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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I've started to incorporate layers into my workflow in Zbrush now, never really used them much but now they're so useful.
I have a real issue with getting the eye sizes right, always too long, gonna need to fix that.
@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.
Bit out of it today and wasn't feeling this sculpt at all, hopefully I'll do better next time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
While you may say these challenges are bad I find them incredibly useful, I'm not aiming for perfect likeness I'm aiming to understand form and shapes, understanding landmarks and all the differences found with different people, the time restraint isn't a factor to me when I'm only working to that level of detail, if I was aiming for hyper realism in an hour, then I'd be an idiot.
In life drawing classes you do a lot of warming up with 60/30/10 second sketches at the start to loosen up. Then incremental time increases on drawings until you do a 30 minute pose. The difference is dramatic after every class in your ability to see. I see what you're doing as the 3D version of this, although life drawing classes might be beneficial to you as well. It's all about developing your eye as well as your anatomical knowledge.
It is a small challenge to do something everyday and to learn something from it, while not spending an entire day on it.
I started out learning how to draw an egg for 30 days, same angle same lighting etc, just to learn to shade correctly and draw it correctly. Once we could do that, we 'graduated' to an apple etc.
While I can see some good things in doing the same thing over and over again, one massively big negative is that unless you have already trained that discipline and have a massive, untapped, willpower to draw from, you are most likely going to either give up before you learn what you need to learn, or drop everything due to this 'obstacle' you have to get over.
Plus learning the same face over and over, would teach you that face over and over. That's where we see a lot of artists having the same faces in all their models, as that is what they know to do. Instead of doing many, maybe not to perfection, but seeing what is consistent, what changes, and what are the important things to look for to get the likeness quickest, and how easy it is to change it or modify it to someone else. It creates a stronger artist as they have a deeper understanding, rather than just knowing one face.
I also would put practical understanding, experience and skill, higher, than that of knowing where the underlying muscles are and their latin names. I know many likes to start by learning the names, and where they are located. And while it helps to some extent as you know what goes on underneath... in many cases, that doesn't help a young artist with seeing how the skin behaves on top. And most of them won't be doing muscular skeletons walking around.
A lot of time, you need some experience of understanding before learning that, in order to actually make use of the knowledge. Otherwise it is dead knowledge and you might have forgotten it when you get to a point where you might need it.
To some degree I see this as a procrastination trap for many younger artists. They get less and less confident in that they know how to do things practically, that they don't want to start, so they learn one more name... one more muscle. When they then get to the sculpting, they might have some understanding, but not the practise or confidence to make use of it.
Hence developing the skill to see, is more important in this regard. Getting a habit to do something, even for an hour, to do something you want to do, will improve your skill in that direction, even if you are focusing your time elsewhere, be it a job or a different discipline. It is a way to keep moving forward, without draining all the energy away.
Another part to this is as mentioned above, the networking. Getting comments, feedback, inspirations, coaching, cheerleaders..... these are all things that happens if you show your work when working, and learning. And they are essential. Because not only do they help in the future with networking and people know the projects you've done, or can find them online and see how much you've improved and taken feedback, but they also builds confidence, little by little, they help learning how to take feedback, what feedback is good, and who and what to listen to. They also are great for learning at what stages feedback might be needed.
Learning to see the form. The shapes. And knowing what to do first gives a confidence that will be carried over to other things, both learning and working.
I can definitely see the improvements, so just keep it up!
I had a lot of fun with this one, it's great to scratch a need to sculpt itch, I think I messed up the shape of the nose a bit and the orbital socket so I'll keep an eyes on those for next time.
Also @Elithenia and @JLHGameArt thank you for the kind words and good push to keep at this challenge, it means a lot.
My god did I struggle with this one today, I felt I got some features somewhat right like the lips, but over all my brain was not working today with this one, I really do struggle with female faces it's so bizarre.
After some solid feedback from @Elithenia I tried to use a different approach to likeness, I focused on the angles of the face to try to match the reference instead of reaching a general shape of what I think looks right. So far for my first try I think it went well-ish, I can see a few things I messed up like the size of the nose and the width of the jaw and chin, also I should have stretched the head oh so slightly.
Here's my sketches of all the angles, this approach helped out a lot with the eyes which I'm usually suffering through sculpting.
Sculpt 25 and I still suck at female likeness, I feel I'm getting better bit by bit now but boy does it feel slow, I'll just have to spend a looooot of time studying female faces, fun times.
Getting close to the end and my god do I have a long way to go after this challenge, I can see where I went wrong but brain can't figure out how to fix them, trial and error with feedback is the way forward though, still having a lot of fun with this challenge.
Been gone a while with the flu and then traveling and I've forgotten how to sculpt, didn't even get close to a likeness with this one, shapes and angles felt a bit all over the place for me and I ended up just sculpting what I thought was good instead of what I could actually see, so shame on me for that one. Still happy to be back sculpting and definitely going to see this through to the end and hopefully nail the likeness on the last one.
So close to finishing now, I completely forgot about the ear on this one, this sculpt was a challenge with the areas of fat on the face, I forgot to focus on the landmarks and so messed up a bit, overall I think it's not a bad likeness but I can definitely do better.
One day left to go, I didn't do a sketch over of this sculpt instead I thought I'd try to observe the references as best I could and try to visualize the angles I would draw first, I think it went well, it felt different from the other sculpts, I had fun and had a good feeling I'd improved, woo.
And there's 30 heads complete, so glad I managed to finish this. This final one was one hell of a good way to sculpt what you see and not what you think, the skull shape just threw every bit of anatomy studies out the window, which was a perfect way to test all the new skills I've been learning during this challenge, I had so much fun doing this challenge and now onto the next one.
Also @Elithenia I can't thank you enough for getting me to do this, it has helped me so much.
I can definitely see improvements! What's better is that you can see improvements