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Closed mouth modeling with Wings3D

Author: SnowFox

Tools Needed

  • Wings3D

Introduction

Maybe I just don't get modeling, but I have a hard time getting mouths to look right. Sometimes I make the figure with its mouth open, but it doesn't line up correctly when morphed, or I have some other problem. This method of modeling the figure with its mouth closed is a fairly simple technique that I discovered while fiddling around in Wings3D ;) This is the first in a series of tuts about mouth control.

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Step 1 - Step 1

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While you're modeling the head, keep in mind where you want the mouth to open. You'll need to perform a loop cut along this edge. You can make this cut at almost any point in the modeling process, but I like to do it fairly early on, so subsequent smoothings will give the lips a more natural roundness.

Step 2 - Step 2

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When you're ready to cut, select the edges where you want the mouth to be. Then make a loop down around the underside of the jaw, so you make a complete edge loop. Select Loop Cut. This sepearates the jaw away from the head.

Step 3 - Step 3

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Hide the jaw. Select the two vertices that will make the corners of the mouth, and Connect them. Then you can connect the rest of the vertices to form the roof of the mouth if you like. Next hide the head and show the jaw. Connect the vertices at the corners of the mouth on the jaw as well.

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Step 4 - End

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Now you can hide the head and work on the lower jaw without the head getting in your way, and vice versa! Remember that if you add vertices to the edge at the back of the jaw, you have to add the same number to the other part of the jaw. Otherwise, it won't rejoin properly. When you're done modeling inside the mouth, it's time to rejoin them into one head. Select the face at the back of the jaw (you made it when you connected those vertices) and select the corresponding face in the head (again, created from connecting the vertices) and use the Bridge command. This will join the two back into one object, but the lips and inside of the mouth are still separate! Now your mouth morphs will always line up, without the over/underbite that can happen when the mouth is modeled open. This image shows the same model later in the process.