Need help to figure out what is wrong with this head

Hello All,

First time on the forums, nice to meet y’all!

I have been exposed to blender for a few months now, and have done some simple polygon modelling pieces here and there. However, due to work and other things going in life, I never really had the time to put too much effort into it until now.

So over the Christmas break period, I’ve decided to get a first taste into some character modelling and see how difficult it really is. After putting in a few all nighters, realizing that things look different under proportional and orthographic view, I’ve finally managed to create something that looks “human”.

The issue is that, just like when I draw an unevenly proportioned face, and then flip the canvas, it becomes glaringly obvious that the nose is bending in a direction it should not be able to.
With this thing whenever I put in some pupils, the uncanny valley hits me like a flying truck, and I ponder on whether the thing that I’ve just made is an alien that should be cleansed with a press of the ‘x’ key or if there’s still a merit to continue on with the hair and additional detailing in the hopes that it makes it look more human.

Help and pointers would be greatly appreciated. The forums are stopping me from putting in additional images so please let me know if you need additional views.

Hello and welcome!

I’m learning as well, but for what it’s worth: do not worry. From what I’ve experienced so far when you add pupils to the model it sends you to uncanny valley faster than you can say “entering hyperspace” almost ALL THE TIME.
We’re not really wired by default to see faces without brows, eyelashes, pupils and some skin color variation, so it’s stands to reason that things will be OFF. I suppose it comes with experience. Eventually.
But just as with flipping canvas you mentioned, you can come up with a few things to trick your mind. At some point of your sculpt you can add temporary brows, lashes and eyes. Set their material viewport color to something darker than skin. Might help seeing things differently as you sculpt.


It goes without saying that references and anatomy for artists are your best friends in this regard. It’s worth paying attention to “common mistakes” artists make. What stands out the most to me in this case is the mouth: it’s looks flat, consider how teeth are arched and corners of lips go deeper on the Y-Axis.

Sometimes rather than start from scratch you might want to push through “it’s a horrible alien” phase of the model to see exactly what works with additional details, textures and lights, and what doesn’t. Then next time it’ll be easier to predict the outcome and adjust accordingly.

Either way, you’re doing well so carry on =)
Have fun and a Happy New Year!

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Thanks for the reply!

For the mouth issue, I’m guessing the way I should be going about this is to add in a cylinder to simulate the teeth and contouring the face around that cylinder?

It might help. But it would require you to have a very good understanding where the teeth/cylinder actually are… which might be a whole other issue.
So probably better to study a head from different angles. Look for “head construction” explanations: Proko’s youtube channel, Loomis books, Michael Hampton figure drawing book… in other words, a source that describes the figure in 3D space.
Tip: it’s useful to look at the face from below to check the mouth curvature.

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Check the underlying geometry of the neck so that it works properly with smoothing. Could be some “excess geometry” in there, flipped-normals, etc. Turn off smoothing and check it very carefully.

just from eyeballing it the nose and mouth appear too thin, the eyes too slanted, and there’s not much of a jaw. i recommend studying a little bit of facial anatomy and comparing your sculpture with another 3d model (like digital emily or free DAZ studio characters)

Have a look at this video it helped me tremendously and its actually entertaining to watch…

It helps to post also a side view and a total front view. I think creating a new one with the video will help you the most…

If you can find it, look at the planes of the head. 3dtotal has a good model for the planes of the head. Loomis has drawings of the planes of the head, that would be the cheapist find.

Hello All, really grateful for the tips feedback!

Following the feedback on this thread, for the past 2 weeks, I’ve been focusing more on the fundamentals and working in 2D sketches a lot more than 3D models, and I think I’ll be doing that for the near future.

I think 3D modelling has made me appreciate the fact that regardless of the medium, fundamentals such as anatomy, form, value are going to reign supreme, and that I severely overestimated the firmness of my fundamentals.

While taking a break from 2D, a few days ago I tried a quick sculpt (which still took 50 minutes), I think the eyelid area, the ears, and the form of the nose still needs more work, but in general, does it look more human like?

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It has improved. Something to look at I noticed, if this is a female model, then the forehead slant.

What helped me quite a bit is searching for reference for all angles or take pics yourself. Like from underneath, side, from above and compare it with your sculpt. Currently sculpting Toph from Avatar and that helped me.