Aiming for Realistic CG Characters in Blender.

I’m looking to do a Hyper-Realistic CG Short in Blender. I’m aiming to get it as detailed as Final Fantasy and or Beowulf. Here’s one of the characters. Still a work in progress and needs hair and a body:

Also created a turntable for the character head:

Thanks to Mr.Bomb’s awesome tutorials on CGCookie.

I really like it!! Can you post a wireframe? and like a realllly closeup of the mustache area…what are your computer specs and how long did this take to render?

Thanks Keith, I modeled it on a Dell Latitude D630 2Ghz with 2gb RAM. I rendered it on a Thinkpad x61 2.4Ghz with 4gb RAM. It took about 17 mins to render per frame on the extreme closeup (original output was 1920x1080 HD resolution) that you see on the youtube reel I posted. The mustache / beard area was really just accentuated by a bump / normal map. The eye lashes were individual poligon meshes with approximately 9 verts each.

I have a turntable of the wireframe at this link so you can see it from different angles:

I’ll post a higher resolution image of the wire frame from different angles in a while. The topology for the mesh structure was pretty much done by following Jonathan Williamson’s tutorials.


I’m not sure if it’s a lack of anti aliasing issue but those while pixels on the eyelashes are very distracting, his left eye is off, it’s too bright. I took a sample of the right side of that eye and it’s pretty much pure white, you would almost never get that in real life. Dull that down a little and it will be pretty much spot on.

Also the ear is looking very plain, it doesn’t appear to be much more then a few nicely chosen colours painted on, rough it up with some pores and variation like you have on the rest of the head. You probably also want to bring the colour a bit closer to that of the skin on the rest of his head, not by alot - but right now it’s looking alot thinner then it should.

Other then that, it’s looking great, if you really want to go for photorealism then it all has to be perfect and you’re almost there. Good luck with this, it looks like you have the skills to really push this project far!

Very well done. I am curious about your comment about the eyebrow,

The eye lashes were individual poligon meshes with approximately 9 verts each.

Does that mean you didn’t use a particle system for them?

i think your texture has some of its own lighting that you might need to spend some time to clone out. It is a bit in consistent with the cg lighting. Good model by the way

Great work. I’d love to see your progress.

There are some disconcerting little white flecks around the eyelashes – do you have a heavy Spec value on their Material?

The eyeball diameter looks maybe a tad small, but that could be because there are no tissues filling in the gap between eyeball and eye lids – you need some tear duct tissue, and either adjust the eyeball or the lids for a snugger fit.

There’s always a thin layer of liquid at the place where the lids meet the eyeball, subtle but very evident in closeups. Without it the eyes can look too dry and artificial, like taxidermy eyes.

Don’t know if it’s modeling or the IOR on the lenses mesh (if you’re using one), but the iris of the eye looks like it’s slightly concave, a bit conical, rather than flat. I found you really have to “cheat” the IOR for eye lenses, setting it quite a bit lower than the true physiological value.

Skin could use a more definite pores texture, looks too smooth as is.

The thin beard looks very “photo-textured” because the hairs on the onside jaw and parts of the chin cast no discernible shadows, and they don’t stick out from the cheek and jaw in the offside profile. Same with the eyebrows. These are subtle clues that the texture is only 2D, and dilute the photorealism aspect. The spec highlights on the mustache and goatee area look really good, is that a true lighting effect or part of the texture lighting?

What’s with aliasing around the entire edge? That’s always a dead giveaway that it’s a CG image, really flattens it out.

Thanks moley, I’m not sure why the eyelashes are pixilated, I’ve tried to enable OSA (oversampling – anti-aliasing) but the rendered textures gets totally screwed up everywhere. Not sure how I could correct the pixilation. With regards to the left eye, I believe that I made the light too strong, and removed the lighting from the right side to try to add some contrast between the two sides of the face. I did put a UV texture for the eyeball complete with veins and all from an actual close-up photo.

I may need to take another photo of the actors face and ears to have a more consistent and even lighting and detail. Should I make the ears a little thicker at the top?

SoggyCornflake, I tried to use particles for the eyelashes to no avail. I couldn’t curve them the right way as they seemed constrained by the curvature of the eye ridge-line. I’m still quite the newbie at particles and I may have turned on some constraints that I didn’t know about.

tyrant monkey, good catch on that… the original texture does have its own lighting that I still have to remove. By biggest concern is losing the detailed pores from the original texture when using the clone tool. My past attempts made the skin texture too synthetic and repetitive.

Are there any tutorials for GIMP to “re-colorize” the specular highlights from a photo image without losing the detailed pores?

Mats Halldin, I’m working on a production blog for the project at my web site that I’ll be updating regularly along with this thread:

chipmasque, the IOR for the lens is 1.03, and I think I may have pushed the center of the pupil / iris too far back. The lashes issue may be a combination of the light being to bright and the specular too high. I did put a tear duct texture on the inner sides of the eyes; however, I will need to put that thin film layer of liquid for added realism. I do remember seeing that in another tutorial; however, it slipped my mind to include that in this model.

I’m also looking for help with this CG short. If anyone is interested in contributing some “sweat capital” to the project, I could use all the help I can get.

Thanks again guys, I truly value all your advice.

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice on how I can remove the pixelation around the edges of the rendered character along with making the eye lashes smoother. They are also getting pixelated.

render at a lower resolution
use a 3px blur tool on your texture
mix in blender hair with the texture. I think there’s like 87 lashes on the average upper lid, and 50 on the lower, but google for an exact number.

Thanks PapaSmurf, I’ll try that as soon as I get home…
Keith, here is a wireframe of the model…