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FKA Twigs: A likeness study

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polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
Hi all,

I've noticed some of my biggest weak points include sculpting likenesses, as well as rendering realistic portraits, so I'm taking this opportunity to combine both of those into one project and create a likeness of one of my favorite musicians, and take it to final render. This is also my first try with fibermesh, so I'm hoping to learn that better also.

I'm using these three images as my main reference, with the "LOVE" photo being what my final comp will look like.

SUjV3r6.jpg

baZyata.jpg

Would love any help.

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  • Solmas
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    Solmas polycounter lvl 4
    I'm definitely not a character artist or any decent judge on anatomy, but her eyes seem just a wee bit too far apart and her nose tip seems smaller than the reference image. It might be easier to compare if you mimicked the lighting a bit closer between your model and the reference -- otherwise I have nothing. Looks pretty awesome :)
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks Solmas! I'll definitely check those out and work on them. I feel like I can't tell anymore whether the likeness is recognizable or if I've just looked at it too much lol
  • Noren
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    Noren polycounter lvl 16
    Some things to look out for: Front ref is with lowered jaw, side ref is with mostly closed jaw. Front shots have strong perspective. Might be you modeled that into your mesh. Your model lacks the back of the skull.
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!

    @Noren

    That's a good point about the perspective. I think this is a good lesson to be learned for me, is pay more attention to the perspective between photos and Zbrush, and also between Zbrush and Maya. That seems to be a big part of it, that I think is often overlooked.
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    So I tweaked the proportions a bit, added some fleshy-ness because I felt the sculpt was looking too bony, and up-res'd the details a bit. I also brought it into Maya to do a quick light test, which has helped a lot I think. I've really been wanting to learn VRay, so this has been a perfect opportunity to jump in and start! This is my first quick render test with it, just to try out the lights.

    9WkwLKE.jpg

    I've also started to paint her skin in ZBrush. In addition to that, I've started thinking about how to do her hair, which is in a pretty complex style. This is all fibermesh within ZBrush so far, with the intention of using that with a hair system in Maya later. No idea how I'm going to do the hair-buns on top of her head yet.

    JsxBjCj.jpg

    So is the likeness any better/more recognizable? How's the skin painting? Any advice on how to tackle the hair better? Thanks!
  • Hawkes
    Nice start, there are a few issues I see holding back your work so far. I suggest trying to find as many reference images of her as possible. Photo shoots, paparazzi, performances, interviews, etc. I included a few bullet points as well as an image below to expand on a few issues.

    1. The front of the face and bridge of the nose look flat. A side view would really expose this issue. Collapse the sides of the nose and extend the bridge to make it pronounced. The 3/4 picture shows the bridge of the nose cutting into the corner of her right eye. Your model should also have a similar look. Also slightly extend the eyebrow ridge it will make the eyes look more sunken in. That should help exaggerate the bulge of the eye. I can't tell if it is the eyelashes or the shape of the eye but the corner of the eyes should droop down. Your corner peaks at the very end, but that might just be an illusion due to the lashes.

    2. The neck looks flat in the front. The neck should curve enough to look round. Another reason this might look flat is because the neck muscles look too sharp. It gives a pinched look that looks unnatural. The nostrils look shallow the holes should be deeper.

    3. I can't tell if this is the hair or the head but it looks like the head isn't round. It looks like it makes an s curve right near the ear. I would check the shape of the skull. Also the cheek bone looks like it is pushed to far out from the front angle and makes a larger curve that needed. I'm assuming the eyebrows are just a place holder but I would make them thicker like the ones in the picture. It will help in the long run.

    As a side note sometimes the extra detail can be distracting at first. With such a unique look it is easy to be fooled into making a model that seems to look like her, when the hair and extra features are added. Try to look at a more striped down version from time to time to check if it really has the essence of that person. I hope some of this helps. Can't wait to see the updated version.



    jGr4YWD.jpg
  • Spiffy
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    Spiffy polycounter lvl 10
    Might have a solution for the hair buns

    I'm not sure what program you're using but if you use 3Ds max this tutorial might come in handy for the hair buns

    http://www.francescolegrenzi.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=191

    It's a rope ball tutorial but if you replace the alpha with something more fine and flowing you might be able to get a good hair bun, then if you don't want all that excess geometry you could just project a High poly sphere over the top.
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero greentooth
    In addition to what other people have already said, going to state that she's not really as gaunt as you're portraying her. Still a lot more rounded. Your second reference appears to be (quite heavily) edited so it's probably not the best reference.
    FKA-twigs-008.jpg

    Something else I really feel is kinda missing here... Twigs isn't Caucasian. She has rounded features, darker skin... After looking it up it seems she's Jamaican/Spanish. Make sure you're sculpting features without accidentally following generalised rules that apply more to Caucasian faces.

    Specific to your piece, the eyes are a bit far apart, and the upper lip probably needs to be pulled back, she doesn't have your classical top-lip overhang. In fact, the proportions are quite the opposite, with the bottom lip jutting further out than the top. Dunno if you fixed that already or not, just kinda still looks like it doesn't match up.

    Just some things to think about, interesting choice for a likeness study. Good job so far, and keep it up!
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    Thank you for the critiques! Very helpful.
    Hawkes wrote: »
    Nice start, there are a few issues I see holding back your work so far.

    I took another look at all my reference as well as my sculpt, with your critiques in mind, and took another crack at it. The tips about the nose and eyebrow ridge made a huge difference, as well as the shape of the eyes needing some work.
    BagelHero wrote: »
    Something else I really feel is kinda missing here...

    You're absolutely right about the second reference. It's a still from a music video, and I'm realizing now that using it as reference was a pretty poor decision, since I knew the features were quite exaggerated during parts of the video. Making her bottom lip jut out a little further than her top helped a lot too I think from the side view.



    I stripped the model down and took out all the unnecessary accessories for now, as suggested, and just focused on the core sculpt:

    tTL3Qwb.jpg

    and a comparison of the old vs the new:

    dR2o9uS.gif

    throwing it into Maya:

    qSPk9Rd.jpg

    It feels like it's not quite there yet still, but I'm finding it hard to pinpoint what's throwing the likeness off a little.
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero greentooth
    The lip area looks a lot better now. The brows and the back of the head are a little bit odd at a base level, though. I think the angle of the ridge of the nose from the side is a little bit too vertical, and the brow maybe a bit too high/sharp instead of a soft curve. Eyes are still a bit too far apart, they should be one eye length apart and Twigs doesn't appear to be a-typical in this aspect. :)
  • Hawkes
    I posted a quick and dirty Photoshop job with the liquify tool below. The biggest adjustment was made to the eyes, nose and overall head shape. These are a few alterations I think can help the overall piece. I also added a few more reference pictures to help with the process. Also here is a link to a webinar on the head by Ryan Kingslien http://vimeo.com/28949284. Hope this helps.

    wB2nCcH.jpg
    O0vvFHZ.jpg
    4ZXmzJv.jpg
    djVI49t.jpg
    wJgLr7h.jpg
    FEn1Rr3.jpg
    fBNDmjb.jpg
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    Spiffy wrote: »
    Might have a solution for the hair buns

    I'm not sure what program you're using but if you use 3Ds max this tutorial might come in handy for the hair buns

    http://www.francescolegrenzi.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=191

    It's a rope ball tutorial but if you replace the alpha with something more fine and flowing you might be able to get a good hair bun, then if you don't want all that excess geometry you could just project a High poly sphere over the top.

    This is a really interesting link, thanks! I might have to try it out when I get to that part of the model.
  • Chantel-sky
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    Chantel-sky polycounter lvl 3
    I think the main problem is the eyelid fold needs more attention, it looks like the orbit bone is clashing with her eyelid and the lower lid seems to be sitting too low at some parts.

    The shape of her head should be rounder too, as Hawkes already suggested in his paintover.

    Make sure your always changing your materials when sculpting as it makes a big difference :)

    Goodluck!
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    Took some time off from this and came back for a fresh look. Man, I feel like every time I make changes at this stage, it just looks less and less like her.

    Because I got tired of move-brushing the same gray shaded model, I tried jumping to another stage to get myself fresh and interested again. This is my first time using really using VRay, and especially my first time trying to practice skin shading.

    BApJ4FV.jpg

    And holy moly does this render show more clearly that her eyes are way too far apart.
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    Here is an update where I tried to apply all of your critiques. Not sure if I'm getting closer or further away.

    1WfdAzZ.jpg
  • [Deleted User]
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    [Deleted User] insane polycounter
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    Dang, that is a really good point! I think I need to establish a good rule of thumb when it comes to checking the proper focal length between reference photos/zbrush/maya/vray/whatever else
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    PROGRESS! So after taking a third look at all the advice here, and matching it up with some different reference, I think I am moving in the right direction. I'm sure there are a lot of things wrong that I still don't see yet, but what I'm seeing right now is that the eyes and nose are the main culprits, and need some work (not exactly sure why yet).

    Here is my reference, my raw render, and then a quick photoshop paintover I did to see how things lined up.

    mFvvCJi.jpg
    M6mJMjU.jpg
    UyxROFa.jpg
  • ysalex
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    ysalex interpolator
    Looking much improved man, thats all you can do with likenesses, keep pushing.

    As for the render, the SSS is killing you a lot. Try to leave the radius (or scale) pretty low. I have heard people say things like "The skin is 2MM thick so if your model is to scale, use a radius of 2MM", but this is pretty wrong for a couple reasons. If your head is built to scale, I would suggest a radius or scale under 1 for a healthy human. Also if you look near the lips of your character, or on the ears, you'll notice that the SSS is taking on a greener tint. This is a pretty tell-tale sign your SSS is way too high.
  • Blaisoid
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    Blaisoid polycounter lvl 7
    If you compare the frontal references to your model you can see that :

    -the crooked tooth has a less radical angle and is more rounded compared to your model
    -teeth have slightly less width
    -teeth aren't as off center as you made them to be

    oh and btw, take a look at the position of teeth on side shots. I'm might be wrong but i think that teeth should be pushed back into mouth.
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    ysalex wrote: »
    Looking much improved man, thats all you can do with likenesses, keep pushing.

    As for the render, the SSS is killing you a lot. Try to leave the radius (or scale) pretty low. I have heard people say things like "The skin is 2MM thick so if your model is to scale, use a radius of 2MM", but this is pretty wrong for a couple reasons. If your head is built to scale, I would suggest a radius or scale under 1 for a healthy human. Also if you look near the lips of your character, or on the ears, you'll notice that the SSS is taking on a greener tint. This is a pretty tell-tale sign your SSS is way too high.

    That's a really good point! I've gotten some great reference from your threads. I changed my scale from 1.2 to .8 and am still getting the greenish tint in some areas (particularly the ears). I messed up my scale a bit though, I think. The head is a little small, at 11 cm, which may be the problem. I'll post my shader settings later also.


    ANYWAY, still working on the likeness. I think I'm making progress! Looking back at the previous images really makes question what the hell I was doing. I don't think it's great yet, but I think I'm getting better at least.


    qYnl783.jpg
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    Blaisoid wrote: »
    If you compare the frontal references to your model you can see that :

    -the crooked tooth has a less radical angle and is more rounded compared to your model
    -teeth have slightly less width
    -teeth aren't as off center as you made them to be

    oh and btw, take a look at the position of teeth on side shots. I'm might be wrong but i think that teeth should be pushed back into mouth.

    I messed around with the teeth, and think I got the position a bit better this time around.
  • ysalex
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    ysalex interpolator
    Looking much better but the scale is still way way too high, and I also think the SSS color you're using is too saturated, try a darker and more red/orange, rather than a pink.

    Also you have no specular on the eyes.
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    ysalex wrote: »
    Looking much better but the scale is still way way too high, and I also think the SSS color you're using is too saturated, try a darker and more red/orange, rather than a pink.

    Also you have no specular on the eyes.

    Yeah, you are definitely right.

    Also, I am actually using the eyes you had uploaded on your page a long time ago :poly122:. I was having some trouble with the shading network, but I haven't really spent any time with it yet. I'm not sure why there is no black for the pupil showing up, and why I can't get any specularity to show up.

    I think I'm going to do one more likeness pass, the focus my attention on the shading/rendering. Right now it's taking way too long to go back to ZBrush to sculpt, then re-export and re-import everything.
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    Okay, here's where I'm at now. I lowered the scale on the fastskin2 shader a ton (it's at .6 now), but I feel like it still needs to go down even further. I'm noticing the skin is starting to look more waxy now though. Skin shading is frustrating.

    I'm having tons of trouble with the eye and skin shader, as well as the likeness, but I think it's getting better at least.

    Here is the raw render:

    3fnIcWS.jpg

    my comp:

    qgssKMe.jpg
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    There was still an issue with the sss scale that was causing green bleedthrough, so I've fixed that I think. I've also re-worked the proportions; likenesses are mad frustrating.

    8RQELCt.jpg

    QTlB4fX.jpg
  • Carabiner
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    Carabiner greentooth
    This is looking awesome so far!

    Based on this picture ...
    banner-fkatwigs.jpg?w=720

    ... I think her eyes need to be way darker, and her skin tone is also a bit too light. I also think that her lips look a little too small, especially her upper lip.
  • oskarkeo
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    oskarkeo polycounter lvl 10
    if you're battling sss scale could i suggest

    line up character to correct real world scale
    group camera and model together
    keyframe the scale of your group up and down stepping .1 per frame
    this will alter how the skin is being affected but still give you a slider of options for which scale looks correct. plus, you can upload it to be scrutinised.

    really nice model though mate! and great choice of model.
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    HI ALL IM BACK :poly130:

    I revisited this model and reworked some bits here and there. Mostly I've been exploring some new illustrative techniques.

    hOcu6MI.gif


    Let me know what you guys think!
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    One more! A little different.

    or277ZB.jpg
  • polaroid29
  • polaroid29
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    polaroid29 polycounter lvl 6
    Last not but least?:

    l8pX0Yx.jpg
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