My first Female!

polycounter lvl 10
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WipEout polycounter lvl 10
Surprise! She's an old woman. A witch, to be exact. The original idea was someone that looked like/is Helena Bonham-Carter, because she's hot. But for the sake of a (self-imposed) challenge, I'm making Helena old as hell. I figured I need a realistic woman in my portfolio, but I'm tired of all the perfectly-proportioned hotties.


I started by sketching Helena then began drawing in wrinkles and wafty hair, but then I figured I could do all that in ZBrush.

Please choose your favorite thumbs. I'm thinking #3-- whattaya think?

The dress and sash and such will be smoking all the time, and the collar/cowl thing will be made of the smoke wafting off her evil body, if I can figure in a way to make that kind of thing look cool.

C&C welcomed and encouraged, as always.


  • Slingshot
    I like #2 I think it would be interesting to to see some one pull off a very old yet some how graceful evil or good witch that has some sort of pretty sense about her. Life itself drained from her yet her magic keeps her alive. Make her saggy were she needs to be (chest, belly, arms ect.) but keep the I am still trying to look hot even tho I am not outfit of #2.
  • Piotr
    2 if you want to have some hottnes, 3 if you want to make some really creepy witch that eat puppies. Id go with 3 of course ;).
  • pliang
    Look up Maggie Smith... best reference for this subject :3
  • Jesse Moody
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    Jesse Moody polycounter lvl 11
    I was greatly disapointed coming in here. I thought I would see something much different with a lot more boobs and photos... :(
  • Tully
    Not bad!

    With regards to a bit of a critique, it might be a good idea to look at how peoples' faces change as they age. It isn't just that their skin gets wrinkley, but other things happen too. Fascia (that's the body's "filler" material, to be imprecise about it) withers away, muscle tone breaks down, and some cartilaginous structures continue to grow (though less in women than in men). The lips become much thinner, the ears and nose get bigger. Bone structure becomes far more evident, especially if the person is thin. Body fat in women is redistributed, going less to the breasts and hips and more around their mid-section. The skin tone becomes less even, and age spots appear. The skin takes on a general looseness, and it

    At the moment, your drawing looks more like a young woman wearing stage makeup, as opposed to somebody who is genuinely old. I think it'd be a good idea to look at photos of actual old people. Maggie Smith is a really good example!
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    Everyone: Thanks for the feedback! I started blocking out the base for ZBrush, I think I'm going with #3 on this one. I figured I don't want to do stuff that's similar to others' work. Not to say other folks' female models are bad or generic or anything, but in so far as getting a job, I want to show that I have range and my own particular flair.

    Jesse: I'll post my reference images just for you ;)


    Tully: Thanks for the helpful crits. She certainly is a young Helena Bonham Carter with "old people" makeup on at this point. I started drawing her out and aging her, changing little bits of facial structure as I went along, but then I figured it'd be faster and easier to simply eek out the concept in the ZB sculpt-- a method I'm not entirely used to, but my teacher is pushing (and I'm starting to like it a little more, to be honest). So with that, I stopped drawing and started blocking out in Maya :). I will certainly keep your crits in mind once I begin sculpting though!

    And thanks, guys, for the Maggie Smith suggestions. I love that actress, but I can never remember her name.
  • rube
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    rube polycounter lvl 12
    You may want to watch Big Fish, since that has an old Helena Bonham Carter as a witch in it.
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    So here's some work in progress:



    I'm finding I have very little time to work on my stuff, between wedding plans and full-time work. I guess I'm going to have to stay up late at night again...

    Should be done with the body sculpt by tomorrow or Sunday, will have her clothes blocked out and start sculpting by Monday.

    C&C welcomed as always.
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    K, here's an update:

    her body, nearly complete. I can't wait to clothe her, because I've been staring at hi-rez iamges of naked 70+ year-old women for the past week. blech!


    Like I said, I want her to be as old and saggy looking as possible, but I honestly don't want to lose her form under a ton of wrinkles. Suggestions?

    More fat pads to the thigh/knee area, maybe...

    Anyway, here's her head:


    First thing tomorrow is add some skin texture to areas like the chest and a few more folds just below the butt, then it'll finally be time to clothe her.

    So what do you guys think?

    PS. I plan on going with Unreal3 character specs. With that in mind for the textures, should I put the dress on a separate texture map, or include it with the body/head/etc?
  • Piotr
    Are you aming for realizm? Because in that case some things are off.

    Eyes are too big, she looks like alien. Cheekbone has hard angle don't know why. It should be smoothed out. Although she is clearly fat, there is hardly fat on her face. Some underchin for example. Her jaw seems to be too square for a woman. Wrinkles above the lips are too uniform.

    Anyway I won't comment on the body because I have not seen highrez scans of naked 70 year old and honestly Im perfectly comfy with that.
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    Piotr-- thanks for the crits. I definitely see what you mean about the eyes and jaw, I'll make some adjustments today.

    I'm going for a somewhat realistic look, I guess, but still kind of in the surreal. Thus, her cheeks are really sunken in, her skin is sagging a great deal. She isn't fat so much as just out of shape muscle-wise, but that coupled with her age produces a great deal of folds and stretch marks-- with that, I think I will throw more sagging skin under her chin, and maybe pull in the fatty-looking folds on her back a bit. Sorry, thinking out loud...

    Thanks again for the comments, Piotr!

    Please keep them coming!
  • odium
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    odium polycounter lvl 11
    Ugh, thats horrible, you even modeled the toe :p
  • FactoriesBurning

    helena bonham carter as an old witch. from the movie big fish.
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    Thanks Factories-- I've been using that image as reference, after Rube reminded me. For some reason, when I thought of the character, I completely forgot about Big Fish.

    odium-- Yeah, I probably didn't really need to, but I find that most nude models I see from people are missing genitalia. Not that it's even really necessary for this model, but this is also my first "realistic" (with a grain of salt) model, so I wanted to maintain at least most of the... uh... anatomical correctness? Oh well-- she'll be clothed by the end of the night, so no worries :P
  • Indecisive
    Looks pretty good so far, but to me the wrinkles on the face don't seem deep enough. They come off as scratches... Texture will probably help that a lot in the end, but I think it can be pushed a little more. And since it seems like you're going for a stylized realism. I would like to see the anatomy of her torso stretch and skewed a little more..... only because I don't feel that the face and body are stylized the same. Oddly enough, I can't wait to see where you go with this, so keep up the good work.
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    Long time no see! I hate being too busy to work on this stuff...

    Anyway, here she is currently-- I'm about to finish the skirt and hair tomorrow add a little more detail to the top, and start texturing her by Monday.


    I know it looks very leathery right now, but that's just the material in ZB3-- I'm going more for a sequin-y sparkling looking material, I keep thinking of the black dress in Legend, but that's not exactly what I'm imagining.

    Indecisive-- I arched her forward some, as well as bent the elbows a bit, added some droopy skin/fat around her shoulders to fold over the top. Hopefully that's more in line with what you were thinking. I wanted to hunch her over with the game rig, but decided it'd be easier with the high rez so the folds can show in the normals.

    Anyway, let me know your thoughts, comments, ideas, all are appreciated, as always.
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    I'm curious how others build their hair for ZBrush. I figured I'd throw in some poly planes extruded along curves then import them into ZB and sculpt from there, a lot like Rich Diamant's method for Uncharted. My issue with this is that the polys shrink when I subdivide; even when I save level 1 as a morph target they still shrink-- only less than before. I know it has to do with the nature of subdividing and placing more edges along a side to prevent deformations etc, but what methods do you guys follow for long strips of hair in ZBrush? Or would you just avoid doing the hair in ZB altogether and get the normals from the diffuse map in CrazyBump or something like that?

    Thanks, guys.
  • Marine
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    Marine polycounter lvl 13
    there is a way to get meshes in zbrush to retain their volume using morph targets, but i'm not sure how you do it
  • Jaco
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    Jaco polycounter lvl 12
    To stop the poly's from shrinking use creases. A few buttons below Divide there's a Crease button, use it before sub-dividing and your planes won't shrink.

    Marine: Yeah, You can keep the volume by storing a morph target as soon as you import, before sub-dividing.
    Subdivide the model a few times, then go back to level 1 and apply your morph target.
    You can also turn off the smooth modifier that's responsible for the lost volume, by clicking on the SMT button next to divide, but this results in hard edges.
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    Marine-- thanks, I usually use Morph Targets to good effect on bodies and more complex meshes, but since my hair planes were so simple, the mesh still shrank.

    Jaco-- worked perfectly, thanks!

    More pics coming soon. I'm gonna work on the hair now, start texturing today as well. I have less than 3 weeks to finish this. I really need to knuckle down...
  • Xaltar

    You definately nailed that "OMG thats horrible" look nice work :)
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    K, I've got a week left, maybe plus a couple days. I'm finding it difficult to retopologize the mesh for game rez (9-10,000 tris), for a couple reasons:

    1) the retopo tool in ZB doesn't maintain UVs, so I've found that I'm retopologizing a little too late. Instead I'll have to go delete edges and move verts manually in Maya if I want to keep my UV layout.

    and 2) 8 hours of learning the Topology Tool and rebuilding the head lost because I clicked a button a few too many times trying to see if I could check the UVs of the rebuilt mesh! AAARRGGHHH!!!

    Since I lost all that time, I figure instead of going game rez, I'm going to finish the texture, build her sash/snake/weapon, and pose her with Transpose Master and render a Turntable of the hi-rez sculpt for the class. After that, I'll catch my breath and go back in and retopo her for UT3.

    Less talk, more pics:


    Now Here's my issue:


    The texture comes out with white base skin, not the skin pigment that the material provides. Any ideas on how I might transfer that material's base color to the texture? I figure I can go a round-about way and use the color picker in Photoshop, but I'm wondering for future reference: is there a way to transfer the base material's color to the texture, regardless of what color you choose in the color picker of ZB? ie, the material I used for this chick, MatCap_Skin01, has that skin tone color when I move the color picker to white; but when I hit "Col>Txr" to transfer the poly painting to a texture, it transfers the white that I chose for the material color, not the material's base color. Any ideas?

    Anyway, I hope you guys like it. Comments and critiques are welcome, as usual.
  • fogmann
    Try this:
    With your sculpt to lowest level, create DispMap in displacement tab in your tool palette. When the texture gets added to the alpha, choose the material you want to get to texture and in your alpha panel choose "crop and fill" - it should use your displacement map to give shading to the material that is now covering the whole canvas. Then just export the document and flip it vertically in PS and there you go. It's not ideal for fancy materials especially if you don't have large enough difference between your low and high poly, in which case the shading will look pretty flat and you might not get a whole range of colors that you can see in your ZB material. Other thing you can try to do is use zapplink in PS duplicate the layer with shading and then merge it down to the layer that you usually paint textures on. It's tedious and you would have to do a lot of fixes in different projections if you want it to work as a shading layer for your whole model, but if you just need to get colors of your ZB material, that will get you there.

    By the way, nice progress.
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    So here she is, in complete-at-least-for-class form. I didn't like her hair so I got rid of it, I figure I'm going to re-sculpt it in ZB after a night or two's breather. It's been nothing but 3 hours or less of sleep each night for the last week, and today is the last day of school EVER! So after I catch my breath, I'm going to fix her hair as mentioned, retopo the whole thing, Normal Map, AO map, Spec map, then throw her in the portfolio.






    Oh yeah-- sorry for the late thanks, fogmann. I figured out another way, too-- pretty easy, I might add:

    So first you hit Tool>TextureCol>Txr at your highest Subdivision. Then with the texture selected, go to Texture > CropandFill (top toolbar). This puts the tex on the canvas, after which you would select the material you want, set the tool to Simple Brush, hit M so you don't paint over the color, then fill that sucker in! It'll fill any white on the canvas with the base color of your MatCap! After that you just need to export the doc as a PSD and there's your texture!

    If you want to apply that texture to your model, just open the texture, and under Tool>Texture press Txr>Col. Make sure your mesh is at the highest rez though, so it can get all the texture details. Hope that helps anyone else in the future with the same problem!

    And C&C are always welcome, so sock it to me, fellas. But for now I'm going to bed because it's 3am I have to be to work in 5 hours...
  • verybad
    re the texture, the specular seems too high, old people have more dead skin and their flesh material isn't nearly as shiny. Her skin seems too shiny for her age, kind of like a wrinkled younger woman. You may want to add some blue to the specular to make her old looking and with veins and such being simulated (it would also reduce the vibrancy of her pink skin.)
  • WipEout
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    WipEout polycounter lvl 10
    good call-- I'll do that, but so far this is all in ZBrush-- no specular except for the MatCap shader. Specular isn't something I've really messed with (last time I did they were greyscale spec maps-- now they're in color?!) . The shininess of her skin is simply because I used a Skin-colored shader, aptly named "Skin."

    I'm going to have to look into spec map painting methods soon, but next up is remodelling her hair (and returning to the T-pose so I can rig her for a gmae engine. I'm thinking UT3'd be easiest, but I have no experience with that either. Oh well, that's for later.

    thanks for the heads-up, verybad.
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