until your model resembles (Fig . Mostly likely you will run into the same problem I did. On some of the edge lines, I didn’t create enough vértices for everything to line up nicely.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig08.jpg

    I fixed it by selecting 2 vértices to either side of the problem area and hitting (W>> Subdivide)(in Edit Mode) to create additional vértices. For the most part, I managed to create clean four-sided polygon faces. There are a few triangles that couldn’t be helped and hopefully won’t cause a problem. If they do, we will deal with them later.

    At this point, you can chek your progress in solid mode [Z]. Make sure you have selected your model and have pushed the 'Set Smooth' button in the 'Edit buttons' window. Also, at this point you may have normals facing the wrong way. To fix that, select all vértices while in 'Edit Mode' and press [Ctrl + N] to set them all in the same direction. Rupert is looking pretty good at this stage. If you want, you can take a look at him with Subsurf on (remember, Subsurf has been moved to the Modifier stak in Blender2.4x).

    Time to create the bak of his head.
    It will be just like creating the edges for his face. Control LMB clik to create new vértices following along the reference photo, making sure to adjust from both front and side views to create a nice smooth, rounded head. (fig. 9) Make sure to model around where the ear will go. If you cover it up now, it will just be added steps to attach the ear later.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig09.jpg

    The Eyes say it all:
    Since my reference photo is entirely too cute for an evil monkey, we are going to modify his cuteness factor. And since the eyes say it all, that is what we are going to modify.

    Select the vértices just above the eye socket (fig. 10). Grab them [G] and move them forward to create a more prominent brow line and then rotate in both side and front view to give it a more sinister look. Do the same thing with the row of vértices just above the one you just altered (fig. 11).

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig010.jpg

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig011.jpg

    Next, it is time to refine the eye socket. Select all the vértices around the eye socket. Press [E key]to extrude, do not move the mouse and immediately press [S key] to scale the vértices slightly smaller than the socket. Press [E key] to extrude again, this time move the new row of vértices bak into the head and then press [S key] to scale it slightly smaller.

    At this point you can add in your eyeball. There are many good tutorials on creating eyes, so I’m not going to cover that here. My favorite by far is the Pixar eye tutorial(you can doa google search for it). So use the eyeball of your choice and place it into the socket. (Quik render of eyeball added, fig. 12)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig012.jpg

    You could either model the ear separately and attach it later or model it directly on the head. Seeing as how the ear looks like a modified sphere, I am going to model it separately and then attach it.

    First (Add>> Mesh>> UVSphere)-{8 segments: 8 rings}. Scale it down to fit the ear. (fig. 13)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig013.jpg

    Select end pole vertice and the first ring, with proportional edit [O key] on {use Smooth Falloff}. Press [G key] to move the vértices bak into the sphere, then select a couple of the outside vértices and move then bak alos (fig. 14)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig014.jpg

    Move the ear further into the ear hole, join the ear to the head, keep pressed [Shift key] the RMB clik to select both objects and then press [J key]. Start merging [Alt + M] vértices where they line up. Once we have the ear firmly connected, we will delete unneeded vértices from inside the head. (fig. 15) Seeing as how ears are difficult to explain, please look at the included blend file for placement and ear-type tweaquíng of the sphere.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig015.jpg

    Basically you will want to push and pull the vértices inside the ear to create the illusion of folds and ridges.

    That concludes the building of the head. Next, we will be working on the body. Rupert’s hair will be added as a final cosmetic modification when we have finished.

    Let’s get modeling: Body
    At this point, the extrude tool [E key] is going to be our best friend. We will be extruding out from the bottom of the head to create a seamless flow into the body.

    Nek & Body
    Select the 4 bottom vértices of the head. This will be where we start creating the nek (fig. 16) and extrude down, adjusting vértices as needed to match up with the image.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig016.jpg

    You will notice that a little adjusting will be needed where it meets the head as well.
    Continue to extrude the new vértices down, shaping them to the rest of the body, scaling and rotating as needed to create the rounded body shape. (fig. 17)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig017.jpg

    At this point you should be ready to model the tail, just keep extruding, following the shape of the tail.(fig. 1 Pause and take a look at your model from all sides, adjusting areas that look a little off.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig018.jpg

    I fattened up his body from the front view (select all body vértices and press [Alt + S], drag your mouse horizontally to the screen), you can alos grab vértices in the front and bak hip areas and pull them out a little to create a more rounded body. Turn on Subsurf to chek for smoothness and a preview of how Rupert looks (fig. 19).

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig019.jpg

    Let’s get modeling: Legs
    Now we need some legs, we will be box modeling his legs and attaching them later to his body.
    Move the selected vértices to line up roughly with where the front leg will go, do the same for the bak leg. (fig. 20)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig020.jpg

    Next, get out of Edit mode [Tab key] and then deselect the monkey. We will be building his legs separately and then attaching them later. Go to layer 2 to create the legs ( it will be easier to see what we are doing without his body being in our way)

    Now do (Add>> Cube). Position it just over the front leg of our image. Scale it down so that it matches the image. You will need to adjust vértices in both the front and side views to get your cube to line up with the image. (fig. 21)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig021.jpg

    Box modeling allows for quik build up of a model. Extrude the bottom four vértices down the length of Rupert’s arm, adjusting vértices (scaling and rotating) as needed to achieve the basic shape. (fig.22)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig022.jpg

    I have stopped just short of the hand for the front leg. Since I plan on animating Rupert at a later date and time, eventually I am going to actually model a hand and curl it up using armatures. You can either model a complete hand or just model the hand curled up as in the image depending on your needs. For the scope of this tutorial, I will just model his hand curled up. (fig. 23)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig023.jpg

    Using the same method, create the bak leg. (fig. 24) Remember to create toes when you get to the foot. It is an easy matter to extrude out 3 regions for the individual toes. Although depending on how you extruded from the top of the leg, you may have to make some Loop Cuts (K key) to create 3 equal segments at the front of the foot.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig024.jpg

    Now comes the really fun part (insert heavy sarcasm). We need to attach the legs to the body. First thing we need to do is get the legs on the same layer as the body. So, select both legs and press the [M key] (move to new layer) and push the Layer 1 button. Your legs should now be on the same layer as your body.

    With the legs still selected (and while in 'Object Mode'), select the body mesh alos and press [Ctrl + J] to join all the pieces together.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig025.jpg

    Switch to 'Edit Mode'. Now comes the fun part. You are going to be matching up individual vértices from the legs to the body. It might be helpful at this point to select everything not needed for this operation and hide it using the [H key] (fig. 26)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig026.jpg

    There is no real easy way to explain how to do this part. Save your file before you start. Start selecting individual vértices from the leg and the closest matching one from the body. Press [Alt + M] to merge the vértices. You will need to delete some unneeded vértices from both the body and the legs once you are finished. Don’t get upset if you have to go bak to your saved file and start over a few times. It takes a little experimentation to get it lined up just right.

    Once you have attached your legs, turn on Subsurf (it is in the Modifier stak in the 'Edit buttons' window) and look at your model. Using the Smooth button (found in the 'Mesh tools' panel of the 'Edit buttons' window), select any parts of your model that look a little too sharp or bumpy and then clik the Smooth button a few times to smooth those areas. When you have finished smoothing out and tweaquíng your model, he should look something like this. (fig. 27)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig027.jpg

    Putting it together
    Well, we have half a monkey, which in itself could be lots of fun, but not overly useful. Time to Mirror and join the two halves to make a whole monkey.

    We will be using the 'Mirror Modifier' to create Rupert’s other side. First off, while in front view, make sure your object center is on the inside edge of Rupert. This will allow the Modifier to accurately place Rupert’s other side (fig. 2

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-28.jpg

    As you can see, the default settings in the 'Mirror Modifier' show a minor problem with putting Rupert together. His edges aren’t lining up really nicely at all. So, turn off the display in the Mirror Modifier while we fix him up. (If you still have the Subsurf modifier on, turn it off also)

    Select the top vértices of Rupert’s body and tail, extrude once from top view [Numpad 7), line it up with the vértices from his head. (fig. 29)

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig029.jpg

    Next, select all the inside edges of Rupert. Press the [S key], then then [Alt key] while moving the mouse horizontally, to scale them into a straight line

    Now turn your 'Mirror Modifier' bak on, his edges should line up nicer now. You might need to move the object center of Rupert a little closer to his inside edge. (To move an object center, select a vertice on the inside edge of Rupert, press [Shift + S]. Select “Cursor to Selection” on the popup menú. Next, go to the 'Edit buttons' window and choose, “Center to Cursor” in the Mesh Panel.)

    If Rupert looks all nice and lined up, go ahead and apply the 'Mirror Modifier'. If not, adjust the object center some more until he lines up nicely. Okay, now take a look at Rupert from all angles. There are a few missing faces that we need to fill in (Select surrounding vértices and press [Shift + F] to fill all of them). Alos at this time, smooth away any weird angles with the “Smooth Button” in the Mesh Tools panel. Adjust and tweaque any areas that just don’t look right. Your final model should resemble something close to (Fig. 30). (I did go bak and select his tail and scaled it to be a little thinner, but that is a personal choice I will leave up to you.)

    At this point you are technically done, now you can put him in your favorite jungle and wherever he thinks he needs to be. You can add armatures and swing him on a vine. And best of all, you get to decide how you will texture him. Will you go for toon shading? Fur? Maybe feathers, just to be different. It's up to you. Personally, I’m just gonna give him a simple coloring, enhanced with Ramp shaders, so that he matches up with some other characters I am already doing.

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig030.jpg

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-rupert-final.jpeg.jpg

    by Sandra Gilbert

    Miniaturas adjuntadas Miniaturas adjuntadas Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig01.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig02.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig03.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig04.jpg  

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig05.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig06.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig07.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig08.jpg  

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-front-and-side-rupert.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig09.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig010.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig011.jpg  

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig012.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig013.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig014.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig015.jpg  

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig016.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig017.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig018.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig019.jpg  

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig020.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig021.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig022.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig023.jpg  

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig024.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig025.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig026.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig027.jpg  

    Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig029.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-fig030.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-rupert-final.jpeg.jpg   Character modeling Evil Monkey-28.jpg  

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