human modeling.. even professionals use reference face?


I’m from artist background, I can draw human body alright, but making 3d character is whole different thing.

What I was wondering is, even AAA game characters look like artist used some reference human model… like they kinda mixed several famous actors’ faces together.

Even for professional character designer, making human from scratch without copying actual human face is not easy thing? Do they actually use real life actors’ face? For example, in last of us Ellie looked like ellen page at first but later the model has changed more like voice actress’s face.

I don’t know about professional’s work style at all, I’m just curious.

Not many professional designers (read: game designers, movie producers, etc.) just sit down and build a model off the top of their heads. References are used because most of the time you have to get approval to even start producing something. Just “doodling” would waste too much time, and time is money. That being said, you wouldn’t have to necessarily use an actual living person; you could use artists conceptual drawings, altered photos, physical sculptures, etc.

I imagine that you would start with a stock model … a “mannequin head,” if you will … then change it to suit “a collection of photographs,” so that the resulting model is not knowingly that of any one person.

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