Photoreal models- beginning with non-orthographic photos

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Old 03 March 2008   #1
Photoreal models- beginning with non-orthographic photos

In the recent past, I've tried to do a photo-real model of a human, beginning with non-orthogonal reference views. With such photos not available, here's what I did-
  1. There were at least three photos of this face I was studying closely. I then sketched the same pictures, then the same person in different poses and angles
  2. I then prepared 'blueprints' of front and side view, using only lines. I didn't shade or colour these blueprints.
  3. Then I prepared a 3-D model in 3ds Max from these blueprints. The model has a very low poly-count of 7300, with symmetry and NURMS smoothing of two iterations, with eyeballs and no hair.
  4. There are not too many deep areas in the model, so some curves and wrinkles are missing- in fact, skin looks even.
  5. I tried to digi-paint the textures (eyebrows and lips in particular, and also bump-maps) and then applied on the face. The skin has an even texture, while the deep areas are painted as a separate bump map.
  6. And I don't really like what I see. Looks too much like a scratchbuilt gaming model.
This is not a cartoon/game model, but one I intend to use in an animated music video. I have studied that method of taking front and side views, then blending them in Photoshop over a rendered UV template of the modelled face, but for this model, I don't have such photos. In our school, we haven't been taught how to paint face textures, so I have been using digital painting techniques here.
 
Old 03 March 2008   #2
IMO: If you want to do a photoreal model the best way is to use photo references of the real person that you are creating. But in your case you want to create the textures without the photo refences then the only way to succeed is to be really good at digital painting which will give likeliness to your model. As you have mentioned that you have no knowledge of skin painting then you will have to learn it somehow.

If you post some of your renders then we can help you to improve your textures on the model. Or you can search for skin texture painting tutorials on the net. Hope this help.
 
Old 03 March 2008   #3
It actually starts with the modelling of the character itself. For some characters, I drew loads of sketches by hand and then, with enough practice, drew the blueprints. I wasn't too satisfied with what I got of one of them. I've put that project on hold until experts help out at the academy.

For another character I modelled, which I have shown here, I used a photo as a reference. It's not the ideal front view, especially when it's asymmetrical, but I manipulated it a little- by replicating one side on the other, reversing it. This is a technique I picked up from the Virtual Humans forum. Texturing is not a problem- I can handle that part well, even the digital painting.

Further ahead, I've modelled the hair at the academy using an editable poly from a sphere. Then I applied a hair texture, and I was advised to paint the opacity map in Photoshop. I have not yet learnt Hair&Fur, so I'm keeping that on hold- I tried what I learnt at the labs (Max 9) and it didn't work out.
 
Old 03 March 2008   #4
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