Question about likeness sculpting, can anyone explain this phenomenon??

Kgizzi
null
Hey guys. I've been attempting a likeness sculpture of Benedict Cumberpatch and am struggling to nail the likeness. This is the point I'm at.
I have been toiling at it and pushing parts of it back and forth for hours. When I get things in line at one angle, when I shift it to another view, they don't line up with the reference from another angle.


Now, this guy Vimal Kerketta is one of my favorite portrait artists. His likenesses are spot on, yet when I line up his sculpt's profile to an actual picture of the person, it doesn't line up at all. (I know the expressions are slightly different etc but the difference is pretty extreme, and from the front the likeness is even stronger than his side view here)


What does this mean? Should I give up on trying to measure out things closely and concentrate on exaggerating features to achieve likeness? I'm lost here.

Replies

  • Pav3d
    Offline / Send Message
    Pav3d ngon master
    Vimal Kerketta is probably working from multiple references of the side and his results are an average of those. When it comes to likeness I would steer away from relying on tracing of the image, as you cant account for things like different perspective distortion from different cameras, as well as whatever perspective values you work in in Zbrush. Likeness is about capturing the "feel" of the subject rather than a mathematical perfection.
    Likeness in 3d is also really hard, and takes a lot of time to get right.
    Also just a general tip, have some sort of basic eyebrow and eyelash mesh in as every head will look "off" without these.

  • GeorgeCrudo
    Offline / Send Message
    GeorgeCrudo polycounter lvl 2
    It's definitely important to measure and keep things proportionally in check. That being said though, it's often impossible to match a likeness sculpt 100% to every angle of every reference. The other thing you have to consider is the focal length of the camera taking the picture which can create huge distortions in what you see. For example: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4164807

    Not to mention when you collect references of an actor or actress the pictures are often taken at different ages/weights/poses/etc. That's where some artistic liberty comes in where you might have to assess what are the notable features of that persons face and use them to your advantage in your sculpt. Good realistic likeness is one of the most challenging things to sculpt imo.but can also be very rewarding seeing progress. I think having a strong foundation of facial anatomy and facial fat  goes a long way in understanding how those pieces fit into the puzzle for each individual and of course LOTS of practice and training your eyes :)
  • carvuliero
    Offline / Send Message
    carvuliero interpolator
    Your current  problem is that you are slave to the reference image and all of their distortions .I suggest you stop copying images and learn head structure [big forms , planes, features and how they related ] . Research how caricaturist obtain likeness while distorting almost everything on the face also how traditional sculptor approaches head likeness or head sculpting in general .When you do that you will find there is simple formula and few important measurements
    BTW have you consider that for the sculpture you are comparing with reference image he have use different reference? -> compare relation !!!
  • Mehran Khan
    Offline / Send Message
    Mehran Khan polycounter lvl 4
    ever noticed how the caricature artists can make a wildly different sketch that still reminds you of the artist they want the sketch to to remind you of? it's because the way we look at faces and recognize them depends on bunch of landmarks and key proportions of the head.
  • Kgizzi
    Pav3d said:
    Vimal Kerketta is probably working from multiple references of the side and his results are an average of those. When it comes to likeness I would steer away from relying on tracing of the image, as you cant account for things like different perspective distortion from different cameras, as well as whatever perspective values you work in in Zbrush. Likeness is about capturing the "feel" of the subject rather than a mathematical perfection.
    Likeness in 3d is also really hard, and takes a lot of time to get right.
    Also just a general tip, have some sort of basic eyebrow and eyelash mesh in as every head will look "off" without these.

    Yea I have em sorry I have just been using Xgen a lot lately and being too lazy to sculpt with the placeholders xD

    I have watched Frank Tzeng and Tom Newbury's prop tutorials and they say they usually use Angle of View of around 28 in Zbrush so that's what I've been using to get as close to a realistic perspective as I've been able to get. Yea I generally do the same thing, I'll take 2 or 3 references of the same angle and split the difference, not adhering to any single one exactly or else it will distort on the other angles. It's just frustrating because consciously I want to do things like raise his eyes and separate them, because I know the caricature of this guy calls for that, as he has abnormally far apart eyes, yet when I check with the reference when doing that it looks way off =/
  • Kgizzi
    Your current  problem is that you are slave to the reference image and all of their distortions .I suggest you stop copying images and learn head structure [big forms , planes, features and how they related ] . Research how caricaturist obtain likeness while distorting almost everything on the face also how traditional sculptor approaches head likeness or head sculpting in general .When you do that you will find there is simple formula and few important measurements
    BTW have you consider that for the sculpture you are comparing with reference image he have use different reference? -> compare relation !!!
    That's my point though, if they're 2 references of the SAME PERSON at the SAME ANGLE, how could the measurements be that different? It's maddening! lol. And yes I would much rather not use exact measurements and "trace" either, as it's boring, lol.
    I've been sculpting for years and the subtle forms in the head are still difficult for me. I just got Anatomy of Facial Expression though, best book ever. Hopefully that will help me.
  • Kgizzi
    It's definitely important to measure and keep things proportionally in check. That being said though, it's often impossible to match a likeness sculpt 100% to every angle of every reference. The other thing you have to consider is the focal length of the camera taking the picture which can create huge distortions in what you see. For example: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4164807

    Not to mention when you collect references of an actor or actress the pictures are often taken at different ages/weights/poses/etc. That's where some artistic liberty comes in where you might have to assess what are the notable features of that persons face and use them to your advantage in your sculpt. Good realistic likeness is one of the most challenging things to sculpt imo.but can also be very rewarding seeing progress. I think having a strong foundation of facial anatomy and facial fat  goes a long way in understanding how those pieces fit into the puzzle for each individual and of course LOTS of practice and training your eyes :)
    That's a good link thanks for that I'm going to keep that in mind. And yes I agree, facial anatomy is important. It's just so subtle that sculpting it is difficult. Blocky, edgy things like a square jawed muscle bound character are easy to sculpt. Subtly things like a woman with delicate features are way harder =/
  • Kgizzi
    ever noticed how the caricature artists can make a wildly different sketch that still reminds you of the artist they want the sketch to to remind you of? it's because the way we look at faces and recognize them depends on bunch of landmarks and key proportions of the head.
    Yea I've been watching some videos on caricature. I think that's more important than "accuracy" in a likeness. The guy I'm watching basically says start with your average human head then take stock of the differences from the average in the person you're sculpting and push them a bit further. I'm finding people with more cartoonish proportions are easier than "normal" looking people. I sculpted Bill Murray and felt like the likeness was showing through within minutes, whereas others take hours or days and I still can't nail it.  I'm trying to divorce myself from wanting to measure and be accurate but it's difficult lol.
  • carvuliero
    Offline / Send Message
    carvuliero interpolator
    There is distance and different camera lens so you can have million variation
    My post on lean to see might be helpful to you there are simple exercises of doing face profile which is one of main thing in likeness[you can do this in 2d/3d doesn't really matter ] and probably first thing you should do when you start sculpting , profile outline is your scaffolding

  • Kgizzi
    There is distance and different camera lens so you can have million variation
    My post on lean to see might be helpful to you there are simple exercises of doing face profile which is one of main thing in likeness[you can do this in 2d/3d doesn't really matter ] and probably first thing you should do when you start sculpting , profile outline is your scaffolding
    Yea I like that idea. I tried to use it but when I moved the sculpture to the front angle and tried to make things look decent, it would mess up the work I did in the profile. I'm going to keep working at it though. Do you have a formal process that you follow that is posted anywhere? One of the best portrait sculptors I've seen is Amelia Rowcroft. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQK11Bs4-7qvfbYVInAeKJA

    She has a tutorial on how she does measurements for her portraits but it's like $250 so a little steep for me right now lol.


  • carvuliero
    Offline / Send Message
    carvuliero interpolator
    Yes I have some of step by step in 2 post but is not super details more like overview
    If its too vague I can give you some specifics
    in the middle
    last image
  • Kgizzi
    Yes I have some of step by step in 2 post but is not super details more like overview
    If its too vague I can give you some specifics
    in the middle
    last image
    Nice thanks I'll definitely look at that stuff. I know anatomy is something that will always need to be worked on; I was asking about doing likenesses though, do you know a process of accurately taking measurements step by step of features etc? That woman I mentioned Amelia Rowcroft works for Madam Tussade's in London I think. She has an actual method for specifically doing portrait sculpture, where she takes measurements down to milimeters and produces beautiful results.
  • carvuliero
    Offline / Send Message
    carvuliero interpolator
    You can get Lanteri's book  "modeling guide for teacher and students volume 1" he describes all the steps you have to take + specific measurements , books is free on the internet
    Other then that if you I can suggest this 2 video series which show entire process but are in korean [maybe not sure ] if you know your head anatomy you wont need to understand what he is saying -> both are 4-5 videos each also free
    I don't think I know anything else close to amount if information presented here , even for money , maybe Philippe Faraut and Scott Eaten . Faraut  is doing most by eye using only 3 measurements for the head .So dont get obsessed over specific measurements relation is what count
  • Kgizzi
    Man those videos are awesome. I really wish I spoke Korean XD
Sign In or Register to comment.