Modeling Kuirau’s arm: May 25

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 25). Modeling cylinder into arm. Screenshot by author
Animation Methods. (2012, July 10). Modelling a character in Maya – part 5 of 10 [Video]. YouTube.

Part 5 of Animation Method’s animation series models the character’s arm from a cylinder. He does this so we learn how to join objects together rather than just extruding from the torso. First off we get rid of all the extra polygons and vertices we don’t need by grabbing the polyCylinder1 in Inputs and reducing the subdivisions axis to 8, changing height and then pushing it to length against the reference image. We make the cylinder long enough from where it will connect to the shoulder to the wrist.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 25). Shaping the arm. Screenshot by author

Next step was to insert some edge loops to delineate where the shoulder muscle meets the bicep and another where the forearm muscle starts.Then we deleted all of the faces at the hand end of the cylinder. A bit of tweaking and shifting vertices, scaling etc to shape the arm at the joints and wrist.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 25). Snapping arm vertices to torso vertices. Screenshot by author

The next step was quite neat as we joined the arm to the shoulder. We grabbed the middle vertex on the top, held down ‘V’ on the keyboard, and used the middle mouse button to snap the vertex to its mate on the torso. We worked our way around the arm snapping the vertices to the torso.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 25). Snapping arm to torso. Screenshot by author

Into object mode now to have a look at the basic shape of the arm we have created now. We had to change the pivot point of the cylinder now away from the middle of it. In front view we moved the pivot point to the centre of the body so that when we do the duplicate special the cylinder duplicate will flip into the right position. I had a bit of trouble here because he tells us to hit the ‘insert’ key and we don’t have one on the Mac. I Googled a bit but their suggestion of using the ‘fn’ key did nothing, I emailed Klaasz and tried his suggestion which was pretty much the same thing. In the end I went back to the rocket tutorial from way back and remembered that holding down D shifts the pivot point on the Mac. I moved it to the centre of the grid, cleared the history and clicked freeze transformation to zero everything out and then did a duplicate special. Voila, we have two arms.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 25). Snapping pivot point of cylinder to centre of torso. Screenshot by author
Arnold, S.J (2020, May 25). Model after Duplicate Special action. Screenshot by author

From this point we inserted more edge loops to create more definition for the muscles, we scaled and rotated the edge loops in order for the muscles to look more naturally shaped. We inserted more edge loops on either side of the two we had inserted earlier and scaled them in so when we viewed the arm by hitting 3, we could really see where the muscles change shape. I found that whenever we worked on the arm, the side we had duplicated would pull away from the torso again slightly. I’m not sure if that was because I hadn’t snapped the pivot point exactly in the middle of the body or whether it’s because at some point we need to combine everything but it was very easy to snap them back again.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 25). Snapping new arm to torso. Screenshot by author