portrait study to learn blender

hi, i am new to blenderartists, and fairly new to blender too… i have quite some years of zbrush experience, but when i saw about half a year ago a cycles render (from michalis), i was hooked… so, i got blender, to render my zbrush models with cycles… now, i want to go a step further, and actually learn to model in blender… this (besides a stillife) is my first real attempt. it started from a cube, and was subdivision surface, which i then baked to be able to sculpt on it… still wip very obviously …
all of this project is about to learn the features of blender (not so much the endproduct), and i hope i may ask questions while i go… so, here she is, after two days work, the polycount is real low, just 30000 vertices. (geez a zbrush model starts at this polycount)… constructive critiqie, and lots of blender hints are much appreciated (please assume i know almost nothing about blender ;-))

Hi doris (kokoro)
Glad to see you here, welcome.
Very nice attempt though you may experiencing some slow downs working on multi res mode.
The performance will be much better if you discard subdivisions.
Meanwhile I strongly recommend you to join the dynamic topology club of nicholas bishop.
Just download a dyna topology branch build from graphical.org. There’s a good one for PV and another great for MAC. No linux builds though, I wonder.

hi michalis, glad you found me :slight_smile: and thank you for encouraging me to join :slight_smile: … yes, i experienced already in sculpting mode that a high polygon count is worked considerably slower than in zbrush. i will try out everything, but one step at a time. i am still, sometimes, get blender into a state where i cannot do anything anymore, except press the escape key to get back to a state where i know what to do… so, i am doing it slowly, blender has become over the years a mighty program it seems :slight_smile:

so, here is the next step, head refined, and added rough clothes. need details of course… i enjoy the process, the much control blender gives me :slight_smile:

and, a first question : i had modeled the head (and now the clothes too) with a subdivision modifier on. when i want sculpt, the sculting brushes only react to the low poly cage, not the many polygons the subdivision modifier shows. so, i baked the subdivision modifier and got the high poly head. which i now could sculpt… is this the way how it should be done ? i wonder, because now i have a quite huge mesh, and it seems difficult to add uv coorcinates, for example…

today i tried to create the material… i did learn about vertex paint, and “dirty vertices”… used that to paint more on the vertices to get the effect i wanted… what do you think ?

thanks michalis :slight_smile: …yes, today i started a new project in my blender week, and this is using a different approach via multires, ,i enjoy learning all the possibilities, that way i can later really choose the one which is erfect for the porject at hand… oh, yes, i experienced already that allplying subs makes the machine go easier :slight_smile:

as it still fits the title, i thought of continuing this thread with my new portrait work… this time, i am following the wonderful tutorial i found recently at cgcookie, a portrait series by kent trammel. so, my idea is, to follow this tutorial series in order to learn as much as i possibly can from it… the first step is doing the sketch sculpt in multires modifier. i like in blender, that one can switch between edit and sculpt. this way i was able to easily fix a bad error (i had the eyes way too close to the brow, and noticed it only in sculot level 5),but, i was not doing this edit carefully enough, it left the sculpt with some bad mesh errors… no problem however, as the next step is retopologizing. and, even though zbrush can this now quite quickly, i will take the way suggested by kent trammel in his tutorial video, simply to learn this technique too…

Nice work and welcome to blender artist like michalis said you should give the dynamic topology branches a spin you can find builds on graphicall.org its a lot of fun a bit buggy at the moment as its still under development.

thanks tyrant monkey, yes i will try soon :slight_smile:

ok, the retopo is done, was quite a zen like experience :slight_smile: … i tried to layout the edge flow so that it supports the form. face is symmetrical, hairdo is not…

today i worked on the material, and on the mesh… all is still wip, and suggestions for improvement are very welcome…

Nice sculpting and topology.
What next? Details probably.
You know my ideas on how a GI raytraced renderer tends to eat carving.
So, render and sculpt and render until you feel happy (if this is possible in our world).
You have zbrush there, why don’t export and work there?
As blender multi res modifier is against performance you can subdivide as much you need, apply the modifier and sculpt.
Unfortunately, blender can’t rebuild subdivisions but zbrush can. You could use then zbrush for just this and bake displacements.

Nice works!

thank you both :slight_smile: yes, details, but not too many. i prefer forms to speak, not detail…i worked today on material, lightning, made uv in blender (as i want learn each necessary step in blender, so i can later always choose the app i found more convinient for the task at hand), posed the model, and yes started detailing… everything needs tweaking still, but i am happy with the direction it goes… (and, am very happy that these 2 portrait projects finally made that i am becoming familiar with blender, not just cycles … it will be a good compagnion besides zbrush)

so, here is the mesh finished. due to good topology, the polycount is still relatively low, less than 1 million :slight_smile:

had to apply the multires modifier to create the vertex dirt map paint, as this was always using the basemesh only, but i wanted it to pick up the high detail … if there is a way to make vertexpaint, and keep the multires, please let me know … next time, i post the finished work, but i will put it into the finished artwork forum…

had to apply the multires modifier to create the vertex dirt map paint, as this was always using the basemesh only, but i wanted it to pick up the high detail … if there is a way to make vertexpaint, and keep the multires, please let me know

I don’t know a way. That’s a problem, I’ve noticed it too.


very nice and fluid topology!

thanks ! yes it is, and it was very helpful in bringing the forms out to show the strength i intended.