- Collecting References
- Background Templates and Key Facial Zones
- Step 1. Creating the Initial Design
- Step 2. Dividing the Work Into Zones
- Step 3. Plotting Points in 3D Space with Rail Molds
- Step 4. Developing the Cage Further with Key Facial Zone Object Rails
- Step 5. Modeling Isolated Key Facial Zones
- Step 6. Connecting the Key Facial Zones Together
- Step 7. Creating the UV Map for Painting
- Step 8. Mixing Mediums for Texture Creation
- Step 9. Applying the Fur
- Step 10. Fur Combing
- Step 11. Fur Coloring, Shading, and Shadowing
Step 6. Connecting the Key Facial Zones Together
Now that the most important factors of the structure are complete, namely the isolated key facial zones, one last step in the modeling process is left: connecting each of the isolated zones to complete the geometry.
This step is rather like placing the last pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The cage created earlier and the isolated zones in themselves give clear direction to how certain areas should connect together. The best example of this is where the ear connects with the eye socket goggles, simple point to point connection.
The most important factor with this step is addressing the correct flow to the geometry. A good flow helps enormously with weighting for the animation rig. With this in mind it is a good idea to backtrack to the original photo reference, for a study on how the isolated zones should flow together. The red arrows in Figure 6 show directional flow.
Figure 6 The head showing flow lines on the geometry.
Look at your parts as they are in 3D space. Identify which parts are closer together and start the stitching process there. In this case, the eye socket and ear parts were closer together, which made it the best place to start.
When compared to your rail mold, the completed geometry should be quite similar, especially with regards to proportion. It is unlikely that it will fit the mold exactly, as each of the preceding steps have there own level of adjustment. This is illustrated in Figure 7.
Figure 7 The finished geometry with object rails.
Now that the geometry is complete, you can move on to the next stage of production, texturing and the creations of UV maps.