Male Head Now with Ears!- Update 20/3/06 last page

At the moment I am working on the following male head mesh, the aim of the project being to learn box modelling organics, with a decent mesh topology and edge loops.

Some current renders: (Click the link below to view full size image)

[images removed for bandwidth]

Nearly one month on, an Update! See bottom post.

Your loops have gone askew. There should be a complete loop running from just above the nostril area, around the side of the mouth and around to the centre of the chin then mirroring this up the other side. Like this pic from the tutorial you’re following: See how this loop neatly encloses all the lip loops.

You may find it awkward adding clean lip loops as your model stands now. You’ve also got triangles which some people find objectionable (I’m too new to get embroiled in that argument).

Many modellers find it easier to model a realistic face using edge loops instead of hacking a box up piece by piece. Torq’s “Better Face Tutorial” is a much-loved example because you add the essential loops at the start then work around those as you go. He even shows the basics of making the nostrils:

Read that whole thread to find answers to most of the questions that you’ll probably want to ask right away. This method is more progressive than box modelling. The box tutorial you’re following requires reasonably advanced knowledge of splitting and joining faces in such a way as to redirect edge loops without buggering everything else up.

I found this forum thread very helpful as well

If you want to learn box modeling, you can use Blender, but Wings3D is maybe a better option. I’ve tried to do the SecondReality tutorial with both Blender and Wings, and with Wings it was much easier. The tools in Blender for box modeling are a little limited compared to Wings.

Wings makes modelling like… like… too easy. It’s the best modeller I’ve encountered yet, and combined with blender it’s a potent weapon.

Thank you for all the constructive replies.

As I said, the aim of this project is to learn organic modelling with decent mesh topology, so perhaps I’ll leave the box modelling alone until I get a handle on what edge loops are required for a decent head topology, for that I’ll work from Torq’s head tut.

It does seem more logical to start by placing down the required edge loops, and then modelling from there, at least for a beginner anyway. While working from the box modelling tutorial I was thinking “Why am i cutting this edges here?”

Again thanks for all the replies, I’ll get myself busy and redo this head mesh.

I’ll update this thread once I’ve made some progress!



Started on the head again, this time making a rough “correct topology face” using Torq’s tutorial + referance images, then molding this to fit my referance images.

I believe I have been quite sucesfull in this, which suggests that Torq’s topology is very flexible!

Any other suggestions / critiques, or is it to early to tell? How about the nose topology? and the topology of the lips?

Next step is to try and continue the back of the head, then add more detail to the face.



I think that tutorial describes well how to model only the face, but not how to go with the rest of the head.

I found this image (taken from page 35 of the same CGTalk link posted above) very impressing as an example of low polygon modeling.

Thanks for that image toloban, I think It will be helpful for when I start the rear of the mesh.



A bit more work, now got the rest of the head blocked in.

As before, click url for full size.

A minor update to the topology of the nose and surrounding area.
Not entirely happy with the general shape of the mesh, it seems to me that the face is too “flat” and “boxy”.

However assuming the edge loop flow is good, I can spent some time getting things tweaked / smoothed into shape.

However feedback on the general mesh topology would be good before I go ahead.

All good fun though! :slight_smile:

Hehe, I’m doing a female hear right now, and thought it is hard sometimes, it is indeed some good fun. Glad to hear such things with people being creative: that they’re having fun, that’s the most importance.

But I’m sorry this is the focused critique forum, so I’l try to crit. Your mesh is really good, especially the nose is good right now. I think that you shouldn’t stick to your blueprint that much. I used some photographes as reference and created the mesh with the photo’s as reference, not as blueprint, that works fine with me. I think becouse now you have the basic shape, you should tweak the shape, make it a bit rounder, especially the top half of the head, and use photo’s and other images (or realy heads ofcourse) as reference. I think that if you won’t defer from this blueprint that you will have some difficulties with creating a believable shape.

You have a very good start, keep it up, good luck and have fun.


Excellent work rndrdbrian. Your best model to date IMO.

The face topology is excellent. Well placed loops and the proper detail is there. The rest of the head looks off though. Your polys should flow from the top of the brow and rotate about the ear, making the faces look like they are extruded/rotated about the ear area. Check some more wireframe references for what I mean.

Excellent job though.


BgDM: Thanks for the reply.

At the moment I’ve been concentrating on getting the topology of the face down, before worrying about modelling the back of the head etc. But I realise I may need to alter the topology of the face slightly to get decent topology for the ear.

I have quite a few refererence images / wireframe views which show good edge flow from the face, around the ear etc.

Something to work on this weekend.

OK. Another update.

reworked the topology of the head, and blocked in (very very rough!) ears:

Note the spiral face loop going from the above the eyebrow (looking at side view), spiraling around the head and around the ear.

Here is the mesh without subsurf applied:

I copied this idea from this image on CG Talks topology research thread,

It seems to me that this topolgy will lead to nice edgeloops around the ear, with sufficient vertices to start (rebuilding) the ear.

Although I’m taking a long time to make progress with this mesh, I really feel that I have learned a lot about polymodelling and decent mesh topology.

And I dare say I’ll learn a lot more before I finish!

On that note, any feedback / suggestions / comments on the mesh topology as it stands now is welcome (I know the ears look poor!)



A change of reference image, and a rebuild of the face mesh:

I seem to have difficulty in visualising how to extrude from the edge of the face to build the rest of the head.


Do you have his head in a side view. Because then you could just use that.

Yoshi, yes, I have the side view.

It’s just that I am struggling with the topology for the side / back of the head. what faces to extrude towards the back of the head etc.


Lets see, don’t know much yet, but I find out when you fellow the bone and muscle it seems to have a good topology. You shouldn’t have any tight and sudden turns in your lines and often the ridge you would find, the loop would often meet there.

Al_Capone, thats a good point.

I think the site where I got the head reference from has rear views of the guys head. Might be worthwhile adding that as a reference, and then seeing if that helps me visualise what the topology should be doing.