Lex's dark arts on designing anime figures

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Lex, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    2, The Hair

    Anime-style hairs seem to be complicated business. Well partly because hairstyle is, basically,what animes use to distinguish between characters...:mrgreen: So that's why you get fancier and even fancier hairstyles in recent works... But as cardmodel designers, we are of course free to make our own interpretations on the hairstyle seen in the anime/manga. --Reality can be disregarded, as most of these hairstyles can never exist in the real world!

    Example... My random model Meirin
    Above is how she's supposed to look... So how are we doing as cardmodelers?

    a, Forehair
    This is how most designers would portray the stranded nature of human hair. The forehair is only going to be viewed from outside, so we can afford to have single-sided surfaces. Remember the hair is a certain distance away from the forehead, due to the way it's always being portrayed in animes, so making the hair stick to the bonehead is undesirable... On the part where the hair joins the head, a little deformation of the head is acceptable, in order to get the right shape of hair, since the head would be hidden inside anyway.

    (And... how on earth would you make a pigtail like that... Well, you get strands of coloured paper and wind them just like the real thing sign1)

    b, Backhair
    The hair at the back of the head can essentially be modelled as a solid "block" in most cases (save for when your character has a great big fancy hairstyle...), just like a skinhead being displaced outwards by a distance. Unlike face, whose design must take into account of build-ability, the hair can be designed in any desired way, since the texture of it would cover the most visible seams on the model. (P: It's good to unfold into vertical strips)

    c, Trailing hair

    It's the most attractive part of most anime characters, and of course, we have even more freedom in this case. You can design a very detailed and realistic mesh, or let a beautiful texture do the trick. Be sure that the surfaces are double-sided though, since the hair can be visible from both sides. The place where the hair changes from being single-sided to double-sided should be one polygon above the point where the bulk hair separates into strands.

    P: A special warning, pepakura cries when it comes to double sided surfaces. So don't use the "make double sided" command in Meta, the best option is: select the surfaces you want to make double-sided, then copy them into another empty object, and use "invert" to invert those duplicates. This way Pepakura will be nice and happy when it comes to unfolding.

    Another example...

    And of course, this is only my way, which I learned pretty much from Suiraku's designs, so again, looking through M'Gakuen models would be beneficial. Those who wish to go OUT of the box... ends up creating something much more impressive (image courtsey of the original creator):
    Original site:

    So that's the hair dealt with, moving onto the body next!
  2. Master-Bruce

    Master-Bruce Active Member

    Outstanding stuff Lex!

    One thing though, wavy hair. If you were modelling wavy hair, would you model it to look wavy? Or would you just model the strands flat(making a note or something to shape them into waves later?)

    Those models you pictured look fantastic too. I visited the site and it seems that those figures aren't available? Is that right?
  3. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    It's entirely up to you really, it only depends on whether you want to make a good rendering out of your model, and whether it's worth doing it. I've seen some models that have hair as a texture and says "cut this out around the edge", which is equally acceptable.

    --And yes those are not available even if you pay... Some people just like to keep things to themselves ^^
  4. Master-Bruce

    Master-Bruce Active Member

    Ok, thanks for that buddy. I appreciate you taking the time here. :)

    Pity about those models, they're very nice.
  5. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Maaaann.. I have GOT to catch up on lotz of missed reading ~ This is Absolutely Brilliant stuff Lex. ~ My Nirvana 'Holy Grail' of developments has an anime figure with it, and I had no idea how to even start. Its way over my little potato head skill set just yet, so this tut is going to make all the difference ~ PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE continue on with as many variations as possible!

    Can I put in a request to give the development of 'postures' plenty of focus later on..? ( just if you weren't planning to )

  6. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Thanks Gearz, as for posturing I don't think there's much to say, if it's Lightwave of Blender, it could be done with bones. But Meta doesn't have that so I usually do this in a one-off process... I will come to that later :D
  7. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    META doesn't have bones for postures!! ~ that figures ~ lol.. Oh well, I knew it was going to get tricky somewhere or other.

    I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

  8. Master-Bruce

    Master-Bruce Active Member

    Hey Lex,

    Just my usual harrasment post to see if there's anything new on the way?
  9. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Haha, please check my signature! :D
  10. Master-Bruce

    Master-Bruce Active Member

    Oh. :( Sorry buddy. Hope you didn't lose anything important. This reminds me, I really should make a back up of everything I've done lately.
  11. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    ...Which reminds me that I should be updating this thread......!sign1

    So finally now it's the body...... Haven't got round to writing much lately, but here goes. Following the previous method on the face, we mark lines on this picture as well:


    The red line is the central profile of the torso, approximately matches the side view profile in the picture, save that the curve doesn't go as far at the chest and at the back for obvious reasons. The green line goes right through the largest part of the chest and back, but at other places goes inside the central profile. The location of other lines are self-explanatory.:oops:
    The neck can either be made to blend with the body, or as a separate part. The choice depends on the complexity and scale of the model, I tend to go for a separate part... (since it's easy and Lex is lazy:p)

    Using above diagram as a guide, and build up the "scaffold" curves in Meta. The exact way of doing this can be found in the posts before. After creating the surfaces you might get something resembling this:
    It really isn't a lot of work, and now we have a very low-poly model for the torso. It isn't hard to go from here to a model with higher polygon count, by adding more nodes in the model, but if you like you can stop here as well:rolleyes: There goes the body!
  12. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    :thumb::mrgreen::thumb: [​IMG]
  13. Master-Bruce

    Master-Bruce Active Member

    Outstanding!! Good to see an update buddy. THANKS!!!!! :D
  14. apzarus

    apzarus New Member

    Interested thread , Good Jobs Lex .
  15. Rashura

    Rashura New Member

    Very cool to see how these models are being made, keep it up!
  16. papercraftcouple

    papercraftcouple New Member

    wow this is a very useful tut thanks! :)
  17. HawkBlade

    HawkBlade New Member


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