View Full Version : Please Help Me With This Head

03 March 2006, 07:02 PM
Alright guys, I have tried modeling heads before and failed at it every time. I was just given a task of recreating this head

Where do I start!? HOW do i start! I really want to get into organic modeling but I have yet to be able to jump into it. If someone could please give me a start or some tips on what to do first, I may be able to figure it out from there. Thank you all so much in advance!

03 March 2006, 07:46 PM
Just keep an eye on all the other threads showing character work. The wireframes usually shown in these threads should be more than self-explanatory. The rest is on you. Just start it and don't care too much about making it wrong.


03 March 2006, 08:10 PM
Would you start with a box? A plane? just connecting points? This is all just so intimidating!

03 March 2006, 08:36 PM
Why don't you just listen to "the force" and start with whatever you like. You are asking philosophical questions and everybody will tell you something different. Just start it and if you see it doesn't work this way go back and start again. Anyway, did you listen to your mum when she told you not to touch the flame? You need to make your own experiences so that you know the difference.


P.S.: Starting with a box is never a mistake.

P.P.S.: May the force be with you.

03 March 2006, 08:53 PM
I think it is a matter of personal preference. There is no right or wrong way. Do what works for you and is comfortable for you. As was mentioned, if you don't know which is best, try all the methods. There are plenty of tutorials to help you do it any way you desire.


03 March 2006, 09:10 PM
alright i'll try it.... ugh i've just failed so many freakin times and i actually wanna complete this and make it look good. i'm scared... very scared... i'll post my progress

03 March 2006, 09:19 PM
Stuart Aitken did a couple tutorials on head modeling that I like. They're in Dan Ablan books:
Inside Lightwave 6
Inside Lightwave 7

Also, Splinegod does it a different way, but a lot of people prefer it, so you might check his training materials.

03 March 2006, 09:31 PM
wow this is so much more work than i had originally though. I think i almost got the shape of the front of the face with a box... not including eyes, nose, or mouth... just the shape of the face. i guess this is one step closer.... =\

03 March 2006, 09:50 PM
wow this is so much more work than i had originally though. I think i almost got the shape of the front of the face with a box... not including eyes, nose, or mouth... just the shape of the face. i guess this is one step closer.... =\
Hi Eclips19,
I understand where you are coming from and the pressure, but break it down and seriously it will become no problem. If you check out out the Gnomon workshops and the Newtek site and Kurv etc, there are cool tutes there.

And also remember that this head is symmetrical, so just model one half right and shift+V you have 2 good sides. I personally follow the Dan Ablan method (kinda :) ).
I start witth the eyes and then work towards the nose and so on...
that way you can conquer each bit individually.

TrueArt Support
03 March 2006, 12:20 AM
Please watch EasySplit tutorial video carefully

This might give you straight away idea how to properly patch your head with nice polyflow.. Your reference image has just different coordinates..

03 March 2006, 09:19 AM
I have the same problem, too. I didn't know where to start. Look at this thread

My advice would be to start learning some box modelling, making some really bad head models,
delete them :), and with the experience achieved, start with that head for real.

Good luck!

03 March 2006, 10:21 AM
I know exactly where you are coming from - The hardest part is sometimes how to get started, the second hardest part is what approach to use, both of which start to become easier with experience...

The trick is KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) - Whether you plan on modelling it polygon-by-polygon, starting from a box or use Splines, just remember don't create too much geometry at the start... That's usually the first failure point of most people - They start too complex, get all confused, frustrated and things fall apart.

My advice is to just 'rough out' the head from a box, bandsaw in the eyeline, brown line, bottom nose and mouth, extend a simple nose, and multishift in eye sockets and mouth, and use the drag tool to 'sculpt' things into shape.

Once you're relatively happy its 'close', then start to bevel, multishift and cut in more detail (like lips, nostrils, brows, eyelids, etc), sculpt with the drag tool and just create detail as you need it. Once you're happy its close, subpatch that sucker and see how it looks... :D

Its how I'd consider starting a project like this - But like its been said, its a personal preference... Though no matter what method you use, KISS is key imho... :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 08:57 PM
Try this thread:

03 March 2006, 02:47 PM
Wow guys thanks for all your help so far. I've gotten this down...

Now how do i get the eyes and mouth in there? I've been messig around with it for about 45 minutes and no luck... any ideas? Thanks!

03 March 2006, 03:22 PM

I would make an eye, nose and mouth seperately using the point by point method, and then bridge them together by creating more polygons in edge loops so you get the creasing in the correct places. Look at the inside LW books, its the same here, and in the "stop staring book" by Jason Osipa even though its maya based, its all the same stuff. The problem you have now is that you are trying to force an eye into a very low rez mesh. Its better in my view, to create the eyes, nose, mouth, the create the rest of the head around them.

Try drawing out how you would imagine the topography would look on the picture you have, then replicate it.

Bst of luck, there is no absolute technique!

03 March 2006, 03:36 PM
You have a good start. Remember there is no silver bullet. Find what works for you and go for it. the main thing is to make sure that your edges flow like real skin does. there are alot of tutorials out there and a couple minutes on google. will provide you with alot of help.

03 March 2006, 05:04 PM
hehe this is gunna get kinda sloppy.... i do not mind tho this is my first full out attempt... okay i made the rouded eye sockets and stuff... how do i bridge them with the face? From what I know about the bridge tool, you need to select polys on one each side and the bridge creates polys to fill in the gap.... hmmm... i guess i would need to select the outter loop and bridge it to.... something... what is that something...

03 March 2006, 05:06 PM
oooh i think you mean bridge the 2 eyes together... i think... i can do that easy enough. how do i attatch the buggers to the face though?

03 March 2006, 10:06 PM
Okay man, It is almost impossible to talk someone through modeling it is really something that you either need to watch or be shown. So here is a link to a free mov tutorial on making a head.

hope it helps, hang in there you'll get eventually

03 March 2006, 11:07 PM
If you do look at that Stu Aitken tut in Dan Ablan's books(and I second the motion that you do), you'll see the size of project you've taken on.
It's not easy.

Also, your nose is too pronounced. Small chidren have almost nothing from the bridge of the nose right down to the tip where it suddenly slopes out to a rounded button.

I followed the above tutorial to the letter using images of Sung Hi Lee as a background ref and got this as my first attempt (ok it took 2 months but I got there).......

03 March 2006, 01:51 PM
you are very right about the nose thanks for pointing that out. I still can't figure out how to attach the eye loops and bridge to the original face model though. If i could figure that out I might be able to get somewhere with this... does anyone know how to do it?

and guys, please don't think i'm ignoring all of your suggestions. I just ordered Inside LW 8 so it's on its way! But in the mean time i'm just trying to get some help from you wonderful people! thanks =)

03 March 2006, 12:55 AM
It looks like you use splinegod's tut. The way I would have done it then is to bandsaw some times, so you get 4 polys were the eyes will come in the face. Then used smoothshift to make the eyes. Like he shows in the free face tut. But do it on the face u have made (the one u showed in this post), not as a separate object as he does in the tut.

Hope I don't have confuced you more. :)

03 March 2006, 01:12 AM
yeah i started with splinegods tut but... i think i'm gunna restart the whole thing, starting with the eyes and the nose... maybe i'll have some better luck with that approach... thanks for the help so far guys!

03 March 2006, 01:20 AM
I find splines good to use. If u have got Inside LW 8, dan ablan have a good tut. in how to make a head whit splines in it.

03 March 2006, 07:02 AM
complete failure... =(

well i can't say i didn't try... =(

03 March 2006, 03:05 PM
alright i'm working on my second version using the same technique as above. hopefully this one will come out a bit better...

TrueArt Support
03 March 2006, 03:11 PM
alright i'm working on my second version using the same technique as above. hopefully this one will come out a bit better...

Edge extending, which I believe is what you're using, is harder for newbies.. Why don't you try something else.. ?

Personally I would start from Photoshop.. and put this reference image in one layer, and on top sketch side image, if you don't have it yet.. This will stop guessing where points should be and you'll position them correctly on reference image.. And don't create so dense object in the first place..

03 March 2006, 03:31 PM
yeah i really need a side view... i'm almost done with my second version and if it doesn't turn out, i'll do my best with making a side view. thanks

03 March 2006, 03:51 PM
oh god i duno which one is worse....

how frustrating...

03 March 2006, 05:45 PM
alright guys it's getting closer... still looks like crap but it's a big improvement over my last model...

03 March 2006, 06:33 PM
coming along!

of looks like you're sinking in the cheekbones because they're shadowed in the image. but in the image, they're shadowed because they're sticking out and the face is lit from below. the light is deceiving, but in all actuality the ckeeks look as though they should be 'chubby' right up to underneath the eye.

does that make sense?

03 March 2006, 06:39 PM
yeah that makes sense. thanks a lot for the suggestion! I'll probably get to version 52 before i get a good model... =(

03 March 2006, 04:53 PM
okay its really starting to come along now... any other suggestions? How do i make the nose look better? And i'm still trying to smooth everything out towards the mouth... and the mouth still needs a lot of work... but yeah it's getting there...

03 March 2006, 07:05 PM
It's easy to get scared by polys when they start off looking so awful. One thing is to keep at it. Move points around constantly to smooth things out. Your model looks like you got a pretty good flow going. I saw that there was a few places by the cheeks that could eith be spun (spin quad button) or deleted. Don't be scared to delete polys and create new ones. Just because you started one way doesn't mean you can't remove bits and add bits in. The hardest bit for me anyway is trying to stick to quads. If you have to use tris try and stick them round the back of the ears. That is keep the quads flowing around the face and as soon as you get to the back of the ears or the top of the head bunch them together in to tris so that the back of the head and neck have a lot less polys.

Always concentrate on all views. It's a shame you don't have a side view of the model as that would really help.

For complex faces I always go with the point mode as it gives you so much more freedom.

That's all I can think of for now but one other thing is to just not get scared. It's not like a sculpter where if you screw it up then that's it. Save out lots of versions all the time and you can always go back one step. Oh and never save over your sub div version with a frozen version, you never know when you need to change something and doing that with loads of polys will not be fun.

Pete B

03 March 2006, 07:12 PM
well i haven't finished the head that just the face and the top of the head =) here's the side view as of right now...

now that i look at it... it looks pretty damn flat... i'll have to work on that too... then again... babys faces are pretty flat... hmmmm... here's the modeler view

03 March 2006, 09:18 PM
now that i look at it... it looks pretty damn flat... i'll have to work on that too... then again... babys faces are pretty flat... hmmmm... here's the modeler view

Hi Eclyps19,
The face itself to me looks like a dolls face, have you tried doing a google image search for similar kinds of dolls? you might be able to find a side view that suits your needs.
I think that the nose and cheeks are giving you the most grief...
i found these looking for porcelain dolls and kewpie dolls in the search

03 March 2006, 11:38 PM
Okay i fixed the cheeks and tweaked a few points... does this look ANY better? I'm actually suprised that i could get this far with my first head. Anyways... how do i get the rest of the head. for now I just have the face. I've tried extending the points at the top of the head and got the pic below... I have a feeling trying to shape the head is gunna be tricky for me...

btw, i'm thinking of telling the guy who wanted this done that i can't do it, because he wants it looking exactly like the image... and i don't think i can get that good just yet... but i'm gunna finish this for the hell of it. it's good experience...

03 March 2006, 10:40 PM
Hi Eclyps19,
I don't mean to sound hyper critical, but I have taken the liberty to draw on your jpeg and try to explain where I think you are going wrong.
In the side view your lines are too vertical so from the side the head is looking too square. and if you look at the perspective view, there are flat "pits" in the head.
I strongly suggest you look at some side views of heads and dolls heads... the other problem is that the dolls head reference pic has the doll shown from the front, but it is angled forward, so the chin would be further back than it is.
It is coming along, keep going! :thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 12:12 AM
ahhh thank you that's exactly the kinda comments i'm looking for!

03 March 2006, 12:28 AM
No worries. Glad to help. :)

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