Modelling the hand take 2: June 13

I got through the first tutorial with the basic hand and fingers complete but then I ran into a problem with the first version of a hand. For some reason when I came to add the extra edge loops to shape between the bones on the hand, one of the big polygon faces would not let me add edge loops, new vertices or any other thing I tried. Somewhere in the process of extruding and then creating the thumb out of the hand I must have done something irreversible. Didn’t matter what I tried it wouldn’t work. I decided the best option was to start again. I also imported a straighter image of my hand as an image plane to work with.

I pretty quickly got back to the point where I had the hand and fingers created again. I modelled the middle finger first and shifted its centre pivot to the base of the finger so it would rotate from there if I get my model rigged. Time to move onto the second part of the hand tutorial.

Animation methods. (2012, July 11). Modelling a character in Maya – part 7 of 10 [Video]. YouTube.

Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Modelling the hand. Screenshot by author

First off I worked on shaping the thumb. I added edge loops and manipulated the vertices around to line the thumb up with my reference image. The extra edge loops gave me the geometry I needed to create the finger tip. I deleted the faces on the finger tip and used the Mesh – Fill Hole tool, then extruded that new polygon face out and re scaled it to make the finger tip.

Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Using ‘fill hole’ function to create fingertip on thumb. Screenshot by author
Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Modelling the thumb – adding edge loops for shape. Screenshot by author
Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Modelling the thumb. Screenshot by author

Next step I created special places for the fingers to join by inserting edge loops between the fingers and then removing faces. This time there was no problem with inserting edge loops etc. I got the fingers joined to the hand by selecting each of the vertices on the fingers and snapping them to the corresponding vertices on the hand.

Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Removing faces to create holes for joining fingers to hand. Screenshot by author
Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Fingers joined to hand by snapping vertices. Screenshot by author

With the fingers joined to the hand it was time to add more edge loops to the hand itself, and move the edge loops up and down to create more shape on the hand. This part done it was really exciting to go into object mode, hit 3 and see a pretty good looking hand at this stage. Still loads of tweaking to be done moving vertices around but there were other steps to complete first.

Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). We have a hand!. Screenshot by author
Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Shaping hand. Screenshot by author

Next came lots of manipulating. We began by combining the hand and all of the fingers, then selected each of the vertices on every finger that we had snapped to the hand and merged them together. That done we started merging more vertices on the top and bottom of the hand to reduce the geometry and to help with the shaping.

Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Merging more vertices for shaping. Screenshot by author

The hand was really starting to take form now after merging lots of vertices and working some more on shaping the thumb.

Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Hand after merging lots of vertices. Screenshot by author

The final step in the tutorial was to create finger nails. This was a whole lot simpler than I thought so I did one, not sure if my creature will have fingernails so I undid it and then left it at that. I spent ages after that tweaking the vertices on all of the fingers, matching the reference image and making sure all of the polygons had good shape and form. Next step join to character’s arm…

Arnold, S.J (2020, June 13). Creating a fingernail. Screenshot by author