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Face Tute Tips
show user profile  herfst1

This is what I'll be creating throughout this tutorial. Note: it's aimed at beginner to intermediate.


Here's the end result:

Step #1 - most people don't have a symmetrical face so mirror half and flip to other side. Also, it's good to flip the side that is shown in the profile picture (assuming you only have one side shot).

Step #2 - people sometimes tilt their head upwards or downwards so if you're having trouble matching the guide-lines ROTATE.

Step #3 - create the eyeball in front view and assign it to a new layer (this makes it easier to hide on the fly). Also, don't convert it to an editable poly just yet as you may have to adjust the radius later.

Step #4 - create a cylinder (on a new layer) in front view and knock the height segments down to 1 and the sides to 12 or 16 (whatever you like, I just find 18 sides excessive). Once created reset the pivot to 0 on x axis and apply symmetry modifier.

Step #5 - the eyes are generally sloped (less so for Asians) so to speed up the process grab all the poly's and rotate until you're happy with the rough approximation.

Step #6 - use soft select to roughly shape the corners of the eyes.

Step #7 - go to front view and move the vertex's into alignment with the shape of the eye. Also look in side view to see that the edge matches the photo. Note: for the inside of the eye (corner closer to the nose) it's impossible to see how far to push the verts, hence the previous two steps.

Step #8 - select the horizontal lines that made up the height of the cylinder and connect. Extrude the front border and unhide the eye. You will almost definitely have issues with the eye protruding through the poly's. This will be because of a few reasons: 1. you haven't modeled correctly. 2. you haven't created and positioned the eye correctly. 3. you don't have enough topology (segments). We'll fix this in the next step.

Step #9 - firstly add a turbosmooth modifier and check to see if you still have issues. If there's still a major issue your eye's probably too big, select it and adjust it's radius (also make sure it's properly aligned with the photo's). Lastly, select the verts and push them forwards or backwards (NOT upwards). Your problems should now be fixed.

Step #10 - select the depth poly's bordering the cuticle (I think that's what it's called) and delete.

Step #11 - bridge the front square, select the face you created and inset it twice (you can push and pull the rings to create some bulbous shape. Once modeled, bridge up the depth poly's. NOTE: you might have to push them into the eye (on the x-axis) so that there's no gap. Also check the other side of the eye and do the same if needed.

Step #12 - extrude the front border outwards to follow the photo (self explanatory). Also add as many edge loops as you want to create the correct shape.

Step #13 - I like to rotate the outer ring to better follow the bridge of the nose. You can then adjust the verts in front view.

Step #14 - here's the final (unsmoothed poly). NOTE: I forgot to flip all of the faces so you're looking at the model inside out. Easily fixed, just select all (using face select) and press "flip."

read 3810 times
1/13/2012 6:27:36 PM (last edit: 1/15/2012 9:03:43 PM)
show user profile  herfst1

I've highlighted only the tricky areas as the rest is self explanatory.

Here's the end result:

Tip #1 - you extrude the lower half of the nostril you should get 3 poly's (any more is redundant), which will become a pain to extrude down to the mouth. An easy way around this is to bridge them as shown. The red line is the new single edge, and the poly above is the bridged face.

Tip #2 - when you extrude the border of the nostril upwards an into the nose itself do a small extrude first as it will help the turbosmooth create a defined edge.

Tip #3 - this is the trickiest area of the nose to get right. If you don't create a sharp ridge that indents slightly your nose will become flat. Just study the highlighted poly and copy.

read 3781 times
1/13/2012 7:53:37 PM (last edit: 1/15/2012 2:19:19 PM)
show user profile  stevey2shoes
Great work, thank you so much.
You make it sound very straight forward (which it might be for most) but very nicely done.
thanks so much for putting something together for me
read 3774 times
1/13/2012 8:38:09 PM (last edit: 1/13/2012 8:38:09 PM)
show user profile  herfst1

This is an easy one. Here's the finished product:

Tip #1 - Don't bother making tiny extrudes, go big. Note that the edge of the mouth is sloped outwards and forwards. This is important to get right.

Tip #2 - I've highlighted the poly in the corner. This is the glue that holds all this together. Without this poly you're going to end up with a lot of triangles.

Tip #3 - The top lip often has a more severe edge than the lower, so when you create a connection line, push it higher on the upper lip and about a third down on the lower.

read 3772 times
1/13/2012 8:39:43 PM (last edit: 1/13/2012 8:39:43 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Not a problem Steve. It's actually really beneficial to me as it makes me think about the whole process in a more systematic manner.
read 3770 times
1/13/2012 8:41:24 PM (last edit: 1/13/2012 8:41:24 PM)
show user profile  herfst1

It's faster and you get smoother results to extrude all the way to your desired end-point. THEN divide it into three or more poly's, which you can then move into place. Here's an example.

read 3764 times
1/13/2012 9:10:59 PM (last edit: 1/13/2012 9:13:38 PM)
show user profile  herfst1

I like to model using hard geometry (where nothing is smoothed) and flip off and on turbosmooth to check how the end product is going to look. This is useful when matching with photos as turbosmooth generally makes the mesh smaller.

Take a look at this picture and you'll see how far I had to push the nose out on unsmoothed just so that when turbosmooth is activated it matches the silhouette. You'll also see that the chin needs to be pushed out.

read 3752 times
1/13/2012 9:47:05 PM (last edit: 1/13/2012 9:47:05 PM)
show user profile  herfst1

When you're having to bridge an area that has multiple poly's running up the side as seen in the picture, bridge the next poly along, creating a gap, which you can divide up as desired, THEN bridge the gap.

read 3750 times
1/13/2012 10:00:47 PM (last edit: 1/13/2012 10:00:47 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Going to sleep now. Nearly finished the ear, will post tomorrow. If anyone wants to add tips and tricks, please do.
read 3741 times
1/13/2012 11:06:03 PM (last edit: 1/13/2012 11:06:42 PM)
show user profile  herfst1

First off, this is an epic topic and it may be best to search the internet for a video. Guaranteed, you will bang your head against a table the first time you try this. Still, I'll try and give some tips (even though this isn't my strong area). Also note, this guy's ear is quite difficult and has some wierd angles, so isn't the best example.

Here's the end result:

Step #1 - Create a rough circumference of the ear in left viewport (you will adjust it next step). Also note the one poly gap I created between the ear and the cheek, this is to avoid making triangles.

Step #2 - go to front viewport, grab some faces, and rotate the ear outwards until you're happy. Then jump to left viewport and adjust the verts again so that they match the photo. Note, the front photo doesn't match perfectly, so I'm only using it as a secondary reference.

Step #3 - this is a cool little trick to go from low poly to high poly while only creating poly's. Study the lines in red, that's where I've cut the faces. Use this cut whenever you're in this type of situation.

Step #4 - create the main veins that make up the protruding bumps of the ear (easy to tell where they are since they will be a lighter colour in the photo).

Step #5 - this is the tricky part. Create the poly's that push inwards (the dark areas of the photo). You will have to create extra connection lines for the overlap ridge (at the back of the ear), and you'll have to bevel the other parts highlighted in red. There's no easy way around this, just remember to use normal constraints, edge constraints, scale tool and move tool. Also note, I will still have to add more connection lines later on to create a stronger ridge.

Step #6 - here's a wip of the filled in front side of the ear. More connection lines will still be added but it's best not to over-complicate things when you don't have to.

Step #7 - here I've started extruding using move and scale. Take your time to make sure the poly's aren't crashing through the front side of the ear. Note that I haven't selected the edges next to the cheek, again, so that I won't get unwanted triangles.

Step #8 - once you've finished extruding inwards, extrude outwards. You can't see too clearly from the picture but the highlighted poly's are the ones I bridged. Note, the smaller poly's were bridge first.

read 3728 times
1/14/2012 6:16:45 AM (last edit: 1/14/2012 6:21:58 AM)
show user profile  herfst1
Okay, here's the wip bust, nearly ready for uvw unwrapping, z-brushing and texturing. Will show those steps soon.

Notice the concentric circles around the mouth, eyes and ears. This is what they mean by flow. Looking at the mouth area, you can see that the flow has been broken around the upper lip and will need to be fixed as I'm getting an unnecessary pole (where 5 or more poly's converge).

read 3714 times
1/14/2012 9:14:06 AM (last edit: 1/14/2012 9:20:47 AM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
Nice effort! I can see one quite important thing that is missing, not sure if you can implement that into the tut. It's the edge loop going from the bridge of the nose and down under the bottom lips. this helps greatly with the both animation and shaping of the cheeks. Shown here in yellow...

But other than that it looks like a solid tut. I know from much personal experience how laborious doing a screen-shot tut is :)


read 3706 times
1/14/2012 9:24:42 AM (last edit: 1/14/2012 9:25:43 AM)
show user profile  herfst1
Thank you Grotey. Will try to fix that area along with the mouth. Appreciate the tip.
read 3701 times
1/14/2012 9:32:25 AM (last edit: 1/14/2012 9:32:25 AM)
show user profile  jareu
back of the skull needs to come back about 20% further. Other then that, fantastic! I'll bookmark and use this one later on for sure!

He who says it cannot be done is interrupting the man doing it.

read 3691 times
1/14/2012 10:45:13 AM (last edit: 1/14/2012 10:45:13 AM)
show user profile  stevey2shoes
I'm blown away by this, thanks so much,
Its the most concise but conclusive/inclusive tutorial I've seen on a human head, if not only because, as you mentioned, you look at the design of a human head "systematically".
Thinking about it, it must be easier to miss showing something as a picture tutorial than a video tutorial, as you cant show where to get tools from etc., but this is so much better that the countless so called tutorials I've raved on about on YouTube for MAX after effects and mudbox. I EAGERLY await the unwrapping part of this when you get there,
will this be stored over the left hand side of the screen with the other tutorials?
FAO MrGrotey, I see the yellow line your talking about but my understanding of these flows was that they had to follow natural rings around the face, but priority given to symmetry around moving muscle groups.
By this I mean the top of the eye links to underneath the eye and both would have a slight interaction with each other. and I also thought the top and bottom of the mouth (in fact I thought this was the whole point of flows) as the top of the mouth would influence the bottom of the mouth.
I can see the natural flow around the bridge of the nose but the bridge of the nose wont move so why is this given precedence over the top lip?
You say it as someone that has found out the hard way, so what are the implications of the two different flows please.
P.S. herfst1, You should seriously think about getting the software to make video tutorials, not that you need it, but you're obviously a great teacher.
read 3688 times
1/14/2012 11:17:46 AM (last edit: 1/14/2012 11:17:46 AM)
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