Project: non normative base mesh

Base meshes tend to represent “ideal” body types: stereotypically masculine or feminine, athletic or muscular, young, often distinctly Caucasian.

Video games and popular media (ie superhero movies) also tend to center unattainable standards of beauty even at the expense of realism (ie female warriors looking like pin-ups).

Create a base mesh for a non-normative/conforming/stereotypical body type.
-It should be somewhat realistic, not too fantastic or too cartoony.
-Keep it minimalistic: no distinct facial feature, no clothing and anatomical details, just the anatomical volumes.
-You can (should) start from an existing base mesh
-It has to be riggable and animatable: use mostly quads, pay attention to the edge flow and joints, keep it under 3K tris. 

Standards of beauty change over time, they have very little basis in biology and evolutionary psychology: they are culturally determined.

The Changing Body Shapes of Women Throughout History

The Changing Body Shapes of Men Throughout History


You can find a lot of studies and references for aging bodies, 2d, 3d, photos, sketches.
Just search for x + anatomy.

Body shape

Body Talk: Fun scientific tool connecting language descriptors with visual parameters.

The most athletic bodies actually have a wide variation, rarely represented in pop culture. 

Body variations across athletic disciplines. Open in a new tab.


MakeHuman pursuit of the universal mesh topology, genderless, ageless, raceless, the HoMunculus.
The reification of all these features into sliders is weird but probably better than all the alternatives.

Gender, caricature and stylization

The famous case of sexual dimorphism in Disney characters. Can you make a fun cartoon caricature without hypemasculizing or hyperfeminizing the bodies? A thread with interesting images here.


The open source afro hair library by A.M. Darke. Updates here

“Any conversation about black hair is, at its root, about more than the follicles growing on a given body”
The Natural: The Trouble Portraying Blackness in Video Games by Evan Narcisse.


Watch this intro

Base Meshes file here