Forming the Torso

The torso is fairly quick and easy. It is essentially a cylinder with multiple segments, with each segment uniquely adjusted using the sketches as a reference. I'll show you this technique, but you could just as easily continue extruding the lower body's top polygon all the way up to the neck.

1. First select and freeze the lower body so that you don't accidentally select it. Do this by right-clicking the lower body and clicking Freeze Selection from the quad menu. Begin the torso by creating a cylinder with 14 sides and 18 segments. You'll want a decent amount of polygons to play with so that your model will not only have good detail for the texture baking process but also will make creation of other miscellaneous torso details easier. The arms will also be high in detail because you'll be dealing with an organic shape.

Size and position the cylinder according to the sketches (see Figure 3.14). After they're in position, begin selecting individual segments (in Edge Selection mode, click a segment edge and then click Loop on the Modifier panel) and sizing them using the sketches as a reference.

Note

The torso section is actually armor covering the entire torso with front and back sections that snap together. The armor will not be very organic in shape, which is why it looks somewhat awkward and shell-like. I spent a while watching and pausing shots of some of the marines in the movie Aliens to generate detail of the sketches and the model.

2. Using both Front and Side views, finish the basic torso shape up to the neck. The torso armor will look much better if you rotate some of the segments in the Side view to match the flow of the upper body (see Figure 3.15).

Figure 3.14 Begin the torso by creating and sizing a Cylinder primitive with 14 sides and 18 segments. Select individual segments and size them using the sketches as a reference.
Figure 3.15 Continue sizing the segments according to the Left and Front sketches. Rotate some of the segments in the Side views to match the flow of the upper body.

3. To create the basic neck depression area, you could subdivide the top polygon of the torso and spend time manipulating vertices to create an appropriate shape. I opted to use a quick Boolean operation to do this. First, split the mesh in half using a Slice modifier, as you did with the pants earlier. This assists the operation by reducing the number of vertices and enables you to make a uniform model after you apply a Symmetry modifier.

4. Create an 18 segment Sphere primitive and scale, rotate, and position it as shown in Figure 3.16. By removing the sphere from the torso, you can create the neck area.

Click on the torso to select it, and from the Create section, select Compound Objects from the drop-down list. Click Boolean. Then in the Modifier panel, be sure Subtraction (A-B) is selected and click Pick Operand B. Click on the sphere object to subtract it.

Figure 3.16 Create the neck portion of the torso by subtracting a Sphere primitive from it using a Boolean compound object.

5. The Boolean operation can be slightly unclean, especially when the polygon counts aren't high. After you've performed the operation, you might have to create new edges and polygons. Observe your model in wire frame and shaded modes (press F3 to toggle back and forth) to discover any holes in the mesh, and fix them appropriately using the different edit modes. When your half-torso is somewhat decent, go to the Utilities panel and click on the Reset Xform tool. Select Reset Selected and collapse the stack. Now you can use the Symmetry modifier along the X-axis with Flip enabled to create the other half of the torso, like you did when creating the pants earlier (see Figure 3.17). Remember that this modifier works best if the Threshold value is small, like 0.01m. In Figure 3.17, I also spent a little more time fixing any odd geometry resulting from the Symmetry modifier.

6. Shape a circular opening that will form the base of the neck. If you look at Figure 3.18,1 accomplished this by creating polygons in Polygon Edit mode, slowly working from the shoulder areas inward. (Note that the neck area is initially completely open; no Cap Holes modifier is applied.) After I had built up enough polygons to form a rough circular area in the middle, I manipulated vertices in Vertex Edit mode to form a nice circle. We'll further refine this area later so that it mates nicely with the head.

Figure 3.17 Fix any poor geometry resulting from the Boolean operation, and then apply a Symmetry modifier to the torso.

Figure 3.17 Fix any poor geometry resulting from the Boolean operation, and then apply a Symmetry modifier to the torso.

Figure 3.18 Create polygons in Edit Poly mode in the neck area, beginning with the outermost regions by the shoulders. Continue filling in polygons until you have a nice rounded area, forming the base of the neck where the head will join later on.
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