This tutorial is a chapter from my Building Awesome Creatures Book. Last section, we took capsule primitives and formed them into muscle primtives. Then we used FFD and booleans to make our biped seamless. By relying heavily on a blending plugin such as blend by digimation, we were able to achieve excellent results. Now, let's model a more irregular type surface using FFD again. This character is way simplier than the blobby mesh, therefore you may not even need to merge the various mesh parts we are going to create.Modeling with FFD
Golden Rule: 1. When adjusting FFD lattice points, always drag to select your points. 90% of the time, I always make square selections. This is very important.
First, we are going to build our creatures leg. Draw a 12-sided capsule in your Top and Front viewports Radius:42 and Height:-242. It should have at least 3 to 4 segments. Apply modify FFD(box) 4x4x5. Adjust your leg to look this Left viewport.
Label this object leg01. Now we need to make a shape that slightly resembles a bone and then position it directly above this one at a nice angle. Draw a capsule of dimension Radius:68 and Height:-421. Give the primitive at least 5 segments. Rotate the leg on the Z axis. MAke sure it is properly placed in your Front and Left viewports. Remember, do not apply any transforms in your perspective view. Apply FFD. Manipulate the lattice until you get a nice bone shape where both ends are kinda balls up. Label this object leg02. To complete this leg object, clone leg02. Drag the copy to where the ends meet with leg02. Your viewport should look something like this one.
Notice my pivot point is at the end of my bone. For animation purposes, this is very important. Our creature's leg is almost done. Let's add some claws for his feet. Create a multisegment capsule of dimensions Radius: 70 and Height: 368. This shape must be at least 4 to 5 segments. Apply FFD. Adjust your lattice using the Top and Left viewports until it resembles a claw. Move it to your leg.
Now let's design our little creature's body. In your Top viewport, draw a capsule. Watch as it extends into your Left viewport. It should be dimensions Radius: 81 and Height:-839. Make the segments 5. Now go to the scale transform and hold down your mouse and choose non-uniform scale. Restrict your axis to X. Now increase your capsules X scale a reasonable amount. Apply FFD (box) 4x4x5. To adjust the creatures' body, it may mean adjusting the lattice points in all three 2D views. Label this object body01.
Now, we can complete his lower body. If you want, go ahead and collapse your modifier stack for each individual object. Highlight your entire leg object by holding CTRL key and clicking on each part. Now SHIFT and rotate your clone on it's Y axis in your left viewport. Try to place somewhere along the body. Check all of your views to make sure the placement is accurate. Now repeat this procedure twice. When you are done, you will have a quadraped built. It kinda squat in a menacing position similar to spider. All of your legs should meet in the center of your body.
Position a sphere a top of your boy and label it Head01. Now create a second object to hollow a section for a huge eyeball. Position the second object slightly in front of the first. Align both in your Front and Left viewports making sure you will get a good compound object. Perform a boolean subtraction B-A operation and then collapse your head01 object. Operand B should have been Sphere01.
Now you should attach the head piece to the body. Pick the head object and boolean union it to the body. Collapse the mesh. If you have the blend plugin that comes with Bones Pro, apply a seperate Edit Mesh modifier and then blend. Make sure you check the selected vertices box and then set up a nice tension amount.
If you are not planning on animating the inner legs, you may want to boolean union these parts together. You can do this by going to Display->Click on the body->Hide Selected. Now attach all the legs in the center. Since the seams will be beyond the viewer's perspective, it is not necessary to blend between these parts. Now go back to Display and choose unhide all.
It is possible to animate the body and head pieces together but, not the whole body without a mesh deformation plugin. If you have Bones Pro MAX or Character Studio, it is possible to blend all the pieces together and then use the segmented frame we set up as the bones. Because this is a quadraped and not a two legged creature, you cannot use Character Studio's biped plugin to animate this mesh. If you planning on incoporating this character in a game, it may be best to leave this little guy segmented.