Creative Futures

A Guide to Modelling Research

As I had mentioned within this post, during the process of modelling the boy I reviewed a lot of tutorials that were available online, both from reputable websites such as Pluralsight, and streaming and free content that could be found available on Youtube.

Some tutorials that I watched were more helpful than others, whereas other ones contradicted some of the key “do-not” decisions that we have been taught to avoid during the last two years in university. I have listed the material that I reviewed below, including links to the content creators.

In review, I would say that my outcome was greatly benefitted by the range of material I watched prior and during the modelling and sculpting stages for the boy character. I had been feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand, but these negative feelings were greatly reduced once I understood the workflow processes. It prevented me from speeding through the blocking period straight towards intricate details and taught me to take my time perfecting the proportionate elements of the construction before focusing on those features.

My understanding of character modelling has been aided by the plethora of tutorials, guides and speed-sculpts that I analysed, allowing me to apply this new knowledge within my own workflow. In the modelling boy post, the evidence of improvement is immense – I feel that this is a direct outcome of my increased comprehension and development of my technical abilities.

Plural Sight Character Modelling Tutorial – Joshua Brock 


I had a preconceived notion that because this tutorial was from Pluralsight, it would be the most significant resource in the arsenal of character modelling material – I was wrong. This tutorial was the one that I found to be most unhelpful, as it began construction using cylindrical shapes and triangles rather than quads, which had been a recommendation that we were encouraged to adhere to. However, the tutorial taught me the benefit of having guide references within the Maya scene during the beginning stages of blocking out proportion.

Modelling a Simple Human Character – Edge-CGI 3D Tutorials and more!

In contrast to the Pluralsight tutorial, I found that this step-by-step guide was a lot easier to comprehend and that it followed a workflow that was similar to that which we have been taught within university over the course of two years. Whilst they also had reference material within the Maya scene, I felt that their reference was poorly designed in comparison to that of the astronaut featured within the other tutorial.

Modelling Clothing as a Merged Piece – Cobus van Staden


I reviewed this tutorial during the research stage when I had been investigating the best approach to construct the boy’s clothing, and how to implement that within the character model. This approach focused on using the topology of the character model to extrude outwards, essentially designing the clothing to replace her skin underneath so that both the character and the geometry were one unified piece of mesh.

Modelling Clothing as Separate Geometry – QuickDrawCreate


This tutorial implemented the approach that was ultimately the process that Scott advised me to follow – modelling the pieces of clothing as separate geometry with no existing mesh beneath. Analysing the material really benefitted my understanding as to how a character model can be constructed without an entire body mesh located beneath the clothing. Similar to my approach, during the earlier stages of modelling, they kept the body mesh beneath as a guideline to maintain accurate design proportions.

Hand Modelling – Alex Cheparev


This tutorial was incredibly helpful during the modelling process – I found hands to be particularly tricky to model, due to the number of digits and childlike appearance that was required to be deemed appropriate for our character model. In total, I was able to achieve the desired outcome within two attempts. However, had I not followed this tutorial and gained an understanding of how hand anatomy functions, this process would have likely taken a lot more attempts.

Z-Brush Speed Sculpting – Danny Mac


Danny Mac’s speed-sculpting videos were essential to me as I began to learn about Z-Brush Core. Following his workflow processes as he worked through from beginning stages to fully rendered outcome explained the interface in an efficient way, effectively enabling quick familiarisation as I began my first three-dimensional sculpt. Whilst I watched a lot of his speed-sculpting videos, it is the video that is featured above that first introduced me to his work. I would recommend his videos to anyone that is new to Z-Brush and would benefit from a fast and concise tutorial that demonstrates a clean and efficient workflow.


Cheparev, A. (2015). Easy Hand Modeling Tutorial in Maya. Available at: [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016].

Mac, D. (2016). Zbrush Speed Sculpt Timelapse (Twitch Recap). Available at: [Accessed 4 Nov. 2016].

Edge-CGI 3D Tutorials and more!, (2013). Maya for Beginners Tutorial: 3D Modeling A Simple Human Character In Maya Part 1 by Misterh3D. Available at: Cheparev, A. (2015). Easy Hand Modeling Tutorial in Maya. Available at: [Accessed 13 Nov. 2016]. [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Pluralsight, (n.d.). Advanced Character Modelling in Maya. Available at: [Accessed 30 Oct. 2016].

QuickDrawCreate, (2014). Speed Modeling A Human Character – Rosalina. Available at: [Accessed 30 Oct. 2016].

Van Stan, C. (2015). Maya Modeling Techniques – Character clothes. Available at: [Accessed 31 Oct. 2016].


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