This is the first ever character I have modeled completely "from-scratch." Normally I import a generic human mesh and modify it, but this time I thought I would use nurbs modelling and make my character entirely by myself. So the first problem I ran into is that Nurbs tutorials are all for Maya, and with good reason; a nurbs sphere isn't a primitive you can just select and create in 3ds max. So, I got around this by doing the following:
Create a sphere, and place it at 0,0,0
Next select it and convert it so a nurbs surface. In the nurbs tools, you should have a panel that lets you add and manipulate verts and curves and such. Start by adding 8 verts, then move them like corners of a box. If this seems confusing, keep playing around with the nurbs tools; If I can figure it out then you will be able too, just don't get frustrated. For an example, if your sphere has a radius of 2, put your verts at 5,5,5 ; 5,-5,5 ; -5,5,5 ; -5,-5,5 ; 5,5,-5 ; 5,-5,-5 ; -5,5,-5 ; and -5,-5,-5... or something like that. Then you want to add transform curves between these verts until you get something like this:
From here on, you should be able to follow any nurbs tutorial for maya. Just keep using copies of the nurbs sphere you have made.
So I set my reference images up as planes and went to work.
After I got all the parts blobbed out with nurbs, I fusified them together, uv mapped, and began texturing. But, my character had no hair. I was familiar with the process of making planar hair, but lacked the patience. Then I thought, "Why not use that object paint thingy?" So I did, and if you have 3ds max 2011 or newer, you can too.
First I set up some different planes uved to different parts of my hair texture. Then I took the spike plane and made a few copies with different bend modifiers on them. I had never used object paint before so I watched this video:
I set up object paint to use the 3 different spikes randomly, then I painted over the scalp while adjusting the scale and angle of the hair spikes. I only used the spikes and painted very beserkly but still managed to get what I think is an ok result for the first try. If I had had used the flatter planes as well, and taken some more time, I think a really good result is possible. I have never seen object paint used this way but it seems to be a viable solution.