Human Modeling Questions

I’ve been experimenting with Blender 2.37, and I had some pleasing results. Yet, many questions still remain. Sorry if these may have been asked before.
It’s about character design, rendering, and animation. Here goes:

  1. I want to make a human character, but what “style”?

I’m a fan of Anime & Manga, BUT I’ve seen many 3D clips in games, and on the 'Net where the characters look ODD. Almost as if Anime just doesn’t convert well from 2D to 3D.

  1. I also like Comic books, and Animated Series. Like Justice League, X-Men, Batman: The Animated Series. (Not The Batman that’s currently running.) I kinda want to do an homage to them for practice modeling, rendering, and animating characters. It’d be “easier” since I wouldn’t have to fret about every hair, wrinkle, muscle, skin blemishes, and pore. Yet, sometimes I’ve seen where others have done similar work, and it looked odd like the Anime clips.

Yet (3) I’ve seen a lot of artist opt for the realistic style. I’ve also seen movies opt for this as well. Final Fantasy: Advent Children is the latest.
When done well this results in an amazing looking movie. Yet, it’d be harder than 'Toon style for opposite of the reasons that 'Toon style would be “easier”. Also, when doing Realistic style, do other artists use pics of real people such as friends, family, celebs, etc when designing, and modeling their characters? For the textures, too?

Please forgive the length of this post, but I wanted to ask as many of the questions I’ve been really curious about at once. They’ve been brewing even since I modeled, and rendered my 1st human head. It was a female head. Mainly since as a guy, I like looking at a female face more than a male one. :smiley: Haven’t made it down past the neck yet. That’s when all the questions started popping up, and I didn’t want to bark up the wrong tree. :smiley:

wrong section. Character modeling is better suited it in General for now.

  1. It’s up to you…strive for whatever style pleases you.
  2. I didn’t see a question here…but I will say the “easier” cartoon style can be a bit deceptive. Yes, your models may have less texture or a lower level of detail, but you still need to strive for ‘correctness’ (with respect to your world/style/etc) and that will take work.
  3. Many artists use reference of one sort or another. Personally, I’ll use reference whenever I do my study work, but strive for total originality while I’m doing character design (often returning to reference if I get ‘stuck’).

As for character design in general, it helps to “flesh out” a character a bit before you begin not unlike what you’d do before writing a story or playing a role playing game, etc. If your interested in the subject, I recommend checking out Don Seegmiller’s book, “Digital Character Design and Painting”. You won’t be working 3D in his book (though the section on lighting is useful in any application – 2D or 3D), but its well worth the read for beginner character designers. Also, if you can afford it, get Iain McCaig’s “Visual Storytelling” DVD from Gnomon Workshop ( They are as fascinating as they are educational; well worth the $$ and time.

Manga/Anime/Comic-style characters are not any easier to do than ‘normal’ characters. You still have to tweak them just right --which only comes from a lot of work and experience…

3D people often fall into the ‘it has to be realistic’ trap, so a lot of stuff you see people do will strive for realism. In reality, the level of ‘realism’ is entirely up to you. But you have to know what you want to begin with.

So if it is anime, then study how you can achieve those kinds of effects in 3D and you’ll eventually get there…

Here’s an example of ‘non-realistic’ I love. (Vinicius’s Self Portrait) This too.
Also here. (LohnC’s Megacrash)
And here. (Antonio by VenomGFX)

As you can see, each has an individual character and style but not one is the least bit ‘realistic’.

Also, I’ve got to echo seanairt about the reference. Realistic or no it’s a general necessity.

Seanairt – that’s an interesting name you’ve got there. Are ye Scottish?

Yes, but if you’re not going for absolute realism, it seems there’d be less to tweak. Even the anatomy, and proportions can be a bit skewed. Like “The Incredibles”.

So, my stuff wouldn’t really stick out since there is so many other “realistic” 3D CG works.

Well, when it comes to 2D. Yeah, I’ve studied up on it. Even drawn alot in that style, but that extra “D” is the unfamiliar territory.

Liked his Black Manta. Kinda like the 'Toon style I was thinking of. The pic with the lightsabres was cool. :stuck_out_tongue:

Now that’s what I was talking about when I said when Anime style is done right. Really neat.

Realistic was only one of the 3 styles I thought about. Although, what’s weird is that when I did make a human head. I started out in 'Toon style, but the more I worked on it the more it went over into the realm of meta-realism. Although, actually when I first started on a human head I was going for a guy, but then I changed my mind. Opting for a female instead. :stuck_out_tongue:

That was what really helped me go from weird alien noggin to a human head.

That’s the thing. When done right, they ALL please me. :slight_smile:

There’d be less that needs to be correct than realism. In Anime/Toons, your world can have its’ own physics, and architecture. Whereas with Realism, everything is already “set in stone”. Everyone knows the “rules” of Realism since they see it all the time they are awake.

Yeah, it helped me out with the head I was modeling, but it also swayed me from Toon to Realism without me realizing it. :smiley:

I’ve done that, but with my 2D Art. Sometimes my drawings would inspire a story. :slight_smile: Although unfinished ones, though… %| I go back every so often, and continue on it some though.

I have some books like that for 2D, and one or 2 for 3D, but being able to ask a person can be more helpful than a book. :smiley: