Sculpted & Vertex Painted Man

Having been a long time ZBrush user, I am now quite impressed with a similar workflow for producing rather high resolution human faces. If the resolution of the sculpture is high enough, one can paint the vertices rather than resort to UV mapping, just like Zbrush 3.

Here is a sample:

Can you post a pic with more light in it? Is it all vertex painted? Way cool. How many verts/faces?

are those eyebrows sculpted or is that a normals map?


This is a very straightforward model - no texture or normal mapping of any kind. The eyebrows are sculpted and then vertex painted. One more level of subdivision would have made it possible to nearly sculpt the individual hairs. The model has a total of 259,328 polygons. Here is a version without the colors:

Greg Smith

Wow, that is some pretty good work right there. Love it.
I’m currently learning to use the sculpting tools, and sometimes I have trouble keeping edge vertices from deforming into weird twisted shapes.
Do you snap or lock the edge verts (like around the neck) in place before sculpting? What tool do I use for that, if one exists?


Thanks for the nice comments. I cheated a little when producing the neck. After adding all of the additional geometry to the basic Blender “cube”, (without doing any moving of the geometry), I used the sculpt tools to get the basic head and face features in place. I refined this a little by adding another layer of resolution. At this point I used “Apply Multi-Res” to bake all of this geometry for further additions in the “Edit” mode. Returning to “Edit” mode, I extruded the neck from a region of polygons, went back to “Sculpt” mode and sculpted the neck to the desired shape. Everything from this point was just adding more resolution and refining the details.


Greg Smith

Wow, great job Greg! I have been intrigued by multires and vertex paint. It is basically the way real world solid models are made including the airbrushing! I can’t wait to try this out. You might also try weight painting the eyebrows using static particles - I read where you can do this in the weight painting section of the manual. It would be a great way to place hairs just like an airbrush.


Thanks for the compliment. Hair really is an intriguing possibility, especially with the new “patch” talked about in the “News” section.

There is a lot of buzz about the need for scores of millions of polygons to be sculpted in real time these days. My experience with looking at real faces and real creatures is that you rarely see in this kind of detail - you don’t see every facial pore and blemish. Models in the hundreds of thousands of polygons are capable of conveying a quite realistic image.

I have also found that the editing/sculpting workflow in Blender is quite fast if you take certain initial steps to add resolution in the key areas. I use an old machine and find it very usable with these techniques. Pretty soon most applications will offer sculpting of some sort, and Blender is already providing a sound and advanced solution. I guess the next functional step would be internal application and rendering of Blender generated normal maps for use in “photorealistic” Blender animation.

Does anyone know if there is a keystroke combination to set brush size while sculpting? That would save a lot of time.

Greg Smith

If I´m not wrong, you can change the brush size with the mouse wheel.


Nope. I’ve tried the mousewheel with all modifier keys and modifier key combos - brush size stays the same.

Greg Smith

Have you seen this? Talk about a time saver!:

wheeling in and out changes the zoom and closeness/fineness of viewing the model. Since the circle stays the same size, it is more detailed when working close-up versus when it works from far away it works over a broader area. so it does change the brush size, by changing the working area size because the brush works on an area size relative to what is displayed. Sorta like making yourself look big by making everyone else look small.

Hey All,
The sclupt brush size is now controlled by F key, and the Ctrl-Frotates the brush, and Shift-F scales the brush.
And so as not to sound all smart or anything, realize I only discovered this when I pressed the Sculpt menu on the header, and found the options there. These are real time savers for sculpting with alpha/ texture brushes like the ones that were linked earlier in the week. I submitted my request to have this functionality added to the texture paint, but we’ll see what they have planned already during the overhaul. :slight_smile: Blender is my favorite software of all freakin’ time :slight_smile: