Tutorial: Modeling low poly hands (3dsmax)

New Member
💻 Oldtimer
Jun 20, 2005
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Sigh, i feel lazy...
I am writing this while doing this myself so bare with me im only human
oh well. Lets use Ravensofts' hands as a ref.
now than.. grab a smoke or a coke cuz this is one long tut.
lets set up our refs. that pic is 640 x 480. so lets make a box with the same width and height
and no dept. now scale it down to a reasonable size.
now hit M and click the little gray button next to diffuse than double click on bitmap.
and browse to where u saved the ref from above.
now the first sphere should change textures, drag the sphere('s texture) to ur box in
perspective view. now click on "Show map in Viewport" (the whitebleu checkered box, 4th
button from the left side right beneath the 6 spheres)
now right click on in your frontview where it says "Front" (upper lefthand) and click
smooth and highlights and then click on edged faces. do the same for the left.
click the rotate the tool. hold shift down and rotate your box 90 degrees on the y-axis in front view.
now hopefully ur 3dsmax looks like this
now lets create a cylinder and fit it around the wrist area. wait a min.. we cant see the ref the
cylinder is blocking our way.. lets press alt+x . ahh there we go. now right click anywhere
in a viewport while having ur cylinder selected and click on "Convert to: Convert to Editable Poly"
yippeh.. now lets rotate our cylinder to fit the wrist area. your cylinder probably wont fit spot on
if it will well than ur the first. go to vertex edit mode and scale/rotate/move the vertices to match
the ref.now lets go to polygon mode and delete the polygon at the beginning of the hand because it will be
a wasted polygon that wont be seen in game anyway.
delete this polygon.
now lets go to border subobject and select the border of the polygon we
just deleted (should be the only border selectable). hold shift and extrude it
just a little bit
now weld the vertices on the top side of the wrist together.
go to vertex subobject and right click in the viewport than click on "target weld"
now in your side viewport click on one of the top vertices u just extruded and click em back
to where they came from, if done correctly this should happen
do the same for all vertices except for the bottom 3.
why u ask? for proper animation foo'! now move the bottom 3 vertices a little with the ref
to get a good flow. you should end up with something like this
select the border again and extrude until the knuckles. now the next part might be a little tricky
move the top vertices up to the knuckles or where they start, and the lower set of vertices to follow your handpalm
make a few vertices stick out for the thumb area. here are some pics to help ya.
hopefully these pics are enough. now we are gonna define the thumb area a little more.
click edge subobject and than select the two edges at the thumb u just moved and right click.
than click connect it should look like this now
Now would be a good time to use the backview on the reference
switch to vertex mode again and move the vertex u just made out a little and a little downwards
now do the same thing again to create another edge
connect those again
note: i work with see trough (alt+x) i took these screenshots like this so it would be clear to see.
keep matching the ref and move the vertices to match
and weld the top 2 vertices u just made to 1 vertex
that edge connecting was fun huh? well lets do it some more
now select all the palm edges and shift extrude em
silly me i forgot to extrude this edge..
so now ima do this: go to polygon subobject rightclick and select create and than select the vertices
the new polygon should follow
move some of the vertices like me and you should start seeing some shape in your hand
now select the thumb edges and xtrude em downwards
weld the vertices to close gaps
move your vertices to match ur ref and use some common sense.
by now it should have something like this
time for some more cuttin
target weld the top vertex with the one left to it (viewing from the bottom) and move the bottom
vertex to shape the thumb
now between the thumb and palm should be a edge (wich u just created)
extrude it to look like this
now select border mode again and select the gap
shift hold and extrude it
shape it like in your ref
now create a polygon
at the end
wait a min u say, u forgot that vertex!
no i didnt cuz we're gonna weld em now.
target weld the the vertices at the last 2 segments
now shapen up your thumb
well that looks pretty nice
*sighs, wonders why he ever started this tut*
well lets contineu than.
WAIT before you do that dont weld this gap
you should know how to do that by now..
if not: extrude, weld gaps..
now the gap u didnt welded select the edge of it and extrude it
to create this
now select the border, than switch to edge mode hold ctrl and click the edges u made to
deselect them.
extrude em like your ref and weld the vertices
it should look pretty damn nice now
now for the fingers
right click than click hide selection
we dont want to work messy do we?
*yawns* right now create a box to match the index finger of your ref
the following part has been done by raven pretty smart so ima copycat them
make the first segment and model it to fit your ref
oh delete the top polygon btw
now we have this
and were all happy now do this
create another box for the 2nd segment
notice how the inner part off the finger just overlaps the the other box's part
well thats for animation and pretty damn smart if rigged correct it will have the same
effect as we did for the palm (remember welding all the top vertices? well this method also saves polys
but we cant use it for bigger parts withouth getting messy or noticing it in-game)
do the same again for the third and last segment
remember to delete unnessecary polygons
now select 1 of the 3 segments and right click than click attach, right click again to stop attaching
and attach all 3 of em together.
just one thing remains now, welding the vertices on the front of the finger
now we have 1 finger
clone it (dont select any subobject and move it while holding shift)
edit it to match the other 4 fingers.
than attach em all together (right click > attach, right click again to end)
right click > unhide all
now attach it to your base hand.
now weld all the knuckle side vertices
and now just edit the vertices at the other side to hide the ends well clean up things and yer done, add as much
detail as you want. Next time im gonna uvwmap this thing..
*yawn..im so lazy...
Imageshack thnx allot for hosting all images
New Member
💻 Oldtimer
Jun 20, 2005
Best answers
it seems no1 is interested. Should i tut the uvwmapping process or not?
sorry for double posting but i didnt want to edit the tutorial post
New Member
💻 Oldtimer
✔️ HL Verified
Nov 14, 2003
Best answers
never double post again, this is your last unofficial warning.

only do the uvw mapping process if you feel you would like to and/or that it would help people.

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