I'm hesitant to start a new project with a photorealistic human subject.

I’m afraid that blender isn’t capable of creating realistic 3D humans. Just from googling around, there seems to be a serious lack of realistic humans made with blender. I love blender but is it time to learn another program? Or am I just being pessimistic?

I mean just look at what some of the other programs can do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjHiC0mt4Ts

No, it’s defintetly not blender what is holding people back from photrealistic humans.
I think the reason for that is the amount of work you have to put in to get a project like this finished, specially when you want such a high quality.
You won’t find many realistic humans in cg forums in general, it’s not just the blender forums.

Here is a link showing the process of creating a photorealistic human just to show how much work something like this is: http://www.cgfeedback.com/cgfeedback/showthread.php?t=3776

Correction. Look at what some of the other artists can do. Did you know Chris Jones uses Blender for baking?

Steve S

If you take a look at the latter part of that video, where the author breaks down the model, you’ll see a quad mesh model of a head, a rig, and some applied textures. I’m not sure what exactly of those things you think Blender can’t do… Looks like he used Krita for the texture painting, perhaps. Do you know Krita, MyPaint or Gimp? I’ve seen plenty of realistic 3D humans done in Blender. Maybe you should try a different search engine…

It’s not the sofware who makes the models, it’s the artist.
You can do everything you want whith blender, you just need to be good.

I only half agree. I think its 75/25 artist/tools. Probably closer to 50/50 when we talk about digital art forms in particular.

My reasoning for that is because: You aren’t going to be able recreate James Camerons avatar with sketchup. And if some how you were able to, it would at the very least, take orders of magnitude more time to do even if you had the same computing power and artists as the big FX houses.

So therefore we can conclude that not all 3D software is made equal.(obviously)

I’m not even necessarily knocking blender. I’m just saying that blender either:

A)doesn’t have a ton of users(in comparison), thus there is not too many realistic humans made.


B)Blender simply isn’t as good as other software for making photorealistic renders of humans specifically.

But maybe I’m just fooled into thinking that the grass is greener on the other side.

Sketchup was used in avatar.

pics or didn’t happen!

I’m talking about from the first vertex to the final render. Not like pre-vis stuff that can be done in any 3D suite.

Blender is one of the best poly modelers there is. If you can’t model it in Blender, you can’t model it anywhere.

That’s very unfair for skechup it’s not like you can model in vray or make simulations in zbrush. Also it was used in many other movies like iron man or transformers it’s not a secret.

Yes but I’m just making the point that software does play a role in quality and that it’s not 100% the artist. At some point you have to add different and more advanced software. If I did decide to attempt to make a photo-realistic human I would probably still model in blender but do everything else in another program. Assuming I decided to use different software.

I love blender obviously, I’ve been using it for almost a decade! But I remain unconvinced when comes to the efficacy of realism when compared with other programs.
Again my observation might only be based on the fact that there is a lesser amount of artists using blender.

What lack features or weak points in Blender do you feel are preventing you from doing realistic humans?

Rather, what modeling tools elsewhere do you feel would magically create photoreal humans for you? Or if it’s not the modeling you’re concerned about, what is it? Cycles has a top-of-the-line subsurface scattering integration bested only by Arnold (because they invented the method used in Cycles), so I’m assuming it’s not rendering that you’re concerned about.

Like I said, it’s not the software who makes pictures, it’s the artist and I’m 100% you can make photo realistic pictures in blender.

You just need to be good !
If you look the blender forums, you will see lots of amateurs, some pros, but the main base of users is made of amateurs and newbies.

After, Blender dos not interrest every one, I came from maya because of cycles, I think people will do the same, we just need to wait.

I work in 3D since 15 years and 10 as freelancer, I can tell you that Blender can make exactly the same as Maya, max etc.
If you want a good renderer, you can use Vray 3 on Blender, or octane on Blender, or yafaray etc.

I like Cycles but I prefer Octane for exemple, I think it is more realist.
But Cycles is young, it will be better years after years.

The tools are there, you just need to use them and of course, know how use them. ^^

That’s kind of tough to pin down exactly, But my guess would be materials/renderengine.

I consistently see great models with blender but once the materials and hair is added, it usually drops to the bottom of the uncanny valley for me.

I don’t really disagree with You, software does matter. But nowadays it’s time that matter not quality. Cycles was a huge thing for blender and trust me You can achieve alot with it. So I guess the question should be; How much harder it will be to achive that effect in blender not; is it possible.

But the point is that sketchup is very good software. And since You lose your faith in it, as a punishment You should download it and model a simple house in it ; )


Seriously though if my question is “how much harder will this be to make with blender?” and I ascertain that the project will be 10x harder(or longer) with blender. And lets say it takes me 1 year with blender as opposed to 1-2 months with another program, than isn’t it justifiable to learn another program for that project?

Interesting, Does anyone know of any cross program bench marks? Same as a benchmark for hardware except for software? Because that would be very interesting.

Lightwave doesn’t do anything blender can’t do. In fact I’d say the LW renderer is worse then cycles in some ways.

Sculptris, it may be slightly harder to do, but again I’ve not seen anything blender sculpt couldn’t match.

Blender and cycles is definitely capable of doing photoreal humans. It’s just a matter of it’s difficult as with ANY program, to get the textures/shaders juuuuust right.

If you spent a lot of time learning how to use say Maya + Arnold + Zbrush. There are tools and techniques that could help you make good results faster/easier. But it’s not impossible to do in blender.

Let’s put things in perspective:

Thus, we have an artist doing one experiment from 2012 to 2014 in his free time, using lightwave. And he have quite an ammount of experience under his belt (doing a solo movie in 6 years using any 3D software, in this case: lightwave, is not something you will see here anyways), so the experience is there.

We don’t have information if this was continuosly worked or just was done one hour per week, or one day per week, or just an hour per day, or whatever time he invested on it.

The thing is that here there’s not many people prepared to invest that ammount of time into modeling, animating, texturing, sculpting, polishing, and asking developers to help with animated textures (Blender seriously lacks tools to animate textures, one must resort to drivers, python, and quite some ammount of luck + cofee + some painkillers to animate them). That’s why you will probably never find anything similar here.

Pictures of realistic people done in Blender? There are many, but most of them predates Cycles and SSS support so they aren’t that realistic… Don’t know if there are some newer experiments, but for what i can see the lastest experiment with cycles and human heads in youtube are in the link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQlMjr1zygI

About the question if you want to try… Well… your choice. But is HARD to emulate anything human, since our eyes are SO used to se them, that any imperfections are just spotted on fast. And to polish that you will need a lot of time…

Maybe that’s why i never dared to do it myself… VIZ and Architectural animation are still FAR EASIEST for me than anything organic so far…

Hey MisadventureFilms,

I know this is not what you actually said, I’m paraphrasing you: basically what you are saying is ‘all you guys that use Blender can not match up to Chris Jones, nor can I, but I’ll switch to another software to achieve that goal’. In translation, it’s not the skill, is the tool.

Despite of sounding like a real ass, because I’ll leave out crucial names, I’ll name just a few: Kent Trammell, pitiwazou, MmAaXx, Pior, kbrilliant (I’m trying to keep my list super short), you’re saying that what keeps these guys away from achieving the point you have set as the goal, is that they use Blender.

Think about it, these are some of the top artists out there! And I’m sure (browsing through the internet) you can find a good number that are better then them, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re still up at the top. Be aware, you are pitting the global cream of the crop against some specific (local) artists.

In 7 years working in CG studios I have personally met one (maybe 2 artists) that could match that clip from Chris Jones. So this is my challenge for your train of thought: provide us with another 4 links that match the quality of the sample from Chris Jones, and then we can talk. Actually 5 samples done in one software by one person (because we are talking about software holding you back), because Chris Jones did not use one software to do that.

I could give you a whole lot of more examples and metaphors here, but I think you get the point. Provide more examples that prove your point, and then we can talk. All you have said so far is ‘Chris Jones does amazing realistic human animations all on his own’.

It’s OK to shoot for the stars, as long as you are aware what you’re setting yourself up for. In case you are not some super talented freak already, it’s gonna take a while to arrive. Your ‘Pug Astronaut’ piece turned out extremely good, you’re on your way. Just keep on rocking :slight_smile: