a Head in Maya
is a million ways to model a head and there is no right
or wrong way, only different approaches. This is one
way to do it and it's just the basic steps involved,
but I hope You'll find this little tutorial useful.
you start You should be aware that modeling a head is
a long and time demanding process. There is a lot of
CV manipulation moving, stretching and rotating. The
process could easily take several hours, perhaps days.
I can only encourage You to keep up the good spirit
and continue. - Good Luck.
1 - The Curves
by drawing two curves with approx. 20 control points each,
starting inside the mouth. Its crucial that the two curves
has the same number of points. This makes the surface
a lot easier to work with. To make the next step easier,
make sure that the start points of the curves are aligned
in the X direction
2 - Building the surface
a circle as a shape and align it inside the mouth as
shown in figure 2. The Shape has to touch the two rail
curves or the Maya won't create the surface - annoying
- yes, but that's life hehe. Select Surfaces->Birail
1 and turn on Proportional. If the surface is created
with Non-proportional you will get a flat surface .
Click on the Shape, then the 1st rail curve and finally
the 2nd rail. Hit Enter to accept and have Maya create
the Birail surface.
should now have a surface like Figure 3. The surface has
a strange look in the mouth area, but don't worry, we'll
3 - Fixing the surface
its time for the promised and tedious CV manipulation!!.
Hit F8 and select the CV's that is on the wrong side
of the axis - See figure 4.
move the selected CV's on the other side of the axis.
You might have to move the CV's in two or three steps
to get them all on the right side.
figure 5 the CV's have been moved and as you can see,
the surface is still not looking right.
4 - Forming the surface
Now this is where You take over. Start moving the CV's
until you have the surface in the basic shape of a head.
Don't worry about detail - this can be added later.
should concentrate on getting the basic shape around
the nose and cheeks. Try to keep the CV's evenly spread
over the surface to avoid kinks in the surface, these
can be a real pain to get rid of later.
5 - Adding detail
you have the basic shape correct, You'll probably want
some detail. Add a couple of isoparms to the nose, to
be able to create the area around the nostrils.
be sure to insert the isoparms evenly so you wont get
those kinks in the surface. If you have an Artisan license
you could use it to smooth out the surface and pull/push
it around - Just be careful, Artisan sometimes pushes
a lot, sometimes too little - so keep the undo key (Z)
to save often, and in different steps so that if you
change your mind you can always step back in the modeling
6 - Creating the eyes
Hide the head surface and draw a curve similar to Figure
7. This will be the the shape for the eyelids.
the curve around the X-axis to get at surface like Figure
its time to hit F8 and enter the world of CV manipulation.
Start moving around the CV's to shape the eye.
you have the shape correct, then select an isoparm as
shown in figure 10 and choose Surface Edit -> Detach.
Delete the other surface so you end up with a surface
like figure 10. Place the eyelid object in place.
a curve surrounding the eye - in front of the head.
Project that curve onto the head and trim out the hole
for the eyelid. Then use the Surfaces -> Fillet Blend
Tool to create the blends between the face and the eyelids.
might have to adjust the blend directions to remove
kinks. Create a Sphere as an eyeball and place it in
the eyelid object. Group the half head and select Edit
Duplicate and set Scale Z = -1 and hit duplicate.
you should have a face. Select the two face half's (not
the eyes) and attach them to get one surface of the
head instead of two half's. You might have to rebuild
the head surface to get a more even spanned surface
without any kinks. This require a bit of fiddling, but
in my case I only rebuild the surface in the V direction
with a V span number of 31.
7 - More facial detail.
figure 12 I have created the objects for the eyelashes.
I did this by duplicating the isoparm around the eyelid
and cut the lines in to smaller bits (half's).. And
lofted the curves to get the shape of the eyelashes.
8 - Creating the ears
by drawing the shape and path curves as in figure 13.
Move the shape curve to one end of the path curve, using
curve snap, press and hold the [C] key and middle click
on the path. Freeze the transformations of the two curves
to avoid unnecessary information on the curves.
the Shape curve and then the Path curve and choose Surfaces
-> Extrude. You should now have a surface much like figure
14. Choose Surfaces -> Open/Close to close the surface
so that you'll have the ear, with a hole in the middle.
the surface, in component mode - hit F8 - until you
are satisfied with the shape of the ear. Perhaps something
like figure 15.
my case I used Surfaces -> Rebuild, to add more Isoparms.
The reason I used rebuild and not inserting Isoparms
manually is that the Rebuild can create an even spanned
the ear to the head using the same procedure as earlier,
when attaching the eyes. Project a curve surrounding the
ear onto the head. Trim the head surface, removing the
area by the ears and finally use the Surfaces -> Fillet
Blend Tool to create the blend between the ear and the
head. Again You might have to adjust the blend manually.
figure 17 you can see the ears attached to the head.
9 - Starting to texture
figure 18 You can see a partially textured head. I have
earlier created the eyelashes (Figure 12) and now it
has been textured using a simple hand painted texture
- I used photoshop, but any paint package can be used.
I saved as TIFF and created a Lambert shader, applied
the texture at the color slot and reused the same file
for the transparancy. The head itself has been applied
a Lambert shader where the color has been changed into
something like skincolor..
is the texture that I used for the eyelashes. The four
eyelash objects use the same shader.
eyeballs have been applied a preliminary shader. I created
a Phong shader and applied a circular ramp looking like
figure 20. I am later going to draw a real eyeball texture,
but for now I have used this ramp.
you like this tutorial or have any questions, please
don't hesitate to send me an e-mail. I would love to
get some feedback on this. Also contact me if you have
alternatives or ideas to create this in a more efficient
Carsten Lind 1999