Starting Organic Modeling (Human Heads)

Previous to this point, I have primarily limited myself to hard surface modeling.

Now I want to expand into the other side of modeling and here is the first attempt.
An image and blend file are attached to this post for those interested.
Any comments on the wire frame will be appreciated. Time taken, approx. 7 hours.

Since I plan on doing more, all future practice works will also be posted in this thread.

Thank you for looking, but even more thanks if you point out any faults with the mesh.

EDIT: Now that images have been turned on for threads in the Works in Progress forum, I will be updating the top image to my latest work for the obvious reasons.


I think it looks really good, and you said this is your first model?!. I took your file and played around with it (destroyed it). It was easy to add detail around mouth, nose and eyes so I would say the model is a really good template model. I don’t know how you did this? I have not done any (or much) organic modelling but i guess you have built it vertex by vertex in loops?
Regarding the my taste (so nothing wrong here) I would probably reduce cheek a bit, move mouth closer to nose and tilt the eyes a bit more horisontal.

Anyway, great work really!

Looks good but the eyes look a bit too small. Also the nose is bigger than it should be. Lastly the lips really need some more works. Keep going.

Thanks for the responses!

I’ve taken some of your recommendations and spent another hour on the head. I should do more, but I am starting to feel myself stagnate on this model. As I have read, when your learning, it is better to start a new one when it gets to that.

Before I even touched Blender for this, I did a lot of research on methodology and topology.

I actually started it with a block-out model. Then forced the edge-loops and poles into the right places afterward (made easier with being able to have n-gons as an intermediate step), this helps avoid the issue of having a flattish face that can happen when doing it poly by poly. And I should note that it was all based on a reference found with Google. Looking back, I think it should be a lot wider because of issues with orthographic and perspective conflicts.

So, on to the next one. It will be a female this time. We’ll see if it actually looks any different. :spin:


FirstHeadr1.blend (130 KB)

its actually not that bad in ortho mode. the eye line is right in the center the lips may be a little low. the problem lie in the width of the eyes, which in turn means the head is too thin pull the eyes wider, but leave the corners by the nose where they are. the eye wants to be about the same width as the gap between eyes and nose. the you’ll need to widen the mouth to maintain the corners of the mouth in line with the edge of the pupil. which at the moment is perfect, but you’re about to move the eyes so it wont be. you’ll need to then make adjustments to the cheeks etc. there may be a bit too much slope on the forehead, but i’ve seen worse on real people :smiley:
and it has no ears, so you cant cop out early with lame excuses of “you read it somewhere”

Thank you for pushing me. :wink:

So…ears! And tweaks to pretty much everywhere. The ears are not really anatomically correct, need to get better references for that. Time taken, forgot to keep track, a few hours.


FirstHeadr2.blend (142 KB)

your model is quite good actually, from a proportional perspective compared to a photo reference, most of the facial features are spot on

just a few tweaks are needed, thats all

firs obvious thing is that the skull on the human image is right at the edge of the reference cube parallel with the outside of the ear, on the model the skull is parallel to the inside of the ear. Bearing in mind the hair, but there should still be some curvature

the nose is also a fraction high on the model.

edgslide the loops just over the eyes up slightly and use them to define the brow ridges.
the facial curve on your model starts too soon and is quite abrupt, making this a bit fuller and more flowing towards the back of the model will help, and will give you room to define the facial crease that runs around the mouth

the ear is pretty fine considering you’re new to organic modelling! still, it will take more work to get it realistic. this is one of those time that i would recomend doing it over for the practice if nothing else. but i’ll let you decide whether to leave that until your next model.

it sound like lots, but you could get these fixes in half an hour and be ready to texture if you wish. damn fine first head

i just checked the post where you linked your reference! no wonder your model is so damn close to my reference image! lol

bring the chin down a bit and give it more of a rise and pull it out a fraction. it should begin its slope towards the ear directly where it meets the first guideline and remains at a constant angle right up to the point where it hooks around to connect to the ear and the under side of the chin should not be seen

The topology is almost finished. If you’re having problems getting the nose right you can look it up in the poles and loops thread.

Bah, all that time trying to find the full SomeArtist’s pole thread and a condensed version (with better English) was sitting on the top of the Modeling forum the whole time. Google, why you fail me!

Thanks for all the pointers. I think that I got through all of them and the model actually visually resembles the image now because of it.

With regards to the ear, it did take several retries to get it to that point. :wink:
I will probably not be making anymore changes on this model, maybe.

Also going to wait on texturing. This project is more to focus on developing my modeling skills. After making a few heads, I may go back and try to texture them as a future project. Though, I am open to persuasion on that point.

EDIT: And thanks to toontje, I fixed the nose.


FirstHeadr3.blend (147 KB)

My turnaround time is terrible, its been 12 days since my last post. Anyway, here is another head.


I think I did somewhat better with the eyes and the nose this time.
Again, any comments would be helpful.

Hopefully I start the next one much faster.


SecondHeadr4.blend (163 KB)

your topography is nice and clean, but if you intend to animate it with facial expressions, the edge loops should encircle the moulth area more uniformly.

Thanks for the quick response!

I’m not sure exactly what you’re referring to. Do you mean the rectangular quads above the mouth? or that the nose-mouth edge-loop gets too close to the mouth? or that there are more loops going into the upper lip than the lower lip?

basically, the loops around the mouth area should follow the mouth, kind of like clown make-up. this facilitates good distortions while animating facial expressions.

here’s an interesting discussion on it, imo, the one about halfway down of the girl with the moulth area highlited in red is the most correct

Okay, I see. Thanks!

you seem to have a great beginning!! (wayyyy better then I can do)
don’t forget everyone’s idea of perfect is different an no 2 people are identical (more or less)
keep up the good work an keep learning

I am not doing myself any favors by delaying so long in between projects, but I hope I am still progressing…
One thing I’m still not sure about is the eyeballs themselves, I think I keep on making them to big. More experimenting for next time, I guess.

EDIT: Almost forgot to mention, I tried edge extrusion instead of box modeling for this model. It wasn’t so bad really.
Also noticed that this forum now displays the first image in the thread… need to do something about that ugly icon.


ThirdHeadr3.blend (619 KB)

Edge extrusion isn’t terribly hard just time consuming. Your loops look a lot better than what I did and mine’s still earless. How are you doing your ears by the way? Are you modeling them separately then attaching or modeling them straight from the head?

I am not so sure about time consuming. Each one of these heads took less time than the previous, even the different method of the third. Really, most of my time is spent tweaking vertex positions to match the reference after the edge loops have been finalized.

Yes, I model the ears separately, it is really difficult to do it any other way and that is the generally accepted practice.
Of course with mine, if you look at how they are connected on the back, you will see some nastiness. I am sure that can be done better as well.