Inspired 3D: Character Modeling Tutorial (continued from page 5)


[Figures 19–21] Snapping points together at a five-corner intersection.

In Figure 19, a five-corner intersection is shown where the vertices have to come together. By using a “mel” script, these vertices can be selected and snapped to their common center point (Figure 20). Further point snapping of points next to the corner points and simple point pulling results in a five-corner intersection with the surfaces that align (Figure 21). (The script used to snap these points is called JSnapCVsToCentre, written by Julian Mann, 1999, and can be downloaded from http://www.highend3d.com/maya/mel/.)

Modeling the Body
The head of this model required strict adherence to digitized reference because it had to match a puppet exactly from shot to shot. The body had to be modeled differently from the puppet to accommodate animation requirements, and the body did not have to look exactly like the puppet because the body of the puppet was not shown very often in the movie. Rhythm & Hues was commissioned to do the character because the film needed a digital version of Dino for shots that showed the body. Therefore, a more natural approach to modeling the body was taken. The steps that were used to model the body are similar to the steps used to model the head, but an important difference is the way the model was started. The digitized reference was used in a much looser way for the body than the head, as outlined in the following steps.

[Figures 22 & 23] The digitized reference data (left). NURBS primitive cylinders (right) were used to approximate the shapes.

[Figures 24 & 25] The cylinder surfaces (left) were rebuilt to have matching span sizes. The surfaces (right) were modified to match isoparm direction.

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