Modelling the hand: May 27

Part 5 of the Animation Method’s modelling series is one of two tutorials teaching how to model the hand that we will then attach to our character’s arms. He advises you can just grab a hand, top view, from the internet as a reference but he took a top view photo of his own hand instead. I liked that idea because it’s simple. That done we imported our hands into Maya as Image Planes and it was time to begin.

Animation methods. (2012, July 11). Modelling a character in Maya – part 6 of 10 [Video]. YouTube.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Modelling the palm. Screenshot by author

This time we started with a cube and working only in the top and perspective views we created a rough shape of our palm. We scaled the front of the hand down a little because the palm narrows towards the front. We inserted an edge loop to create the gap between the index finger and the thimb. We added an edge loop down the centre of the palm and pulled it up slightly and shaped the pinky side of the hand some more.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Palm after extruding thumb. Screenshot by author

In face mode we extruded the thumb, then rotated it and scaled it into the shape of the reference hand/thumb . We extruded the edges on the thumb again to form the next section of thumb, and again. In face mode we selected the face at each section of the thumb and shaped them some more.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Basic hand shape established. Screenshot by author

We left the hand now as the basic shape had been created. Time to start modelling the fingers. We only modelled the middle finger as we will then duplicate the others. We created a cylinder and immediately dropped the subdivisions axis to 8 to make a simpler low poly shape.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Beginning the middle finger. Screenshot by author

We deleted the faces on the finger tip end of the cylinder and added edge loops to start shaping the finger following the reference image.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Shaping the finger. Screenshot by author

In vertex mode we created the dents in the bottom edge of the finger where our fingers bend.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Capping the cylinder to create fingertip. Screenshot by author

We deleted the faces at the end of the cylinder, then in edge mode we selected the outer ring of edges, went up to Mesh – Fill Hole and voila we had capped that end of the cylinder and formed out fingertip.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Scaling the fingertip. Screenshot by author

We scaled the new face in and then pushed it out again to form the fingertip. We added more edge loops at the knuckle joints for shaping.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Finger taking shape. Screenshot by author
Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Moving pivot point. Screenshot by author

Once the finger was done we had to shift its pivot point to the end of the finger closest to the palm. Then we duplicated that finger to create all of the others and scaled / rotated them roughly into place. We scaled a couple of the fingers down a bit so we could move the middle vertices on the palm higher.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Adjusting the palm. Screenshot by author

Adjusting the palm of the hand some more. At this stage the fingers are still seperate and will be positioned and joined in the next tutorial.

Arnold, S.J (2020, May 27). Basic hand and fingers created. Screenshot by author

This is the last stage of part 5. In the next tutorial we will further shape the fingers and thumb by adding edge loops etc and join them to the hand, before joining the hand to our model’s arms.