AUTHORS: Brilliant - ©2003
In the universe of 3D animation and graphics, the final frontier isn’t the vast unknown depths of outer space but rather the intimately familiar human form. Replicating this body is by far the most challenging journey to undertake as a digital artist. Why? Because everyone knows what a human looks like. Digital humans are in our midst. They are stuntmen and background extras in movies such as Titanic. They are your favorite hero or heroine in video games like Tomb Raider. They are the main characters in Saturday morning children’s shows such as Max Steel. And now, they have even taken center stage as full fledged, photorealistic actors in such feature films as Final Fantasy. It is clear that digital humans are here to stay; and that artists need to know how to create them. To help artists learn how to master today’s powerful 3D tools and improve their skills, Building a Digital Human explores the entire modeling process from head to toe. Beginning with the fundamentals of assembling reference material (photos, anatomy books, etc.) through the details of texturing and refining the skin and hair, a complete human model is built. Once the model is complete, a female and fantasy troll are created to illustrate how easy it is to transform the basic model. Building A Digital Human teaches modelers and artists the texturing and modeling skills needed to create 3D digital humans. It also provides fundamental skills that can be used for a variety of other 3D projects. The models in the book were built using NewTek’s LightWave 3D, however, the techniques can be applied to just about any 3D package on the market. The ideas covered utilize a relatively small toolset, so transferring the steps to your program of choice isn’t difficult. To make the transition between programs as easy as possible, a quick list of corresponding tool names from Maya, 3ds max, and LightWave 3D is included.