Creating the torso
The bulk of the torso is very easy - it's just a couple of extrudes. The trick is to shape it later on to give it some mass, so it doesn't look like a square chunk.
- Extrude the lower edge loop several times to form the torso. Here, I've extruded three times (Extruding the torso).
Now we have to make room for the legs. It gets tricky to explain, just follow the images:
- Extrude the front-most edge and the back-most edge once (Making room for the legs 1).
- Extrude the remaining vertices in the original loop once - including one of the vertices you just extruded from (Making room for the legs 2).
- Extrude the front-most and back-most edges once more (Making room for the legs 3).
- Connect the newly extruded edge loops with faces - one in the front (Making room for the legs 4) and one in the back. If you get a message saying "Error: The selected vertices form a concave quad", try moving the vertices around a little, and see this page for why it happened: BSoD/Introduction_to_Character_Animation/Concave quads
Shaping the torso
Now it's time to shape the torso. Remember to move the view around a lot, use perspective view and ortho view (5 NumPad, and use proportional editing (O). Here's what my character looked like before shaping:
It takes time!
Shaping the mesh takes a long time. It takes a lot of practice to figure out which views work best, when to use proporional editing (or when to turn it off), and how far to move vertices. The more time you spend on it, the better you'll get and the faster it will go next time.
Extruding the legs
We have to close off the bottom of the torso before extruding the legs.
- Make a face connecting the front and back, as in Closing off the bottom of the torso.
- Loop-cut (CtrlR the new face, as in Loop cutting the bottom of the torso.
- Now shape the root of the leg so it's a little more circular (Shaping the root of the leg).
Extruding the legs is pretty straightforward. Making the feet is a little different from the hands - mostly because of the 90 degree angle the feet make with the legs.
- Extrude the vertex ring at the root of the leg, and shape it so the vertices are more or less on the same plane (Extruding the leg 1).
- Extrude the legs some more. Make sure you have three edge loops close together for the knees so that the leg will bend better when animating (Extruding the leg 2).
- Spend some time to shape the legs (Shaping the legs).
Problems with fused vertices when shaping
When shaping the legs, you might run into a problem like this, where the vertex you're moving suddenly snaps to the plane of the mirror:
This happens because Do Clipping is enabled. The vertex I was moving in this case got too close to the mirror plane, so Do Clipping thought it should be snapped to the plane. There are two ways to fix this:
We've got legs! Here is the character so far:
Creating the feet
- Select the three front vertices by the ankle and extrude them. Extruding the feet 1 shows the extrusion from an oblique view, but it's probably easiest to do the extrusion in side view (3 NumPad).
- Keep extruding the three vertices as in Extruding the feet 2 and Extruding the feet 3. Note, in Extruding the feet 3, I've extruded the vertices along the sole of the foot so that they more or less line up with the vertices on the top of the foot where it meets the ankle (you may have to click on the image to get a larger view).
- Now start filling in faces on the feet by selecting four vertices at a time and hitting F to make a face. The sequence of 6 images below shows this process.
- Extrude vertices from the sole back to make the heel (Forming the heel 1 and Forming the heel 2). Each extrude should line up with vertices in the leg, because we're going to make faces using these extruded vertices.
- Make faces with F to fill in the heel. Note that there's a single triangle Forming the heel 3 - there weren't an even number of edge loops on the legs. That's OK, if it ends up being a problem later in animation we can fix it.
Now add edge loops to make sufficient vertices to shape the foot.
- CtrlR to make an edge loop near the sole of the foot (Sole edge loop]]).
- CtrlR to make an edge loop around the middle of the foot (Middle foot edge loop). These edge loops will give the foot better shape.
- CtrlR to make an edge loop around the ankle. This will allow the transition from the lower leg to the foot to be a little sharper.
- Shaping the foot . . . you can of course shape however you want. You're probably beginning to develop your own style of shaping, these images are just the way I did it for this character.
- I selected a face loop (CTRL-ALT-MMB) , S to scale, MMB to constrain to a single axis, LMB to confirm (Shaping the foot 1 and 2).
- Then I pushed and pulled vertices to shape the foot. This took me a little while to get right (Shaping the foot 3).
The finished model, with .blend file
Congratulations! If you made it this far, you've probably learned a lot about how to model in Blender.
I spent some more time cleaning up and shaping the mesh. Here's the finished model, ready for materials, rigging, and animating:
We created the torso, legs, and feet in a series of extrudes and vertex movements. Here's the file available for download: Media:Tutorial_body.blend
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