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Quick Head Sculpt - Wrinkles and Face Detailing

polycounter lvl 7
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jhoythottle polycounter lvl 7
Hey guys,

It's been a while since my last thread. I'm working on a small project - a simple head sculpt for my portfolio. I'm not planning on retopologizing or even texturing this character. I just want to build the basic sculpt in full detail and create a render with Keyshot.

Here is the progress I've made after today. Any critiques on the basic form before I start focusing in on skin details/pores/wrinkles etc...?


I want to have some artistic liberty with his wrinkles and face detail, but here is the reference I'm going from:






  • AngryMindtricks
    It's looking pretty decent so far, my biggest concern is definitely the nose... I don't have time to do a paintover for you but I suggest you just overlay your sculpt on top of your reference photo and you'll understand what I mean.. it looks like something is pushing it to the left.

    Keep going!
  • jhoythottle
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    jhoythottle polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks AngryMindtricks, yeah I noticed the nose soon after uploading too. I don't have a lot of time after my workday to work on this guy, so I'll give you tiny little updates as I slowly move along.

  • jhoythottle
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    jhoythottle polycounter lvl 7
    I'm noticing the bags under his eyes might be a little too defined compared to the picture.

    Also, does anyone have a good technique/link to creating creases and folds in skin. I love the dam standard brush, but if you notice on the right crease of his brow just above the nose - it always creates a small crevice instead of a clean fold. I want the skin to touch in those folding areas. Know what I mean? The only way around this, I've found, is to mask the area and inflate around it or to use the pinch brush - which isn't always very precise.

    I'd also love if you could post any brushes or alphas for creating stretched skin pores, creases, and wrinkles. Thanks!
  • jhoythottle
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    jhoythottle polycounter lvl 7
    Another update. Noticing the beard hair is a little too long and thin. Working on the eyes next. Both rendered from Marmoset.


    one with fancy lighting:

  • jhoythottle
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    jhoythottle polycounter lvl 7
    Sooo, this thread hasn't been super active, but I'll keep uploading anyway. :D


    Art Station
  • AgelosAp
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    AgelosAp polycounter
    Hey jhoythottle,
    good job so far!
    One of the thing that mess with my head is the lack of any chest area or at least a very blocky shirt or something, I know it's not part of the realism of the actual face but either zoom in or add a shirt for my sake :P
    Other than that I think your model looks less rugged than the photo, one thing is the beard which you haven't greyed up yet and another is the curvy-ness of the forms you sculpted.
    I think you used too much inflate on each wrinkle or if you didn't that is the effect I 'm seeing,
    so less bulgy wrinkles and forms is what I 'm saying.
    +Also the eyeballs definitely needs some reds.
    Hope this makes sense, waiting to see where this goes :)
  • jhoythottle
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    jhoythottle polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks Firith!

    I was on the fence about adding a shirt or collar since this is a very quick project, but you've helped me make my decision to definitely add one.

    I'm going to add another layer of beard hair (gray this time) as well as a thin layer of vellus hairs on his skin.

    Do you think the wrinkles look to inflated around the eyes/crow's feet as well as the mouth? I'll try to adjust that.

    Also, I can't tell if it's a filter effect with the camera or the incorrect skin tone, but I'm wondering if anyone has an idea of how I can better match the "ruggedness" of the original photo.

    I hope to start working on a micromeshed hat after these updates.
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero greentooth
    Alright, so I felt like I should explain myself and you asked really nicely so I'll try to break down what I feel is kinda weird about this.

    I can't do a direct comparison because the angle of the shots are different, but I outlined some angles and forms here.
    You mentioned earlier that this isn't meant to be 1-1, so the wrinkles and stuff aren't what I'm focusing on I think, more the shape of the eye area and mouth/jowls, as shown in blue. There's some big differences here, in the droopiness of the eyes, and the lower lip on your sculpt is really, really huge (it skeeves me out a little, but it's an easy fix).

    And lastly, a paintover. There's only so much you can extrapolate from one not-quite front-on picture of a dude, so grains of salt a-plenty. I think I cropped the jaw a bit too much, for instance.

    You do need to work on your wrinkle/pore/skin detail sculpting, these feel awfully like they're sitting ontop of a smooth model, rather than just being a part of daily wear and tear. I'm curious what kind of brushes you use the most when sculpting? I'm not amazing at this either though, so I gathered some links.

    Lastly, regarding the photo matching, I think it's a combination things, but I think toning down the HDRI and putting a big, fairly bright rectangular omni/point light in front of his face might help. Match the original lighting setup! And tone down any bloom and SSS and turn up the sharpness a little. :) Should help a bit.
  • jhoythottle
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    jhoythottle polycounter lvl 7
    Hey BagelHero, I've fully recoverred from your honest portfolio critique and I'm ready to get back to work. I'll start integrating your changes in the coming weeks both to my head and website. For now, I'll be packing/moving.

    Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to do a paint over and sending these links along. As always, it's a great help! I'll try to hone in on these edits as soon as I can.
  • bkost
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    bkost interpolator
    Awesome links BagelHero. Thank you
  • jhoythottle
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    jhoythottle polycounter lvl 7
    I think my biggest issue when it comes to sculpting realistic heads is eye size. Since I'm used to creating stylized characters, I have a habit to making the eyes rather large. When I try to counter that instinct, I make the eyes too small (or what feels like too small.) Then I counter that by making them larger again. This problem gets worse when it comes to making iris size and then shaping the eyelids around the eyeballs. Does anyone have a methodical approach to creating correctly sized eyes or do you just eyeball it? (heh)
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