Blending Life - Sir Alec Guinness

Hi all,

It’s been agonising (well, not really) choosing a subject for this contest. But I have.

Sir Alec Guinness.


I have some reference images, but finding large clear ones is going to be the main challenge. If anyone knows where I might look or has them lying around then that would be much appreciated.

On the other hand, this is a contest, so I understand if you don’t want to help.

The rest of my potential list - I don’t mind if people have a crack at these:

  • Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp)
  • Freddy Mercury (so close to choosing this one…)
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Kramer (Seinfeld)
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Stephen Fry
  • Hugh Laurie (I think someone else is planning to tackle him as a subject)
  • Jack McBrayer (Kenneth from 30 Rock)
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)I know, I know, it isn’t actually a celebrity modelling competition. But I get the feeling that someone recogniseable is going to help. As for there being no females on the list, I have been working on a female character study http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=117247 for months and I wanted to choose a male subject for a change. Wrinkles and facial hair provide more chances for detail too. :slight_smile:

No WIP image yet, hope to get some done today.

Let the fun begin!

Good choice, Sir Alec Guinness has a very interesting face that looks like it would be fun to model.
I just used one of the provided references. I am not going to be entering into the contest because I probably won’t have time, but it is a good challenge.

Superb subject, Ben, and quite a challenge to capture that very well-known spark of vibrant life and joy therein that he always seemed to exhibit – one of my favorite actors long before Star Wars.


Officially having too much fun. Already. This is going to take up so much of my time in the next 9 weeks if I don’t limit myself… That’s why the image is stopped mid-nose. Really need to finish some other gear now!

nice subject choice. good luck for the comp, I will be keeping an eye on this a few of the others that kept bumping that little old thread, when this was first announced months back. should start on my on soon.


Really need to find a side on reference soon… I tried giving him a ‘proxy’ beard, seeing as it defines his face (as Obi Wan) so much, but it didn’t help as much as I thought.



A quick PS paintover to check if I’m on the right track.

-Looking really good so far, can we see a wireframe…

Cheers DarkLimit - I won’t be sharing everything as this is a competition, but I’ll be sculpting anyway, which doesn’t make the wires so special. At least not at this early stage.


That being said - I do plan to document the texturing part as a video tutorial due to requests by people who have had issues with my written one. Releasing it after the competition though.

And yes, I know the topology has some issues. Going for likeness/forms first, topology second. It is for sculpting and for a still image, which means the topology isn’t nearly as important as in animation. Still important, just not as much. Also means I can use much “denser” (ie. more edge loops) topology as I won’t have to weight paint or do shape keys or anything.

http://www.subdivisionmodeling.com/forums/showthread.php?t=907 - good read. If you havent looked at anything like it before and you are entering the competition, it’s a must.


I’m sure people will click as to how this would be very useful.

I can use an image texture as a ‘stencil’ or mask on an object, but really with just the Tile or 3D options. Yes, drag is the other option, but not that useful in this example. At this point, messing with ‘tile’ looks to be the most valid option, although it would be very awkward to make it work.

If a texture could be assigned to the UV coordinates as a sculpting ‘mask/stencil’, then details from a painted texture or photos could be used to help add details to the sculpted mesh.

http://www.pixolator.com/zbc/showthread.php?t=50722 - sort of like that, but off the one UV mapped image.

I’m looking into BlenderStorm on how to suggest this. I don’t code, but I do appreciate that work goes into seemingly small requests. It would be very handy though.

I that your model of Guinness has very defined cheekbones, the picture you showed has a lot less definition in the cheekbone area. Yeah I know right side’s bunched, but that’s because of his expression ie slight amusement - he’s only using the right hand side of his face to smile - hence cheek bunching as muscles contract. Sorry, I know you probably know that but I did notice the difference that takes quite a bit off of his looks overall.

Krayon, I think the lighting was mainly to blame - in the ref and in my image. Thanks for the feedback though. That sort of thing will come in handy a lot when I’m staring at a reference image for 2-3 hours and someone else points a detail out that I may have overlooked.



Small-ish update. Redid the nose topology and I’m now much happier with it! One of the stranger things to get excited about, but there you go. Other than that, minor topology changes around the place, changed a few proportions here and there. Wanting to wait on the ear until I find a good side reference, but I’m working on that. :wink: 2nd image is just the first with more contrast to show forms up a little better.

Worth noting I guess - this is a base mesh I intend to sculpt. Before I get there I intend to ‘de-symmetrify’ the mesh and make the sides different. Then sculpt. But ears first, obviously.

Trying to figure out a bit of a pace to set as well. Very happy that I am this far already, but modelling I have done a lot of before, texturing I am much more confident with, but I figure I might need the last two solid weeks on just the hair. I’ve done a bit and I love the new particle system, but I’d hate to have something with as much potential for detail and realism like the hair drag the rest of the piece down because of a rushed finish.

I wasn’t going to work on this today, but as I finished (well, awaiting final sign off from clients) two projects and have time to finish a thrid today, I figured I’d allow myself a bit of Kenobi action.


And a bit more Kenobi action. But enough for today. Boo-urns.


1 crit. I thikn his heard has to bi a little wider. And more wrinkles, but im sure they will be added later. :slight_smile:

Whoa you are really fast! You certainly nailed the overall proportions and likeness already, although I find the face looking a bit flat (might be the camera perspective). You do a very advanced basemesh for sculpting, it’s an interesting workflow and it will be great to follow your progress/method!

i think you should add a little bit curvature to the lips line.
Except that i like it, cant wait to see what will you do with particles.

I think that he is looking good so far. My only critique is that he looks too young. The lines on his face are too smooth, they need to be more defined.

obi wan got his head lopped off. You oughta just model the other half of him.

That guy looks awesome! He looks irish… Anyhoo, can’t wait to see how his wrinkles turn out.

Thanks all for the comments!

Lasphere - Probably right. I am only going on about 8-9 reference images of varying quality so far, which is why I’m trying to get more of the likeness down first rather than topology as topology I can fix at any time (in the modelling phase of course).

Romeo - Probably is a bit flat, needing a side ref pretty badly! As for the base mesh - I know, far more than ‘needed’ for a sculpt. But - This way I can control mesh density a lot better where I want it. Let’s say I do a 2 million poly sculpt, which sounds around the mark. Maybe less. If I have a mesh that is dense around the eyes / lips / ears for example, more of the 2 million polys will be in that region where I need them as opposed to the back of the head. Also, if I can get a good likeness already in the base mesh, the sculpt just becomes “super fun detail time.” I love detail. Really looking forward to the sculpt part!

Macku - I played with the line a bit, but not too fussed as I’m not set on his final pose yet. He will probably be doing that impish-yet-wise smile, like he has just completely messed with a stormtroopers feeble mind or something.

Wrinkles are coming in the sculpt part. I decided to model in the brow crease (which gives me more topology to mess with for forehead creases anyway) but that is where I decided to draw the line on base mesh detail. :slight_smile:

Now for a bit of ‘good news / bad news’. Bad news - probably wont get to work on this project again for the better part of a week. Hence the ‘big start’ to make sure I made a dent on the progress.

Good news - my other character (been working on for months) now has the deadline of November 1st for a commercial project and is the main reason for the hold-up as I have a milestone or two to reach in that time. Doesn’t mean the .blend will be up on Nov 1st for people to play with as the finished outfits will be copyrighted and I’ll need to do some other work to make her ready for public release. But after many months of work / trial and error / lessons learnt it is an exciting thought that she is on the way to finished!

Loving the vibe of this contest. I think there has been around 10 new members so far because of it and heaps of people are making exciting progress already. Can’t wait to see the gallery flooded with awesome digital portraiture!

Hmm you are looking for side shots etc? Go through the star wars films and other movies with him in them and save any relevant screenshots you find… I’m assuming you will watch them on the computer of course and fast forward to the pertinent bits to save time.There’s a niggling feature with your model that has my model correctness sense tingling but I can’t place my finger on it, I think it’s something to do with the broadness of his face, yours seems to be a bit thinner and jawline. Try rendering a shot from the perspective of the photo or move the model until its in the same pose as the photo to see if you have it right. Otherwise, nice going so far.

Hi Ben,

Glad your in the competition, I look forward to watching your progress in the coming weeks!

I think the hollow under the cheekbone needs to be deeper from the look of things (and may be what is causing Krayon “model correctness sense” to short circuit :))

Anyhow, enjoy the process!

Makes perfect sense, I’ve been trying the same but in a less linear fashion by using retopology and shrinkwrap after sculpting main forms. By poly-modeling a good likeness minus details you get from A to B faster than my current workflow, unfortunately I’m nowhere as fast as you are when it comes to poly modeling so for me this workflow would likely slow me down, I’ve become heavily dependant on sculpting I fear.

Cool news, though bad that we won’t see more updates on Sir Alec for a while.