Maya for Beginners Module – 3D Model


To prepare us for the 3D modelling stage, we were given some very useful Andrew Loomis PDFs. We practiced some 3D modelling using reference images set up in our orthographic view ports in Maya. Using these reference images we constructed our models from basic polygon shapes then refined them to correspond with our reference images. In showing us this technique and 3D scanning our plasticine models, we now have two different techniques at our disposal for future 3D modelling.


After 3D scanning my model, I imported the scan into Maya. I had to retopologize my model in Maya so that it had a lower polygon count and was simple enough to model further. I did this using the quad draw tool in Maya. I ended up having to re-do this stage as my file got corrupted. I forgot to make multiple saves of my file at different stages of the modelling process, I have since learned my lesson. Luckily this happened early on in the process and I only had to re-do the quad draw stage.

Now to start adding the detail. I refined the body shape, keeping my physical model at hand for reference.

Next, I moved on to the more difficult task of adding in the facial features and shaping the hands and feet.

For the clothing, I duplicated the mesh and using the quad draw tool I created the clothing shapes on the duplicate mesh then moved them over to the original mesh. With the cloth wrap on both the torso and the feet, I had to be careful not to have any overlapping vertices but have each section appearing like they are overlapping. Once I had the clothing items created, I applied a cloth texture to the skirt and the torso wrap, a leather texture to the foot wrap and a wool texture to the sock. I had to make sure any textures I used were tiled, if they weren’t I popped them into Photoshop to make the image square. When applying the textures, I also had to make sure that the UVs for object I was applying the texture to were unitized/uniform.

The hair was very fiddly as I had to create multiple planes with different leaf textures then arrange them on top of one another around the head. It was worth it though as the effect it creates is lovely. After the textures had been applied, I sent the body mesh to Mudbox to add texture to the skin. I made the skin quite rough in appearance, almost scale like. I took some inspiration from the movie Avatar when painting the skin in Mudbox. I used the airbrush to apply some darker tones on the skin. I then sent each item of clothing to Mudbox for painting. Here is the finished model.

Yahni 🙂