Perhaps I should preface this tutorial by acknowledging that many different methods exist for creating 3D characters for broadcast. To date, probably the most popular method has, in my estimation, also been the most complex one - that is, modeling with the use of NURBS surfaces. In the past, NURBS modeling was generally credited with many distinct advantages over polygonal modeling. Specifically, its advocates appreciate the excellent performance of NURBS geometry in wireframe mode, the ability to easily modify organic shapes with a minimal number of CVs while retaining a smooth surface continuity, a virtually infinite degree of control over the tessellation of the model at rendering time, the ability to easily add detail to a NURBS surface without changing the topology of the piece (through the insertion of isoparms at specified locations), and in some cases an added level of control over texture application because of the inherent UV directionality that is associated with NURBS and patch surfaces. However, although I have enjoyed the benefits of NURBS modeling and have had a fair amount of success with NURBS-based character design, I would argue that modeling with subdivision emulation (or even better, actual subdivision surfaces) can offer all of the benefits of NURBS modeling along with a dramatically simpler production process. In this tutorial, I will explore the process of modeling a 3D character head through the use of subdivision emulation in Maya 3.0 Complete. In subsequent tutorials (to be posted soon), I will address the issues associated with texturing the resulting smooth surface, animating the facial expressions through the use of blend shapes, and adding eyebrows and hair using Maya's Paint Effects tools. Of course, the first step to modeling any character is generally to create a series of character sketches so that one has a clear vision of exactly what the character model should look like. Although it is always nice to have a reference on hand when creating 3D models, I believe that the use of character sheets is particularly important when one is creating original 3D characters; too often 3D models tend to be constrained by the toolset, and end up looking surprisingly inorganic or (perhaps even worse) inappropriately hyper-realistic. Before I began modeling the character featured in this tutorial, I spent several hours sketching and revising the character's proportions on paper. Once these character sketches are complete, the next step is to start creating the 3D model. For the purpose of simplicity, I always start by creating a polygonal cube (Create>Polygon Primitives>Cube) which I will then sculpt into the desired form.