All my faces are creepy

I’m feeling a little discouraged by this. I’m wanting to try and make a series on youtube with animations. Nothing big. i just want to use animation to tell a story.
I’ve been working with blender for almost a year now and i feel like when it comes to modeling things i would be in the stage where i would be moving up to an intermediate mode. I know alot of the tools, but i’m just lacking… and understanding of what i want to model i think.

If i look up videos on youtube on how to model characters, i usually find videos of how to make stick people, or realistic looking buff people.
But… i don’t mean to be picky, however, i kind of enjoy the slinkier looking proportions when i draw people or choose shows to watch.

I’ll show you an example. (i’m still kind of new here and i don’t know how people post images within the forums, so i hope these links are fine, they are all from photobucket. If anyone wants to let me know how to post it in the thread that would be sweet :slight_smile: )

This is a reference image to a character from a show i had recently watched.

And by using that exact image to model from i came up with this.

and here’s a close up of his face

Whenever i try and make a character model i feel like it just looks creepy. I blame most of it on the faces, but i’m open to any critique i guess.

If you want an idea of what i compare myself too;
i alaways find myself comming across this person’s character model which looks much more inviting than mine.

I think they use texture drivers for their eyes, but i’m not 100% sure what that means.

I really appreciate the help x:

mostly the problem is the mouth. just look at some actual mouths and make it a little more like a real mouth. also, it’s hard to tell what is going on with your mesh because there is no wire frame.

Hmm, if i cover the mouth with my hand i can see how it does look a little better.

Here’s some pictures of the topology and the wireframe.

I must admit that I’m sorta on the same boat with ya. It wasn’t until yesterday that I started tackling on actually making a human head. I watched a tutorial on cgcookie on how to make a realistic portrait. While it’s more towards a realistic way and you are going for a more Anime style I suggest you learn how to make a real human body with good proportions and all before trying something like what you’re doing. At least that’s just my opinion.

All in all it’s all about pushing and pulling until something looks good. If your mouth looks weird then re-do it, if your eyes or nose look odd the move some vertices around to make them the way you want. Keep practicing and don’t be discouraged because with time and effort you will get better and better! =)

Here’s some pictures of the topology and the wireframe.

You’ve got waaaay to many vertices in there!

Here’s the link for the tutorial I mentioned before

agreed, you don’t need nearly that many faces. if you keep it simple, making adjustments is much easier.

I would agree with the majority. I’m still coming along, but I think you have too many vertices. I would, also, suggest that you try something more realistic and then scale down. Getting a feel of true proportions helps you create better cartoonish humans. Finally, play between the two styles, plane modeling (like on cgcookie) and box modeling (like on David Wards youtube). One style might be better for you. Good luck.

Less is more. I didn’t think your character’s face was all that creepy, but it can certainly appear that way when the expression is blank.
As stated repeatedly here you definitely have too many verts in your model but most importantly (and especially important if you are going to animate it) you should put time in planning your edge flows.
Just google 3D Edge Flow Face (and variations thereof) and you’ll get a nice assortment of examples to study. Don’t get discouraged if you get stuck, because modeling a natural looking face is about as tricky as it gets seeing as we are hardwired to spot when things seem off.

Another reason it might seem a bit spooky is because of the shaders. It seems to be stuck between a cartoony feel but with ‘real’ shadows. If you watch any old school Disney movie you’ll see that they only use two shades for the skin. One for the general color and one darker for the shadows and then they switch those around whenever it’s a night time scene, using the darker color as the general color and the lighter one to show where the skin is lit up from external light sources.

Anime/Manga faces is incredibly challenging to make look good. Before you start making stylized characters you should make sure that you have a solid knowledge of anatomy and that you are able to create realistic human faces before tackling this sort of character.

I agree with this. In addition to this challenge, converting cartoon line art into a 3D model and getting the “same feel” is not straight forward. The way some things are drawn don’t translate well into an actual 3D structure.

Look at the side profile of the line art that you posted. From the side, it is a straight line from his chin to his nose. If you look at the face straight on, it looks more-or-less normal. Trying to find a static 3D structure that looks like that from multiple angles and looks good will be a major problem.

Here is another example from Penny Arcade:

Look at the character on the left. The mouth is not even drawn on his face. It is typical for his main “hair swoop” to shift from side-to-side and to change shape and size. All of those features would require some serious modeling trickery to get convert this character into a 3D model.

Try watching “Mickey Mouse Club House” and watch Mickey’s ears. He is a 3D model but his ears are always rendered “straight on” regardless of how his head is turned. This means the geometry of his ears are shifting around depending on the viewer angle. This is done to “get the feel” for how the line-art version of Mickey is rendered.

I appreciate everyone’s help with this! i’m learning alot here.
It’s hard to address all my thoughts here but i tried to take some notes.

I’m learning from the video on sculpting a realistic head that i was half right with the extreme number of verticies. It seems that a great way to make a model is the way that i personally dislike the most. ha! but i can live with it. i love 3D modeling and animation. What i need to do is sculpt out the head with alot of verticies and alot a definition, and then… THEN most important part is to do retopology. lol. the retopology part is the tedious part for me. I’m not fond of redoing things.

To also go with that ive learned that i shouldn’t spend all my time in ortho view and that using cross images as a reference isn’t always the way to go. That is if i’m sculpting. Then it’s best to sculpt in perspectiave with alot of reference images to look at. That way i can see the head better and work with it as if i was working with clay.

Also along with that, during the retopology portion it sounds like it’s quite crucial to have up a few referance images of what good topology looks like.

I really like what was said about turning a 2d rendition of a character into 3d isn’t very possible. Such as with the reference of Mickey mouse and penny arcade, i remembered how in DragonballZ Goku’s hair was often the same from every angle.

I feel like staying away from the direct front and right modeling could help with things like that. The character i had a reference image of, the biggest problem was his nose thankfully. So if i sculpt the head while looking at reference images i can find a happy medium between both viewpoints.
Infact i found an image of a 3d model done of that character earlier today. if someone is interested in seeing it. I just don’t know who made it or with what program but i think they made it for a video game called… chaos realms? hard to say.

The only thing i have against that model is that because it’s made for a game i can feel pretty sure the eyes mouth and nose are all just textured on and can’t change.
Another model can be seen in the first 30 seconds or so of this video that was for a psp game. But sadly the game isn’t in english >.o

I wonder how the detail on the faces for those were made.

But i should probably look at other characters that have been made as well and not just this one person.

So i’ve taken note of these things and i’m very happy to have learned all this! :slight_smile:
Some genera questions i was left with included things like;

When sculpting a head like in that cgcookie tutorial, do you sculpt the body at the same time? or make them separately?

Should i try and look into texture drivers/texture animating for the eyes or try and replicate an anime style mesh eye? (if i try to stay with that style of characters like i hope to)

And then lastly, everyone sticks with particle hair… but is there a good way to do mesh hair if i can’t get the feel i’m looking for with particles?

retopology is a good way to do it, but it’s important to understand how to do it using the old ways too, imo.

in response to the video…seriously Japanese have this amazing animation technique and no one seams to know how it works. one day i would love to travel to japan, and on the way learn how they achieve this awesomeness.

It is best to model the body along with the head. Attaching the two together can be difficult if the edge flow doesn’t match.

Now, for the particle hair. Particle hair can be difficult and messy if you don’t have three important things, planning, patience and Lots and lots of RAM with a good GPU. Trust me, I’ve tried and it is not for everyone. The best way you use the hair when you don’t have enough power is by creating planes and use them for hair. It took me a while to study it and create a method that I can use. But the way I create my hair takes a shaped plane, a curve modifier and a path.

Hmm… i wish i hadn’t taken a break from sculpting for so long. I see people subdivide cubes and then pull out what they are wanting to start with in sculpt mode but… i can’t seem to get it quite right. I think maybe what i might try is to make a low poly mesh of a human with no features on his face (and i won’t use a level 2 sub surf modifier this time :stuck_out_tongue: ) and then begin sculpting from there.
Probably have to watch the tutorials on how to make hands again…

I saw someone else in the WIP topic trying to make manga looking characters and the way they did mesh hair seemed really neat to me. They had taken alot of time to make one little lock of hair look good, and then copy and paste it all over the head and adjusting each pasted one a little bit by length, angles, and direction as they went, and it didn’t look too bad. but… i guess i’ll have to play with that. Heh i wish i was a little bit more patient for doing things knowing there’s a 90% chance i won’t use it.

Nice work!

Keep @ it!

I can help with effects :slight_smile:


ProgressionOfaRiggaMan (x).blend (997 KB)

Some good replies in this thread.

My first serious assignment back in school was to do this disney-esque character in 3d. It is definitely a pain to make it look mint from every angle.

Anime is in the same ballpark.

That said, I think your biggest issue is accuracy. You need to use measuring techniques similar as in life drawing. Lets say how many eyes fit in the face top to bottom and left to right, distance between the eyes relative to eye size. How many heads fit in the character’s height, length of arms. How many times does the thickness of the arms fit into the width of the torso/leg. size of hands relative to the forearm. Pay close attention to the silhouete as you want to retain it as much as possible to keep the character recognizable. And be very particular about curvature as this is part of the design.

The difficulty in transferring 2d flat shade concepts to 3d is that the mass isn’t well defined. And as someone else mentioned goku’s hair, there are a lot of cheats. You have to sacrifice some angles but at the same time keep the over all feel. At least one angle needs to be close to dead on the drawing.

Having said that, if you scrap this version and make him again, improving the topology and re addressing the forms I think you will improve much more. If you try to adjust this mesh I think it will take more time and you wont come up with the results you want.

Keep grinding dude.

And to answer your questions about sculpting:

You can sculpt from a cube, you can sculpt from a plane you can sculpt just the head, head with torso, head with torso and arms or a full mesh.

Its just a matter of how much exposed skin the character has, If the design allows for natural seams, and how much detail you really need and how much can be textured in later.

If the character has tight fitting clothes you can do a full body sculpt then use the sculpt as a reff for your clothing object to model around, and separate the head, hands, feet, whatever for further sculpting and detailing.

The point of making a base mesh is to give best possible and most even polygon alocation so one area wont end too dense where you dont really need detail while another is all jaged and you dont have enough polygons for a clean result.

If you feel really artsy you can just jam a bunch of cuboids together ie 1 arm, torso, head, two legs and sculpt away then retopo with good topology and refine the sculpt. I do that sometimes but its usually when I free form. If you follow a design its usually a pretty good idea to start with a pretty close base mesh and try to get the proportions down in the initial stage.

And finaly the most important thing. Get as much as possible out of every subdivision level. Really force yourself to stay at every subdivision level untill you can pretty much do no more. Only then subdivide. And you will find, if you zoom out a bit that you dont really need as many polygons as you thought you did to create a readable sculpt.

PS for anime hair It may be better to do really nice hair planes, If you look at the older final fantasy stuff, or soul calibur art. Its amazing what kind of results you can get with planes and transparency.

I’ve been working on a Manga/Anime style character for some time now. For me, it was a lot easier than creating a ‘realistic’ character. Before creating my current character I created roughly 5 unintentionally alien like creatures that probably don’t have the right to live… They were that bad. I decided to try creating an Anime style character. The problem stated above applied to this. Manga/Anime is 2D and translating it to 3D can be challenging. Thankfully there were lots of resources for topology and references that could get the basic shape down. Some of these were found on DeviantArt and i also found a small post on BlenderArtists about the face topology.

I’m not saying my manga style character is good. That’s purely down to your own judgement. Personally I like the look but it still needs a lot of work if it’s going to be used for something. There are many things that I’d change:

  1. I’d make the Eyes less round.
  2. I’d take more time modelling the body so the joints work in animation better.
  3. I’d make the hair out of planes as making it out of clay likes strips like I’m doing now works but isn’t practical for animation or exporting.
  4. I’d probably make the face more texture based.

Perhaps these tips will help you in the future. To expand on four, making the eyes a 3D object and making the eyebrows and eyelashes 3D too. It has caused a lot of problems. Firstly, anime faces are 2D and making them 3D starts making them look far too realistic for the Genre. This is most noticeable when the character blinks. Another problems is animating the face. It’s hard to apply the same way a human face is animated to an Anime face. For instance, the blink becomes to curved when it should really be almost going straight down.

These are just some problems to think of. I’ll try and find some links to the resources I’ve used later.

Here’s what my character currently looks something like:

Still need to make better clothes but meh…

Here’s a close up of the face:

and finally the topology:

Hopefully my post helps you. The topology isn’t perfect but it helped a lot. Good luck with making your character! :smiley: