Adding Some Military Detail

Here I'm going to add some miscellaneous detail (utility belt, satchels, knife, and so on) to match the sketches. However, in adding detail to a character, it's best not to create a separate object and then just attach it. Adding details by extruding the existing mesh has several advantages, mostly in speeding up rendering time because it reduces polygon count, and also for texturing purposes. I'm going to briefly go over some of the details I've followed along with the sketches. Basically, it's all just a matter of shaping some of the existing polygons on the model and extruding them.

Here are some things I've done to manipulate the existing polygons on my marine model:

1. I've entered Polygon Edit mode, and while holding down Ctrl, I've clicked on the polys around the beltline of the character. I've also selected polys on the right side of the hip to form the knife holder (see Figure 3.11). After using the Extrude tool to raise them out, I entered Vertex Edit mode and spent time adjusting the vertices appropriately. Note that I've had to convert the model to Editable Mesh so that I could select some individual triangles instead of quads to refine my selections; if you do so, just remember to convert back to Editable Poly.

2. On the backside of the character, I extruded out part of the left section to make the large satchel (see Figure 3.12). At first it comes out boxy, but I moved

Figure 3.11 Use the Polygon tool to select polys wherever you want to create an object; then extrude them. Adjust their shape with the Vertex tool active.
Figure 3.12 Using the existing polygons on the rear of the character, I selected several, extruded them, and adjusted their vertices to make a nice satchel. Temporarily applying the Smooth modifier makes it look great.

Figure 3.13 Continue extruding polys around the belt to form items to match the sketches. This will complete the model's lower half.

around some corner vertices and smoothed it out. Apply a Smooth modifier for some awesome results.

3. The rest of the utility belt and pants are now routine extrusions like before. In Figure 3.13, I've extruded a single polygon from the top of the belt above the knife to make a knife handle. (I've selected all polygons representing an individual component and then colored them by applying a Multi/Sub-Object material to the mesh using the Material Editor. Each component has a different Diffuse Color setting.) On the left side of the belt, I've extruded more polys to make a flashlight. If you have difficulty forming any item, just remember to refine the area you're extruding by connecting two edges, or add vertices by clicking the Insert Vertex button on the Modifier panel and then clicking on an edge.

4. Remember to attach any objects that are free from the lower half (such as the boots, and the forward end of the flashlight, which is a simple cylinder). Do this by selecting the Attach button in the Modifier panel, and then click on all free objects to make a single lower half. Name this single object LowerBody in the Modifier panel and save your scene.

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