Guess the Actress WIP

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  06 June 2013
Guess the Actress WIP

I just started this yesterday and figured I would make a WIP thread. I'll post my progress and see if anybody can guess what actress this is! Right now it just looks like a generic white female, but hopefully as I make progress someone will be able to guess correctly.

All of the modeling will be done in Maya. The texture will be done in Photoshop and Mudbox. I'm aiming for about 10-15k polys.

Also if you have any comments about anatomy or anything else, please post!

First WIP render:
  06 June 2013
Before making her recognizable there are some issues you should address in my opinion (which might be wrong ). Things that caught my eye:

It looks like the eyebrows are arching up a bit too much on the outsides for a neutral expression. But this is more a "problem" of the texture you used than caused by the model itself I guess. I think it would help to see her untextured too and from different angels to decide about that. It also seems, that you used a view angel for the camera, that distorts her a bit too much and thus makes it harder to really see if there is an issue or if it's caused by perspective.

The ears are quite small and are sitting too low on her head. At least if this is a straight front shot.

I have the feeling, that something isn't quite right with the corners of the eyes, but can't put my finger exactly on it - sorry for that. Maybe another observer might work this out (or tell me that I'm only imagining things here).

The upper bridge of her nose looks quite broad, about as broad as the lower end (can't find the right word for that currently).

The modeled mouth isn't in sync with the painted one which makes it a bit harder to see what's there and what's not. The nasolabial fold seems to have it's origin more at the base of the nose. It should start a bit higher at the curvation of the side of the nose.

The chin looks a bit too pointed - but people are different and that might be a first sign of the person you are trying to depict here

The neck is definitely too slim compared to the head. It should be about as broad as the lower rear angle of the jawbone which is currently clearly jutting out from the neck in your model. In comparison the sternoclaidomastoideus (that long muscle from clavicle to a point below the ear) is a bit too mighty and prominent for a relaxed pose of the head. The concave area between those muscles seems to extend too much upwards. It should change to a convex rounded shape (where the larynx is located). But that again could be a misinterpretation of perspective. Connected to the problem with the slim neck is a curvation of the neck to shoulder area, that doesn't seem quite right now. I think it should tend to a curve that is more "hyperbolic" (I hope that describes it clearly).

I hope those observations of another pair of eyes are some kind of help with your work. In no way are they meant to be correct in every aspect - so handle them with care

Edit: Concerning the camera angle, post #11 in this thread might be extremely helpful.

Last edited by Sagadur : 06 June 2013 at 10:50 AM.
  06 June 2013
Thanks for the post, all of that was spot on! I'm getting a lot of time to work on this today so I can do some sculpting.

The eyebrow problem is something funny. That problem stemmed from my reference images where the actress makes the same dumb face in every photo. You are right though, they are arched way too high up lol

I'll post new WIP from a lot of angles in a bit.
  06 June 2013
I now right now it looks generic but judging by the spacing of the eyes, and overall look I see English actress Claire Forlani...
  06 June 2013
Made some progress:

- tweak jaw, mouth, and eyes
- normal map
- finalize texture (redness in cheeks, nose, ears, etc.)
- style hair (I just threw something on there real quick)

Also I switched to low poly modeling again. The mesh is sitting at 1k polys right now. Making it look exactly like her is really frustrating grr. More tweaking tomorrow

Also wires:
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by Artdigital: I now right now it looks generic but judging by the spacing of the eyes, and overall look I see English actress Claire Forlani...

She does have very similar features hmm. Especially in the eyes and jaw. I guess I should have considered how hard this would be for anyone living outside of the U.S. lol

It is an American actress and as of right now the only thing that is spot on is the nose. The eyes and jaw still need tweaking.
  06 June 2013
My very first impression was that she generally looked very much like Aubrey Plaza (my favorite awkward actress). But then when I looked at detailed facial features, I figured I may be way, way off.
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by tomfisher: My very first impression was that she generally looked very much like Aubrey Plaza (my favorite awkward actress). But then when I looked at detailed facial features, I figured I may be way, way off.

Congratulations! Yes this is the actress I am modeling. Now I can ask for much needed help on making her look right.

Here are my current thoughts:

and an unedited version so all that text and stuff isn't in the way:

Also if anybody has good profile shots of her laying around I could really use some :P The only ones I could find were really low res.
  06 June 2013
One more WIP before I pass out.

- normal map
- finalize texture
- minor geometry tweaks
- style and tweak hair
- eventually model rest of body
  06 June 2013
For me, you don't capture her face.. You're on the texture but the nose the eyes and the mouth need to be corrected first
Casting Refs: - CG Movies list:
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by Scote: For me, you don't capture her face.. You're on the texture but the nose the eyes and the mouth need to be corrected first

Yes, I completely agree Scote. It is a very particular thing isn't it? Maybe I'll finally break down and start doing some Mudbox sculpting at a higher res

I'll have some more time to work on this today, hopefully before the weekend I'll have the head/face looking like her. Thanks for the feedback
  06 June 2013
Well, I was getting frustrated with my current mesh. I had some topology issues and I just couldn't get it to look like her. I started completely over, cleaned up my topology, and actually ended up with less polys. The mesh is sitting at around 1k now.



I am much happier with this mesh. I'm still learning about modeling and texturing which isn't exactly my specialty... There is still a lot to do but I'm making some progress now!

- minor geo tweaks.
- finalize texture.
- shader tweaks, maybe I'll read up on the SSS shader which seems to be popular for skin. Right now I'm just using a Phong.

I might make a separate mesh just for rendering because her eyes are very asymmetrical. For rigging I would like to work with a symmetrical mesh though.
  06 June 2013
Looking at your wire frame and the actress's photo I can see you might not have the geoetry to be able to add the right details to her cheaks, and the corner of her mouth.
I've been trying to do a similar mesh myself recently so I understand how hard this kind of thing can be. But the devil is in the details as they say.
What I would try and do is try and get that dimple effect at the corner of her mouth right, and then enhance her cheek line a little more to make her slightly more gaunt near her back teeth.
If you can get they I think you'll be a lot closer to the mark you are looking for.
Still it's a great start. (and you're closer to the mark than I am with mine.)
  06 June 2013
A couple of things; firstly, how many reference images are you using?
Second, I would go for more of a neutral face pose to model

Modifications, I would first bring the eyes in closer and also pull in the face contours more (please see image). How this makes sense.

A possible adaption to you topology...

Uploaded with
  06 June 2013
Hey there,

thanks for the reply! Yeah the topology around the mouth definitely needed to be pulled in. Thanks for pointing that out. The image you uploaded was very helpful. I also worked on the mouth and eyes a bit. Let me know what you think.

There is a lot of open area around the pole in the cheek, but it seems to smooth out fine in subdiv preview mode. I might end up adding more resolution to give the cheek more shape. Also to define that dip between her jaw and cheek more.

Here is the reference I'm working with. It's kinds of hard to find really good reference, especially for profile :P A lot of the time I'm just looking at a picture and editing the model instead of using image planes because there is so much perspective in some of the images.

Also, I started playing with the SSS shader and paint effects. I can't seem to get the normal map to render with the shader though. I guess the default SSS fast skin shader doesn't support bump maps. I'll have to play around with that.

Here are a few renders:

Having a lot of fun with this project Now that I look at it, I think that the eyes need to be pulled down a little bit. And maybe rotated. The asymmetry in the eyes keeps throwing me off. Bleh it just needs a lot more little tweaks Also I may have forgot to turn on reflection when I moved the eye D: whoops.
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