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Learning Diary - 30 heads 30 days

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Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
I've slowly been doing a 30 heads 30 days challenge from the wonderful @Elithenia

I've kept some of the rules used;
- You can only subdivide once
- You can spend no more than an hour on each head

If anyone has any feedback or tips I would love to hear them.


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  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 8, I feel like this is the best one I've done so far

  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 9

    After some quick feedback off @Elithenia thank you again, I've started to turn off symmetry when I move up a subdivision level, took me a while to get used to it, but overall I believe it's helping with the likeness I can start to work towards now.

  • hanabirano
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    hanabirano polycounter lvl 2
    Hey, I can definitely see an improvement in your most recent heads, it would be helpfull to also have a profile and 3/4 view to give better feedback. I also wanted to do this challenge, what basemesh are you using?
  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Hi @hanabirano

    I'll start doing the profile and 3/4 views in future for better potential feedback, for base meshes I'm using a male and female character already in ZBrush and just chopping the head off the body and dropping the subdivisions down to their lowest.
  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 10

    I've now included the profile and 3/4 views, I felt a bit off with this one and feel like if I come back to look at this in an hour or two I'll see exactly whats wrong with it. Also struggled quite a bit with the nose so I'll focus on that next time.

  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 11

    The face looks a bit off with some resemblance to the reference photos, I need to spend more time on the basic shape before I jump into details.
    I can never really get the eyes in a way that I want, I really need to focus on that next time they always feel the same between sculpts like m y method is just wrong, I'll keep at it and keeping focusing on the specific parts I find I'm sucking at.

  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 13

    I tried to get the smirk right for this sculpt, I probably missed a fair bit of details though, however I did enjoy sculpting this head.

  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 14

    I've started to incorporate layers into my workflow in Zbrush now, never really used them much but now they're so useful.

  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 15

    I have a real issue with getting the eye sizes right, always too long, gonna need to fix that.


  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero quad damage
    Is this actually useful/helpful moving things around fishing for likeness ?
    I think you will have much more fun if you have a basic understanding of at least big form of the face

  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 16

    @carvuliero I do find exploring a sculpt, fishing for likeness does help me with sculpting faces, I decided with today's sculpt however, to try/copy what you had done and see if that would help with the sculpting. I did find that the quick study helped quite a fair bit, especially with details like the eyes that I have been struggling with.

  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero quad damage
    Few clarifications below

  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 17

    Bit out of it today and wasn't feeling this sculpt at all, hopefully I'll do better next time.


  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 18

    Haven't managed to do any sculpting for a bit, but I think the time away has helped, I can still see some issues with proportions(head too long, not enough shape around the cheeks and jaw) but overall I'm pretty pleased with how this one came out. As always though eyes are such an issue for me, I spend the longest time there trying to get it right even after I've gone into more detail breaking it down into sections.

  • hwaminjung
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    hwaminjung triangle
    This is a pretty great challenge you are doing, and I can definitely see improvements. Hope you make it to day 30! I guess the only "critique/nitpick" i have is the ears might be a little bit too thin in a lot of the portraits, but overall these are good for 1 hour sculpts (definitely better than what I can do :p )
  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 19

    Struggled with this one quite a bit, I think I struggle with female faces more than males so that's something I should definitely something I need to learn properly.

    @hwaminjung Thank you! I always forget about the ears till the end and messily fill them in, definitely working on that with the next set of head sculpts.

  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter
    Definitely improving! 
    for eyes and other things like nostrils; try to focus on angles and getting angles right. Break it down into the most primitive shapes you can find, and try to match the angles of them.
    Look at angles from eye to nose, eye to eyebrow, in the eye shapes, length of angles etc. 
  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 20

    I enjoyed doing this sculpt today, still a lot I've messed up that I can see but overall I had fun, I tried breaking the head down more into shapes and seeing if that worked better for me, thank you @Elithenia for that bit of advice, it definitely helped.

    Last note, I really need to work on the profile of my sculpts better, they really don't match the reference by the end. 

  • Glynnybob
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    Glynnybob polycounter lvl 5
    Number 21

    I still can't get the female look right, I'm slowly getting better I think, I'm definitely missing something important, although knowing me it's probably just practice I'm missing.

    I think the side profile is getting better, very slowly though.

  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter
    Definitely getting better at it. Just keep it up :) 
    Angles are looking better and better. 
    Don't worry too much about comparing things as you are working from your older work. Only about comparing to the reference.
    Once your 30 days are done, then you can compare your first one with the latest one, and you'll see the improvements :) 
  • teodar23
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    teodar23 polycounter
    I cannot stress enough how bad these x-day challenges really are.
    If the goal is to learn then one should practice but the fact that you are learning something should be the only challenge. Adding a marathon-like constraint is double the challenge and can interfere with the learning aspect, i.e making and solidifying neural connections.
    When you practice the brain makes assumptions that derive from your actions and their outcome. If you rush through a process and dont leave enough time (whilst working and after the practice session) for the brain to analyse and synthesize the results, you end up confused or making the wrong assumptions about some of your actions.
    If you look at most challenges they are usually done by experienced ppl that are either trying to become faster at what they do, want to practice a very specific thing or are just bored.
    I understand that different people learn in different ways so take this as you like. I would suggest you do just one head over and over again and try to become better at doing just that one particular human face. If you manage to learn how to do one to an almost perfect likeness, you can then do any number of heads or whatever.
    Another thing to consider is that different faces have different challenges so it helps to get good at doing the basics when starting another project.
    I would go even further and say practicing doing just ears for example for a week or something then move on to something else.
    Again, quality over quantity. Focus on doing one thing really well then move on.
    I am not a character artist (some say not an artist, period) but i dont see any improvement on your work and that is probably due to the fact that the heads are very different. You could be making some progress on some aspects but again, to my eye its not there.
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