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 Important Notes on Character Modelling 
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Post Important Notes on Character Modelling
Modelling Babes, Chiobus and the human head by Marc Tan.

Actually I am very happy to see many of you here trying very hard to make a go at modelling the human head. Unfortunately I also see the same mistakes being committed again and again until I seriously suspect all the different artists are actually the same guy posting under different guises. Joking.

Anyway, those are the same mistakes which I've once made myself. So itstead of keeping repeating the same message, I thought I might as well, just post all the pointers under 1 thread, which the people can always refer to- especially those are going to or already are modelling a human head.

I can't say I am some expert or what, but since I've been trying longer than most of you, I might as well share those experiences. Readers are advised not to read these pointers as some sort of gospel truths but to learn also to make up your own opinions. I could be wrong, you know and discussion is always welcomed and healthy.

Ok first thing first- the facial proportions. Below is something called the Marquardt mask. Theorized by a plastic surgeon by the name of Stephen Marquardt

http://www.beautyanalysis.com/index2_mba.htm
http://goldennumber.net/beauty.htm
http://goldennumber.net/face.htm

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Quite long winded to explain, you can go to his website for an indepth analysis, but in summary, human facial beauty basically follows a set of predefined facial proportions. If you don't know the actual proportions, my suggestion is to go buy the book- Drawing the Human Head by Burne Hogarth.

Anyway many studies have shown that our perception of beauty is subconsciously based on the ratio 1.618, commonly known as the Golden Ratio or Divine Proportion. Many of the artists from the renaissance period have frequently based their works on this ratio. Curiously this is also the ratio found virtually anywhere in both nature and art. eg it is the ratio between each of our finger bones, arm bones and leg bones.

Eg. The arrangement of whorls on a pine cone are also based on the Golden Ratio-

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Last edited by moderator on Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:09 am, edited 4 times in total.

Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:02 am
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Post Re: Important Notes on Character Modelling
So once you have gotten the facial proportions right. The first I will talk about is the eyes.

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Almost everyone single one of you have made the mistake of making the eyes way too big. Unless you're modelling a grey skinned alien for the X-files, please refrain from making the eyes too big. Its getting freaky.

Alot of drawing books have put the distance between the eyes as the width of one eye. What I have found is that that is a proportion more intuned with a caucasian face. Asians with their typically broader face tends to have a distance that is slightly wider than 1 eye width.

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Look at the example above. 3 different guys, each making the same mistake of various degrees. I know guys like girls with big eyes, but if you walk down the street and you saw a girl with eyes the size of a tennis ball, trust me, you are gonna run away. More importantly is the distance from the corner of your eye to the side of your head should at least be around 2/3 the width of your eye.


Last edited by moderator on Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:03 am
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Post Re: Important Notes on Character Modelling
The Nose and Nasal Ridge.

Sorry to the 3 artists that I am using as an example, hope you guys don't get offended.

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Okay if you study the picture above, you'll realise that we asians tends to have a very low and broad nasal ridge. So again try to go easy on the nasal ridge.

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On the other hand caucasians tends to have a higher nasal ridge. This is because their eyes are deeper set and they have a more prominent brow ridge.

So before you model your face, you have to decide exactly what kind of racial facial features you're going for. A pronouced nasal ridge cannot go with eyes that has asian characteristics.


Last edited by moderator on Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:05 am
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Post Re: Important Notes on Character Modelling
Making the eyes bigger without actually making the eyes bigger.

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Since the window to one's soul is supposedly the eye, it is understandable why so many of you had tried making a character with huge eyes- probably the result of watching too much animes.

Look at the picture above- what the brilliant artists at Square had done is basically an optical illusion. They had managed to create a character that has big luminous eyes without actually going overboard.

First thing they had done is to keep the eye socket itself to a realistic size and shape. If you study it carefully what gives the illusion of a bigger eyes is the size of the pupils itself and not the eye socket. By making a bigger than real life eye pupil, it makes the eyes look bigger and more attractive while keeping the facial proportions within limits.

Secondly, the heavy lashes emphasizes and draws attention to the eyes, creating the illusion of bigger eyes. There's a reason why girls go through so much trouble with eyelash extensions, masscara and eye shadows, its because they give the optical illusion of a bigger eye without actually having bigger eyes.

So bearing this in mind, if you already modelled a character with bigger eye socket than necessary, adding eyelashes and eyeshadow through textures maps will only emphasize this to the nth degree resulting in something more horrific than attractive.


Last edited by moderator on Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:06 am
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Post Re: Important Notes on Character Modelling
Jawbone and cheekbones

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Again study the example above. The common mistake is the lack of jawbone and cheekbone definition. Admittedly the skull has more of a western feature, nevertheless, one must still show some form of a jawbone structure in the face.

The second common mistake is having no cheekbones or having the cheekbone mass in the wrong place. High cheekbones are often cited as a feature of an attractive face. But often a lot of artist tends to put it at the wrong location. The cheekbones should be modelled toward the outer edge of the face as seen from the skull. Do not place the cheekbone mass directly under the eye or towards the nasal ridge.


Last edited by moderator on Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:06 am
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Post Re: Important Notes on Character Modelling
The Angelinalitis.

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Pouty lips. I know guys like pouty lips, but again try not to go overboard with this. In all my time, I noticed the only woman on earth with Angelina Jolie's lips is Angelina Jolie- maybe its a genetic mutation or something, but 99.9% of the women population does not possess lips like this. Besides I think its an acquired taste, personally I find it freaky.

So getting back to the topic, stop giving your models the Angelinalitis. Look at the examples, the lips just do not protrude out near the corners of the mouth. Infact, the only protrusion is just a slight dent on the bottom lip near the centre of the mouth.

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Another thing to bear in mind is that most people will have a slight dimple at the corner of the mouths, as much as possible, the corner of your model's mouth should not end with a sharp point.


Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:08 am
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