Detailing the Torso

In this final section, you will finish the upper body by adding details to the model according to the sketches. Again, this will be simple extrusions of polygons and manipulations of the resultant vertices to shape the belts, Alice pack (backpack), and whatnot. Some other items that the Hicks model possesses, such as ammo and the canteen, are separate 3D objects that I created and attached to the torso.

1. Let's finish the top of the shoulders into the neck area now that we have good upper body symmetry going. At this point, you can collapse your stack (remember to save your file first) because the remainder of the torso detail won't be very symmetrical. Referring to Figure 3.28, pull some of the vertices on the shoulder pads upward to make them more rounded, and go along the neck region and round out the edges.

2. The shoulder light that the marines had in Aliens stood high and away from them and looked a bit goofy. I opted for Hicks' light to be part of his Alice pack so that it would flow more naturally from his body.

Figure 3.28 Round out the shoulder pads and neck regions by pulling and manipulating the vertices in those areas. You might have to add new polygons around the neck to accomplish this.

Do this by extruding a square patch of polygons from the upper-left side of Hicks' back and shaping them. From Figure 3.29, I finished the light by extruding a single polygon in Polygon Edit mode. For each extrusion, I rotated the face until the light curved up and faced forward. The end of the light is hexagonal, so I inserted a couple of vertices on two edges and moved the new vertices outward. To insert a vertex, just enter Edge Edit mode, and on the Modifier panel, click Insert Vertex. Then click on an edge to add a new vertex. You have to be in Vertex Edit mode to manipulate the new vertex.

3. The sketches also depict the Hicks model having a satchel belt that goes around the waist and a harness that goes from the belt to the upper portion of the armor in the front and back. You can quickly form this by selecting polygons around the beltline and up the length of the torso and extruding

Figure 3.29 Create the shoulder light by extruding and shaping polygons on the upper-left portion of the character's back, using the sketches as a reference.
Figure 3.30 Create a satchel belt and harness around the torso by selecting multiple polygons representing these objects and extruding them.

them all at once in a small amount, as seen in Figure 3.30. You might have to create some new edges for better shape selections.

Note that in this figure, some polygons do not appear smoothed. I was going to fix this, but I decided that I would rather illustrate a situation. Errors like this are a result of bad geometry or newly created geometry after you've applied a Smooth modifier. If you reap-ply this modifier and it still doesn't smooth out, you need to fix the geometry. Most likely, the problem is duplicate vertices or polygons that somehow are not fully attached to the model. See Chapter 4 for more on this.

This is a good time to get creative. Adhering to the basic shapes depicted in the sketches, I went around the ammo belt and extruded small portions of polygons to form miscellaneous storage units that a marine might have, shaping them a bit randomly as I went around the waist. Occasionally I applied a Smooth modifier to preview the work and then removed it and continued. The Alice pack was nothing special either; it's just another large polygon selection that was extruded and shaped (see Figure 3.31).

4. Finish the upper body by creating and attaching bullets along the left and right sides of the harness and a canteen on the side. The bullets are just a Capsule primitive located in the Extended Primitives section in the Create panel. Remove one end of the capsule to make a bullet, and then scale and position it at the bottom of one of the harnesses. To clone the bullet, hold down Shift and click and drag the bullet to make a copy.

The canteen object was just a Box primitive with a Cylinder primitive attached to the top. After you've attached all objects to the mesh, you're done with the upper body (see Figure 3.32).

Figure 3.31 Create several miscellaneous objects around the ammo belt and an Alice pack by extruding small handfuls of polygons and shaping them. Use the Smooth modifier to preview your work as you go.

Figure 3.32 The completed upper body with bullets and a canteen attached to the harness.

Figure 3.32 The completed upper body with bullets and a canteen attached to the harness.

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