Summary

This chapter was dedicated to creating the 3D mesh of the Hicks character using the industry standard box modeling technique, employed primarily for ease of modeling with a high quality and low polygon count ratio. You generally perform this technique by creating a simple Box primitive in 3ds Max and extruding and manipulating polygons, edges, and vertices from that base primitive.

Using three orthogonal character sketches, we built the character from the ground up, forming a boot from a Box primitive that turned into one-half of a pair of lower legs. Then we completed the other half of the lower body by using a Symmetry modifier that created a mirrored copy of the first half. After that, we added detail to the pants by extruding and manipulating more polygons around the lower body to create items like pockets, shin guards, a knife, and miscellaneous utilities.

We generated the upper body in a similar manner with box modeling, although it began with a Cylinder primitive. Through use of a Symmetry modifier, we extruded polygons from one side of the upper portion of the cylinder to create an arm and a hand. This modifier was active on the Modifier stack so that we generated the other arm dynamically as we built the first. Then we added more detail to the rest of the torso just as we did the lower body, by extruding and shaping polygons around the utility belt, a backpack in the middle of the upper portion of the torso, and a backlight object near the top. Some items like bullets and a canteen were simple primitive objects that we attached to the upper body mesh instead of as polygon extrusions.

The head was the most difficult and time consuming object to model given its inherent anatomical intricacy. However, we also box modeled it using a simple Box primitive, whose faces we carefully subdivided, manipulated, and shaped using the sketches as a reference. We finished the remainder of the head entity by creating separate eye objects that we'll individually animate later in this book, and we made a helmet with a camera, earpieces, and a microphone from Capsule and Sphere primitives. The final outcome of the model consisted of five parts: the lower and upper body, the head, and two eyes.

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Have no fear of perfection—you'll never reach it.

—Salvador Dali

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