This was just a response to a thread on an internet forum but I am posting this up because it may be useful. The simplest tools for 3D modelling a character would be to use the polygon modelling method and you only need the following tools:
When it comes to modelling a 3D character it can be difficult because edge flow can be a pain. Without getting the right edge flow you could find yourself wasting polygons, your model is difficult to adjust or it just looks plain weird. I used to have the problem when I was learning. In fact some of my stuff was pretty awful.
However, here’s a couple of references of edge flow on one of my models:
When you’re modelling your 3D characters think about how trying to animate your characters will bend the limbs. It’s usually a good idea to do something like this around the joints:
So that it bends more smoothly.
I find also it’s good to have decent reference images. I use dual monitors. (My laptop screen and my HDTV).
So what you can see is a low poly mesh that’s modelled to fit my reference image, then on the right I’ve got some high poly reference images to help me get the finer details.
The website in my browser has really useful images showing how to define muscle structure and has useful wireframes you can study for edge flow. Click this link to see
Here is another great reference for modelling 3D characters.