Human figure modeling

Discussion in 'Design and Modeling' started by patmat2350, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. patmat2350
    patmat2350 Well-Known Member
    I'm quite comfortable modeling mechanical parts... but I'd like to do little people now. Think about toy soldiers... or sailors actually, I'm into large scale R/C model boats:

    So anyway, I know NOTHING about 3D figure modeling and available software (I design mechanical parts in CATIA)... Ideally, I'd like to find a posable figure to which I can add clothes/uniforms etc., and print the little guys out here.

    Where can I go to start learning about this?

    Pat M

  2. EricFinley
    EricFinley New Member
    In my opinion, if you do not want to learn to sculpt human figures from scratch - something which is obviously a worthwhile goal for some people, but which may be beside the point for others - then what you want is to start from an existing human figure of some kind, in another program, and then work from that.

    Two such methods that I have used:

    - A program from the "art renders" side of the 'net called DAZ Studio, which is basically Poser "light." This comes with basic models with high poseability and enough face/body morphs to make them into (e.g.) slender or heavyset, lean-jawed or wide-jawed, etc. etc. people. If you want more people or garments or props than the basic set, it seems that you do so on a kind of micropayment basis - there's a fairly strong community of people making these add-ons and selling them quite cheaply. Not something I'm directly interested in, but a friend of mine does this, and has provided me with several base figures this way.

    The biggest issues are that (a) its resulting models are nonmanifold in the extreme, and so you will have to use something like the method I described here to get a manifold version, and that (b) the Poser-verse simply doesn't do ugly. They can be pretty, or they can be differently pretty, but about the furthest you can go is "kind of plain." And IMO the micro-payments thing is more than I care to pay for stuff like that, especially when much of the cost comes from lovingly detailed textures which will simply be wasted in a print - at least for now.

    - MakeHuman ( is still in the early stages, and in particular has not yet released a version which will give you the posing skeleton as well as the model, but it has a similarly impressive series of morphs (particularly with respect to the various ethnic origins and the ability to blend them together). And is free. You will have to craft your own clothing for them - I recommend a combination of "buid it from scratch in Blender" and "use Sculpt mode to smooth out the flesh and lose the details, and then to build that up into clothing instead."

    The latter is more work, for me, but also somewhat more rewarding; I'm glad I've done it at least once, for the practice, and I certainly use many of the same skills even when working with DAZ models provided by my friend.