So in my last post, Blender Experiments, I documented my initial efforts with modeling in Blender starting from about zero experience with any related software. I have worked with actual clay and as it turns out that translates pretty well, but that’s about it. In this post, I had an image of a particular sort of satyr floating around in my head for a few days so sat down one night and started in on it.
Prior to this session I had combed through a ton of Amazon reviews for books on Blender character modeling, been to the local book store ( whose selection was poor on the topic ) and settled on purchasing the most excellent book, Character Development in Blender 2.5, by Jonathan Williamson. While the book itself has been very informative and a great intro to Blender over all, what I found useful in my current newb state is the video walkthrough of creating a human head which is found on the DVD that comes with the book. He spends if I recall more than half an hour walking you through how he does what he does, and judging by accolades and community opinion, Mr. Williamson knows what he’s talking about. So, much of my approach from a technical perspective draws from what I’ve gleaned from his expertise. The content of what I’m working on is out of my head, not from images, reference material, or anyone else’s intellectual property. So here we go:
This head model started with a cube that was subdivided 3 times into a sphere. Using a grease pencil I outlined where I wanted the skull to be and used a grab brush with a larger radius to uniformly pull the polygons to the outline.
Pulling down the polys from a different angle. Makes the general shape of a human skull very quickly. This is so much easier than thinking of it as real clay at this point wherein you’d shave off or add layers as needed.
Increased the subdivision levels in the multires modifier a few times. Used a high radius grab brush to flatten and deform the skull, and the clay brush to add layers to things like eyebrows and the nose.
General formation of lips, nose, eye sockets, and ears using a combination of clay brush with max curve to add clay, crease brush to add definition, and smooth brush to soften the look. I’m kind of following the general guidelines for positioning facial features ( like how the eyes should vertically be about the middle of the skull ), but I’m mostly just doing what feels proportional for the character I’m picturing.
Adding definition behind the ears. Also, not bad for the first time doing ears. All those years of Ear School finally paid off ( not really ).
Putting some generic eyeballs in and adding definition around them using the crease brush. Right about here is where I saved off a copy of what I had done so far so that when I do my next head model, I can get a bit of a jumpstart instead of having to rebuild.
The finished look with horns in place. I’ve been picturing this guy for a couple days. I call him Demon. This model took a bit over two hours to do.
Profile shot of Demon. I like how the three horns on the side of his face follow the contour of the temple and cheek bone.
Good view of Demon’s jawline and chin horn. I like the definition here.
Front view of Demon.
Slightly downward shot of Demon showing his array of horns and facial structure.
And that’s about it on this model. Overall, I feel much more comfortable with the crease brush for definition, and the combination of clay brush and smooth brush for cleanly building up layers on the model. I also learned not to be afraid to use Subdivide but I do agree with the known premise of trying to sculpt what you can on your current model before increasing the poly count and going farther. Its more stable for me, at least. Its also encouraging to see how quickly this model already looks …much less crappy… than the previous model lol. Thanks for reading!