Figure 1.17 Click for larger view
Figure 1.18 Click for larger view
Figure 1.19 Click for larger view
Figure 1.20 Click for larger view
Figure 1.21 Click for larger view
Figure 1.22 Click for larger view


Figure 1.23 Click for larger view
Figure 1.24 Click for larger view
Figure 1.25 Click for larger view
Figure 1.26 Click for larger view
Figure 1.27 Click for larger view
Figure 1.28 Click for larger view

Create a clone of the head, select the clone, right click on the "Edit Stack" button of the modify panel, and then click the "Collapse All" button on the Edit Modifier Stack dialog box. Next delete all of the faces except for those which will be needed for the cheek. Modify the result as necessary to allow the cheek to fit nicely to the side of the head. For instance, I applied a 3x3x3 FFD to bend the cheek structure into shape. I then collapsed the cheek to an editable mesh again (Figure 1.17).

Next we'll connect the cheek to the head, which will involve modifying the head structure. So now would be a good time to save.

Collapse the head to an editable mesh then delete the faces on the head where the cheek should go. The faces on the head to be deleted are indicated (in red) on Figure 1.18.

With the head object selected, click on the Creation Tab, and select "Compound Objects" from the drop down list. Press the "Connect" button, click "Pick Operand", and then select the cheek. As the default for connect is to simply connect the items together with one segment, change the number of segments and the tension until the neck looks the way you want it to. Make sure to click "Bridge" and "Ends" under Smoothing, then apply a non-wire frame texture to the result and render it. The connected version of the head/cheek structure is shown in Figure 1.19.

If your first pass isn't acceptable, reload the model (you did save, right?) and try again. It can take some experimentation to determine which faces need to be deleted to create a smooth connection.

After connecting the objects together (with acceptable results) you may need to use the Blend modifier to soften any hard edges. If you don't have Blend, you can go back to a saved version of the model and try again to get better results or go in by hand (via Edit Mesh, Relax, Mesh Smooth, and/or another FFD) to modify the resulting object to the desired smoothness. NOTE: As I was happy with the results, I didn't use the Blend modifier on the head/cheek structure.

Next we want to add a bit of a muzzle to the front of the head. Do this by creating a 3x3x3 FFD and move the lattice into place around the muzzle (scaling it to only includethe region of interest). Then pull out center control points to form the muzzle (see Figure 1.20). Since our next step will be to irror the cheek half of the face, you only need to add a muzzle to the side of the head which has the cheek on it.

Mirror, Mirror

Now that we have half of the head done, let's use it to create the other half. Do this by collapsing the head object to an editable mesh, selecting the vertices which are on the unmodified version of the head, and then deleting them. Create a mirrored copy of the head and move it into position. Then use Connect to connect these two halves (see Figure 1.21). NOTE: if you were lucky (or skilled) enough to have a perfect seam down the center of the model, you could merely merge the two meshes together and use "weld" to create a seamless version.
If the connection results in noticeable ridge, you can use Edit Mesh to select the ridge vertices and collapse or weld them together. Although my head model has a seam, I will wait to do this until after I have connected the head to the torso.

We're done with the head for now. WHAT!? It doesn't have a mouth or nostrils or eye sockets! Why stop here? Well, those features could result in holes in the mesh. Those holes could make the future use of Connect very unpredictable. So we hold off on those until the end.

Next we'll connect the head to the torso. So now would be another good time to save :>

Neck bone's connected to the... First, unhide the torso object. Then, following the steps outlined above (and in the GLOSSARY HOW TO), collapse the head nd torso to editable meshes and then connect the head to the torso (Figure 1.22 shows the faces deleted to complete the connection of the head and torso).

This, again, is a process of trial and error (especially the first couple of times you do it). If you deleted too many faces, either the head wont seem like a distinct entity or the body will seem malformed. If you didn't delete enough, the neck will seem spindly and unable to support the weight of the head.

You might notice that even with all of our careful planning, that we are still getting dark striations in the resulting object (Figure 1.23). This is probably due to the attached cheeks. You could attach the head to the body first, and then attach the cheeks to try to avoid this. However, it's much easier to attach the cheeks to the standalone head than it is to attach it to the body. So, what do we do about the striations? Simple, use Blend.

First, apply an Edit Mesh modifier to the object and then select the vertices representing the neck (Figure 1.24). Turn off the Sub-Object button, then apply a Blend modifier, check "select vertices only," and then modify the tension until the neck becomes smooth (Figure 1.25).

NOTE: You'll probably notice one or two small areas that remain extra dark or extra light even after blending. You can get rid of these by using Edit Mesh to weld or collapse the offending vertices together (see Figures 1.26 and 1.27).

Once this is done, you can then use Edit Mesh and FFDs to massage the neck into the desired shape. The final neck can be seen in Figure 1.28.

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