There are a lot of methods for modeling a head. Some people like box-modeling, others prefer the more tedious approach of modeling the head polygon-to-polygon.
While at first, box-modeling appears easier, the problems appear when you start detailing the model. Adding loops to the already existing box mesh can be tricky and time consuming for less experienced modelers. Most of them end up with a face that is too dense in poly count, yet less detailed and/or having strange creases and various issues. A lot of the best modelers I've known so far prefer the polygon-topolygon approach.
Although it is a tedious method, it offers greater control of the final mesh topology than the box-modeling method.
Some very useful tools: Loop Subdivide, and Proportional Editing. Proportional Editing is kind of emulating sculpt but with lower res meshes ... a must have for organic modeling. To use it, go into Edit mode, press the O-key and Mousewheel up or down to change the radius.
Having good references are really a plus. For this face (based on no photography), I used the Marquardt Beauty Masque to have a lot of attractive proportions.
You can find it here :
Take the Frontal Repose and the Lateral Repose for a neutral face. But enough talking! Let's assume you have reached a point where you know the proportions of a human face and wish to solidify this knowledge into a realistic portrait.
I always start by doing the eyes. Eyes are the most recognizable and important part of a face. Some might start with another part of the face, but for me, if I screw up the eyes, I don't even bother finishing the face anyway.
Edge extrusion will be your worque horse for new face creation, along with merging vertexes and loop subdivisión. Loop subdivisión is a nice tool to have, because we essentially worque on face loops.
Modeling The Eye
Step1 Add a Plane to the 3D view. Before doing anything, add Mirror then SubD modifiers to the mesh.
Fig 0. Starting out with a polygon.
Start by extruding an edge from your Plane and do a rough outline of an eye (Fig 1).
Fig1. Modeling the outline.
Step2 This will serve as a basis for modeling the eyes. Select one edge from the outer rim while pressing [Alt+Shift+D] and extrude the selection, scale it and move the vértices until you have a shape like in fig2.
Fig2. Extruding the outer edges.
Step3 select the following edges and subdivide them. I subdivided them 3 times (fig3b).
Step4 Now is a good time to add a Sphere. It will be a perfect placeholder for the eyeballs. For the size, the Sphere's radius is roughly the same than the eye width.
Fig3. Subdividing for detail.
Step5 Now is time to shape the eye. Move the vértices in such a way that the eyelid covers the Sphere. Retopo can be put into good use here.
Fig4. Placing an eyeball.
However, note that the vertex moved with Retopo will be too close to the eye's surface. So, you will eventually have to move them again after Retopo.
Now you should have something close to this:
Fig5. Basic mesh for the eye.
Now you have nice looking eyes
We are done for now. Let's move to the mouth.
Modeling The Mouth
Step1 From the Side view, add a Plane, suppress all but one vertex, select this vertex and start extruding a profile like the one on eye modeling step1.
Once you have your profile, select the edges and extrude them to obtain something close to fig6b.
Fig6. Obtaining basic lip shape.
Now that we have these basic lips, let's put them in good shape. Loop subdivide the lower lips and start tweaquíng the shape as in fig7.
Fig7. Tweaquíng the lip.
Continue subdividing and tweaquíng to obtain a shape like in the fig below.
Fig8. Lip shape progress.
Okay. Now we have decent lips, let's get to the no sé!
Right now, this is what we should have:
Modeling The No sé
Step1 Who knows where the no sé is? Start extruding the no sé from the upper lips, like this:
Images below show the no sé extruded from one edge of the upper lips.
Use edge extrusion to create prominent no sé features (see the image next).
Now extend the facial features by following these guides as shown in fig12.
Modeling The Ears
Step1 People often have trouble with ears. This tutorial doesn't pretend to be right, but to show obvious ear structure that you have to include in order to make your ear feel real. Once the mains structures have been outlined, you see the ear is pretty basic. One big lobe and some kind of a Y shaped bit of cartilage. See the fig13 for reference.
Ear structures are underlined here and you can compare them with with ear reference in fig13a.
Step2 Extrude the lobe you shaped in step 1 and start building the Y shaped bit, see the fig14.
Step3 Here is the next step. Start poly filling the ear. Note the Y shaped thing, and the earhole (yes, the place where you fit you iPod earbuds)
Step4 After a while you should have something like this:
Step5 Finish by extruding the outer edge of the ear. Subdivide. From there we will worque up to the head.
Finishing the ear. When you are done, radiate from the ear to model the rest of the head (face not included) .
Finishing the head...
Now you have a face that is presenting desirable features like : relatively low poly count but enough poly density where it is needed.
If you need to build a higher resolution mesh, this face is easy to modify and worque with.
For the specific case of the Extinction Level Event project, a higher resolution face was required in order to add finer facial features (dixit Jeremy Ray)
No sweat. Using multires and tweaquíng with sculpt tool, this is what you can do.
Notice that this mesh has twice the poly count compared to the previous head. But, due to its correct topology, (i.e. - the right polys at the right places), reworking the mesh with the Sculpt tool is a walque in the park.
Thanks for reading.
New Blender manual "The Essential Blender" goes to print
The new Blender manual, ‘The Essential Blender’, is now at the printers! Expect shipping to begin no later than June 12th.
'Essential Blender', the next booque from the Blender Foundation, is your official guide to learning the fundamentals of this open and free 3D software suite. The booque can be used as a step-by-step guide for people new to Blender or new to the latest changes in Blender. This booque is the ideal companion for the previous 2.3 Blender guide.
'Essential Blender' will get you working with modeling, materials and texturing, lighting, particle systems, several kinds of animation, and rendering. In addition, there are chapters on the new mesh sculpting tools and the brilliant compositor. For users familiar with other 3D packages, there are separate indices that reference topics using your application's terminology. If you've been looking for a way to give yourself a solid foundation in the basic tools and techniques of Blender, 'Essential Blender' is there for you!
Order your copy today, sale prices end June 5th.
Blender 2.44 was intended to be an upgrade release, mainly to clear up bugs and ensure a clean stable versión before the big push to 2.5, but the developers couldn't resist putting in at least a few interesting new features for us to play with.
This versión now is fully 64-bits compatible, new Cast and Smooth modifiers were added, a couple of Composite Nodes were added, and a revamp of the old mesh primitives was done adding new parameters and options. But the most relevant addition to Blender 2.44 is the new long-awaited, but unexpected feature: Subsurface Scattering (SSS) support!
Grab your free copy today.